What stage is your organisation at in the donor centric journey?

What stage is your organisation at in the donor centric journey?

In a survey to our Donor Centricity Collective (DCC) community, results showed that a common challenge amongst Fundraising Managers is ‘knowing your data’.

In our quest to help solve this common problem, we’ve taken our learnings from the commercial world and created an 8 step journey roadmap to the Donor Centric environment.

We encourage you to challenge your thinking by rating your organisation at each stage of the donor centricity road map (on a scale of 1 – 10).

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A very good idea

A very good idea

Ruth Wicks explains how RFDS (Queensland Section) and a group of forward-thinking agencies worked together to transform traditional ways of generating and converting bequest leads

Bequests, legacies, gifts-in-wills —whatever terminology you prefer, this critical fundraising channel has always been the quiet achiever… until now. 

For as long as I care to remember, the main way to generate bequest leads has been through the tried and tested survey or DM activity to gauge a donor’s level of interest and push them through the funnel from interested, to considering, to intending, to confirmed. When I worked on the charity side, this was what worked. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Wrong. 

We know that innovation is not always about the bright and shiny new thing. It’s about taking what we do and making it better — reinventing ourselves and our approaches, testing, tweaking and pivoting (yes, I said it) so we can increase our impact on the world. 

That said, it takes guts to try something a little different — and to be honest, a little complicated — especially when your program is already widely regarded as one of the best in the business.

Royal Flying Doctors Service (QLD Section) currently brings in $6.1 million in bequests per year. They are an inspirational organisation and they are great at what they do. But they knew they needed to do something else beyond new donor acquisition to find more bequestors. 

RFDS were brave enough to undertake a pilot that relied on their existing donor base to identify new prospects. 

That pilot involved a multi-stage, cross-channel journey developed by More Strategic and Cornucopia. The journey incorporates two key elements: 1) an integrated supporter engagement survey (SES) with a new approach to identify propensity in non-traditional audiences and engage them in a personalised nudge journey; and 2) a calling campaign targeted at the best and most engaged prospects.

So the first step in the pilot was More Strategic’s supporter engagement survey, which goes well beyond a ‘bequest lead’ generation approach (and yet still delivers around 15% of respondents as bequest leads). We used sophisticated, highly personalised and engaging surveys to: identify and qualify bequest and mid-value prospects; create segments that inform who we talk to, what we talk to them about and what message frame would influence their behaviour; deliver dynamic and tailored experiences to donors and nudge them to their next ‘move’; and benchmark RFDS against other charities.

So far, so good. But what about the people who didn’t respond? That’s where the second stage came in — the IDEA approach. This approach involves four steps:

Step 1: Insight 

In partnership with Lemontree, we combined the past behaviours and transactional propensity score from RFDS’ database with commercial and charitable data to devise a propensity score for each donor in their universe. We then selected the best 11,000 prospects for bequest giving and appended details to them (on average we can append 50-70% of mobile numbers and 20% of email addresses to improve contactability).

Continue reading the full article in F&P magazine to learn more…

Donor Relationship Stage 5: Keep Me – ft. Jonathan Storey

Donor Relationship Stage 5: Keep Me – ft. Jonathan Storey

Continuing with our 8-part blog series reviewing the different stages of the donor relationship, this blog delves into donor relationship stage 5: Keep Me.  

For this session, we were joined by guest NFP speaker Jonathan Storey, who has been the resident Fundraising Director of Environment Victoria, for the past 6.5 years. Environment Victoria has been Victoria’s leading environment charity for the past 52 years, campaigning to solve the climate crisis and build a thriving, sustainable society that protects and values nature. Jonathan expanded on ‘Relationship Fundraising’ and the knowledge and insight he has gained from Author Ken Burnett and his experience with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket. 

Here’s what Jonathan had to say on the Keep Me stage’… 

One of the key things about keeping your donors interested and engaged (and therefore giving) is actually knowing a bit about them. At a basic level that means getting their names and addresses correct, but it’s also things like: 

  • Knowing how they came into your organisation
  • Demographic info like age or household status
  • Interests and motivations
  • Actions they have taken
  • Donation history etc. 

Once you know a bit about your donors you’ll need to keep their information safe, clean and up to date (yes, a database) and have a plan to engage with them through the channels they inhabit. 

Content and delivery strategies will vary depending on your organisation but one piece of advice I would give is not to narrowcast through long complex supporter journeys. The last place you want donors to end up is in the bottomless silo that can be marketing over-automation. 

Instead think about the breadth of the journey and build shorter, meaningful journeys based on specific purposes. Make sure it all fits in with your brand communications, so each interaction makes sense with the bigger picture for long term retention. 

A good place to start the Keep Me experience is your donation page. It is a short journey, but so often poorly executed. Does your page load in a second or two? Can I read it on a mobile? Do propositions and dollar amounts match the ask? Can I give by PayPal? Why do they want my date of birth? If you are not happy with the experience, then donors are probably less than impressed too. 

A final word – in a nutshell, try and send out as much as you can to as many people as possible. Just make sure it’s good.

You can view Jonathan full presentation here. 

If you’d like to hear more from the likes of Jonathan and your fundraising peers, we invite you to join the LemonTree Donor-centric Collective; a community built for fundraisers. The community attracts 1000+ fundraisers across Australia, ranging from small to large NFP’s and guess what…its completely FREE! Enjoy member only access to community luncheons, webinars, our LinkedIn community group, the chance to speak on behalf of your cause, and most importantly be involved in the donor-centric movement!

Thank you to Jonathan Storey for sharing his knowledge on the Keep Me stage in the donor relationship journey.

Previously in this series:

 Next up in this series:

  • Grow Me
  • Keep Me
  • Endear Me
  • Renew Me
  • Win Me Back
Donor Relationship Stage 4: Grow Me – ft. Mahza Ahadiwand

Donor Relationship Stage 4: Grow Me – ft. Mahza Ahadiwand

Here we are at stage 4: Grow Me, in our 8-part blog series reviewing the different stages of the donor relationship.

This is the enrichment stage. It’s a time of excitement and opportunities. Its time to demonstrate the value each of you brings to the relationship and highlight the impact you can have on the world if you work together.

For this session, we were joined by guest NFP speaker Mahza Ahadiwand, who is the Individual Giving Manager at Children’s Cancer Institute. Children’s Cancer Institute was established in 1976 by a dedicated group of parents of children with cancer and their doctors. First established as a foundation to fund childhood cancer research, we opened our own research laboratories in 1984. Since then, we have grown to employ more than 300 researchers, students and operational staff and are recognised as one of the leading international child cancer research institutes.

Here’s a snapshot of Mahza’s presentation on the Grow Me stage…

Grow My Well-being:

So are we making them (donors) feel good?

“I wish I could give more, but I am on a pension”

“Sorry I can’t give again, I gave a few month ago”

“The work you do is amazing, but I spread my giving out between a few charities and give a as much as I can”

As fundraisers, should we be considering a donor’s well being?

How to make them feel good:

  1. Boosting well-being – Long term approach
  2. Identity – Enhancement to current activity
  3. Growing love and liking – Genuine desire to care – shift in mindset

Donor well-being:

Self-determination theory…

Assesses whether fundraisers or donors feel better as a result of their support of an organisation (La Guardia et al., 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2000a; 2000b). This theory says that people have three basic psychological needs:

  1. The need to feel autonomous
  2. The need to feel competent
  3. The need to feel connected to others

What level of competency do you feel in your role?

Competency:

  • Thanking them, not their gift
  • Demonstrating impact – annual impact report and ‘reports’ after each appeal
  • You talking to me? – utilising plain text emails

Dear Maz,

Thank you for your generous donation of $50 and helping to make Lexie’s wish come true this Christmas.

Thanks to your support of the Zero Childhood Cancer program, we can work towards, one day helping save the lives of thousands of children suffering from cancer.

It’s a tremendously exciting time for childhood cancer research and you play a crucial role. We simply couldn’t have got to  where we are today – on the threshold of transforming the very nature of childhood cancer treatment – without your support

From everyone here at the Institute, thank you. 

Maz,

You have just done something truly amazing. THANK YOU. 

Attached is a copy of your tax receipt, but to us, it’s so much more than just a receipt. 

It represents that, today, your kindness has helped to change the future for children with cancer. 

No child should have to face cancer, but the harsh reality is that every week in Australia, 20 children are diagnosed. That’s equivalent to a classroom of children who will have to fight for their lives being diagnosed each week. 

Your compassion has just taken us one step closer to changing the future for these children. By choosing to support the Children’s Cancer Institute you are helping to find better, safer treatments so that all children can enjoy a childhood cancer free. 

On behalf of everyone here at the Institute, and from all the children and families you are providing hope to.

THANK YOU. 

Connectiveness:

  • Survey responders
  • Role of newsletters
  • Virtual connections – Gala of Giving

Autonomy:

  • Additional space on coupons
  • Bouncebacks where possible
  • Asking!

 Measurement:

How well do you think your current fundraising activities are set up to support donor wellbeing?

Identity:

  • We all want to be seen
  • When there is the absence of an organistaional supporter identity, it is most likely that the donor has chosen to support the organization because of one or a combination of the other identities that they have
  • Research shows that by making identity salient at the time of taking action, can increase giving

Getting to know our people: 

  • What are the top 5 words that come to mind when you describe yourself
  • What are the top 5 words that come to mind when you describe yourself as a supporter (THIS IS WHAT GIVING MEANS – why its important to them)

You can continue reading Mahza’s full presentation here… 

If you’d like to hear more from the likes of Mahza and your fundraising peers, we invite you to join the LemonTree Donor-centric Collective; a community built for fundraisers. The community attracts 1000+ fundraisers across Australia, ranging from small to large NFP’s and guess what…its completely FREE! Enjoy member only access to community luncheons, webinars, our LinkedIn community group, the chance to speak on behalf of your cause, and most importantly be involved in the donor-centric movement!

Thank you to Mahza Ahadiwand for sharing her knowledge on the Grow Me stage in the donor relationship journey.

Previously in this series:

  1. Catch Me
  2. Welcome Me
  3. Teach Me

 Next up in this series:

  • Keep Me
  • Endear Me
  • Renew Me
  • Win Me Back
Primed wins FIA award for ‘Most Innovative Campaign’

Primed wins FIA award for ‘Most Innovative Campaign’

The LemonTree team is beyond excited to announce, that our end-to-end engagement solution, Primed, is the winner of the ‘Most Innovative Campaign’ award, at the recent Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) Awards for Excellence in Fundraising. 

Together with our Primed partners, ConversrMore Impact, and Cornucopia Fundraising, we have collaborated our unique services and created a multi-stage engagement solution, designed to assist fundraisers in finding the huge untapped potential sitting on their databases.

 

How Primed helped Bush Heritage Australia connect meaningfully with their donors 

We worked closely with Bush Heritage Australia, an independent not-for-profit that buys and manages land, and also partners with Aboriginal people, to conserve our magnificent landscapes and irreplaceable native species forever, to identify where they could potentially grow their existing regular giving base.

Bush Heritage Australia wanted to actively engage with people in a way that went deeper than just getting their details, then making a phone call and expecting people to commit to their cause.

Step 1: The LemonTree team, started by auditing and consolidating a wide range of dormant donors and leads that most charities have typically given up on. Then through best practice hygiene techniques and leveraging LemonTree’s large collaborative insights universe, we were able to identify the most contactable donors. Finally, with machine learning, our unique collaborative propensity models identified the most likely donors to be regular givers to Bush Heritage Australia.

Step 2: This is where More Impact and Conversr stepped in, to design the customised multi-channel engagement journey, informed by behavioural economics.

Step 3: From here, 24,000 people were put through a three-step engagement journey using Conversr’s SMS and email platforms. The idea was to educate people around Bush Heritage Australia’s purpose, give them a gift (which was a downloadable calendar full of beautiful images of wildlife and bush landscapes) and finally, ask them for their opinion on what Bush Heritage Australia does and why, through a short survey.

It’s been really beneficial for our organisation so far in terms of the number of regular givers that we’ve generated and the outcomes, but also the fact that we’ve engaged so many people in such a positive way and that helps to make sure they keep on giving.

Matt Small

Regular Giving Manager, Bush Heritage Australia

At LemonTree, we believe the most powerful relationships are founded on human connection. One person, engaging with another, over time. Something so simple, but it can translate into loyalty that lasts a lifetime.

The power of relationships

The power of relationships

If the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that donor-centricity has really taken off around the globe. However, as Adrian Sargeant, renowned author, Fundraising Professor and co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy asks in his recent blog post, how far have we really come?

Whilst some charities are doing ground-breaking work, too many are merely swapping out a few keywords in their communications, ticking a non-existent donor-centric box and hoping for the best.

Why is this?

Well, according to Sargeant:

“Because the metrics organisations use to assess fundraising are still all about the money. Very few charities measure the quality of the donor experience, and how giving makes donors feel or contributes to their sense of wellbeing. Almost no-one rewards their fundraisers for improvements in any of these latter relationship metrics, so financial measures continue to dominate.”

As detailed in our recent publication, The Donor-Centricity e-Book, we believe that donor-centricity is the ongoing dedication to increasing the depth and breadth of your donor understanding, so you can connect more meaningfully, collaborate more effectively, and – most importantly – genuinely care for your donors in order to create ongoing value exchange, build trust and increase loyalty.

By continually seeking to understand your donors, you gain insights that can be used not simply to tailor your communication, but also to adapt your engagement efforts, provide a more positive donor experience, and demonstrate to your donors that they are at the heart of your entire organisation. This builds trust and loyalty – the critical foundations of any lasting, sustainable relationship.

How do we know this?

Because we’ve seen it before in the commercial world, with our parent company Marketsoft.

Whether we’re a customer or donor, a positive experience makes us feel good and – as humans – we are motivated to act based on how we feel. We tend to make decisions based on emotion, then find a way to justify that decision based on logic.

To deliver the best customer experience and earn a sustainable competitive advantage, businesses need to earn trust and build loyalty by adopting a customer-centric approach. They do this by:

  1. Understanding what their customers want, need, like, dislike, hope, fear and value at each stage of their life;
  2. Infusing these customer insights across all their business functions to help shape decisions;
  3. Creating a unique and ongoing value exchange for their customers;
  4. Engaging in open, honest and transparent two-way conversations with their customers, across many different channels; and
  5. Empowering customers to interact with their brand on their own terms.

This same applies to not-for-profits looking to generate sustainable giving, you need to earn trust and build loyalty by adopting a donor-centric approach.

Sustainable giving will only ever come from sustainable relationships, and therein lies the source of donor-centric gap. Too many organisations underestimate the power of building and nurturing meaningful relationships. Instead, they measure fundraising teams purely on the literal sense of the word.

But fundraising’s true power comes not from focusing on the dollar, but from focusing on the relationship between donor, charity and beneficiary. If an organisation can keep their focus on the donor, on finding ways to forge genuine connections, of caring for them whether they are giving or not; if they can listen and learn from their donors; if they can involve them in decision-making, and if they can make them feel heard, recognised and a valued member of the ‘family’, then trust and loyalty will follow.

So, yes, we’ve come a long way on the journey to donor-centricity, but there’s still a long way for organisations to go, especially when it comes to where their priorities lie.

“Let’s focus instead on what we ourselves are well placed to do best; the building of deeper, more fulfilling relationships, that can grow the human capacity to love others. That should be the real purpose of fundraising.”

….

If you’re guiding your organisation towards donor-centricity, you’re not alone! We invite you to join our FREE donor-centric community and learn from your peers, share the successes (and the failures!) and together we can grow sustainable giving in Australia.