Donor Relationship Stage 6: Endear Me – ft. Cassandra Bailey from OzHarvest

Donor Relationship Stage 6: Endear Me – ft. Cassandra Bailey from OzHarvest

Endear Me.

This is the rekindling stage. A time to focus on reminding your donors of why the relationship exists. What attracted you to each other in the first place and why you still belong together? Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to reflect on all you have accomplished together so far, through the impact that has been made from your relationship. How can you re-ignite the passion to continue your journey together?

For this stage of the donor relationship journey, we were joined by guest NFP speaker Cassandra Bailey; the resident Development Lead at OzHarvest.

 A bit about Cassandra:

15 years ago, Cassandra’s favourite philosopher, Peter Singer, changed her life. His work led her to a place where she wanted to help change the lives of others. Prior to that, Cassandra’s experience was in loyalty & memberships in the corporate world, working with the likes of Ticketek and hotels.com. Fast forward to now, with 10 years of experience in the not-for-profit industry under her belt, Cassandra would be described as a motivated, driven individual who is determined to improve the world we live in. She also has a love of process and automation and believes there is no limit to the technology we can implement to grow and diversify revenue streams and strengthen our relationships.

Cassandra is proud to have worked with World Animal Protection, Four Paws Australia, Sea Shepherd Australia, and now OzHarvest.

I grew in the fundraising sector with a strong supporter-centric focus, which has shaped a lot of how and why I approach my work now. One of my earlier mentors introduced me to a quote by Maya Angelou who was a wonderful poet and civil rights activist; “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – and that is how I approach fundraising, by giving people an opportunity to feel good about what they are doing. I focus on how it makes the donor feel and the impact it creates for our beneficiaries. For me, it is all about creating lasting relationships and genuine connections. So, today’s topic of endear me really resonates with the way I work.  

I believe it is important to talk with your audience, not at your audience. Creating a 2-way conversation, means giving back and not just taking. Donor recognition and gratitude are a must-have, not a nice-to-have. Delight, delight, delight and endear all the way!

Several years ago now, I had a wonderful volunteer at one of my earlier orgs. A vibrant and dedicated soul who was pushing 80 years old. When I left that organisation, she chose to come along with me to my new org. This volunteer used to write birthday cards, call donors to say thank you, reconnect with lapsed supporters and generally be our resident “endearer” who made each and every supporter feel special, connected to cause, and strengthened the sense of community and belonging. Now we can’t all be lucky enough to have such a treasure like this, but we can all learn from her. Whether it is leveraging our technology to make supporter journeys personal and customised or sticking to grassroots tactics and picking up the phone at every chance we get. It is important to plan and make time for these moments. Even if it can’t be every day, but perhaps scheduled twice a year to share gratitude and impact and keep those relationships alive. Our funding is a by-product of the relationships we make, a necessary by-product yes, but without these relationships, the bottom line runs dry.

(You can view the full session show notes from the Endear Me stage here).

Regardless of the path you choose to take, your journey towards donor-centricity should be underpinned by 4 core principles:

(Ref. LemonTree – The Donor-centricity e-Book – Page 30).

Remember, trust and loyalty, are the building blocks of any long-lasting relationship.

If you’d like to hear more from the likes of Cassandra 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!

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…

When people are deciding to give for the first time, they aren’t yet our donors

When people are deciding to give for the first time, they aren’t yet our donors

At LemonTree, we believe that donor-centricity is the ongoing dedication to increasing the depth and breadth of your donor understanding. In doing so, you generate insights that can be used to tailor your communication and engagement efforts and demonstrate to your donors that they are at the heart of your entire organisation.

Why you ask? Well, essentially this builds trust and loyalty – the critical foundations of any lasting and sustainable relationship.

I recently read an interesting article from the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, which made a powerful observation:

“When people are deciding to give for the first time, they aren’t yet our donors. But they are a parent, a cancer survivor, a humanitarian, a moral person, a liberal, a patriot and so on. So the key to raising more money is to resonate with who the donors are, or rather that aspect of the self that is activated during their engagement with your organisation.”

Long ago the commercial world realised that the ‘customer is king’ and so adopted a customer-centric approach to their business strategy. Marketing teams work tirelessly to get inside the hearts and minds of their customers so they can position and promote their products and services in the right way, at the right time and with the right message to engage and nurture the customer and eventually make the sale.

A positive customer experience makes us feel something 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. This is why we choose to walk that little bit further to get our morning coffee, even though it costs 50c more…but the barista greets us by name, remembers our order, and takes the time to ask how our kids are getting on with that school project. We walk further and pay more because of the way the experience makes us feel; that’s what keeps us coming back. It makes us trust the barista; makes us loyal to the cafe and gives them a competitive advantage. 

In today’s challenging times with COVID-19, this entrenched loyalty – built up from years of providing a positive customer experience – is keeping many businesses alive, and for that, we applaud them and wish them every success.

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

  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 approach applies to not-for-profits looking to secure sustainable giving. You need to earn trust and build loyalty by adopting a donor-centric approach, and that starts by increasing the depth and breadth of your donor understanding.

So how can LemonTree help you understand your donors more and implement practical solutions to help you connect with your donors in a more meaningful and valuable way? We have a range of proven solutions for acquisition, growth, and conversion; used regularly by charities such as Cancer Council NSW, World Animal Protection, The Shepherd Centre, and many more!

Explore our FREE resources:

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

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

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
The gift of saying “Thank you” to your volunteers

The gift of saying “Thank you” to your volunteers

For many of our LemonTree members, volunteers play a massive role in their fundraising efforts; including The Salvation Army, Vinnies, Surf Life Saving Foundation, Food Bank, Cancer Council, Guide Dogs and many more.

Saying “Thank You” is often cited as the most powerful communication you can deliver to your donor and we truly believe this logic also applies to your volunteers – after all they’re your walking – talking – breathing mascot! Your volunteers give their time freely for a number of reasons; for some its an opportunity to give something back to the community, for others there is an emotional connection to your cause or their just so incredibly passionate about the impact your cause has on the world and for many its just because volunteering makes them happy. 

I recently read an interesting article title ‘The Power of Thank You – Gratitude can change the world for the better’, by MJ Blehart, a practitioner of mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. According to MJ ‘hearing “thank you” conveys a sense of accomplishment, positive reinforcement, of appreciation. Saying it expresses your gratitude for people and things… Don’t you love how it feels when you are thanked for a gift, for a compliment, for a job well done, for helping, and/or for thinking of someone? I have not met anyone who did not receive sincere thanks and NOT felt better and more positive because of it.’

Here is what Volunteering Australia has to say about National Volunteer Week…

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers. From Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd May 2021, NVW will celebrate the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers. Each year these volunteers dedicate over 600 million hours to help others.

The theme for NVW 2021 is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. which acknowledges that it is time to: 

  • RECOGNISEcelebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.
    Never has this been more evident than after a year where Australia has dealt with drought, devastating bushfires, floods and then a global pandemic. Amidst the pandemic, while many of us stayed home, volunteers continued to deliver essential servicesorganisfood packages and offer care, comfort and more to support the well-being of Australians. Volunteers make our communities stronger, especially during times of need, crisis or isolation.
  • RECONNECT to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.
    In a year
     when many of us have experienced increased loneliness or isolation, mental health or financial stress, volunteering can help. Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better mental well-being or to potential pathways to employment. When we help others in our community or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves. Explore volunteer opportunities by visiting www.GoVolunteer.com.au.
  • REIMAGINE how we better support volunteers and communities they help.
    Since 2014, Australia has seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of hours volunteers give. During COVID-19, two-thirds of volunteers stopped working and a recent study highlights that social purpose organisations continue to lose one in four volunteers due to illness or caring responsibilities. In the current changing environment, where Australians are time-poor and experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stresswe need to reimagine how we do things. We need to collaborate more and adapt our volunteering practices and programs so we can better support and engage volunteers to continue the necessary work that they do.

Volunteering Australia has created a wonderful resources page to help you show your appreciation for your volunteers using certificates, posters, social media tiles, and more. We encourage you to nurture these special charity-volunteer relationships, just as you nurture your donor relationships. Why not take the time to show gratitude by saying “thank you” to the people who freely give their time and energy to support your cause?

Article sources:

https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/get-involved/nvw/

https://mjblehart.medium.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-dyer-30589a46/