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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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.

Donor Relationship Stage 2: Welcome Me – ft. Lauren McDermott

Donor Relationship Stage 2: Welcome Me – ft. Lauren McDermott

Continuing with our 8-part blog series reviewing the different stages of the donor relationship, this blog delves into donor relationship stage 2: Welcome Me.

After hearing her passionately speak on the subject at one of our Donor Centricity Collective events, we asked Lauren McDermott, Fundraising Manager – Donor Development at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research to share her thoughts and experiences on the “most exciting donor stage for all fundraisers” and an “incredible opportunity for innovation and discovery”……

As fundraisers, we often liken the ‘Welcome Me’ stage of a donor’s journey to the honeymoon stage of a romantic relationship. Whilst there are many commonalities – the setting of expectations, taking time to get to know and understand each other, the building of trust – there is a striking difference.

When giving their first gift, our donors have usually just responded to a single call to action, crafted to feel as urgent and unavoidable as we can possibly make it. We shouldn’t be too quick to assume then, that this equates to any sort of commitment or loyalty. We are not side-by-side in a getaway car trailing cans.

The donor welcome journey is a tool used to increase the likelihood of a second gift and, if done well, a third and fourth before progressing over time into our pillar programs as a monthly giver, a major donor or leaving a gift in their will.

Whilst it sounds simple enough, at the time of writing this, I find that best practice welcome journeys are not easy to come by. Perhaps that’s not surprising given the UK’s Commission on Donor Experience  reports that fundraisers often only pay lip service to thanking and welcoming their donors. This is proven by the fact that more than 90% of the reviewed fundraising materials contained the same sentence – Thank you so much for your kind/generous donation of.The Commission’s report suggested four areas that charities might benefit from reviewing if they want to implement a best-practice welcome for a new supporter.

Being real and authentic

Too often, we use speed as a measure of a good welcome. But taking the time to add a personal touch is just as, if not more, important. It tells donors right from the start that they are heroes to your beneficiaries and that their donations are seen and noticed (no black hole here). It may also break down perceived barriers for future giving by showcasing your friendly supporter care.

Whilst a phone call is one way of thanking a donor, with numerous benefits to both parties, we know handwritten notes, paperclips, videos and plain text email can all convey a similar message – a machine is not thanking you today, a real human is.

Choice-driven communication.

Respecting a donor’s choice and privacy is key to ensuring the relationship is sustainable and long-lasting. But it’s also crucial we have the opportunity to thank people and show them the incredible impact they have had on our cause.

If supporters take the opportunity to opt-out too soon, we can’t give them the most basic psychological return on their investment. It’s a lose/lose.

Having a robust, but functional, preference centre is one step we can take to resolve this. But there is a lot more to be done to have harmonious, engaging and choice-driven communications with your supporters.

Digital matters.

Is digital still an afterthought when it comes to welcoming new donors to your organisation? What if you can’t call them because they don’t have a phone number?

Ensuring we duplicate our offline welcome activities in the online world, in a way that is meaningful and memorable for new supporters coming on from every possible source is important. It is also a great way for us to begin measuring, testing and using data-driven insights to continuously improve the journeys we put in place.

At the Perkins, we use the term ‘automation with heart’ to remind us that tools and technology should be utilised to enhance the donor’s experience first and foremost, not to make things easier for us.

Measuring success.

By far the most important area that needs the urgent focus of our best fundraising minds is how we measure an effective welcome.

The lack of appropriate, accurate and universally adaptable metrics is likely the reason that we underperform in this area of fundraising. From my experience, the current common measures of success are not necessarily the best ones to use for measuring the donor welcome journey:

  • Speed – a quick thank you isn’t always a quality thanks.
  • ROI – leads to short term thinking and a focus on cost-saving. If we don’t thank people for giving small amounts, they don’t understand the impact that giving more could have next time.
  • Second gift rates – are important but not everything. Do people who are welcomed give more? What’s the difference five years on?
  • Lifetime value – extremely difficult to measure for many charities, particularly smaller or less established ones, or to effectively use this to show cause and effect from a single activity.

We know the impact a word or even the font size can have when seeking donations, but when it comes to thanking or welcoming donors, there is still a lot left to be discovered. I think that’s exactly what makes the welcome me stage a very exciting area for all fundraisers with an incredible opportunity for innovation and discovery – I hope you do too.

If you’d like to learn more from Lauren and your fundraising peers, we invite you to join LemonTree’s Donor-Centricity Collective (DCC). Every quarter we host webinars and events with industry speakers, as well as commercial speakers so you learn how to bring commercial best practice into the NFP industry. Learn from your peers – and share your own insights and experiences – through our private social media groups, events and blogs…all for FREE!

It takes a tribe to raise a family and it takes a collective of passionate, like-minded peers to change an industry and help grow sustainable giving in Australiajoin us today.

 

Thank you to Lauren McDermott for sharing her knowledge on the Welcome Me stage in the donor relationship journey.

Previously in this series:

 Next up in this series:

  • Teach Me
  • Grow Me
  • Endear Me
  • Keep Me
  • Renew Me
  • Win Me Back