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).

  • Keep up to date with all the juicy fundraising goss, tips and education!

Donor Relationship Stage 4: Grow Me – ft. Mahza Ahadiwand from Children’s Cancer Institute

Donor Relationship Stage 4: Grow Me – ft. Mahza Ahadiwand from Children’s Cancer Institute

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
Barriers to Donor-Centricity: the Challenges you Face

Barriers to Donor-Centricity: the Challenges you Face

After defining donor-centricity and explaining why we believe it should be a strategic priority for NFPs, it’s worth us exploring some of the challenges you may face on your journey towards donor-centricity.

Commercial entities recognise that sustained competitive advantage comes from having a customer-centric approach across all levels and teams within their organisation. Only when the customer permeates the hearts and minds of the entire organisation – regardless of seniority, department or title – will the company start to reap the rewards of trust and loyalty from their customers.

The same is true for NFPs. Donor-centricity needs to permeate the DNA of your charity in order to be truly effective.

And therein lies perhaps the biggest barrier to donor-centricity: your organisation itself.

Its ethos, culture and leadership.

Its vision, strategy and core values.

Its programs, targets and KPIs.

Its operating model, revenue streams and decision-making processes.

Its hiring policies, onboarding and development opportunities.

These elements all need to be conducive to first understanding your donors at each stage of their life; and then infusing these insights into all areas of your business to help inform decisions, shape strategies, determine priorities, set goals, build your brand, establish a connection and ultimately create a unique and ongoing value exchange for your donors that leads to trust and loyalty.

All of which, of course, rely heavily on the technology your organisation uses; the quality of your donor data and even the very language you use to communicate with your donors. These too present additional potential barriers to donor-centricity.

Then there are the external factors to consider. The ratio of NFPs to active donors, resulting in everyone ‘fishing from the same pond’. The subsequent over-targeting and communication overload that leads to paralysis of choice, desensitisation or message fatigue. All this even before a global pandemic is thrown in the mix, threatening our way of life as well as life itself.

Yes, the path to donor-centricity is undoubtedly full of obstacles and challenges: internal and external, known and unknown.

But they are not insurmountable.

Because your organisation has a secret weapon.

You.

A champion, not only for the cause your organisation represents but for the donors who so generously give their money in support of its beneficiaries.

A voice, always asking “what will this mean for our donors?”

A rally cry, encouraging everyone in the organisation to put the donor first, always.

No matter what hurdles NFPs face on their journey to donor-centricity, their success will be that much greater – the outcomes that much more meaningful – if they have someone like you in their corner.

So don’t be afraid to be that constant presence, that constant reminder that sustainable giving stems from sustainable relationships built over time and based on trust and loyalty. And that begins with a donor-centric approach throughout your entire organisation.

If that sounds daunting, don’t worry – we’re here to support you. In fact, there’s a whole community of people here to support you…and we’d love for you to join us at LemonTree’s free Donor-Centricity Collective (DCC). As a member of the DCC, you can learn from your peers, share your experiences, ask questions and keep up-to-date with the latest strategies to become more donor-centric…AND be part of a movement to help grow sustainable giving in Australia! Simply click here to sign up for free.

…..

Next up in this series:

  • How to become more donor-centric
  • The different stages of the donor relationship and how they impact donor-centricity

Previous:

How to Endear your Donors: Insights from the Commercial World for the LemonTree community

How to Endear your Donors: Insights from the Commercial World for the LemonTree community

Speaking at our last Donor Centricity Collective (DCC) event, Mark Jenkins, CEO of Resurg Group asked the audience a series of thought-provoking questions designed to help them endear more donors to their cause. LemonTree asked Mark to share those questions with you here to get you thinking about endearing your donors.

 

At Resurg, we’ve managed to turn the concept of endearing customers on its head. Instead of us trying to endear them, we have created an environment where our customers actually endear themselves to our business. We’ve achieved this through a relentless focus on the client relationship journey and addressing a few key questions through that lens:

  1. What combination of events will almost guarantee endearment?

You can’t expect immediate endearment. Nor should endearment be treated as a one hit wonder. However, if you can work to successfully engage your customers – or donors – across a series of interactions it will ultimately lead to endearment.

  1. What does ‘endear your customers / donors’ mean to you?

Endearment can mean different things to different people and different organisations. For Resurg, a truly ‘endeared’ customer:

  • Owns their relationship with us
  • Feels empowered in the relationship

We know that if we can put our customers in the driving seat of their engagement with us, then we simply facilitate their endearment to the product and to Resurg.

3: How can your customers / donors ‘own’ their relationship with you?

We have worked hard to make our product all about the customer. It wasn’t always like that. For a long time, it was all about the product. Whilst the product worked, our customers weren’t fully engaged with it. They were passive participants.

We wanted our customers to be active with our products. So we found a way to make the product far more about them and their needs. We introduced benchmarking.

The benchmarking function indicated what other customers were achieving with our product and how. The customers themselves were demonstrating the potential value of the product to each other. We weren’t involved. Our product simply showed the different benchmarks for different metrics. In doing so, we created a common connection between our customers, aligning them more closely with people just like them and putting them in control of their journey with us.

 How can you make your cause more about your donors? How can you incorporate them into your cause, so they feel a greater sense of ownership in the charity from the outset? 

4: How can you empower your clients / donors in their relationship with you?

We recognised that we were pushing a lot of information out to our customers. Sometimes this was well received; other times not. We realised that if we simply allowed our customer to set their own criteria for how and when we reached out to them and with what content, they would engage with it far more readily because they had requested the information. They were in the driving seat. They were empowered.

What sort of engagement criteria can you offer your donors that could help trigger their giving?

Reflect and refine:

Reflecting on our own journey, perhaps the greatest success we’ve had when it comes to customer endearment has been facilitating the connections between our customers. We invite them to become part of a network – a performance group – where they can openly communicate with and learn from their peers, as well as share their own insights and best practices. Together, they influence and shape each others attitudes, decisions and behaviours.

Again, Resurg is not involved in these group. But simply by creating a platform for connection and facilitating these relationships, we have built an ambassador network within our customer base. A tribe of people who endear each other to the Resurg products and business.

I encourage you to consider how you can leverage the power of the peer-to-peer donor network to help influence individual donor attitudes and behaviours. For example, how can you harness the power of LemonTree’s DCC community and the collaborative insights of its members?

Remember, endearment does not stem from a single occurrence. Create a journey for your donors where they own – and feel empowered in – their relationship with you, not the other way around. Focus on a combination of events and interactions, and you will be rewarded with their endearment.

As one of Australia’s finest business intelligence, performance management and analytics specialists, Resurg provides businesses with the tools for smarter decision-making by integrating their forecasting, data analysis and reporting into a single platform.