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!

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:

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/

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
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.