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.

Primed nominated for FIA Awards for Excellence in Fundraising!

Primed nominated for FIA Awards for Excellence in Fundraising!

The LemonTree team is beyond excited to announce, that our end-to-end engagement solution, Primed, has been nominated for ‘most innovative campaign’ in the FIA Awards for Excellence in Fundraising!

We have worked closely this year with our Primed partners Conversr, More Impact, Cornucopia Fundraising, and Australian charity, Bush Heritage to improve the donor experience and unlock the opportunity to do things a little bit differently, more efficiently, and smarter.

We are truly humbled by the nomination and wish to congratulate our LemonTree members for their category nominations:

 
– MACA Cancer 200 – Ride for Research
 
– Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria – Support Crew
 
 
– The Smith Family Digital Birthday Packs
– For their partnership: The Smith Family & Officeworks – Back to School Appeal Partnership
 
 
– YOTS Loyal Donor Program
 
 
– The May 50K
– With age comes…Innovation! The MS Readathon steps up to 2020
  
– Dance for Sick Kids
   
– The Red Zone Crisis Tax Appeal
 
 
– 7 Bridges Walk

”Primed sits at a really interesting crossroad between the supporter journey and the technology available. If you mix those two things – as Primed does – you can really improve the experience for the donor and really engage people who you thought were in the ‘too-hard’ bucket. It’s an opportunity to do things a little bit differently, more efficiently and smarter.”

Matt Small, Regular Giving Manager

The importance of leadership in the fundraising sector

The importance of leadership in the fundraising sector

Reset, Reimagine, Re-equip for 2021

We’ll say it…Fundraising is hard! The world of fundraising is fundamentally shifting all the time; with old communications meeting new communications. And its a no brainer, COVID-19 has accelerated the impacts of a lot of underlying pieces of technology and environmental factors. The way in which we decide, buy, work, connect and live, have all altered – creating a different need for the human aspect, human element and human leadership.

Ashton Bishop, the founder of Step Change, knows how busy Fundraising Managers are. Which is why he’s taken his 3-day leadership course and condensed it into a 6-hour digital learning module, in a fun and interactive style of learning. And wait for it…you also have 3 months to complete the course at your own pace!

In challenging times we all need a set of tools to lean on and tap into. So why not challenge yourself and lead your cause into 2021, with a clear mindset and vision. Create your own sustainable change, challenge yourself, acknowledge your weaknesses, and build a better you!

Step Change have extended their BLACK FRIDAY pricing for our LemonTree community, offering 20% OFF their $299 leadership course ‘Leaders Mindset’.

Our unique discount code – LEMONTREE
(Offer ends EOD 18 December 2020)

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
Donor Relationship Stage 1: Catch Me – ft. Joanne Rogers from The Shepherd Centre

Donor Relationship Stage 1: Catch Me – ft. Joanne Rogers from The Shepherd Centre

As you embark on your journey to donor-centricity, it’s important to understand what stage of the donor relationship you are at with your donors.

Each stage presents its own challenges and opportunities so this 8-part blog series is dedicated to the different stages in an effort to equip you with ideas and inspiration to sustainably nurture and grow your donor relationships.

First up, we have donor relationship stage 1: Catch Me.

This is the stage of courtship. You are marketing yourself amongst a sea of competition, trying to attract and woo a donor by appealing to your similar interests and beliefs.

We asked LemonTree member Joanne Rogers, Senior Individual Giving Manager at The Shepherd Centre to share her experiences of acquiring new donors…

The Shepherd Centre is a registered charity providing a family-centred early intervention program to teach children born deaf or hearing impaired to develop spoken language.

Since 1970, The Shepherd Centre has assisted more than 2,500 children via early intervention Listening and Spoken Language therapy, providing families with assistance to develop their child’s spoken language, so they can unlock their complete potential and participate fully in society.

Premium Direct Mail

From 2011-2015 The Shepherd Centre invested heavily in premium direct mail acquisition, the packs included a number of premium items, ranging from tea towels and keyrings to gift cards and address labels.

This program proved to be successful and recruited almost 40,000 new supporters for The Shepherd Centre. At the height of performance, these campaigns saw response rates of 7%.

In 2014 we saw a decline in the performance of this acquisition channel with response rates and ROI declining to an unacceptable level. Response rates dropped to around 2% in 2015 and it was decided that this was no longer a viable acquisition channel for The Shepherd Centre.

Telemarketing

In 2014 a telemarketing program was introduced to acquire cash donors. In 2015 this program was scaled up and recruited over 5000 new supporters. As with the premium direct mail program, the telemarketing program was initially successful at a larger scale but we found that this level could not be sustained. In 2016 the decision was made to take a monthly supply of data from LemonTree to call.

Sustainability the Key to Success

This program has now been running for four years and recruits around 150 new supporters every month. The monthly telemarketing acquisition program is still running today and proving successful in recruiting both cash and regular donors.

The focus for The Shepherd Centre is now on recruiting regular givers via a two-step program of a non-financial interaction followed by a phone request for a regular gift. This is currently in the testing phase as we investigate different lead sources and donor engagement tools.

If you’d like to learn more from Joanne 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 best practice to the NFP industry. Learn from others 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 Joanne Rogers for sharing her knowledge on the Catch Me stage in the donor relationship journey.

Next up in this series:

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