Renew Me.

This is a re-establishment stage. It’s an opportunity to breathe fresh life into the relationship in a bid to make it stronger. It may even be time to start afresh; revisit expectations and work on understanding each other

For this stage of the donor relationship journey, we were joined by guest NFP speaker Tara Tan; the resident Head of Fundraising at Royal Far West (RFW).

A bit about Tara:

Tara has been the Head of Fundraising at RFW for the past 4 years, leading, single giving, regular giving, trust and foundations, community fundraising, events, and branches. Tara has found the biggest commonality between her previous roles and experience, and RFW, is the focus on individual giving programs, and growing both cash and RG in a sustainable way…

A bit about RFW:

RFW is Australia’s only national charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of country children and believes that:

  • Healthy country children are critical to our nation and our future
  • Every child has the right to be respected as an individual and we acknowledge their specific needs, rights and contributions
  • Access to the right support at the right time can positively reset a child’s life trajectory
  • Access alone is not enough – the quality of services and outcomes matter
  • To support a child’s health and well-being, it is vital to support the parents, carers, health professionals and educators around the child
  • An integrated and collaborative approach is the best way to support children and their families

The RFW the 5-year strategy:

Acquire a significant level of RGs to underpin the organisation long-term. In year 4 RFW are very close to hitting this target, successfully acquired 1,500 RGs in year 1, through an online lead with TM conversion program. Tara reported, “The commonality is “infancy” – picking up programs in their early stages and maturing them to scale.”

Maturity often manifests itself in the movement from cash to RG program. Are there common challenges in this, with the new expectations that are implied in RG donors?

“Yes, absolutely! The reality is that we needed to build the plane while we’re flying it – there are going to be things we want to do that we don’t yet have the budget for; this results in very difficult decisions on where we spend and what we invest in”.

With such a new program, there is so much to implement. How do you make the critical decisions around which parts of the process to implement?

“We have an amazing donor care team, so interactions are largely taken care of (although most are cancellations and very late in the journey). We picked the touch-points that we felt have the most impact – welcome, birthday, etc. – but the issue with building while flying is the inability to properly optimise. This year we’ve had to focus on financial ROI alone, this makes stewardship and governance difficult, with the focus on process components such as payments… This comes at the expense of the “warm and fuzzies” such as donor nurturing and feedback.”

What does engagement mean to a donor that could be on the verge of lapsing? What does it mean to you to try and do this?

“It’s one thing to know when they might lapse, it’s another to know why and to learn what to do to stop it. We have the data to understand when people are going to drop off (beyond the natural term of the contract length). The challenge in the coming year is understanding the prescriptive actions we can take better. Giving days help create an experiential moment to interact with the charity, but it can’t be about asking them to give more – it should be about retaining them. When we do a survey with our cash donors, if the question is asked about what they’d prefer to see (stats versus stories), the majority want to see the stats – but we know this doesn’t work and that the stories drive donation. Sitting here today, there are more questions than answers and a recognition of how important the next phase is for us.”

Now that you’ve got donors on board for 3 – 4 years, how do you engage the Renew Me experience? How do you actually go about it?

“You want the end in mind at the beginning, but the end in mind now is to prolong the end. Looking for opportunities to engage with donors in new ways – the floods have presented this opportunity. There is no silver bullet… This should be about constantly considering and reconsidering the ways that we drive engagement with our established donors. It might be other ways we can tell the stories, such as lunch and learning sessions.”

How would you rate your organisation at each stage of the road map to donor-centricity? Click here to take our 2-minute quiz!

Thank you to Tara Tan for sharing her knowledge on the Renew Me stage in the donor relationship journey –  you can view the full session show notes from the Renew Me stage here.

If you’d like to hear more from the likes of Tara 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 webinars, the chance to speak on behalf of your cause, and most importantly be involved in the donor-centric movement!

Previously in this series:

Next up in this series:

  • Win Me Back – 2022