How to fundraise in our diversified donor world

How to fundraise in our diversified donor world

With tax appeals out and the fundraising focus now firmly on the Financial Year or second-half planning, the most common conversations I’ve had with peers over the past two months have been centered around:

traditional fundraising getting harder

● active donor bases declining; and

● how to re-establish and grow a truly engaged donor base in our diversified donor world.

Other repeated challenges shared from our recent DCC pulse check have been around RG attrition; diversifying income and retention, retention, retention! All of which demonstrates why we need to attract and grow lasting relationships through a deeper understanding of donors and their motivations.

Diversified Motivations:

One way to better understand your donor relationships – and how they work best in a diversified fundraising world – is to study each stage of the donor relationship through the lens of the Endear Me stage.

Research from around the world on practical fundraising experiences to help endear donors suggests:

“Share with them your areas of success, so you endear them to your charity, not just the cause you support.”

“Even our flaws can endear us to our supporters.”

“Surprise them in ways that will make sure they never forget you and endear them to your organisation”

Earlier this year, we spoke to Dr Adrian Sergeant about the Endear Me stage of the donor relationship (read the full Q&A). He suggested endearment may not come from reminding your donors of the values of your cause and what you stand for, but rather from reminding individual donors of:

● Why they donated in the first place – their motivation;
● How they felt when they did; and
● How they identified themselves when making the emotional decision to donate.

At LemonTree, we understand it can be difficult to identify the motivation behind a donor’s decision to donate given survey data is typically limited to a small percentage of your donors. Instead, it’s worth considering cause-based motivations or time of year motivations as another way to understand and endear your donor.

What are your donors motivated by or identifying with when they give?

Some actions to consider in our diversified donor world:

TIP #1
Invest time into researching each of the relationship stages of your donors and how you can best understand and create most value at each stage.

TIP #2
Invest deeply into understanding your donors through improving data accuracy and leveraging predictive collaborative insights that are now available to you. As a start, rate your organisation on each stage of the 8 step Donor Centric Roadmap (download your FREE copy!)

TIP #3
Invest your resources into more ongoing relationship building programs and less stop-start campaign communications. Like most relationships, donor relationship growth happens with consistent effort. It also frees up your time in our diverse donor world when many programs are quietly and viably running in the background.

TIP #4
Consider your answers to our 3 Cs framework (see how we do it!):

LemonTree Fundraising - Connect - Collaborate - Care

● How do you CONNECT? – how do you seek to understand your donors more deeply?

● How do you COLLABORATE? – how do you strive to understand a wider cross-section of donors?

● How do you CARE? – how do you show your donors you value them?

TIP #5
Finally, ask yourself what beliefs, motivations and/or identities your donors relate with and how you can use these to increase endearment to your organisation.

For more information, or to book a free Donor Discovery Session please complete the below:

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LemonTree Q&A with Dr. Adrian Sergeant

LemonTree Q&A with Dr. Adrian Sergeant

Adrian Sargeant is Chief Executive of The Philanthropy Centre. He is passionate about achieving massive growth in philanthropy. All his work is focused on achieving that by developing the value that donors get from their giving. He specialises in the new science of philanthropic psychology, a science that is routinely doubling the income for those charities that apply it… [Source: FIA Conference].

The LemonTree team compiled a handful of burning fundraising questions for renowned Author and Fundraising Professor Dr. Adrian Sargeant, featured speaking at the upcoming FIA Conference in Melbourne, here is what he had to say:

Q – With acquisition of donors via traditional channels becoming more challenging, how should charities adapt practices to grow their donor numbers?

Couple of thoughts on this. First – recruit the right donors. Don’t be tempted to recruit poor quality donors just to push up the figures for the initial ROI. In the US in particular, fundraisers have honed their skills in recruiting low value donors who will never come back and make a second gift. And their Boards applaud. Second thought – get a proper welcome cycle in place to maximize subsequent retention and loyalty

Q – What are the biggest dangers for charities that you consider are over communicating to their donors? Do you see resting donors a viable option?

I’m not sure what ‘over-communication’ looks like. If I like you and I care about you – and I enjoy what I receive – how can you over-communicate? What you’re really saying here is that we are over-communicating with rubbish that doesn’t in any way reflect donor interests, needs or aspirations. If you’re squarely donor centric and concerned with how you make people feel, resting individuals shouldn’t be necessary.

Q – Have you seen personalising communications based on motivational scores make a difference? Or is it a progressive learning program over many years to get right?

Hmm – well I take issue with motivation, its very limiting. The next big thing in fundraising will be identity. So its not ‘why do people give’ – its what are people saying about themselves when they give. And when you orient a fundraising program around adding value for the types of people that donors are – magical things happen. People give more and they feel better about themselves when they do.

Q – What are your top 3 tips to building more sustainable long term fundraising programs?

I’ve touched on this already. Forget behavioural economics and all that 20th century rubbish. Focus on enhancing the wellbeing of supporters and construct communication that genuinely adds to that. AND think through what activities you can have folks engage with that will genuinely add to that sense of wellbeing – even if those activities raise no money. In short – stop thinking about your needs and focus on theirs. If people feel good, the money will follow.

SHOUT OUT TO: David Craig from Precision Fundraising for connecting us with Dr. Adrian Sergeant.