LemonTree and its data-driven fundraising solutions for the NFP industry ft. Niharika Singh

LemonTree and its data-driven fundraising solutions for the NFP industry ft. Niharika Singh

You work closely with the LemonTree team to grow and develop the LemonTree solutions. Why is this so important?

The product LemonTree has been a first mover of providing data-driven fundraising solutions in the industry. Even after seven years, it is still one of the most unique value propositions available to the market and has immense potential. Working with the LemonTree team has been fulfilling for me both in terms of personal and professional growth.

From a personal growth perspective, working with not-for-profit clients has opened my mind towards their philanthropic objectives. Interacting with the fundraising managers on a daily basis demonstrates the hard work they put in to make the world a better place.

In terms of professional growth, working on this product has encouraged me to wear many hats at the same time. Even though I was hired only to streamline the delivery of jobs, I have been given the opportunity to participate in product improvement, resource management, project management of the jobs, and support marketing initiatives of LemonTree. Such a vast experience with a steep learning curve is something I cherish and am grateful for. It has motivated me to wake up and thrive for the greater good of the product and hence, its members.

Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that the growth of the product LemonTree has encouraged me to grow with it. The above mentioned are two of the many reasons which encourage me to constantly improve and develop the LemonTree solution and will always do.

– Niharika Singh, LemonTree Fulfilment Manager

Donor Relationship Stage 5: Keep Me – ft. Jonathan Storey from Environment Victoria

Donor Relationship Stage 5: Keep Me – ft. Jonathan Storey from Environment Victoria

Continuing with our 8-part blog series reviewing the different stages of the donor relationship, this blog delves into donor relationship stage 5: Keep Me.  

For this session, we were joined by guest NFP speaker Jonathan Storey, who has been the resident Fundraising Director of Environment Victoria, for the past 6.5 years. Environment Victoria has been Victoria’s leading environment charity for the past 52 years, campaigning to solve the climate crisis and build a thriving, sustainable society that protects and values nature. Jonathan expanded on ‘Relationship Fundraising’ and the knowledge and insight he has gained from Author Ken Burnett and his experience with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket. 

Here’s what Jonathan had to say on the Keep Me stage’… 

One of the key things about keeping your donors interested and engaged (and therefore giving) is actually knowing a bit about them. At a basic level that means getting their names and addresses correct, but it’s also things like: 

  • Knowing how they came into your organisation
  • Demographic info like age or household status
  • Interests and motivations
  • Actions they have taken
  • Donation history etc. 

Once you know a bit about your donors you’ll need to keep their information safe, clean and up to date (yes, a database) and have a plan to engage with them through the channels they inhabit. 

Content and delivery strategies will vary depending on your organisation but one piece of advice I would give is not to narrowcast through long complex supporter journeys. The last place you want donors to end up is in the bottomless silo that can be marketing over-automation. 

Instead think about the breadth of the journey and build shorter, meaningful journeys based on specific purposes. Make sure it all fits in with your brand communications, so each interaction makes sense with the bigger picture for long term retention. 

A good place to start the Keep Me experience is your donation page. It is a short journey, but so often poorly executed. Does your page load in a second or two? Can I read it on a mobile? Do propositions and dollar amounts match the ask? Can I give by PayPal? Why do they want my date of birth? If you are not happy with the experience, then donors are probably less than impressed too. 

A final word – in a nutshell, try and send out as much as you can to as many people as possible. Just make sure it’s good.

You can view Jonathan full presentation here. 

If you’d like to hear more from the likes of Jonathan 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 Jonathan Storey for sharing his knowledge on the Keep Me stage in the donor relationship journey.

Previously in this series:

 Next up in this series:

  • Grow Me
  • Keep Me
  • Endear Me
  • Renew Me
  • Win Me Back
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/

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 from Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

Donor Relationship Stage 2: Welcome Me – ft. Lauren McDermott from Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

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