Making the Ask: Annual Campaign Insights

By | Campaigns, Fundraising, Industry, Organizational Health, Webcasts | No Comments

I recently had the pleasure of moderating NAYDO’s webinar: Let’s Make the Ask! A Practical Approach to Annual Campaign Solicitation. Andrew Powers, Director of Annual Giving at the YMCA of Greater Rochester, presented and filled the hour with countless insights, strategies, and practical tips for any development professional.

A few ideas that struck a chord with me:

  •  You should apply the major gift process to gifts of ANY size (Identification>Cultivation>Solicitation>Stewardship)
  •  Providing unforgettable experiences through engaging members everyday is cultivating future donors
  •  Annual campaign prospect lists don’t have to be limited to those that you think are extremely wealthy. It should include ANYONE you think is interested in supporting the mission of your organization
  •  Staff and volunteers soliciting gifts should be donors themselves. Making that ask as a “Please join me as a donor” carry more weight during the solicitation.

I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day to watch the entire webcast. I promise you’ll learn something from Andrew’s powerful presentation to take your organization’s annual campaign to the next level!

Daxko is a proud sponsor of NAYDO’s webinar series. See a list of upcoming webinars here.


NAYDO Webinar Series: How Summer Camp Taught Me to Raise Money

By | Engage, Engagement, Fundraising, Industry, Membership, Organizational Health | No Comments

Daxko recently hosted a NAYDO Webinar Series with Dave Bell, Executive Director of the Downtown Louisville Family YMCA. Dave spoke on the topic: How Summer Camp Taught Me to Raise More Money.

Webinar participants learned how Dave’s history working with YMCA camps taught him lessons about engaging with members, donors, and ultimately made him a better fundraiser. The full webinar is available to view, but we’ve also compiled some key takeaways.

So, what can we learn from camp that can help fundraisers?

Working at resident camp, you often only see families of campers either on check-in or checkout day. That means, in a best-case scenario, you only see these families twice a year. It’s important to set goals around interacting with these families. To do this, Dave had to empower his team to deal with small things that would come up throughout that day so that he could be accessible to these families and able to engage with them on check-in and checkout days. How does this translate to his work as a branch executive? Dave makes a point to be visible and engaged with members at his branch during peak times. He also works a 4-hour shift at the membership desk each week where he scans members in, takes prospective members on tours, and remains engaged and involved with members.

At camp, Dave set a goal of meeting 10 families on check-in day and 10 on checkout day. During the week of camp, he would send the people he met a handwritten note. He would try to mention how their child was doing to let them know he made that connection and he remembered them. Writing personal notes is something that Dave still does as a branch executive and it goes a long way towards building solid relationships.

Once you meet an individual that seems genuinely interested in what you have to say, a good next step is to dig into those individuals. Don’t be afraid to find out more about what they do, where they work, and what other causes they might be interested in.

Another takeaway from camp is to check back in with those you have met and spoken to. Dave would use checkout day as another opportunity to engage with each camper and their family. At your association, you can follow this advice by setting aside time each week to interact with new connections. Make a concentrated effort to keep track of connections on paper or in software like Daxko Engage, which allows you to make notes on connections that other users can access.

At camp, Dave explained, it’s about relationships. Campers come back every year because of the people: the counselors, the friends they have made. So, taking the time to make connections like that with your members yields great rewards.

The full webinar is packed with more great tips and tricks. To find more insights from Dave Bell’s NAYDO webcast, we encourage you to watch the entire webcast that is available in NAYDO’s webinar library.



Mission Critical

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Organizational Health | No Comments

The Daxko Engagement Index, a feature in Daxko Engage, is designed to provide quick visibility into an individual member’s current level of engagement. With the index, we are able to predict how likely someone is to terminate their membership in the next 90 days. You may have similar ways to view the members in danger of terminating at your organization. Early intervention is key when dealing with members in danger of terminating so identifying and engaging with critical members early can save your association time and money.


The Daxko Engagement Index is a complex algorithm that accounts for a member’s demographics, check-ins, donor activity, and other activity or inactivity to come up with a measure of how engaged a member is and how likely or unlikely they are to terminate their membership. Based on how members score on the Daxko Engagement Index, Daxko Engage ranks them in the following way:

  • CRITICAL – This member has significantly low probability of staying. In fact, 75% of your terminations will come from this group.
  • LOW – This member would have a low probability of staying within the next 90 days.
  • MEDIUM – This member would have a medium probability of staying within the next 90 days.
  • HIGH – This member would have a high probability of staying within the next 90 days.
  • NEW – This member just joined less than 90 days ago and is too new to have a score.

What makes CRITICAL units different than those with the standard LOW label? History. We know from studying thousands of units that certain attributes make a member unit much more likely to terminate in 90 days.

How did Daxko identify this new information leading to CRITICAL units? It’s not just one attribute or behavior that makes a CRITICAL unit at higher risk. It could be a combination of a few things or an absence of something. For example, the algorithm has shown that young adults who pay by invoice or have set expiration dates have a significantly increased risk of cancelling. If a young adult pays by invoice also has very low check-in history and a history of terminating frequently, then it’s likely they will receive the new CRITICAL label.

If you have Daxko Engage or if you have your own way to calculate members at risk of terminating their membership, it’s a great idea to make a targeted initiative out of it. Segmenting your database like this can allow you to identify an entire group of people, LOW for example, and nurture them with a few encouraging email communications. You can try to get them back to your facility or discover other areas of interest (programs, volunteer activities) that will help you keep them involved and help them feel more connected to the overall mission of your organization.

For a group like CRITICAL, you can identify these member units and try a more targeted, personalized approach (like a phone call). Getting ahead of their termination will likely have a greater success rate and will save you the headache of trying to win them back when they are already out the door.