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Akron Area Y More than Doubles In-Person Engagement

By | Engage, Engagement, Fundraising, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery | 4 Comments

Earlier in the year we published a story about the Akron Area YMCA’s efforts to increase in-person engagement at their centers. We spoke with their Technology Director, Ken Hoyt, about his efforts to motivate staff to create good engagement habits.

Today we’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of conversations that his staff is having with members but also an increase in the quality of conversations initiated and tracked. In fact, looking at the first half of May, the Akron Area Y is reporting 899 in-person conversations. This is more than double the 404 conversations that were tracked during the whole month of April.

Why is it important to track these conversations? This is the best way to get stories. The stories the staff at the Akron Y have logged range from basic:

“Since joining the Y ___ has tried to come every weekday. He really enjoys his new routine of working out before work.”

To the inspirational:

“___ just lost her husband 2 months ago. Trying to get back on her feet. Coming here has really helped her cope. She is interested in water aerobics for her bones and joints. She thinks she will try it next week.”

By having these conversations, the Akron Area Y is connecting with their members on a deeper level and they are logging these stories to help tell the Y story to those who don’t know or don’t understand it. These stories serve as a foundation for community outreach as well as donor and volunteer recruitment. The mission of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility is reflected in stories like these:

“[I] talked about her 11 year old using the fitness room because school will be out soon. I told her that if he is big enough to use the machines and goes through teen wellness that would be okay for the summer. We discussed making the teen wellness a one on one session with a wellness coach for several sessions. We also talked about camp and volunteering for day camp for the summer as an option for him to be involved in the Y…”

“I asked what his workout goal is and he said, ‘not to worry about his wife for an hour.’ He talked extensively about his wife and her medical condition. She is home now and resting.”

“Got to sit with ___ and her newest little princess who is 2 weeks old now. Said they were all doing very well. She is ready for a run and the doctor has permitted her to start back because she was so active throughout the pregnancy. She and the kids just came in to play with the other kids in CW today. The kids were missing their friends.”

You can set your staff up for success when capturing conversations with members. By tracking and recording these interactions you have the stories that support the Y mission, inspire staff, donors, and volunteers, and benchmark your engagement efforts with your members.

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5 Easy Donor Retention Wins

By | Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health | No Comments

This was brought to us as a part of the NAYDO webinar series sponsored by Daxko. This month we heard from Roger Craver, Editor of The Agitator and Founder of DonorVoice.

Why is donor retention so important? Well, much like customer retention, donor retention makes economic sense. On average, for every dollar in donations received, just 31% is retained.* This means that nonprofits are spending time and energy going after new donors when they have previous donors slipping out the back door. “Not dealing with donor attrition is a drain on philanthropic dollars,” explains Carver.

Nonprofits have:

Less than a 2% chance of obtaining a gift from a new donor or prospect
a 20-40% chance of obtaining a gift from a recently lapsed donor and
a 60-70% chance of obtaining an additional gift from existing donor.

“Most organizations concentrate far too much on the new donors,” says Carver. Luckily, Carver has come up with 5 quick wins for nonprofit donor retention:

  1. Send a “thank you” – You appreciate your donors, right? Well then, thank them! Send them a letter or call them! Carver even suggests that the retention value is worth outsourcing thank you calls to a professional firm if you don’t have the resources to get it done in house.
  2. Improve Donor Services – This involves logistical items like keeping your website updated and the donation links working, making sure those answering the phones can answer questions and speak intelligently to donors, making sure you have the correct name and address on file for your donors. Keeping these types of things in order can pay off down the line when your donor feels your organization is organized and efficient.
  3. Be Boring – No, don’t put donors to sleep with your marketing materials. Instead, don’t be afraid to be consistant and stick with what works for your organization. Tried and true methods are just that, tried and true.
  4. Give donors an opportunity to voice their opinion – Offer a feedback link on your website or send your donors a survey. Giving your donors a voice makes them feel valued and appreciated.
  5. Pick up the phone – Donor retention improves year-over-year when donors receive a call to say “thank you.”

To view these and other suggestions from Carver’s webinar, check out this webinar and others like it on the NAYDO website.

*Urban Institute Fundraising Effectiveness Project 2013

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Positively Inspired by NAYDO

By | Engagement, Events & Happenings, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health | No Comments

Believe it or not, another NAYDO Conference has come and gone. Over 1,600 attendees made it the most well attended conference yet and, dare we say, one of the most inspirational. Everyone there, including Team Daxko, left with a spark ignited within. Here’s what inspired us most:

Changing the Way We Think About Charity

We were proud to sponsor the Thursday General Session and Luncheon and inspired by the message that keynote speaker Dan Pallotta brought to the table. Dan showed us revolutionary new ways to think about charity to create a bigger impact in the movement. Looking for more ways to make an impact at your Y? See Dan’s Ted Talk.

Positively Influencing The Lives of Others

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you have more influence than you think. When it comes members at your Y, there’s so much you can do to keep them engaged and connected to the mission. Remember, your influence does more than retain members. It changes lives.

Painting the Town Red with our Y Friends

When the conference sessions were over, 900+ folks dressed up in red and walked over to the World of Coca-Cola for the Paint the Town Red Party Friday night. Partygoers enjoyed Southern food, drinks, interactive exhibits, and a live band that had everyone dancing the night away. It was the perfect end to NAYDO 2015 and we have the photographic evidence to prove it.

Are you a Daxko customer looking to continue the conversations started at NAYDO? Join 300-400 other Daxko customers at Reach 2015 in Nashville, TN.

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Engaging Donors Made Easier

By | Campaigns, Customer Experience, Daxko Engage, Engage, Engagement, Events & Happenings, Financial Development, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Online | No Comments

The Member Engagement Index provides quick visibility into an unit’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. It has become an integral part of our Daxko Engage software and a defining feature of targeted engagement campaigns.

Since the release of the Member Engagement Index, we’ve had the intention of creating something similar for donors. After all, engagement is the key to contributions. Engaged members make better donors, and engaging people in communities provides great opportunities for new members, donors, participants, and volunteers. A majority of donors report they have received information about their favorite charity at least once and 40% report receiving information from email/newsletters more than a few times per year (“Nonprofit Donor Engagement Benchmark Study,” www.nonprofitdonorengagement.com/CD_Nten_BenchmarkReport_Final.pdf, Fall 2012).

We are excited to be nearing the completion of a Donor Engagement Index. While the Donor Index uses similar attributes as the Engagement Index, the algorithm has reworked those factors to determine who is likeliest to donate in the next 6 months. However, the Donor Index will be visible on both current members, past members, and basically anyone created in Daxko Operations. You can now reach deeper into our database with more insight and highly targeted fundraising campaigns.

In May, we will be piloting our algorithm with a select group of organizations to refine it to the point that it stands the test of the diverse member data that we encounter across our customer base. As we refine the algorithm we will notice patterns that you would never be able to see unless you look at the data in such large quantities. One pattern we’ve noticed already is that the lowest givers tend to be member units aged 30-50 without kids on the account. We can speculate that these families either have children that don’t belong to their organization so they have not seen the value for their children, or they don’t have children at all and marketing materials aimed at families with children don’t resonate with them. Daxko Engage users can utilize Engage to find out exactly what these member units are interested in and send them a targeted message that can really connect them to the mission of the organization.