7 Tips for Strengthening Your Donor Relations Architecture

By | Campaigns, Engagement, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health, Webcasts | No Comments

Daxko is a proud sponsor of the NAYDO webinar series. We have learned so much from all the amazing presenters we have featured and we want to share some of the tips and tricks we have learned along the way. A webinar that really highlighted the importance of strategic work with donors is our two-part webinar series on “Donor Relations Architecture” with Lynne Wester, Director of Alumni Programs and Engagement at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Wester shared several excellent tips and strategies for improving donor relations, and I want to share seven that stuck with me:

1. Tap Into Monthly Donors

The typical one-time online gift is around $62, and the typical monthly donor donation is around $19 per month (that’s $228 per year). Monthly donors give more, are more loyal, and are more engaged.

2. Communicate with Donors Using the Method in Which They Give

If a donor makes a gift online, send them a digital receipt (instead of mailing paper receipt).

3. Receipts and Acknowledgements – Know the Difference

A receipt (transaction-related) and an acknowledgement are two completely different things. One is for accountability and the other is for building relationships.

4. Give Your Receipts a Makeover

Make sure you put some thought into the design of your receipts. People save their receipts for a long time, so make sure yours look snappy!

5. Have a Gift Acceptance Policy in Place

Having a gift acceptance policy will protect the donor and organization. Don’t let a good gift go bad due to a lack of an agreement.

6. Don’t Be Tacky

Never include a gift amount or ask for another gift in a thank you. Make sure your thank yous are thank yous and your asks are asks – never combine the two.

7. Tell Donors How Their Gift is Making a Difference

Sometimes sharing a story about the impact a gift has made on your organization is the best thanks you can give.

If you missed this webinar, or want a refresher, you can watch the entire webcast. Ready for more strategies? Plus, you can catch up with Lynne Wester, and Daxko, at the NAYDO 2015 Conference.

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

What can the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Teach Us About Member & Donor Engagement?

By | Engagement, Fundraising, Industry, Marketing, Mission Delivery | 2 Comments

I have to give props and a tip of the hat to the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. What a great way to have something go viral (thank goodness it was done in the summer and not winter as that would NOT have worked).

What can that campaign teach us about member and donor engagement? The ice bucket challenge took something private, support of curing the disease ALS, and made it public. It’s one thing to give to a charity but it’s not something we always publicize. The ALS Ice Bucket challenge made things very public because we saw people dumping ice on their head AND giving to ALS. On top of that you had to challenge specific people to do the same.

This was the ultimate public challenge! This is one of the key elements of how things go viral. There is a great book called “Contagious” that uses data to show the various elements regarding how things spread. One of the concepts discussed is the shift in making something go from private to public (private → public).

Translation for your YMCA . . exercising and donating are usually private things. How can you make it private→public?

Some exercise apps help make private→public by giving people the opportunity to “share” their work out. This can be great but people don’t always want to publicize their activity on their own social media. Think of how you can create opportunity or space to make this public. This can be through social media or even in your own facility.

Donor recognition

Some YMCAs post banners as a “thank you” for people or organizations that give a certain amount. This is a great way to thank organizations and individuals but what if there was a way to do this for everyone who donates? Recently, I visited a Y where construction paper was put up in ginger bread like figures with the names of members who donated. This was located on a wall in the Y under a “thank you” banner. Some members actually decorated their own if they desired. This is a great example of private→public.

Could we also thank donors on our YMCA’s Facebook or Twitter account? Ask a donor how they would like to be recognized. They can opt out of social media if they like but if not, use that as a public space to thank people.

Member recognition

Think about how people can post their exercise publicly in your Y. Can you put a star next to someone’s name? Can you post a “member of the month” in a public place for people to see? This is great for both the person exercising and for people walking through seeing this public display of congratulations!

Recognize volunteers in the same way. Think of how you can post thank you pieces for volunteers via social media or in the building. It’s a great way to thank people and let them know about the volunteer opportunities.

Always ask first about recognition. We all know people who would rather not be recognized in public. It’s important to honor that. However, most will welcome the recognition.

Engage your staff

Your staff – full time and part time- are a wonderful resource for ideas (especially those with a millennial mindset). They can help you find fun ways to make private→public. It might not be as viral as the Ice Bucket Challenge but it can be a sustaining piece of your member and donor engagement strategy.

Fundraising: Digital Giving more Important than Ever

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

Digital giving is not new, but it represents a more significant share of total donations than ever before. According to the most recent Digital Donor Review, more than 30% of Americans donate digitally (either online or via text message). As millennials gain more disposable income, this number is likely to increase.

Daxko sees a significant amount of digital giving through our Daxko Nation member organizations. Of the 230 organizations that are processing online gifts, they on average receive $7,174 pledges yearly online, with an average pledge being $194. This underlines the untapped pledge potential for organizations currently without online giving channels.

Wondering how you can improve your digital fundraising efforts or wondering how to begin a digital fundraising strategy? Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

Bryan O’Rourke recently wrote a post featured on the NAYDO blog that gave excellent suggestions for those looking to enhance their fundraising campaigns in the online realm. One of his suggestions is to “use effective digital storytelling” by really showing digitally how you are impacting the community and those you serve. Want to learn more about digital storytelling? The Rockefeller Center has a guide, “Digital Storytelling for Social Impact” that has lots of ideas.

Don’t forget about social. Here are some ideas for how to include social media in your digital fundraising efforts.

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.