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.


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

With #GivingTuesday fast approaching, YMCAs, JCCs, and other nonprofits will be working to take advantage of the hype and reach out to their communities. Members are bombarded with messages about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and many are tired of retailers constantly reinforcing the commercialization of the season and are ready to do a little something to give back.

#GivingTuesday this year will be on December 2nd, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It is a day of giving founded up by the 92Y and the United Nations Foundation to offer people a way to fit holiday giving into the official start of the holiday shopping season.

According to fundraising consultant, Lauren Flannigan, “I think [#GivingTuesday] is a great opportunity to bring awareness to the Y’s charitable mission, especially at a time when many Ys are launching their annual campaigns.”

Here are some resources that will help you take advantage of #GivingTuesday at your YMCA or JCC:

A recent blog post from the Foundation Center offers some tips and helpful resources to help you get ready for not just #GivingTuesday but all your fundraising efforts for the end of the year.

Be sure to check out the #GivingTuesday website for lots of free resources. The #GvingTuesday site also reminds nonprofits to make the Wednesday following #GivingTuesday, #ThankYouWednesday and follow up with as many of those wonderful donations as possible.

Use social media to “harness the awesome fundraising potential of #GivingTuesday,” says Kerri Karvetski on the Nonprofit Marketing Guide site. Karvetski also advises nonprofits to move quickly to get the word out about your organization’s participation in #GivingTuesday.

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.