Tag Archives: fundraising effectiveness

Online fundraising scorecard

Breathing a sigh of relief after launching your online fundraising page might be a little premature.  There’s always room for improvement, and thankfully there’s a new report from Durham+Company and NextAfter outlining the components of an online fundraising platform that contributes to more income.

Here’s the infographic summary, but to get the full report click the link above.

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Case study – impact report from Colorado State University

The 2015 CASE awards were just announced.  Each year I eagerly look forward to sifting through the winners to see the creative ideas our peers are rolling out in their fundraising programs.

 

Right off the bat this winner in the Stewardship category captured my attention, because of course, it is an impact report!  Colorado State University’s Veterinary school developed this wonderful report for their donors to communicate program measurements in a useful and easy to digest manner.

ColoradoState

 

I love the mix of philanthropy, patient load and education all on one page.  I can easily understand why the CASE awards committee recognized CVMBS with a gold award.

To view the full impact report, click on the image above.

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The value of information – Lifetime Value

I read a Harvard Business Review article recently that cited a glaring omission in the nature of our traditional accounting systems. Our accounting practices focus on revenue, inventory, and assets, but assign no value, not even a mention, to information.  For businesses that heavily leverage information to succeed, that can be a big problem, and here’s why:  when no value is assigned to information, the costs associated with managing, stewarding and upgrading information become a low priority.  There’s no way to incorporate financial gains to an ROI calculation.

 

So what to do?

 

Well, here’s an idea, we could start citing constituent value in our activity reports, status reports and project reports.  And that starts with being able to assign constituent value.  One way to do that is by computing lifetime value.  KISSmetrics offers a great how-to for understanding and calculating lifetime value (click on the image below to view the full discussion).

LTV

 

Lifetime value, combined with other segmentation variables, such as membership in more than 1 constituency class, giving capacity, probability or recent interaction can help the emerging development of quantifiable information.

 

If you have an example you’d like to share, please let me know!

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Case study – Technology innovations at DePaul University

Another 2015 CASE award winner, DePaul University’s Advancement Services wowed the judging committee with their impressive technology tools all designed to facilitate development officer self-service in an intuitive and transparent manner.

This is just one of the sample screen shots from their interactive reporting tool–

 

DePaul

 

To browse through their full presentation, click on the image above and prepare to be amazed!

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5 campaign metrics you might be missing

If we’re going to commit the time, energy, budget and personnel to a communication or solicitation campaign, we’d be irresponsible not to take a critical look at our success indicators.  Mike Snusz, of npEngage, authored this excellent article earlier this year that reveals insight into campaign metrics, particularly for organizations employing a multi-channel communication strategy.

 

We’ve all been hearing about multi-channel communications quite a bit, but it’s more than HAVING multiple communication channels.  It’s about using them TOGETHER in a cohesive way for a single campaign.  In his article, Mike steps us through some examples of metrics we might be overlooking in a multi-channel campaign.

npEngage

Here are a few for examples —

1) do you include a URL in your direct mail solicitations for donors that might prefer to give online?  If so, is the URL unique to that campaign?

2) do you give your online donors a chance to “share” the news of their gift to their own social media timeline?  If so, are you counting this?

3) do you publish your donor honor roll or annual report online as a slideshow?  If online, are you tracking conversions to the donation page from slideshow views?

 

Click here or on the image above to read Mike’s article.  Fabulous insight!

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Plan ahead – Giving Day

If your organization has a Giving Day on the horizon, placing this event in the calendar early and thorough communication and coordination planning is crucial for success.

 

 

 

Here are some excellent resources to assist with planning efforts–

Give Local America’s toolkit and training resources

The Knight Foundation’s giving day playbook

Capterra’s Instagram tutorial

 

If you have a Giving Day success story you’d like to share, let me know!

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Case study: Analytics ROI at Michigan State University

I received an invitation from TechTarget to read a white paper the other day and the topic drew me in right away.  Text mining, predictive analytics, higher education development, affinity scoring and ROI.

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The project that MSU started in 2012 involved reducing the time cycle to deliver constituent insights to the major gift and annual giving fundraising teams.  They implemented more rigor around their processes for conducting text analysis and leveraging these insights for predictive analytics.  Now they compute affinity scores each night and push the results to a business intelligence (dashboard) platform that their fundraising colleagues use to select and segment constituents for next-step engagement strategies.

Seriously?  How awesome does that sound!

Click on the ROI figure above to read the white paper.

 

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Best of the best – development officer traits

One of my brilliant colleagues shared this gem with me recently.  We’re all aware of the crucial impact of talented fundraisers to an organization’s bottom line.  And as my daddy always used to say:  the best indicator of the number of major gifts coming in tomorrow is the number of asks that occurred today.

Development officers have to be knowledgeable, driven and strategic.  Recently the Education Advisory Board completed a little research to determine those professional traits that the absolute best development officers possess.

Click on the image above to read more about the EAB’s research methodology.

It makes me pause to consider how we in Development Services can better contribute to development officer success by being the best of the best in our own domain?

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Finding out why

Sometimes when I read articles about fundraising practices, the stories hit close to home.  Like this one over at 101Fundraising. Essentially, the article laments that our CRM systems do a great job of itemizing transactions, but a really poor job of revealing WHY things happen.  Like, for instance, why donors lapse.  Could be a variety of reasons outside of our control.  But what if there were a few things we could control that would actually promote donor retention (if only we knew about them)?

 

Here’s what I mean by that.

 

Remember about a month ago when I mentioned how my alumni organization had called and asked me to give?  I was happy to do so.  A month later, my happiness has begun to fade.  During our original phone chat, Hilary asked me if I wanted to receive any university decals for my car.  I told her I didn’t want them to send me anything.

 

So a couple of weeks ago I receive this big package with a wooden plaque and an envelope full of car stickers.

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Right.  That was me thinking:  what am I supposed to do with this stuff?  Didn’t they listen to me when I said I didn’t want to receive anything?  Doesn’t their CRM system know what to do with that information?  Apparently not.  And that’s exactly the point Charlie Hulme is trying to make in his article.

 

Do our donors experience any Debbie Downer moments?  Truth is, we don’t know.  We only notice after they lapse, but we never know why.  We just continue to spend money sending them mail with a speck of hope they’ll miraculously start giving again.

 

If you have any insight you’d like to share, let me know!

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The Hospital Fundraising Summit. Free. Online. Check it out!

I’ve not ever heard of this event until just the other day.  I just happened to see a sidebar advertisement when I was reading an online article.  So I clicked.  And I have to admit it sounds like an amazing idea.

hospitalfundraisingsummit

By all means, share this information!  Forward to at least 1 colleague!  Improving our industry is just good for philanthropy.

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