Posts tagged nonprofits
Nine times out of ten, a donor receives a letter that starts with, “Thank you for your generous donation.” Because giving is an emotional response, it deserves an emotional thank you with more pep and personality than a typical, status quo thank you. Read Shannon Doolittle’s 22 Delightful Ways to Say Thank You.
Here’s a sample of humorous ways Shannon suggests saying thank you so you can delight, not bore your donors.
- You = awesome. Me = grateful.
- Move over Gates and Buffett, there’s a new philanthropist in town.
- Our clients have started an unofficial fan club. You should start practicing your autograph.
And according to an article in Forbes, Don’t Thank Your Donor with a Gift, a great thank you is far superior to giving donors gifts, which can be counterproductive.
Foreshadow Good Things to Come Thanks to Their Donation
Beyond saying a great thank you, help connect the dots for your donors by telling them what’s happening. Something like, “Your donation pushes us to 90% of goal. Soon we can give all local children the nutrition they need on a daily basis”
A nonprofit named Charity:Water did an excellent follow-up video of a 9-year old girl’s donation of $240 that spurred $1.2 million more in donations following her tragic death in a car collision. Watch Charity:Water’s video about the little girl who could, Rachel Beckwith.
People who give to Donors Choose are greeted with an evolving thank-you screen on the home page where kids thank them for each specific gift – be it a computer or projector. They even mail hand written letters from the kids that benefited from the donation to the giver in order to say thank you in a very personal way.
Good cause marketing is all about great ongoing storytelling packed with emotional triumphs and challenges everyone can share in.
Timing, Format, and Other Loose Ends of Donor Thank Yous
When money comes in, a thank you letter or email needs to go out within 48 hours – the industry standard for courtesy, appreciation, and the chance to encourage more giving in the future from this donor.
The alleged bible for writing donor letters is Donor Centered Fundraising by Penelope Burk. In it, you’ll find many samples and formats to try and tweak within your organization.
Finally consider picking up the phone and calling to say thank you. Penelope Burk says her research shows that 90% of donors never receive a phone call from their favorite charities unless they’re asking for money. What an opportunity to turn that around to building a stronger relationship.
Are you inspired to polish your fundraising now?
Ethan Boldt, Chief Content Officer of Direct Marketing IQ, the research division of publisher Target Marketing, surveyed and shared the results of direct marketing trends for nonprofits in 2011 with glimmers of trends in 2012. In case you missed his direct marketing trend video post, here is what Boldt shared.
- Personalization, including Variable Data Printing (VDP) has grown by 6% in all sectors.
- Freemiums slipped by 14% because of rising postage costs. In 2011 labels were the No. 1 freemiums; stickers were the No. 2 freemium and notepads were the No. 3 freemium.
- Premiums shifted ranks with the tote bag no longer being the No. 1 giveaway by nonprofits. Now books are No. 1; totes No. 2; and DVDs are No. 3.
Variable Data and Other Nonprofit Marketing Trends in 2012
According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), social media and mobile giving continue to influence campaigns. The AFP shared these additional 2012 fundraising trends for marketers to build the most effective campaigns on and offline.
- Online and new media channels continue to expand. Online fundraising is up 40% in 2012.
- Peer-to-peer engagement is vital. Nonprofits should tap into their most vocal supporters who are most likely to influence the giving of their sphere, associations and friends.
- Donor fatigue is building. Tailored communications directed right at a donor is imperative as information overload builds in the land of social media.
- Integrated marketing will rise to new heights. Strategic communications harnessing the power of multi-channel marketing is the fuel that makes future fundraising campaigns take flight.
- Personalization is a must. As Boldt noted, one size fits all approaches are so 80s. Personalized newsletters, direct mail that taps digital printing and emails show supporters you know them. By showing that you know their preferences in giving and you are able to better ensure your message won’t be deleted or thrown in the trash. See a great personalized nonprofit solicitation below where one fraternity uses the alumni’s name twice as well as pulls in photos that include the alumni.
- Quality data should take front and center of any nonprofit campaign. He who gathers, scrubs, segments and keeps his data current, meets the fundraising mission fastest, according to Karen Zapp of Pkscribe.com – a nonprofit copywriter. This includes targeting groups on social media, using social analytics, and executing micro campaigns
Want more insights? Click here to read how Mail Print helped one nonprofit clients achieve outstanding ROI for their fundraising campaigns.
A few more points from Boldt
An analysis of 40 months of data, from January 2009 through October 2011, demonstrates the growth of personalization/VDP in the direct marketing and mailing process*:
- In 2009, 28% of direct mail pieces were personalized.
- In 2010, the number of personalized mail pieces increased to 34% — a 21% increase from the prior year.
- In 2011, seven of the 10 months recorded saw even higher VDP usage – another 21% increase from the prior year and a 46% jump from the 2009 levels.
*Source: Target Marketing, Nuts & Bolts – Trends: 2011 Direct Mail Trend of the Year: VDP, March 2012.
Donors are more than three times as likely to give an online gift in response to a direct mail appeal than an “e-ppeal,” according to a national study conducted by research firm Campbell Rinker for the non-profit advising firm Dunham+Company.
The study revealed that 17% of donors who gave on a charity website in 2011 said they were motivated to give by a direct mail letter as opposed to the 5% who said they gave because of an email. In other words, direct mail outperformed email in persuading a person to donate by nearly 3-to-1.
“Finding that direct mail has actually grown as a driver to online donations and the online efforts were not really moving the needle was a bit of a shock,” says Rick Dunham, President/CEO of Dunham+Company who conducted the study because it wanted to see if direct mail was diminishing as a source for online donations.
According to results from Campbell Rinker’s DonorPulse™ International study conducted in October and November 2011, direct mail is still the champ of generating donations: 43% of donors to International causes say they have given in the past 12 months because of a letter they received. Email comes in second at 28%, and fundraising events are third at 23%.
Additional Findings from the Study
- Donors are receptive to direct mail appeals – 50% of donors surveyed in 2012 said they prefer to give online when they receive a letter in the mail from a charity.
- Key donor age groups are giving more when triggered by direct mail. Donors ages 40-59 who said they gave an online gift in response to a direct mail appeal rose to 38% from 35% two years prior.
- Among donors age 60 or older, online giving prompted by a direct mail appeal rose to 30% from 18% in the past two years.
- Wealthy women respond well to direct mail. Nearly 53% of donors in households with incomes of $75,000 or more preferred to respond with an online gift when they received a direct-mail appeal.
- Websites lost ground in driving giving. Only 11% of donors say seeing a charity’s website motivates a gift.
- Email-stimulated giving is down. Only 5% of study respondents say they gave an online gift because of receiving an email.
Other study findings were social media is an important component to any nonprofit fundraising effort. Social media influences donors under the age of 40 with 30% of respondents saying they gave online because of information posted on social media. The social media influence increased 6% from two years ago during the last donor study in 2010.
Visit Campbell Rinker for more information on the DonorPulse Study and to participate in the new study that begins March 2013. For more donor campaign ideas, check out how Harvesters Food Bank pulled in more than $600,000 with its donor receipt program.
The Da Vinci Code took the world by storm in 2003 grossing $758 million worldwide at the box office. Also seeking higher numbers, churches are turning to QR Codes® in an effort to increase donations and tithing.
Do you see the irony in the movie’s star character Robert Langdon being a symbologist and the possible saving grace for churches today being a QR Code®? Perhaps history does repeat itself.
Recession Causes Churches to Adopt High Tech Donation Practices
According to the Religion News Service, the recession has caused church contributions to drop by $1.2 billion even though membership remains relatively the same.
Unity Temple on the Plaza is run by an old-school board that is willing to try new-school things when it comes to raising income for the church. The board at Unity knew that statistically donations tend to increase about 15% with churches that offer online donations to its congregations or parishioners (through QR links or direct web access).
Unity’s bulletin announcement below simply directed people after the service to its Tech Table to learn how they could make donations quickly and easily by swiping the QR Code® in the bulletin or posted in the temple.
If passing the plate is coming in light on funds, perhaps QR code® swipes will stimulate more generous giving because it’s quicker, easier, and perhaps an electronic way to amp up generosity. And let’s face it more and more people live a credit or debit card life.
More Ways to Incorporate QR Codes into Your House of Worship (or business)
1. Save space. Put a QR Code® next to each bulletin item to save space by directing members to links for more information.
2. Provide a digital bulletin. Put the bulletin info on the website and place QR Codes® on signage leading into the service area. Allow parishioners to access information in the way they desire.
3. Attract attendees. If your church building has different rooms for different ministries such as AA meetings, put QR Codes® on the signs outside the door that links to info about that ministry, meeting, or specific event schedule.
4. Attract new members. Use QR or other 2d mobile barcodes on coffee mugs to give first-time visitors or on t-shirts for the youth group wear with text that says “Got God?”
5. Reinforce the message. Savvy ministers and pastors are linking members and guests to the sermon notes through QR Codes® that lead to a podcast, video, or blog post.
Has your church or temple used integrated marketing, including QR Codes® in its communications or marketing materials? How about in its alternative methods to tithe? Perhaps you can volunteer to assist them in this new terrain. It can be part of your pro bono contribution to help close the gap on diminishing returns in this recession.