Monthly Archives: March 2015

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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Bookmark this – Geomancer

Introducing Geomancer – a free and easy way to append publicly available demographic information to your excel spreadsheet by matching to your City, State or Zipcode columns.

 

Seriously, in less than 1 minute I went from this (very generic test file)

geomancer_before

to this enhanced file – I chose the 3 appended columns from the options available based on City & State in my original sheet.

geomancer_after

 

 

Just to be sure, I tried it again with zipcode matching.  Here’s the before–

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and the after!

geomancer_after2

 

Seriously, 1 minute.  Easy and free.  What’s not to love?

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Nurturing creativity

From Fast Data – how to stay creative when you feel stuck–

 

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Bookmark this – constituent scoring methodology

We’re familiar with the basic RFM score.  There’s the blackjack score.  But the other day I stumbled across a Salsa scoring case study.

 

While Salsa has a particular focus on email delivery and online calls-to-action, the overarching methodology is impressive.  Here’s how it works:  first it defines groups of variables that can receive a numeric score for demonstrated constituent involvement.  Then it identifies a timeframe for each.  The algorithm degrades score value by half after the timeframe expires.  In this way, the most recently interacting constituents have higher scores than constituents whose interaction has lapsed.

 

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The case study outlines the scoring variables for email opens/clicks, donations, and other non-monetary participation actions.  It’s genius!  Click the image above to read the full case study.

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APRA GH Job Board

Opportunities are still coming your way on our job board.  Don’t forget to keep up with the changes and refer your friends and colleagues!  Check out the job board here.

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Trendline: personalization

We’re all in agreement on applying personalized greetings to the correspondence we send to our donors, studying our website visitor demographics to craft appealing content and even generating different versions of our outbound email communications depending on the recipient segment.  These are all best practices in personalization.

 

Imagine my surprise when I read about a creative way to deliver an annual report with a fun, personalized flourish!  Yes, even the dry annual report can become a vehicle to engage and inspire our constituents with a bit of creativity.  BigDuck Communications highlighted the idea in a recent blog post that you can read here.  The innovative organization who created the report was Warby Parker, the uber popular maker of eye glasses.

 

But the fun doesn’t stop there.  After you customize your report, you get the choice to post it to the social media channel of your choice, and in the case of the BigDuck reader, the Warby Parker social media team interacted with her via her social media channel after she made her post.  Which of course, would make anyone feel extra special.

 

So what about it?  Sign me up!

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50 most community minded companies

The Points of Light and Bloomberg have compiled their annual list:  the Civic 50.  The companies selected were based on 4 dimensions of community engagement, including investment and impact.

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Click on the image above to access the article.

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