GlobalGiving Online Fundraising Academy Posts

Online Fundraising Academy: Fundraising Evaluation and Analysis

kaylanKaylan Christofferson, GlobalGiving’s Business Intelligence Analyst, joined us for the final session of the 2014 Online Fundraising Academy to talk about Fundraising Evaluation and Analysis. Kaylan and her team support GlobalGiving in financial goal setting and benchmarking and lead the charge in tracking annual progress and evaluating year-end results. She is responsible for compiling a weekly analysis of site activity and donations. She discussed the value of goal-setting and ongoing monitoring of fundraising activities and provided concrete tips to get started!

Session recording: https://www.anymeeting.com/WebConference-beta/RecordingDefault.aspx?c_psrid=EF56DA888348  

Session notes:

Fundraising Analysis

WHO should be using data to drive fundraising strategy?

  • If your organization has limited resources and if your organization is working for an important cause (which should be everyone!), you should be looking at data.
  • With limited resources, you need to use resources as efficiently as possible. 
  • If working for important cause, data can help to maximize effectiveness to generate more funds for your work

AdWords-Best-Practice_Loves-DataWHY should we use data?

  • Data analysis is using the numbers to help guide your actions, set fundraising goals, and measure progress so you can maximize funds to support your mission
  • When resources are limited, using your time efficiently and effectively is even more important!
  • Example: Look at time spent on different fundraising activities to compare how effective each activity is. Can see that board outreach is more time-efficient. This is not saying that you should only focus on your most efficient activity, but this can help you be more efficient and help you stay on track with your fundraising goals.

Fundraising Activity

Time Spent on Activity

Total Donations from Activity

Email outreach

10 hours

$1,000

Board outreach

3 hours

$1,000

Social media

5 hours

$300

WHEN should you use data to set goals?

  1. Before a particular fundraising campaign or event
  2. Annual strategic planning and throughout the year

Example 1: Set a goal before a particular campaign/event – Bonus Day

How much money can your organization raise on Bonus Day?

Online Fundraising Academy: Donor-Centered Retention Strategy

CCA_Brochure_6We were fortunate to have David Schaeffer, the Vice President of Development at the Children’s Cancer Association, join us for the eighth session of the Online Fundraising Academy! David has close to twenty years of fundraising experience, having worked in development for multiple organizations including Make A Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and now, the Children’s Cancer Association. He is joining the Academy for the second year in a row to share his organization’s donor-centered approach to retention.

Watch the session recording here.

Session notes:

Children’s Cancer Association – A nonprofit based in Portland that provides support and joy to children with cancer and their families

Donor Retention – measure of how many donors continue to donate to your organization

  • High retention rate means you have a strong base of donors – the longer donors give, the more likely they will continue to give
  • Low retention rate means you have to keep finding new donors – difficult and expensive, not an effective use of money or time
  • This study Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) found that:
    • Between 2006 and 2011, donor retention rates decreased by about 10%
    • Overall donor retention was 39% in 2012, down from 41% in 2011
    • Repeat donor retention was 61%
    • New donor retention was only 23%
    • Attrition eating into ability to retain donors – For every 100 donors gained, organizations lost 105 donors

Some causes of donor attrition

  • They have no memory of supporting the organization – make sure they know where they’re money is going; connect back to the mission
  • The organization asked for an inappropriate amount – create gift arrays starting with your organization’s average donation amount (the amount your donors like to give)
  • They were not reminded to give again – reach out to people at least 2x year to give them a chance to give
  • They didn’t feel connected – help them understand why they give
  • The organization didn’t tell them how donations were used

Ways to increase donor retention

  • Know who donors are, metrics, donor analysis for communications
  • 91 days is the lapsed period – if you don’t reach out to donors 91 days after their initial donation, you’ll most likely lose them. Need to acknowledge them right away.
  • Personalize your communication – build one-on-one relationships
  • Show donors how their funds help you achieve your mission
  • Send thank you letters
    • Be brief, personal
    • Include a story of a beneficiary, how donor dollars are being used, and give them a chance to contact you
    • Don’t ask for another gift – donor may not see it as a sincere thank you
  • Segment your communication to donors
    • Send specific communications to certain groups of donors (making sure it’s personalized)
    • Segment by past giving, zip code, age – send emails to people it’s most relevant to
  • Create a donor stewardship moves management plan

CCA Acknowledgment Standards

Online Fundraising Academy: Building a Donor Community on Facebook

ListbuilderIn the sixth session of the Online Fundraising Academy, Alison McQuade, the Digital Press Secretary for EMILY’s List, shared tips and recommendations for growing and engaging your network on Facebook.

Session recording link. 

Session notes:

Emily’s List – A political organization committed to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office

Edgerank – Facebook’s algorithm that decides what you see in your feed

  • Affinity – how much people like the post. Counts people’s interactions (commenting, liking, sharing, clicking on link)
  • Weight – posts that require more user engagement has more weight (i.e. sharing has more weight than a like)
  • Time decay – how old the post is. Most posts have a shelf life of one day

Different types of posts – use different posts to reach different goals

  • Link post – Post a compelling story for your audience
    • Have intro text (not just the link)
    • Timely post
  • The mobile phone post – take a picture on the ground with your mobile phone
    • Exciting, unfiltered picture, readers feel like they’re participating, doesn’t look advertised
    • Timely post – as it’s happening
    • Call to action – specifically ask them to do something “like picture and tell us in the comments what would you do”
    • Got lots of interactions because asked for it. Encourage them to interact so they feel like they’re a part of it
  • Go-to post – post what your audience loves.
    • Exciting picture and great quote that audience
    • Find out what your audience finds compelling to get them excited
    • Call to action to build email list (asked people to write thank you card for Hilary Clinton while getting people to sign up for emails)
  • List-builder post – have a call to action that gets people to join email list
    • Had people sign birthday card to Emily List’s president and subscribe to emails
    • Language corresponds with message and then transitions to why they should join your community and subscribe to emails
    • Simple graphic, creates emotion (happy/angry)
    • Easy lift – take advantage of milestones, holiday, birthdays, etc. as an opportunity to build list

Online Fundraising Academy: How to Write Earth-Changing Emails

In GlobalGiving’s fifth Online Fundraising Academy session, we invited our own Alison Carlman, to share tips and key lessons she’s learned in donor communications. In her role as Unmarketing Manager, Alison is responsible for engaging the GlobalGiving community and for telling the stories of GlobalGiving and its partner projects. In 2013, Alison and her team raised $270,000 from donor emails. 

Session Recordinghttp://www.anymeeting.com/globalgivingUS/EF54D686844C

Listen, test, learn, repeat – experimentation and testing key to improving work

  • Listen to your audience, peers, research
  • Test assumptions in experiments
  • Learn from your experiments
  • Do it again and again and again!

This is how GlobalGiving Listens, Tests, Learns and Repeats:

Listen

  • Users – your audience, the people who receive messages
    • To improve our e-newsletter, we got feedback from users – who opens, donates, clicks
    • What we learned:
  1.  Keep it short – people don’t read news
  2.  Talk about the users, not you – what’s relevant to them, why they should care
  3. Made it even shorter
  4. Use big images  – people click on the header image
  5. Use clear images with one person making eye contact.
  6. Add humor, make it clever and unexpected – include jokes, puns
  7. Have a big and clear call-to-action – make your ask clear and easy for users to do
  8. Personalize it! – add people’s names, send personalized thank you. Users like to know they’ve been thought of, not just written to the masses.
  • Peers – similar organizations you can learn from
    • charitywater emailcharity: water – use beautiful image, well laid-out, formatted for mobile phones, very little text, interesting lead text, unexpected, humorous and large call-to-action
    • donorschoose.org – personalized by state, simple and short, made it sound urgent, very clear request
    • Kiva – personalized, clear call-to-action, made it look like it was forwarded by a staff member
      • Did A/B testing (divide users into 2 groups and provided a different email to each group to see which email did better)
      • Kiva’s “trick” forwarded email performed 2x as well
      • Personalizing really works!
  • What we learned:
  1. Use beautiful imagery.
  2. Make it mobile friendly
  3. Keep it brief.
  4. Use interesting lead text.
  5. Try unexpected/humorous (but still visibly clear) calls-to-action.
  6. Try unexpected subject lines and formats
  • Project report titles are now the subject line when project reports are sent out to GlobalGiving donors
  • Theory – what does the research say?
  1. Shorten distance between user and subject matter – connect them to one person/animal/object. Easier to feel like you can make a difference in one person’s life than a big group.
  2. Tell a compelling story about that one person – how a person has overcome an obstacle or how they have potential to overcome obstacles
  3. Donors will give if they feel it will bring them close to people in their network – focus on what you can do for your users. Give them something to share so they can connect to their social network.
  4. People give more when it’s easy – Make the process to give as easy as possible. And give reminders
  5. Not all donors are the same – these tips won’t work for everyone. Need different messages for different donors.

Test, learn and repeat

  • Look at metrics to measure success of email

metrics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Fundraising Academy: Creating a Campaign Strategy

AAH

Arlington Academy of Hope

In GlobalGiving’s third session of the 2014 Online Fundraising Academy, we invited Maureen Dugan, the Executive Director of Arlington Academy of Hope, to talk about getting ready for a GlobalGiving Bonus Day. Maureen and her team raised $82,000 in matching campaigns on GlobalGiving in 2013! After participating in GlobalGiving’s first Online Fundraising Academy last year, Maureen is returning to share her advice and insights with this year’s cohort.

Session Recording: www.anymeeting.com/837-520-433/EF54DE848249

Session Notes:

Arlington Academy of Hope

  • Implements education and health programs in Uganda
  • Donor profile – middle aged or older; most not on social media, so didn’t utilize social media

Build Consensus

  • Discuss with Board of Directors – proposed using social media and GlobalGiving; asked them to be ambassadors
  • Create a Q&A – explains online giving to minimize confusion, create enthusiastic supporters, provides a resource for ambassadors/donors to share information with others
    • Put on website, given to Board and other volunteers
    • Take time to talk to advocates to prepare them for questions before Bonus Days

Make a plan – who to target

  • Regular donors –people who give annually
  • Lapsed donors – people who haven’t given in the past few years
  • Board members – ask them to give, be ambassadors

Messaging

  • Email (Constant Contact), Facebook, Twitter
    • Keep basic facts the same, but tell the story differently on different platforms
    • Generate excitement, empowerment, time sensitivity, why it’s important
      • Empower donors, tell them their money will go further on matching days
      • Explain how they can make a difference
      • Explain importance of giving on specific day to compel them
  • Timing – 1 month, 1 week, day before
    • Need to do what works best for your donors