It doesn’t have to be that way. Adrian Sargeant’s eye-opening research (coupled with good old common sense) shows that even the tiniest bit of effort to keep an existing donor has exponential benefits, especially compared to the financial drain of trying to acquire the donor in the first place. It just straight-up saves time and money being, well, good at being good to people who are good to you. [Read more…]
In my experience, donor research and stewardship go hand in hand. In fact, a little bit of research can take even the most routine stewardship efforts to a whole new level. This week, my colleague Angie Herrington describes a recent stewardship fail on the part of an organization she wanted to support for a lifetime. They lost her, though, and in this article she offers great advice to help guide nonprofits on the value of just doing a little research to keep donors close. ~Helen
A year ago, I lost a dear member of my family. Not long after, I knew I wanted to do something to remember her while helping another. This was going to be my first gift, a significant one for me monetarily and personally. After doing my research, I found my answer with a personalized paving stone memorializing our loss, honoring our longtime and dedicated doctor, and with a portion of the gift going to a hardship fund.
Within seconds of pressing send, I felt an unexpected and absolute high! The personal pride and joy made my heart swell and I was immediately thinking about my next gift. I remembered prospect strategy meetings and discussing a donor’s answer to the “what’s your passion” question. I finally had MY answer.
As a fundraising insider, I should not have been surprised by the following months. Several weeks later I asked about the timeline and if the doctor would be notified. A boiler plate acknowledgment letter was mailed.
Three months later I emailed and learned the order was delayed. Six months after I made the gift, I sent another email and was told it would be sent to the engraver any day now. It included a firm “we’ll contact you when it’s installed.” Ouch. [Read more…]
When I read this week’s featured article by Kathy Mills on the Apra-Carolinas website, I knew I had to ask share it with you today. Kathy is Senior Donor Identification Analyst at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and I wanted you to read her description of the way that their prospect research and annual giving teams partner together.
They’re making relationship magic – joining their talents to give sincere thanks to donors, and it’s a great lesson – for this season and all year round.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and warm thanks to Kathy and the kind folks at Apra-Carolinas for allowing us to re-share this!
The Impact of Thanking Annual Fund Donors
When I was younger, my mother forced me to write thank you notes to anyone who had given me a gift for my birthday. It seemed like a chore at the time, but as an adult, I came to appreciate when I was thanked for sending a gift – and I certainly remembered those that never thanked me. Today, sometimes a simple “thank you” seems like a dying art.
As nonprofit organizations, it’s critical that we thank our donors promptly. That $25 annual fund donor could turn out to be a $25,000 donor in the future if he or she feels appreciated right from the start. But every organization sends a thank you letter. What if you took it one step further? [Read more…]
Sometimes secondary research just doesn’t cut it. As fundraising professionals, we all know it’s important for us to understand the context of our prospects’ lives. But as much as you can read about private equity, venture capital, and all the other finance-related professions, nothing beats actually talking with people in that industry to find out how they would like to be cultivated and stewarded. I’m particularly delighted this week to shine a light on a project that University of Chicago researchers, Amelia Aldred and Namrata Padhi, undertook to interview professionals in the finance industry. In this week’s article, Amelia and Namrata share the questions and answers about these professionals that we all want to hear. ~Helen
The problem and our solution
In 2015, our prospect research team hit a wall when it came to understanding venture capital and private equity professionals. Like many of our research colleagues, our team read hundreds of articles about venture capital and private equity industries but we couldn’t find information specifically about venture capital and private equity professionals’ attitudes and behaviors regarding philanthropy, nor could we find information about compensation and wealth beyond a general industry overview.
Our solution? Change our research methods. Instead of reading, we directly interviewed venture capital and private equity professionals about their career path, compensation and wealth accumulation, networks, and how all of these factors affected their approach to giving. [Read more…]
John Paulson’s gift of $400 million to Harvard has released a surprising amount of ill-will and petty sniping around fundraising water coolers. Around our virtual instant-message water cooler, HBG Researcher Rachel Dakarian and I started talking about Paulson’s gift and donor intent (the inclination rating we discussed previously here on The Intelligent Edge). I asked Rachel to create an article covering our thoughts, so with thanks, I turn it over to her:
You probably saw in the news recently that Harvard University announced its all-time largest donation: a $400-million gift from John A. Paulson to support the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. [Read more…]