All of us scurry to bring in final revenue before the clock ticks midnight on 30 June. But, shouldn’t we really spend the two days catching our breath and implementing solid plans for the new year? Shouldn’t we turn our focus on analysis of what went well and a focus on what we need to alter from July forward?
Stewardship calls are the easiest calls to make. Often times thank you calls are the most surprising for a donor to receive because donors do not expect them. It’s true. Donors expect calls asking for money, requests to purchase lottery tickets, and other asks. It’s rare a call from a nonprofit organisation has the simple purpose of saying “thank you”.
Make one thank you call today. Call a donor who has given for the first time. Call a donor who has given for the past three consecutive years. Call a donor who has increased their level of giving year on year.
Make a thank you call every day or at least one time per week. Document the call in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Measure and monitor the results of the calls. I bet you will see further engagement by those you call.
There are many reasons to call donors. Calling to make an ask does not have to be tbe only reason.
It’s tax appeal time.
The fact I give to hundreds of charities throughout the year means I am inundated with tax appeals during May and June. With only nine days left in the financial year, I am most surprised at the lack of follow up reminders from those nonprofit organisations I have not yet supported this season.
This last week I received an SMS reminder from CARE Australia. This unique (at least the only one I received) reminder stood out with a clear call to action.
There are nine days left in the financial year. What is your nonprofit organisation doing to capture the donor’s attention and to acquire gifts in the final days before the end of the financial year?
FundraisingForce recently conducted an acquisition mailing for an Australian charity. The charity rented lists via a list broker. The day after the appeal dropped, dozens of next of kin placed telephone calls informing the charity their loved one had died. In some cases, their loved one had died years prior. The impact of the deceased mail continued for the next two weeks as more calls were received by the nonproit organisation.
It is typical for some deceased and bad addresses to be included in a charity’s acquisition appeal. It happens whenever charities rent mailing lists and depends greatly on the quality of the data received.
In regards to deceased, these calls are, at best, uncomfortable for the next of kin to make and for the charity to receive. In some cases, these calls are embarrassing to the charity despite the fact the charity has simply rented the names via a reputable list broker. Finally, in most cases, these calls are not necessary and would not occur if charities banded together to manage their data lists. Here’s how:
- Ensure your charitable organisation has systems in place to properly mark deceased constituent records.
- Make certain all staff in the organisation understand the internal process to implement the established procedures.
- Ensure deceased are not passed to list brokers when your charitable organisation rents or exchanges data with other charitable organisations – whether via a list broker or on your own.
- Use one of the services available in Australia to pass data to remove any known deceased from the list to be mailed.
- Add the deceased names to your database, along with their last known address, and code them “deceased”.
- The above will allow for a procedure to remove any known deceased from rental lists in the future.
- Track the source of the deceased knowledge.
- Track and report all deceased back to your list broker.
- This will ensure removal for future mailings and also gain credit for deceased names rented to your charity in the first place.
- Too many charities do not report deceased rented to them back to the list broker.
- Non-reporting simply continues the cycle for the next of kin and for other charities.
This is not merely a charity responsibility. Next of kin also have a responsibility to report deceased to the various Australian services to ensure their loved ones do not receive mail. Service include:
If each of us, charitable organisations and next of kin alike, do our fare share and create processes and procedures such as those mentioned above, we can greatly diminish the number of deceased who are mailed and the painful impact on the next of kin.
Earlier last week, I had conversation with a man who has been instrumental in the creation of mentorship programs for school students and young adults in Chicago. Our conversation involved the establishment of such programs, but also focused on measuring the outcomes.
Far too few charitable organisations, in my opinion, take the time to measure the impact of their programs. I would further suggest, with a few exceptions, impact measurement is a relatively “new concept” to our sector.
Equally important, the conversation caused me to think about the fact each one of us who are seasoned fundraising professionals have the expertise to give so much back to those who are early in their fundraising career. We may feel we are time-poor, but everyone has a couple of hours they are able to lend each month. We are not talking about taking on another part-time job in terms of the time commitment required to be a mentor.
Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) offers a mentorship program as a member benefit. Experienced professionals are sought to be FIA mentors. Additionally, those who are early in their fundraising career should step forward as mentees to be matched with those with experience to share. Contact FIA to learn more.