FundraisingForce will be working with clients in Sydney and Melbourne this week before attending the Fundraising Institute Australia #FIAConf2016. We hope you are registered for the conference and we look forward to seeing you there!
Stephen Mally ADMA, Australian Direct Marketing Association, Best practices, Charities, Charity, CRM, Data cleansing, Data hygiene, Database, Deceased, Deceased registry, Deduping, Deduplication, Fundraising, FundraisingForce, Non-Profit organisation, Nonprofit, TABR, The Australian Bereavement Register
There is nothing worse than sending a deceased person mail. First, it stirs up emotions when a loved one receives a letter addressed to a person who has since passed. Second, it sends a message that your non-profit organisation lacks best practices. I recently posted, on LinkedIn, about the number of charities not taking the extra steps to remove deceased from their CRM/database – reactively or proactively. The post received a high number of comments. Perhaps it was a little too close to home for some.
This past month, I visited some people in the US in the state of Florida. The husband of the couple visited was the executor for an estate. Let’s call the deceased Mrs Bloggs. Mrs Bloggs has been deceased for more than five years. Yet, the household continues to receive charity mail in her name. Again, Mrs Bloggs has been deceased for more than five years.
What’s even worse is this household has notified the charities of her death. The couple have returned notices in the response envelopes with the response coupons. In some cases, charities have been notified 2-3 times. These same charities, and others, continue to mail to Mrs Bloggs.
The charities are risking offending the survivors, as well as their reputation through poor processes, wasted materials, and postage.
US charities have an even bigger advantage over Australian charities in that the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) exists, which is national register of deaths. When someone passes away in the US, it is a requirement the death is reported to the US government. The end result means all deaths are documented on the SSDI. US charities have access to this list to screen their database through a variety of suppliers.
In Australia, the Australian government does not yet have anything compared to the SSDI. Yet, Conexum has The Australian Bereavement Register (TABR), which is a strong product and increasing in capabilities each year. Additionally, suppliers will match your database against the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) list of deceased individuals. This list is developed via notifications sent to ADMA. Any person may document a death via the ADMA website or we may call or write ADMA direct.
Charities have a responsibility to do the following:
- Document notifications of death in their constituent relationship management (CRM)/database. When charities are notified of deaths from survivors:
- Document date of notification, method of notification, and date of death.
- Notify list brokers of deaths. Pass information to list brokers when charities are notified of deceased parties on various lists rented or received via exchange.
- Notification to list brokers should include date charity notified by next of kin, method of notification, and date of death.
- Screen your non profit organisation’s CRM/database using SSDI, for US charities, or TABR, for Australian charities.
- Screen at least one time per year. Better yet, screen prior to all major mailings.
- Screen your CRM/database, plus any lists rented for acquisition purposes.
- Screen at least one time per year. Better yet, screen prior to all major mailings.
You would never rent thousands of names without deduping them against your database to ensure you were not marketing to existing donors. Take it a step further. Whenever your organisation rents or exchanges names via a list broker, ensure you de-duplicate all known deceased from your CRM/database. Save your organisation the embarrassment of mailing to known deceased people despite the fact the lists may be dirty from a broker or from a charity. Then, report deceased back to the broker to save your colleagues from embarrassment, as well.
Those of us who work for charities have been on the receiving end of the calls when people are upset because we have erroneously mailed to their deceased loved ones. If everyone takes an active role, in the New Year, in terms of deceased processing, we can vastly improve processes and ensure we decrease the number of times deceased persons are marketed.
The customer relationship management (CRM) system or, as some call it “the database system”, is a non profit organisation’s most important asset.
FundraisingForce receive at least one phone call a week from non profit organisations seeking assistance with a data base search and many are planning to launch a search now that we are in the new year.
Complaining about the CRM/database is the one thing, which every non profit organisation has in common. Charities often say things such as:
- …it is too clunky
- …it does not meet our needs
- …we’ve outgrown the system
- …no one uses it
- …if the database could only do x, y or z
- …I wish our organisation owned x product
- …I used x product at my previous job and it was great
- …I’m going to contact X supplier immediately and see if we can’t get a demo and start to talk about pricing
Put the brakes on.
Do not contact any suppliers until you have CRM search infrastructure in order.
CRM search infrastructure, includes:
- Organisation CRM readiness. Study whether your organisation is ready for a sophisticated CRM. Do you have the following in place:
- Financial backing of organisation leadership? Do leadership have realistic expectations of project costs?
- Organisation resourcing to implement a chosen CRM. Remember, the organisation is required to staff the project in the same manner as the supplier.
- How will your organisation deal with staff turnover? Staff turnover can become detrimental to a CRM implementation. If your organisation has vacant key positions, perhaps waiting until those positions are filled is the right strategy.
- Documented, detailed requirements across the entire business. Ensure you focus on the detail rather than “high level” requirements. The more you understand your business requirements, the better suppliers will understand them.
- Market research, including a list of suppliers and associated products available in our market.
- Time allocation for a comprehensive CRM search. A CRM search takes time, even if you contract with an external consultant to coordinate the search for your organisation. Be certain you understand the time commitment required of your team.
- CRM search coordinator. Whether you resource the oversight of the CRM search with an internal resource or a consultant, be sure you identify “who is in charge”. This pint of contact is critical for your organisation and the various CRM suppliers. Empower this person with the responsibility and the authority.
Ensuring you have the proper infrastructure in place before you hit the CRM search accelerator is critical. Searches fail because of a lack of organisation readiness, improper resourcing, poor documentation, or unrealistic expectations. Your ability to negotiate with CRM suppliers is dramatically impacted by not having your act together.
FundraisingForce is fortunate to work with a big variety of clients:
Education, cultural, animal welfare, health, hospitals and medical research institutes, environmental, and others;
Small, medium, and large sized non-profit organisations;
Brand new charities and well-established nonprofit organisations.
Your mission is our business!
We look forward to helping you to transform your fundraising and your nonprofit organisation in 2016.
From all of us at FundraisingForce to all of you – Happy New Year!
FundraisingForce wishes you and yours a joyous holiday!
As we wind down our year-end activity and prepare to spend time with family, friends and neighbours, we want to thank you for working with FundraisingForce during 2015. We are grateful for each of our clients and enjoy working with talented fundraisers in the non profit sector.
Graphic design by RamtinWorld.
Of all the charities I give to throughout the year, within the FundraisingForce mystery shopping study and independent of, I am surprised how few charities offer BPay as an option on the giving menu.
Donors prefer choice. BPay should be added to the menu of giving options for your charitable organisation.
BPay is very popular in Australia for you and I to use to pay our monthly bills. We use it for rent, mortgage, credit card, and other payments. Electronic bill pay is far more popular in Australia than it is in my home country, the United States. In fact, in the US, cheques are still the preferred method. This is particularly true amongst the over 65 age group. In Australia, the direct marketing target audience is largely over 65 and this group is already conditioned to prefer BPay for day-to-day business. Why not offer them BPay on your charity’s direct mail response devices?
QIMR use functionality in The Raiser’s Edge, which produces a BPay number based on the algorithm required by their bank. The Raiser’s Edge automatically creates a BPAY number for all new constituents added to the CRM, and it creates one for anyone in the database who may have been missed through a batch functionality. This smart technology means QIMR are able to offer choice to donors above and beyond their counterparts in the sector.
Does your non-profit’s CRM offer BPay creation for your donor records?
Good stewardship – made simple. That’s what University of Queensland understands. On Tuesday of this week, I received a hand written note from a third year pharmacy student thanking me for my recent contribution to the University of Queensland.
When was the last time you received a hand written note? Maybe a birthday or Christmas card, but rarely anything more. When you receive a hand written piece in Post, it stands out in your letterbox amongst the mountain of machine-processed mail. The added personalisation matters. Not every piece of mail could be produced in this manner due to volume and time constraints. However, pieces like this one, received from University of Queensland, make a difference when hand written.
What also matters about this piece is the fact it is not just hand written, but it comes from a student receiving financial support from many donors across the university.
I wrote a FundraisingForce blog post about the gift giving experience with University of Queensland and the dynamic call received from a student. This hand written note is just one more step University of Queensland take to engage people like me, giving small amounts of money on a routine basis. Want to improve your organisation’s stewardship? Look to University of Queensland as a model.
Fundraising Institute Australia conducts webinars as a member benefit. Yesterday I had the opportunity to present this month’s webinar. My presentation, titled Finding the Perfect CRM for your Non-Profit, highlighted there is no perfect CRM for non-profits and offered participants the FundraisingForce Ten Point CRM Search Process:
- Requirements gathering – Most organisations cannot fully describe their requirements. In order to be able to articulate your requirements to suppliers, you must first define them in-house and document those requirements. Part of requirements gathering is to also take a full inventory of your data, which is to be converted to the new CRM.
- Market research – Understand the market and the various products available to you. Prepare a list of those suppliers you may want to invite to your process, including the products those suppliers represent or hold. After conducting market research, you will match your requirements with suppliers and products in the market. Not every supplier will receive an invite to your process based on the matchback you will do.
- Request for Proposals – Create a well-written and though request for proposals (RFP). In the RFP be sure to identify the various aspects you would like the supplier to elaborate on, including things like: financial stability of the supplier, bench strength of the supplier, support and customer service models, and how the supplier proposes to meet the most important of your requirements.
- Invitations – Send invitations to the suppliers. In the invitation, be clear about your process, deadlines and any boundaries you have set for suppliers.
- Response meetings – Be open to conducting response meetings with suppliers. In these meetings, answer questions suppliers may have about your requirements.
- Proposals – Receive proposals by the stated deadlines. Adhere to the deadlines. If you extend a deadline for one supplier, extend it for all. Compare proposals against one another using a ratings system.
- Demonstrations – Conduct demonstrations with a team of individuals from your organisation who are key decision makers. Develop a rating chart for your team to use to evaluate the systems seen.
- Negotiations – Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Remember the list price is not the best price.
- Selection – Select the best of the lot based on the strength of the proposals, the demonstrations, and negotiations.
- Business plan – Write a business plan which you will deliver to senior leadership and to the board. Be sure to describe the process you have followed, your due diligence, and highlight your selection, reasons for your selection, as well as the true costs of ownership. In the business plan you also want to state the return on investment (ROI).
This ten point CRM search process may seem overwhelming, even daunting. The market can be confusing. You do not have to go at it alone. FundraisingForce and other consultancies offer assistance to charities seeking to run a thorough CRM selection process.
Stephen Mally 2015, BPay, Cause Related Marketing, Challenge gifts, Data cleansing, Data hygiene, Donation Tin, Donor care, FundraisingForce, Give Jar, Giving Tuesday, Goal setting, Ice Bucket Challenge, Matching gifts, New Year, Passwords, Personal Brand, PostPay, Professional development, QR codes, thank you notes, Year in Review
For FundraisingForce’s year-end blog, we thought it was appropriate to take a look back at our blog posts over this past year and to do a bit of a year in review. We launched the Website for FundraisingForce in early June and what a year (6 months, actually) it has been! This last year, FundraisingForce…
- …challenged you to think about the last time you sent something handwritten to someone, including thank you notes.
- …suggested preparations for the end of the financial year on 30 June 2014.
- …suggested each charity needed to be prepared to respond to customer service issues via Twitter, just as airlines, hotels, retail stores and others have to be prepared.
- …offered an overview of how some organisations handle opt-outs.
- …highlighted the fact most organisations in Australia do not offer BPay and PostPay as an option for giving for their donors.
- …questioned why charities do not appear to utilise QR Codes in appeals and in other marketing.
- …asked whether you have an elevator pitch to describe your charity and what you do for the charity.
- …discussed collaborative goal setting.
- …suggested customer service is the most import deliverable.
- …spotlighted the good donor care provided by Zoos Victoria Foundation.
- …discussed the importance of good data hygiene.
- …highlighted the importance of matching gifts and how rare they are in Australia.
- …offered four steps to donor care.
- …gave ideas for professional development.
- …asked whether donor welcome packs are a thing of the past.
- …offered the opinion that cause related marketing is also rare in Australia.
- …applauded the Ice Bucket Challenge.
- …also applauded an August telemarketing call.
- …suggested your charity test an ask in your donor acknowledgement/thank you letters.
- …gave training options for your team.
- …highlighted why gifts in honour or memory of someone are really sensitive gifts.
- …introduced the DipJar to potentially replace donation tins.
- …showed you how to find hot prospects for spring.
- …offered advice to prepare for a disaster.
- …gave additional suggestions and advice on staff training.
- …offered advice to set passwords and not store them on Post-it Notes!
- …suggested challenge gifts to motivate your donors to give.
- …introduced the concept of personal brand.
- …highlighted charities offering holiday cards.
- …promoted GivingTuesday and its success a multitude of times.
- …and, we highlighted selfless acts on behalf of charities, including those of MaryRose Mazzola of Massachusetts.
FundraisingForce sincerely hopes the various topics we have blogged have been of interest and benefit to you and others in your organisation.
Special thanks to RamtinWorld for designing a terrific Website and a platform for FundraisingForce to be able to communicate with all of you worldwide.
FundraisingForce wishes you all best wishes for 2015. Happy New Year!