Friday, July 1, 2016

The Pareto Principle - Damian O'Broin's latest blog

You may like to hear from other fundraisers from time to time, so I'd like to share my friend and fundraising expert, Damian O’Broin’s latest blog on the Pareto Principle. 

Yes, I know you have heard about this principle a million times before, but I believe it is always worth reading others thoughts, particularly if it only takes you 5 minutes, which this will. Click here to read Damian's blog:

I am also very proud to be invited to speak at Ask Direct (Damian’s agency)’s Summer School in Sept 2016. Click here to find out more about the event. 
  • Stewardship 3 Easy Steps Presentation Slides
  • Customer Care Feedback Handling Guide Mini Give Away
  • Customer Care Training - Module Overview (Pareto)
  • Donor Feedback Log Template
  • Examples of lovely thank you communications
  • Nice donor cards from Maude at Children of the Street Society
  • Example welcome program
  • Should we thank? Proof in numbers? AND how to construct a thank you test.

My next webinar - 30th June / 1st July - limited spaces still available

Finally, if you're interested in my next webinar on Stewardship and Mid Value Donors, this is a reminder that it's happening today and tomorrow - 30th June and 1st July. There are limited spaces still available on each of the 3 time slots (depends on your time zone).  

ll registrants get a recording and the slides, and if you are free for one of our three time slots on Thursday or Friday (depends on your time zone) you can attend live.  

If you haven’t registered, you can register here.  
This is your chance to register to watch Fiona McPhee and Sean Triner live.  This webinar will be very useful and practical as usual.  BUT it is relevant to major donor, mid value, bequest and all direct marketeers too.
Here is what Valeria Esposito from UNHCR Italy said about the recent webinar: 
"We had so much fun participating in this webinar! It gave us a lot of useful tips on how to bring our Middle donor programme to the next level. We feel that now we can conquer the world of mid-value giving.  Thank you for sharing your wisdom!"
And check out these awesome handouts you get!
Even if you can’t make it live, all registrants get the recording of the webinar, the slide deck AND all those bonus handouts.
Click here to register if you haven’t already.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How good is your donor care?


I'm Fiona McPhee - Fundraising Strategy Director for Pareto Fundraising. Sean has asked me to help him with his webinar on stewardship this week.

I am really looking forward to this as it is an area of real passion for me.  His other webinars have gone down really well, with great feedback, like this:

This series thus far has been the best investment I have ever made in webinars.  My entire development team of [six] … are participating and all of them are gaining so much knowledge and information... If only we could get our board and executive leadership to watch these too!!!”

Mary Butler, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis

If you have already registered – great and thank you!  But please read on, because I would like to ask a favour of you…

All registrants get a recording and the slides, and if you are free for one of our three time slots on Thursday or Friday (depends on your time zone) you can attend live.  

If you haven’t registered, you can register here.  We are limited to 101 people per webinar watching live so please register soon!  

The favour:  Can you please help Sean and I help more charities? Whether you work within a charity or an agency, we want to showcase great examples of donor care and awesome anecdotes of wonderful stewardship.

A letter or video you are proud of, or a communication you received.  Anything that shows off great donor care to help others learn.

And – a very generous gift indeed – I am hoping for one or two people willing to share their organisations’ donor care plans, diagrams or flow charts.  Or an anonymised client’s plans? (If you are an agency bod, we will credit you if you request it). 

Perhaps you have a nice chart or process flow diagram of what donors get what communications?
Just imagine how useful that would be for a charity.

You could be helping so many more causes beyond your own.  And would very likely trigger a donation from Sean who will almost certainly donate himself to such generous charities!

Please just email anything useful to topic/subject ‘Donor Care.’

Again, if you haven’t registered yet, please do right now!

If you can’t make one of the three time slots this Friday in New Zealand and Australia, or Thursday in Europe, UK and North America, don't worry! All registrants will get a copy of the recording, slides and any handouts so you can watch anytime.  It is just US$89.  That is less than the price of a taxi from the airport in London!  (Well, it was, depends on how much more the pound has fallen since Brexit!)

Reminder of what we'll cover in the stewardship webinar:

In the session we will be:
  • Looking at a sensible and practical decision ‘flow’ for managing donor care and stewardship with limited resources
  • Dissecting some great donor care examples (like this CCIA one you can read here).
  • Giving you easy and instant tips to improve your causes’ donor care – in a way that will make you more revenue.
See you soon!

Just click here to register.

Thank you so much.
Fiona McPhee
Fundraising Strategy Director, Pareto Fundraising

Friday, June 24, 2016

Great Donor Care from Amnesty International

You know how we all worry about overheads? Well, Josh O’Rourke a relationship fundraiser from Amnesty International Australia had a good approach with one of his mid-value donors.

Having met up with a mid-value donor who had ‘only’ ever given $2,000, Josh found out the donor was keen to multiply her donation.  The donor asked to be anonymous, but let’s call her Janine after Josh’s mum.

There is lots of evidence that ‘multiplying gift appeals’ increases average donation and/or response rate. The offer is something like ‘Donate by 30 June and our sponsor will match your gift…’

Janine had obviously liked that offer previously.

Chatting with his colleagues in direct marketing, Josh found out there were no matching gift campaigns that she could contribute to at that time. So he turned it on its head and asked Janine to be the ‘sponsor’ who would be matching other people’s gifts!

It turned out she was keen, and interested in Amnesty’s campaign on the back of their work with indigenous children.  She gave $30,000.  Josh was chuffed, as were his colleagues in digital direct marketing.  They usually have such a campaign around this time of year, and hadn’t got a sponsor.  They emailed it today.

Within ninety minutes of the email going out, they had raised $20,000, and will definitely whizz past the $30,000.  Janine’s donation will be worth at least $60,000 to Amnesty’s important work.
Amnesty were making sure Janine felt like a VIP.  Which is exactly what Fiona McPhee and I will be talking about at my next webinar.  Josh has sent me copies of the donor care communications that went out to Janine too, and I will be sharing them in the webinar and as handouts.

If you haven’t booked for this session and would like to, please click here: Stewardship: Three Easy Steps To Make Your Mid-value Donors Feel Like The VIPs They Really Are. It is live on June 30 or July 1 (depends on your timezone).  But don’t worry if you are not around  – all registrants will get a copy of the recording, slides and handouts so you can watch anytime).

In the meantime – I hope the Amnesty example gives you some inspiration!


Amnesty match appeal email campaign

Do You Care About Donors!?

Do You Care About Donors!?

Is stewardship just another buzzword? Is that why so few charities actually bother?

Stewardship and donor care.  Buzzwords or really useful?

Of course you care about your donors.  But how much should you care!?

The webinars I have been running for about a year now have been really popular but this next one on 30 June or 1 July is really stacking up to be one of my best.

After a recent webinar, Andrew Hateley from The Leprosy Mission Australia said“Thanks Sean! Really appreciated your frankness and clarity around what is and isn't a good investment. Will definitely carry your insights with me into future fundraising/marketing/communications strategies.”

But whilst I still want to help you with fundraising investment decisions, why this one is so special is nothing to do with me.

Fiona McPhee from Pareto Fundraising is joining me. And if you care even one tiny bit about donor care you really, really don’t want to miss her. You can catch Fiona and I live 30 June / 1 July (depends on your timezone). 

Every registrant gets the recording, the presentation, and a load of useful information whether they attend live or not.  Brilliant stuff you can watch anytime.

Ted Davis from US Charity AmeriCares said my webinars had…“Great, usable content.  Goes right to the heart of the issue”

I Guarantee You Will Get Bang For Your Buck.  Just Click To Register Here, Right Now.

Stewardship: Three Easy Steps To Make Your Mid-value Donors Feel Like The VIPs They Really Are

I only have room for 101 people on each webinar – and the last one I had, I actually had 101 registered!  Please don’t miss your chance.

In my line of work, I come across very few ‘experts’ in donor care and stewardship.  Fiona truly is an expert.

I met her when she was ‘doing’ customer care at WWF Australia more than ten years ago.  Now she is one of the most senior and accomplished consultants in New Zealand.  With a WEALTH of experience and knowledge I reckon even just the Q&A section at the end of the webinar will be worth your time and investment!

In the session we are going to show you how to steward.  How to do good donor care. We are going to give you some fantastic handouts and examples of great donor care.Fiona is going to give you awesome decision trees and maps for stewardship.She will also give you some incredibly practical training tips for your staff and volunteers.

Stephen Batsche, Executive Director (the BOSS!!) from The Salvation Army USA“Your advice is straightforward, practical and based upon experience.”

Well Stephen, thank you – and this next webinar is going to really make sure we do the same.

You will leave with a toolkit containing immediate, practical ideas to go and do.

Also, there will be lots of handouts, examples and more.  I am going to give you the MOST bonus material I have ever included with a webinar.  (Nearly of all which Fiona prepared J)

Stewardship: Three Easy Steps To Make Your Mid-value Donors Feel Like The VIPs They Really Are

By getting up early and staying up late to repeat the webinar live, Fiona and I are maximising the chance of you being able to catch us live. 

BUT I know not everyone can.  In fact, talking with the guys at Epilepsy Action in Melbourne, they told me they all watch the recording together in an environment where they can pause, discuss and agree actions.

Super idea, and I now know they are not alone.

Whether you watch live or watch the recording later, just make sure you register today!

I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Long Fundraising Letters. Why, oh, why!?

Long letters work better.

But don't just take it from me. 

Dr Barnardo wrote a four page appeal letter in London in the 1880s using classic DM techniques. Underlining, urgency, dollar handles, specific ask and a clear reference to what YOU could do to help. The winter had been 'the severest and most arduous, so far as work among the children of the poor is concerned.'   So the good doctor needed to raise £100 a day for food.  He told readers 'unceasing demands upon our resources' were having an unprecedented impact on his charity.

The four page Dr Barnardo letter from the late 19th century.

Years later, another children's charity, Starlight, had a rough year and they had decided to go public about their shortfall. Unceasing demands upon their resources were tough too. They asked for funds but also had a refreshing degree of honesty. The donor learned that part of the shortfall was because Starlight funding strategy relied too much upon events and companies.After reading the press stories about their plight I pulled together an 'emergency' appeal to their donors and met up with them. The emergency appeal was only developed to show how I work, but they decided to mail it immediately anyway. 

The opening paragraphs of the Starlight letter

A full Case Study of this appeal is here, including an entire copy of the mailpack here.
It would never win awards for graphic design beauty. But the appeal raised over target. It more than doubled the amount raised from the same donors the previous year.
At the heart of the appeal was a four page appeal letter.
Despite the rise of other media, direct mail is still the biggest source of new one off donors.  So it is important we maximise revenue from mail donors.  And longer letters will tend to do that for you.

New Cash Recruits - by channel, across Pareto benchmarking charities.

I really don't like long letters, by the way. They are a pain in the butt to write, check copy, get clients approval, print and mail-merge. And someone important in most of our clients doesn't like them. And they don't look great in my portfolio (though the results do).
And I prefer doing digital stuff. And... I think you get the idea.

In focus groups, donors say they dislike them too. In Hong Kong, one client ran focus groups which all concluded that donors would be more likely to respond to a pack with a two-sided letter and tear off coupon than a four-page pack (actually eight pages - English and Chinese) with lots of additional information. The two pager raised HK$1.5m (AUD$220k) - the big pack raised over HK$7.5m (about $1.1m).

But they work.  As you can see from the test results below.  These are from a revolutionary pack National Heart Foundation did more than a decade ago.
I featured it in training I did on writing great direct mail for mid-value donors.  (You can access this training session as part of the mid-value webinar series I have done).

Long letters beat short letters - a defining test by National Heart Foundation

It isn't just me that thinks so.  Jeff Brooks attempts to explain why fundraising letters tend to work better in this 2012 article.  He also tells us in his Fundraising is Beautiful podcasts that in tests, long letters are three times more likely to win than shorter ones!  (He adds long email appeals are twice as likely to win as short email appeals).

I know longer letters tend to work better, but not because they are long. I think it is because, to tell a good story with a beginning, middle and end and ensure the right fundraising tactics, it simply takes more words. These tactics include target, what the target is for, deadline, establishing need, demonstrating solution, demonstrating why that charity is best placed to solve etc). Having said that, a dreadful four pager is worse than a good two pager - if a story can be told more quickly then tell it. As Mal Warwick says 'A fundraising letter should be as long as it needs to be...'

This article is a re-hash of one I wrote seven years ago.  Things have changed since then, but nothing changed in terms of whether long letters work better or now.
See Dr Barnado's 19th century appeal on SOFII here.

Long letters tend to work better with mid value donors too. Maybe it is just about respect - good donor care to take the time to explain why the donors support is so important.  My next webinar is all about donor care for those special donors.

If you haven't registered for my next webinar on mid-value donors yet - I hope you can. Click here to register.  

I have had awesome feedback from the other Webinars in my mid-value donor series.  But each one is useful as a standalone. Please come along to this one - I guarantee it will be worth the time and cost!

If you can't make one of the three time slots on June 30 or July 1 (depends on your Timezone), don't worry - all registrants will get a copy of the recording, slides and any handouts so you can watch anytime.  It is just US$89 (less than the price of a taxi to and from the airport in Melbourne!)

In the session we will be:
  • Looking at a sensible and practical decision 'flow' for managing donor care and stewardship with limited resources
  • Dissecting some great donor care examples (like the CCIA one you can read here, which is improved by survey information)
  • Giving you easy and instant tips to improve your causes' donor care - in a way that will make you more revenue.
See you soon!

Just click here to register.


Disaster Fundraising Guide download it here