No, this isn’t a missive about being time to change how you do things (although, if you feel you need to, please, consider this a nudge!) This is a note about a change in my world which I think we both can benefit from.
As of March 17, this “column” (this blog) moved over to the new NonProfit Pro magazine (formerly “Fundraising Success” magazine). I highly encourage you to subscribe. To find it, head to this link: http://www.fundraisingsuccessmag.com/channel/digging-deeper
NonProfit Pro is a magazine for those of you who are professional nonprofit leaders. Its content will include fundraising and more… and my blog, “Digging Deeper” will do the same. Yes, you’ll find some of the fundraising thoughts I’ve provided for the last several years to you, and you’ll see some new material based on what I teach and observe in the nonprofit world.
I look forward to “seeing” you at my new address: http://www.fundraisingsuccessmag.com/channel/digging-deeper
Sign up for the RSS feed here: http://www.fundraisingsuccessmag.com/links/npprotodaysignup/index.html?src=hdlk14
and find the other NonProfit Pro sites here:
Okay, now is the time for me to channel my “old grumpy self.” Here we go… “When I was a kid, we didn’t have “President’s Day, we had Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12 and George Washington’s Birthday on February 22.” Harumph! (Truth be told, when I was a kid, I just liked having two days off from school!)
Today we have one day for all presidents, which usually falls right between Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays. It’s the day we honor them for their service, regardless of political stripe or whether they were “successful,” by whatever definition. It’s a tough job and we expect a lot of them…. maybe just like the president of your organization?
Do you have a President’s Day? Yes. Every day you put her or him in front of a donor, signature on a letter, or voice on the phone, you’re asking a lot. Believe it or not (and I’m sure that you believe it), not every president enjoys fundraising. In fact, a lot of them loath it. That’s why you need to honor them for their service in fundraising each time they do it. You need to reward their efforts by congratulating them for each and every accomplishment.
Remember President’s Day in your organization. Have a party and thank him or her for their service… then get ’em out to do some more!
Do your donors feel your love? February is a great time to show it. Of course, it’s the month of Valentine’s Day, and a number of nonprofits take this opportunity to send an “I love you” message. But do your donors know why you love them? Money? Just like with someone you are dating or marry, if it’s for money, it’s the wrong reason!
If not money, then what else? How about your shared interest in your mission? The money wouldn’t be there unless your donor shared your vision of a better world! Let ’em know that. Let ’em know that the reason you love them isn’t about you… and it’s not even about them (or their money). Your relationship is based on a mutual interest in the people or cause you serve. They’ll probably love that.
When was the last time you “split test” an appeal? You know, changed something (a “variable”), just to see if one seemingly insignificant iteration gets more gifts than what you usually do (the “control.”)? It could be a change in a envelope color, the text of one paragraph, an envelope style or anything else.
Split testing is a powerful, highly underutilized tool in direct response fundraising. You could be missing out in hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars each mailing because your donors think window envelopes aren’t “personal.” Split testing to see if a plain white envelope is better might get you 25 more donors. At your average gift is $41, that’s an extra $1,000 for your mission. Not shabby for an extra 30 minutes of work, huh?
So divide, and conquer your mailings with split testing… and multiply your results.