Are High Dollar Donors More Loyal ?

Have been wondering recently whether high dollar donors are more loyal than low dollar donors, and while pondering this, an email popped up with a link to an article on this very subject from from Gregory Warner of Marketsmart.

Although it doesn’t show New Zealand examples, it’s worth a read and hopefully I’ll soon be able to share some local examples.

Here’s Gregory’s article …


Recently I made some new friends at The Fundraising Effectiveness Project and they shared some awesome research findings with me.  You can see the first one below proving that high-dollar donors are actually more loyal (stickier) than low-dollar supporters.

I think what this chart implies is this: The fundraising pyramid is dead

The idea that nonprofits should first seek to gain low dollar donors and move them up the pyramid is just not a wise strategy. Low dollar donors are clearly less loyal and don’t repeat at nearly the same rate as high dollar donors $1,000 – $4,999 (at 87%). Plus, low dollar donors are very expensive to acquire yet they are much more fickle. Therefore, they clearly can’t deliver enough returns for the long haul compared to the other givers.

4 things you should do today:

1- Develop a strategy that emphasizes efforts to gain more high-dollar donors instead of low-level supporters.

2- Focus on customer service and retention by providing value everywhere (especially in your engagement offers).

3- Search for ways to move mid-level donors up (again by providing value especially in your engagement offers).

4- Aim for referrals. Encourage your current high-dollar donors to introduce you to other high-dollar donors. This will be the lowest cost marketing you can implement and it will deliver the greatest return for your investment. The ice bucket challenge did this for low-level donors. But most of them never gave again. What can you do to get referrals from major and mid-level donors? Figure that out and you’ll be a fundraising rockstar!

Read the full article here 

Are you ready to change?

To see organisations doing the same thing day in day out to gain funding can be frustrating. Especially when you know they could do better and more if they adapted their fundraising methods.

If you keep doing the same thing and getting the same results, why bother repeating the action, it’s pointless, a waste of time and resources.

Organisations need to adapt.

If your direct mail campaign isn’t working as well as expected, adapt it, hopefully you have done a “market test” before launching the campaign and have allowed for tweaks.

If your telephone campaign isn’t working, why? The people making the calls will have market intelligence that they should be encouraged to share. Is it that they’re calling the wrong area, has something happened that’s drawing donors away (a disaster, humanitarian crisis).

Has you email campaign not gained the hits you would have expected? Again, did you test the campaign with a sample of your database before hitting send to your entire database?

It’s important that all campaigns are tested, not just internally, but more so externally. It’s your market that matters, not only what you and your team think.

How much time and effort are you putting into campaigns that could go belly up if you’ve got it wrong?
Be ready to adapt, have something up your sleeve “just in case”.

Be ready to change the subject line of your email campaign if you’re not getting the hits you would expect.

Likewise, be prepared to send the email at different times/days. And, yes, keep records of what does and doesn’t work.

If your phone campaign isn’t hitting the mark, is it the time you’re calling, change your calling times. And, as much as people hate it, don’t forget Saturdays can be a great calling day.

Before you hit go on any campaign, have an alternative plan, be ready, be adaptable and monitor, monitor, monitor.

Be ready to change, to adapt to any situation, perhaps even end your campaign early if need be.

When someone supports give a quick call and ask them why they have supported – yes thank them too.

Perhaps you have a supporter who has donated previously, but not on this occasion; give them a call and ask why.

This type of intelligence gathering is important, and should be done every campaign, no matter what.

So, in the planning sessions you have for your next campaign, allow for people to call delinquent donors and ask why, and call new donors too (you should be doing this anyway), and thank them, but find out why they are supporting.

Good luck out there, remember there’s lots of competition for the charity dollar.

Are you monitoring who you support?

You work hard, spend frugally and want to know that the hard earned money you give to community groups, charities; is being well used. How do you know it’s being wisely used?

Sure, you might get a regular update from the organisation, perhaps an update with any receipt you use, but is this an accurate picture of how your hard earned money is being used?

I’ve seen organisations that raise significant sums from the public, yet have little to show where this money is used.

Yes, they are meeting the terms of their constitution, they are doing the work, yet if asked to provide more services, resources or the like, they are unable to do so as they don’t have the financial resources to do more than they are doing.

There are still organisations working in the sector who have exorbitant overheads, who raise funds from you and me, but with their overheads can’t provide the services they are established to provide.

Who’s at fault, is there a fault, should there be tighter rules around reporting income and expenditure?

Perhaps yes, but what can we, donors, do to ensure we are giving to organisations that will use our support wisely.

I guess it comes down to trust, we have to trust that what they are telling us is kosher, that they are doing the best they can, that they are using our support wisely.

But, we also owe it to ourselves to check that what they are saying can be substantiated.

How can we do this? I guess we would go through the financial statements they file with Charity Services, with a fine tooth comb. We could (and should) be asking friends, family etc what their impression is of the organisation.

As with all community groups, we need to trust that what they are telling us is 100% kosher, if it’s not then we should voice our concerns and perhaps walk away and support an organisation we know we can trust.

Have you any doubts about organisations you have or do support, what have to done about it?

How do you assess the value of your sponsorship offer?

Have been reading quite of lot on Infinity Sponsorship lately, and this post caught my eye as something that that merits sharing …

How to assess the value of your sponsorship offering

Abby Clemence, Managing Director of Infinity Sponsorship addresses some questions from non-profit sponsorship seekers in an attempt to unravel some of the complexities involved in assessing the value of sponsorship.

    1. When a not-for-profit organisation is seeking to engage a sponsorship partner, what is the best way to go about valuing their service, program, event or organisation prior to approaching a company or brand?

Sponsorship is a people business, which means in order to give yourself the best chance of success; you need to create a relationship with a company before you ask them for their investment.

Working out the value of your offering is probably the trickiest part of the sponsorship seeking process.  There are no hard and fast rules, and no widely upheld benchmark or central repository of information where sponsorship seekers can go to draw comparisons and contrasts to gauge the value of what they have to offer a sponsor.

Fortunately, or unfortunately this is the intrinsic nature of ‘partnership’ – a fantastic opportunity to create bespoke offerings that create win-win-win situations.  You win because your organisation receives much-needed funds, your corporate partner wins because they gain access to a previously untapped market and your supporters win because they receive greater benefits and services as a result of their alliance with you.

Continue reading here

What’s on Offer?

After almost two years working hands-on with a local NGO, my tenure has ended and I am now in search of something new.

As some will know my skills are in the areas of supporter acquisition and retention, social media strategy and implementation, sponsorship; and, governance.

I’d be keen to talk with any organisation, ideally in the Auckland area that may be in need of some assistance to gain and maintain their presence and enhance their visibility and funding options.

If you know of anything I’d be grateful if you could let me know, or if you could please pass on my details to anyone you feel may have something available.

Thanks in advance.


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