DonorSearch – Data Informed Fundraising Discussions
DonorPerfect Community Conference 2022 with speakers Donna Mitchell, Ryan Woroniecki, and Darryl Moser
DonorSearch – Data Informed Fundraising Discussions TranscriptPrint Transcript
Darryl: All right, looks like their stream has started. Good day, everyone, and welcome to our session on data-informed fundraising discussions. My name is Darryl Moser, a senior technology evangelist here at DonorPerfect, and I will be your host for this session presented by Ryan Read More
Darryl: All right, looks like their stream has started. Good day, everyone, and welcome to our session on data-informed fundraising discussions. My name is Darryl Moser, a senior technology evangelist here at DonorPerfect, and I will be your host for this session presented by Ryan Woroniecki from DonorSearch and DonorPerfect’s own Donna Mitchell. Last year, the duo of Ryan and Donna showed you how to use data in DonorPerfect and DonorSearch to find and manage your major giving program.
This year, the two will share how to navigate the data, finding key points in giving and wealth to inform discussions with donors. They will be sharing actual example discussions with board members, donors, and will provide the good and the bad approaches to engaging a major donor. Before I hand the session over, I’d like to remind you all to be sure to add your questions to the Q&A tab so that we can see them and answer them at the end of the presentation. Questions asked in the general chat area may not get answered due to the constant scroll of the screen. With that, I will turn it over to Ryan and Donna to share a bit more about each other’s background and proceed with the presentation.
Donna: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome. So, so glad to have you here today. Ryan, we are so looking forward to this.
Ryan: It’s been so much fun preparing the last few weeks. The inside baseball here is that Donna and I haven’t really spoken since last year, and I know most of you are like, “We didn’t see you last year, that’s irrelevant,” but you’ll learn throughout the course of this presentation that Donna’s an amazing human being and a lot of fun to interact with. If you’re really lucky, she just jumps into song. For all of those reasons and really cool content, we’re very excited to be here and we’re very grateful that you’re spending this hour with Donna, Darryl, and myself.
We’re going to talk a little bit about– The gist of today’s session, this was Darryl’s idea is, hey, a lot of people understand that wealth screening and prospect research is a thing, and everyone understands the fact that, “Well, it says this person could give a lot of money, so they’re the right person to talk to,” but there’s a lot more data in that profile, and not everyone understands how to convert that data into an informed discussion.
You don’t go, “Well, Darryl, I saw that you could give $1 million in this DonorSearch profile, so what are your thoughts on that?” That’s a big [imitates buzzer]. We’re going to go through some of the dos and don’ts. We’ve got a bunch of videos that we’re going to walk through. We probably won’t be able to get through all, so there’s a little bit of a choose your own adventure component to this where you’ll choose. With that, Donna, let’s introduce–
Donna: Start with the introductions, how about that?
Donna: I’m going to introduce my friend and colleague. This is Ryan Woroniecki, and Ryan is probably one of the most incredible people I’ve ever worked with. He is fun, he gets the work done, he’s just, “Let’s just do it. Whatever we need to do to get it done, that’s what we do.” He’s just really an awesome dude. He was successfully Bar Mitzvahed– I knew he put that in there to mess me up. Successfully Bar Mitzvahed in 2000. He pitches a wicked curveball in kickball. He founded the DonorSearch Channels Team. Built or oversaw most of DonorSearch technology integrations. He chairs the RDC for Giving USA Foundation and the AFP-DC, and he’s worked with hundreds of nonprofits. Let me tell you, this gentleman is a wealth of knowledge, so get your pens ready, and don’t forget this is recorded so you can hear it again later.
Ryan: Thank you for the very, very kind introduction, Donna. Let me tell you about the wonderful human being that is Donna Mitchell. If you ever spend, I don’t know, say half an hour, an hour with her on a training, on the back end, once you’re done, you will feel as though you’ve been hugged through the computer. It’s a superpower. I don’t know how she has it, but she does. She spent time singing in a Philly jazz band, and if you’re lucky enough to hear her randomly burst into song, you will appreciate that. She’s a training specialist at DonorPerfect, so if you’re trying to understand a new feature within the product that you’re unfamiliar with, there’s a chance that you’re going to end up spending some time with her and perhaps hearing that song.
She’s very bold and brave. She does the New York Times crossword in pen. Not only is she not using the app where you can just easily hit delete, but she’s actually writing it down in ink, not erasable. She chairs SofterWare. SofterWare is the parent company for DonorPerfect. She chairs SofterWare’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and she has worked with hundreds of nonprofit staff, probably more than I have.
Now that you know this is a love fest, let’s talk a little bit more about the agenda itself. Before we dive into these videos, this is a sponsored session, so we got to tell you just who DonorSearch is. Not all a sales pitch. A little bit into what is wealth and philanthropy screening, just in case you’re not that familiar. Those are really just a few slides, and then you’ll see, here’s how to prospect in DonorPerfect. The thought is, Donna’s going to walk you through how might I find somebody to pick up the phone and call because they’re a good major gift opportunity. As a part of that, we’re going to walk through a profile a little bit of one of my favorite musicians that I’m lucky enough to see later this year. Then we’re going to go into the videos, where there’s a bunch of roleplaying with myself, Donna, Darryl, and a number of other SofterWare employees and team members.
With that, let’s talk about DonorSearch just a little bit. We’re a prospect research and wealth screening company. We’re right about 15 years old. We’ve got nearly 8,000 customers. Almost all of those are nonprofits, the ones who are not are for-profits in the nonprofit space, typically fundraising consulting firms. Of those, a little over 400 of them are DonorPerfect customers. We’ve got right around 80 employees, pretty much everyone’s remote, and we’re the only company with both reliable philanthropic screening and machine learning products.
Going back to the DonorPerfect relationship, we’re DonorPerfect’s wealth screening partner. If you are a DonorPerfect customer and you want wealth screening, we are the vendor of choice, among other reasons, because we’ve got really, really slick integration. Over 20 data points. You can go back in to DonorPerfect, you’ll see a little bit of that when we’re going through, how do you prospect? I think that really hits all of it.
Now that you know who we are, let’s talk a little bit more about prospect development. Some of you are familiar with the term prospect research, prospect development is a broader term that encompasses prospect research and more. Some of you may be familiar with APRA, for those of you that are not, it’s a professional association for people that are involved in prospect development. It stands for the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement. Advancement meaning fundraising operations, essentially, or fundraising at larger shops.
There’s three components, there’s prospect identification and research. Identification would be trying to find new opportunities coming around in the database. “Hey, it looks like Donna’s been giving a lot recently, maybe she’s a good opportunity.” The next step of that is research. “Hey, let me run a profile on a wealth screening vendor. Let me check her out on Google. Let me go find her LinkedIn.”
From there, relationship management– This is a fun one. Really large organizations, they have people, sometimes many people whose full-time job it is to look at the portfolios of different gift officers, and then compare those to the pool of prospects, and ultimately make decisions to say things like, “Hey there’s probably 10 prospects in there that you haven’t had much luck with, and we’ve got another 10 that all gave gifts within the last quarter, and they’ve got all the markers that they’re likely to be a good opportunity. We want to trade those out.”
One really important thing related to relationship management, if you were are smaller organization, you probably don’t have the luxury of a full-time relationship manager, but relationship management is one of your responsibilities. Let’s say, you’re a one-person-shop, you’re a director of development, that is it. Organization, so we, DonorSearch, were involved in a major gifts benchmarking study with a company called MarketSmart a few years back. We also partnered with an association called APC and AFP-DC. We tried to figure out by asking questions and getting demographics, what leads to greater success in the major gifts realm?
What we found out, one of the things we found out as part of that is that organizations that raise $3 million or less a year, if you’ve got one full-time fundraising staff, you should really focus on 50 or less relationships. The thought is, if you’re a major gift officer at a larger institution, that’s all you do. You have more time, so it’s easier to have deeper relationships with say, a hundred people because you’re going in there and doing that day in and day out, as opposed to you’re running a small development shop as one, and major gifts is a component of what you do.
The thought is, narrow it down to 50 or less, you can have deeper more meaningful relationships with those people. As a result, you should be more successful at identifying ways that they would be interested in investing in your organization and closing more major gifts. If you’re interested in that kind of data, that’s the extent that we’ll go over that today, in our handout is a little infographic and a link to that study.
Lastly, data analytics. Again, typically larger organizations, there’s people whose job it is to do regression analysis and create models to try to figure out who are likely to be the best major gift opportunities. Again, I shared what is prospect identification and research, relationship management, and data analytics as a way to say, all of that falls under the umbrella of prospect development. That’s what wealth screening is a tool that’s designed to assist.
With that, we’re going to talk a little bit more about wealth screening before we dive into the live demo here. When it comes to wealth screening, there’s a number of data points that are statistically predictive, that would indicate, “Hey, this is a really good person to reach out to,” so we, DonorSearch, did a study a few years back where we looked at data from two million individuals. Those two million individuals collectively donated $5 billion to 400 nonprofits. We looked to say, “Okay, what is it that we at DonorSearch are appending that best highlights the smallest percentage of the two million that are responsible for the greatest percentage of the $5 billion?”
That’s what we’re going to go through now as a starting point. It’s not a data point we would append, but previous giving to your organization. People who have consistently and recently been giving to you, those are typically your best opportunities because they’re engaged. It’s like, I’m going to move soon, and if I’m looking for somebody to help me move and I don’t want to pay them, there’s a pretty good chance that some of my really close friends might say yes, but if I go to line in Starbucks and I just start asking strangers, there’s not a very high success rate.
It’s similar when it comes to giving in general, someone who’s given before is more likely to give again. Anyone that’s done a direct mail acquisition campaign has experienced that, as opposed to the standard direct mail campaign to your existing donors, so it’s no different with major gifts. Behind that, it’s folks who make gifts elsewhere. Just because somebody is affluent and wealthy, does not mean that they are philanthropic or that they will give at scale. Statistically, you see someone giving a gift of 5k or more somewhere else, that’s when it becomes really predictive.
Behind that, you’ve got foundation trustees, so people that sit on the board of the grant-giving foundation. Let’s say that you work at a foundation for a hospital that is a 501(c)(3) and you’re just their foundation or same thing for a church, that is not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about, let’s say, the MacArthur Fund. Some organization that has a fair amount of assets, could be a family foundation, could be a community foundation, and those assets are– It could be the assets or it could simply be the interest off the investments that are granted out over the years.
Next behind that, the third-best predictor and it’s– Well, fourth if you include giving to you. I highlight it’s the fourth because people oftentimes jump to, “They have a really big house or an expensive house, they’re a good opportunity.” Yes, it is predictive, but not as predictive as the previously mentioned markers. Specifically, where it gets really predictive $2 million or more in real estate, obviously that number’s variable. If you live in San Francisco, someone with $2 million in real estate, statistically, they’re not going to be as philanthropic as somebody in a more rural setting.
Behind that, you’d get the business-related ones. There’s SEC insiders and then business executives. SEC insiders, we define that as somebody that owns 10% or more of the traded company, they are on the board, they have a C level title. The reason this data is available is because they have to share that information with the government, so if they do bad stuff, like insider trading, there’s an audit trail, but we can see, “Hey, wait a minute, this person’s an SEC insider, it’s predictive of giving.” Interestingly enough, it also identifies there’s a really good vehicle for gifts. If somebody gives a gift of appreciated assets, like a stock, there’s tax benefits that they get by gifting it directly to you, as opposed to selling it and then gifting you the money.
Lastly, business executives. We’re talking about someone that’s C level, VP, if you know they’re an owner of a private business as well, and the business where it gets really predictive $5 million or more in revenue. Those are high-level data points that are worth paying attention to. If we look at some of these, you can Google someone’s name in Donor Honor Roll, and you might be able to find a Donor Honor Roll where they gave money. You can go to GuideStar to look at foundation trustees. If you want, you can go to Zillow, and from Zillow, you can go to Local Tax Assessment offices, sec.gov is SEC insiders, and look on LinkedIn if you’re looking for business executives. Those are free ways you can access that information. That is it on the important data points.
Donna: All right, so now, we’re going to talk about prospecting in DonorPerfect. With DonorSearch being integrated with DonorPerfect, the information that you capture will come and sync right into DonorPerfect. You’re going to be able to view a profile and see that information. What we’re going to do today is first show you a couple of reports that we are able to see and access in DonorPerfect. I’m going to show you how to create one really quickly, and it’s going to harness that information. That’s what we’re looking to do.
First and foremost, I wanted to take a look at this report. This is a standard DonorPerfect report and it’s called the top donor listing. Very, very cool report. Put your hands up if you’ve used the top donor listing. This report allows us, it’s very flexible, it allows you to see your top donors, whether it’s a count or percentage of your database, based on a calculated field.
Now we have many, many calculated fields in DonorPerfect. The system-defined ones come with the system, and so we can check and see our top donors based on these calculated fields. By the way, you can even use your own calculated fields. Let’s say, you were doing a capital campaign and you wanted to see annually how people were giving to your capital campaign, you can actually create a calculated field for that, but that’s another story for another time.
What we’re talking about here is seeing our largest donations, so our donors by their largest gift, which would be that max amount. Then we’ve also, in this particular report, we’re able to see their last gift date and amount. We’re able to see their year to fiscal year to date total, as well as last year fiscal year to date. Then we see their lifetime grand total of giving. This report is flexible in that we can use any one of those calculated fields.
All right. Now, here we go, for an easy report. Easy reports allow you to create reports or customize them in the ways that you want. What you’ll notice in this report is that I have included, not only some of those DonorPerfect calculated fields, like last gift date, last gift amount, but I’ve also included fields for the DonorSearch prospecting data. When we do a profile and it populates in DonorPerfect, it’s going to populate this data for us, and those fields can be used in reports. We’re going to replicate this report and show you how you can get this information, and then be able to use that information obviously in your research and finally, actually reaching out to those folks.
Let’s jump into DonorPerfect and take a look at that report. The first thing I’m going to do before we even run the report, I really want you to see how we’re able to do a profile or run a DonorSearch profile on a donor record. What we’re going to do is go here and select our donor. In our case, we’re using Thomas Morello, and this is who Ryan was alluding to that he’ll be seeing sometime this summer. Lucky you.
I’m going to just jump right into DonorPerfect profile. All right, so whenever you’re using DonorSearch, you land on this main screen, you always look on the main screen. In the blue ribbon at the top, you’re going to see a link that says Access DonorSearch. When I click this, you’re going to see two buttons. One says Open DonorSearch. This actually runs the profile, and then view Update the Current Record. With Update, it would be information that is currently on that record.
Let’s go ahead and run the profile. I’m going to click on Open DonorSearch, and I’m going to show you the fields that you’ll see. Now, we’re exploring into DonorSearch. It’s really pretty cool. Haven’t seen DonorSearch before, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to see what it looks like, and how we’re going to navigate it, and where to get some of that information. Now, I will tell you, things run a little more slowly when we’re here, we’re using all this wonderful technology, but don’t worry, good things come to those who wait. All right, so we’re in Thomas’ profile. I’m just going to make it a slight bit bigger, so hopefully, you all can see that a little bit better.
Now, we’re going to wait for this to completely fill out. I know there are some things here that should be here, but once again, we’re waiting for all of this information to preview. What you’ll see on the right and you can see it populating as we speak, is this giving snapshot. I’m going to ask Ryan to explain the data points that we’re seeing here, and then we’re going to go over to the left and look at some of the data points that we really want to talk about. Ryan, tell us a little bit more about this giving snapshot.
Ryan: Yes. Thanks so much, Donna. For those of you that don’t know, and actually, Darryl reminded me of this, Tom Morello was in the band Audio Slave and also, he’s a member of Rage Against the Machine, so very intense music. That said, we now know he’s a musician. If we’re looking here at this profile, what does this tell us? When we start with the giving snapshot, that breaks down what kinds of organizations Tom likes to make gifts to. Now, this includes both political giving and giving to nonprofits.
What we’re doing is we’re snagging NTEE codes. That basically says, if you were to remove the political giving, which is valuable because it’s both statistically predictive that he’s likely to be wealthy and philanthropic, you also might have a sense of his political leanings. Other than that, it will typically identify the big three interest areas that somebody has. Why are we highlighting this? We’re highlighting this because this is going to be very helpful when we talk about those stories in a few minutes. The thought here is we’re trying to use this to inform the discussions that we might have with Tom Morello, if we were lucky enough to solicit him as a prospective donor.
The thought here is it says, I believe arts and culture are the second largest portion of that pie. If we scroll down on the left, there is a charitable giving section. That charitable giving section is going to show us specifically what organizations did Tom give to. You can see right here, it’s the American Youth Symphony. That makes a lot of sense for a professional musician.
The thought here is we’re not necessarily going to go to Tom and say, “Hey, I noticed you made some $250 gifts to the American Youth Symphony, right?” Not what we’re trying to do, but the thought is, if you were to go and have a discovery meeting or call with Tom and there’s a youth component to what your organization does and there’s a music component to what your organization does, you might want to bring some materials about each of those things so that you’re prepared. Or if he self-identifies during the discussion, then it’s really easy, you’re prepared and you’re ready to go.
We talked about charitable giving being one of the best predictors, that’s why– Not only because we now know that he’s philanthropic, not necessarily at a huge level, but we know what he’s interested in. We don’t necessarily know why he’s interested in that. Again, you got to figure that out in a discussion. If we go down below that, we’re going to skip his real estate and we’re going to look at grant-giving foundations. We’re looking at grant-giving foundations again, again, the way we were framing this before, it’s very predictive, but the thought is also that these grant-giving foundation, the grant-giving foundation he sits on the board of, and I believe that’s the one above that, Donna. I think those are grant-seeking nonprofits, which is valuable to know.
Donna: My apologies, that’s right. [chuckles]
Ryan: No, no, no, you’re good. It’s valuable to know that he sits on the board of Project Noise and Association of Justice Housing. Again, that speaks to his interest because he’s not going to volunteer his time at an organization that he doesn’t care about. The Access of Justice Foundation is a grant-giving foundation where he spends his time helping to make decisions about what grants might be awarded. Again, he is spending time thinking philanthropically, making tough decisions, and also he’s potentially helping to determine these are the different organizations that are going to receive these grants.
In this case, we don’t get as much data as we’d like to see. Normally, you like to see a whole bunch of grants so you know specifically which orgs and what amounts, but nevertheless, it starts to paint a picture of who Tom Morello is, other than a guy who’s really, really talented with a guitar. One of the last things I want to highlight if we go all the way to the bottom, and again, this is the kind of thing that you don’t necessarily need a wealth screening tool for. It’s relationships.
The thought here is you could probably do some of this on LinkedIn, but through our product, and other wealth screening vendors offer this as well, we’re able to say, “These are the different people that sit on the same boards as Tom Morello.” The folks that sit on the board of The Access of Justice Foundation. If you already know one of them and you want to invite Tom to an event, that would be a good way to connect the dots. With that, I’m going to stop. We all have an understanding now, these are some of the important points in a profile and how you might use them. Donna’s going to dive back into DonorPerfect, and then we’ll try to see some of this in action.
Donna: All right, so I’m going to go back. Thank you very much, Ryan. I’m going to go back here and I’m going to update the current record. This is going to update Tom’s record. I’m just going to close that, and it’s going to take just a second. It has a little wait music, a little wait dance. There we go, all right. Now, it’s going to tell you that it may take up to three minutes to update the profile. It typically does not. It’s just a warning in case it takes a little longer, and then we’re going to click on Okay.
Now, for bonus points, where do we find the DonorSearch information? That’s going to be on the bio screen. I’m going to go to the bio. The bio is really an extension of main screen. It really does flesh out our donor. We understand more about them. If I scroll to the bottom of the screen, and this is typically the last section on the bio screen, you’re going to see our DonorSearch fields.
Now we see the DonorSearch status. You’ll see that the last update was run at this time, so we know that this is as up-to-date as it can be. Then here are the fields that talk about the DonorSearch ratings, and then all of the other fields really do have value and have meaning, and we explain them. If you go to the handout that’s located right below the presenter screen, you’re going to be able to download that. We’ve given you some DonorPerfect knowledge-based articles that explain what each of these data points mean. Because we have all this data populated, that means that we can use them in filters and we can use them in reports.
One of the ones I want to bring to your attention right away is this here, the largest gift found in the lower range. This indicates the largest gift found outside of your organization. Now I have two pieces of data. I know their largest gift to this organization, and now I know their largest gift found in the lower range in another organization. All of these points of data can be included in your report. Again, please grab that handout. It has the links in there that will explain what each of these fields mean as well as the DS rating, the DonorSearch ratings.
All right. Now that we know where to find this information, we’re now going to go into reports in the Report Center. Now, if you’re using Easy Reports, which are our customizable reports, you’ll be able to design this report in just the same fashion that I’m doing. If you don’t have Easy Reports, you can still use export to file and create a DonorSearch report, export template that will include those fields as well. What I’ve done is I started a report for you, and I’m going to go in and edit the report. Once again, just a little shout out to the DonorPerfect Easy Reports, they’re customizable, you can copy them and edit them further from there.
If you have scheduling capabilities, you can schedule your reports to come to you in certain intervals, and if you have old ones that you just don’t want to see anymore, you can go ahead and delete them. What I’m going to do is click on Edit. When I click on Edit, it allows me to go in and add fields and remove fields from my report. Again, this is going to take just a second longer than usual. You see, I give my report a name. We include where we’re pulling the fields from. We’re just using name biofield. I’m just using main records only.
Then, finally, here, this is one of my favorite things, you’re going to be able to put it in a certain orientation. I usually do it in landscape so that the fields fall nicely, and you can also give it a really nice description. We’re just going to call this DS Prospecting Research. Look at that. I’ve them all right. Usually, my typing is not so great when I’m being watched. My Research Report. Excellent. All right.
Now, what you’ll notice on the left are all of the fields that are available to us. Any fields from the main or the bio are available to us in this report. To the right is my report canvas, and this is the editor. I’m going to be able to add the fields of data that I want. What I’ve done is I’ve added first name, last name. This is the DonorPerfect maximum or largest gift amount field, their donor lifetime total. This is the lifetime total of giving. I also have their last gift date and their last gift amount. I also have this field. This is the DonorSearch largest gift found in the lower range that we saw. Another neat feature of Easy Reports is the ability to sort on multiple fields. You’ll notice here I have two sorts. It’s going to sort on the last gift date first, and then it’s going to sort on the largest gift found in the lower range.
Let’s now add the rest of our fields. We can just go to this list and find them. The first one I want is the foundation trustee. I’m just typing the word foundation, and spelling does count, and there’s my foundation board. I’m just going to click the plus sign and pop it over there. We’re ready to rock and roll. The next one we’re going to use is that real estate estimate. It’s real estate. See, the typing I tell you, when you’re watching me. Real estate, there it is. Here’s my real estate estimate. Boom. You can type in the prompt or the name of the field, either way, it’ll pop up over there.
Next, we have our SEC Insider. It sounds like a magazine or a podcast. This is the SEC Insider. Well, maybe another time. I’ll do that as my second career. How about that? All right. The next one is going to be our business executive. As Ryan mentioned, the business executive means that they have a 10% stake in a company. I’m going to own technology. There we go. Business executive. We want that business affiliation, that’s what we want.
Then finally, I’m going to add the estimated capacity. The estimated capacity is the potential gift amount based on the donor’s largest gift made to date. We’re going to do this capacity, estimated capacity. Boom. There we go. Now, we have all our fields. We have everything that we want and need. We’re going to click on save and open. Then we’re going to add a filter if necessary. I do see we have some questions, so we have a good Q&A period coming up. I’m going to go ahead and run my report. Now, my filters already there. You’re going to have a different filter, whatever it is that you want. Now, we’re going to see our list. Here we go.
All right. I’m just going to click on hide to give us a little more real estate, no pun intended, and there are our folks. We can see largest gift amount, lifetime gift total, last gift date and amount, largest gift found elsewhere. He sits on a Grant-giving Foundation Board. There’s his real estate estimate. He is not an SEC stock or insider, and his estimated capacity is $254,000 plus. Now, just export this out. I’m not going to spend a lot of time here, but just so you know, if you export as Excel, you’re going to get a beautiful report just the way you see it here. We would export that out. That is how we create those reports.
If you need help, you can always reach out to support, you can always get training, we’d love to visit and chat with you. Of course, we have the knowledge base where you can get more information. Let’s jump back into the presentation. We’re going to go again. Here we go. Sorry about that. Go. There we go. Look at that. All right, Ryan, back to you, my friend.
Ryan: Thank you so much, Donna. That was essentially a brief demonstration of what data could help you do, but obviously, it would be customized to your needs. With that, we’re on to the fun part, right? Not that everything else wasn’t a good time, but this is where it gets really good. You’re going to get to see a number of us sometimes make fools of ourselves, but also act out fundraising skits. In this one, we have Donna. Donna is the prospective donor. We’re going to look at bullet points, what did we see in her profile? She’s got a six-figure capacity. She supports Coral Groups, healthcare, and educational organizations.
She got a background in baking, but let’s see this up a little bit more. The fundraiser will be played by me. He works at a food and hunger organization. This is a first individual-giving discussion. The plan here should be the fundraiser me wants to understand what it is that Donna is interested in about this organization and in general, and engage her in a discussion that ultimately gets to a point where we find out what she might be interested in getting to about our organization. With that, we’re going to dive into this video.
Donna: Here we go.
Ryan: Oh, one quick thing, Donna. Can you pause it real quick? I’m sorry.
Donna: Sure. No worries.
Ryan: I forgot to note the important part. This is going to be interactive, the video’s about eight minutes. What we want you to do is, we want you to write down what you think went really well or went really poorly in the chat. If you want to do that as it’s going on, go for it. We’re going to talk about it a little bit afterwards.
Donna: All right, let’s do it.
Ryan: Thanks so much for taking some time to meet today. Aww, those birds, they’re really singing. That’s awesome.
Donna: Yes, they sing every morning. They wake me up to singing and they sing all through the day, but I got to tell you, those darn squirrels.
Ryan: Darn squirrels?
Donna: Yes, they are relentless on the theaters. They even knock on my door less so the theaters are empty. As a matter of fact, the other day, my mom heard a knock on the door, and we thought, “Oh, maybe it’s the pool guy or the landscapers.” No, it was a squirrel outside going, “Hey, what are you going to feed us or what?” It was just hilarious. We’re surrounded by the menagerie. It’s wonderful.
Ryan: All that nature has to offer.
Donna: All that they have to offer for sure.
Ryan: Speaking of hunger, just like birds and squirrels, people are hungry too, and we’re grateful that he’s going to give it to us for years and supporting our mission. I wanted to start by asking, what about our mission really excites you?
Donna: Thanks, Ryan. It’s been a pleasure to support your organization, but food security is a huge problem in our society. It’s been exacerbated in the last few years from the pandemic, and while I’ve never wanted, I remember when I was in college, we didn’t have much to eat and there was nothing to eat at night, no food stores open, but I knew I was going to get food the next day. Unfortunately, many don’t have that luxury and that’s where my heart breaks. It really means a lot to help those people who can’t meet those basic needs, particularly, in the wealthiest country in the world or at least one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It’s a huge problem.
Ryan: Thanks. I completely understand that. It’s tough dealing with hunger and we’re really happy that you’ve chosen to try and help end that in a place where it shouldn’t really be the case. That said, one of the challenges in our community that people also face is a lack of affordable healthcare. One of the ways that shows up as it relates to hunger is that people that don’t have a lot, can’t go to the dentist. Over years, that can erode people’s teeth and it can get so bad that people can’t even eat the food that we have. Most of the food that we offer is fairly soft and so you think it shouldn’t be a problem but despite that, it is.
Recently, we’ve opened a dental clinic and it provides regular cleanings and as needed, we’ll also do bigger dental war. For example, there’s a fellow named John that came in not that long ago, and the only the teeth lab, the other ones had all run away. The good news here is, we were able to make him a custom set of dentures, and because of that, he’s now able to eat the food that we have to offer, which is a big step in the right direction for him. I’m wondering if our dental clinic would be an initiative that you’d be interested in supporting?
Donna: Wow, that’s an amazing story. I’m glad that John was able to get the help that he needed, and so many others. That’s wonderful. Yes, obviously it’s important for people to be able to eat the food that is available to them, particularly when they are food-insecure. What inspired you to share that story? Is there a new initiative for the organization and your dental clinic?
Ryan: Yes. Actually, that’s an initiative that’s been around for quite some time. We don’t always do the best job of highlighting it. But before we spoke, I ran your profile for a wealth screening vendor and it showed that you made some gifts to a local hospital. I figured you were interested in healthcare and that’s why I shared the story. Did I get something wrong? Did you maybe not make a gift to that hospital?
Donna: Excuse me, you did a wealth screening?
Ryan: Oh, yes. We use a third party to review public information and it lets me prepare for these meetings. It’s very similar to when people in the for-profit world prep for meetings and try to figure out who they’re going to speak to and what might be of interest and why the other party might have a desire to work more closely together. Along those lines, I was going to mention, the profile said that that you’re capable of making a gift between $50,000 to $100,000. Is that a philanthropic investment that you might consider in our organization?
Donna: Wow. Okay, Ryan. First, you tell me you did a wealth screening, then you ask me for a donation. Now, I’m not asking to be wind and dined by any stretch of the imagination, but have you considered just getting to know me and confirming what you found just through conversation and talking to me? When I make a philanthropic investment, I give from my heart, it’s the stories of how an organization can help people and animals and provide education and healthcare that move me. It’s the stories that move me, not hearing that you studied my profile.
Ryan: Well, I’m sorry. I screwed up. This is newer to me. I haven’t done a whole lot of this before, and that’s not a valid excuse. What I did was just not personable at all. I spoke at you, I told you what I knew about you, and instead of treating you like a human and trying to better understand why you were interested in us and what it is that we could do to further your philanthropic interests. I screwed up. I’m really sorry. Should I just leave? Do you want to keep talking about the org? What would be the best thing to do? I don’t want to make any more blunders here.
Donna: I understand. Ryan, I am a proponent of second chances and I’m still interested in continuing the conversation, but not today. I think we should reschedule for another time and keep in mind, people give to people. Think about that the next time we meet or you meet with anyone else, but I do appreciate you coming here and yes, let’s reschedule for another time.
Ryan: Okay, thanks for responding to that big mistake from a place of kindness. I’m glad that you’re still interested in exploring the organization. I can assure you that won’t happen again. I’ll wait a week and I’ll set some times for us to chat a month from now.
Donna: Sounds good, Ryan. Thank you so much for being here today.
Ryan: Likewise, take care.
Donna: You too. Bye, Ryan.
Ryan: Oh, that was weird. Right?
Donna: I don’t know if you guys saw me laughing, but I’m reading the chat and you guys are killing me over here. It is so funny and yes, that’s not what you want to do. I think you all did a wonderful job of picking up what went wrong there. There were a lot of things. He talked a lot. He didn’t listen very much. Told about the wealth screening. Oh, my gosh. Then asked her for money. What? Yes. Anyway, Ryan, did you want [laughs] go pull a muscle from cringing?
Ryan: Yes, I just echo, everyone picked up on the things we were hoping that you all would pick up on. Here’s the element where maybe that story would’ve been appropriate had you, Donna, indicated that there was something going on with healthcare that was interest or had there been some back and forth listening where again, I understood than just say, “Hey, here’s a few of the stories about the impact that we’re having.” That’s where that might be okay, but otherwise, completely inappropriate and very strange.
Donna: You had me at the John story, you had me, and all you had to do was reel me in, but got to be quicker than that. You know how that goes. [laughs]
Ryan: For the sake of time, unfortunately, it looks like we only have one more. The next one, let’s break it down. It’s featuring Darryl and one of SofterWare’s co-founders, Nathan Nathan Lyles. The thought here is you’ve got a fundraiser, a board member, and a donor. It’s the first meeting with the donor, right? The donor being Nathan, that guy you see right there on the screen. It’s a social service organization and there’s actually some real elements to this. Darryl does sit on the board of the organization we’re going to talk about. The thought is, and here’s what we know about Nathan from the profile. Tech founder, he’s given it community service organizations, educational environmental organizations, and these hobbies include running tech and continual learning.
With that it’s video time, and again same thing as last time. What’s going well? What’s going poorly? Also, keep running with the jokes. Those are pretty good too. [laughs] Nathan, thank you so much for joining us today. We’re really grateful to have an opportunity to speak with you. You’ve been a linchpin of the community, and you’ve made gifts to countless local organizations. I know my family has personally benefited from it. Since you’re such a valued member of the community, when we shared that there was going to be an opportunity to speak with you, Darryl, our vice board chair actually wanted to hear from you firsthand what your thoughts were about the organization, and to share the mission and vision from the perspective of somebody that’s actively shaping that vision and helping to ensure that we’re doing our part to make the mission play out appropriately. With that, Darryl, please, by all means, take it away.
Darryl: Great. Thank you, Ryan, for the intro. Nathan, it’s great to meet you. I’ve been a member of this board for seven years and familiar with the participation that you’ve had. Certainly, would like to hear a little bit more about the programs here at Multi-Service that you have the most interest in and a little bit of your history so that we can get to learn to know you a little bit more.
Nathan: It’s nice to meet you, Darryl, and thank you for putting us together, Ryan. I have been a supporter of Boyertown Multi-Service for a while. My background is in software. I founded a software company about 40 years ago, and was very fortunate to watch it grow and succeed. It also gave me an opportunity to give back to the community, which I was very grateful to be able to do. Boyertown Multi-Service is one of the organizations I supported at a modest level, and I’m happy to learn more about it. It’s nice to meet you, Darryl, and to know someone who is on the board who has helped the organization succeed.
Ryan: Nathan, before we dive in and share a little bit more about the organization, what originally brought you in? How did you become involved with Boyertown Multi-Service?
Nathan: Frankly, I give to a lot of organizations, and I had a friend who invited me to an event, a fundraising event and invited me to help support the organization with the donation. He told me a little bit about it. It sounded like a very worthwhile organization to support. I participated in that event and contributed to it. Then since then, over the years, I’ve received more information about other events and opportunities to contribute to Boyertown, and I’ve done that.
Darryl: That’s great to hear, Nathan. I’m so glad to know that our fundraising events are actually having that kind of an impact in finding people like you. I don’t know if it was our festival trees event or whichever one it was, but it’s just so glad to hear that we’re able to pull people in like you. Our mission has gotten more and more challenging as you know, over these last couple of years, being a social service agency, our food and support of the community demands have more than tripled.
We’re actually just busting at the seams in a number of different areas inside of our facilities right now. I’d love to expand a little bit in terms of some areas that we would like to grow, some strategic initiatives. The way that I ended up starting with the organization, my wife and I knew about some of the youth programs that we ended up having during the holiday season to try and provide for those who could not.
Right now one of the areas we’ve expanded into is working on a youth center based in Potts Town, which is in Montgomery County, and we’ve taken over running that for the last year, but there’s more that we would like to be able to do with it. we’re actually putting in basketball courts right now to get the youth something to do, and also exploring putting in a running trail that would go around the facility and could expose the youth to more of nature as well as giving them something healthy and fitness-oriented.
Then we’ve had this tutoring program and it’s one of those that is just busting at the seams and we need to be able to expand our buildings so that we can actually bring more youth in so that we can help them succeed and reach their graduation and achieve their academic goals. I’m just curious with these programs or any of them interesting to you, do they resonate with your thoughts on where you’d like to participate?
Nathan: Yes, they do. Thanks for that explanation, Darryl. Because candidly, I’ve supported the organization because of the social services that it provides and I wasn’t aware of some of these other initiatives. They all sound very appealing to me. As a runner, I love the idea of being able to provide a trail, and I didn’t even know that there was a youth center and if there is one, I’m particularly interested in what you mentioned about a tutorial program for youth. That would be very interesting to me.
I have an abiding interest in education and giving people and especially young people, the ability to learn. Can you tell me a little bit more about this tutorial program and how you intend to provide for that?
Darryl: Yes. Part of it is actually the physical expansion that we need on the facility, but then we also want to bring some technology and that will help with the outcome of getting the kids to graduation. One of the ideas we have is to build a mobile app for them where they can actually have content that encourages them and even gamifies the experience for them to do the right things in their academic career as well as one that can actually pull and survey how they’re feeling about the program. How successful they feel that they’ll be so that we can get some early indicators and not have to wait until they reach the 12th grade to figure out if they’re going to graduate or not. We’re pretty excited about this technology.
Nathan: One of my hot buttons, obviously, talking about technology. Just so I understand, is there a physical use center now, or is that something that you’re trying to provide?
Darryl: There is currently a physical youth center, but we just need to expand it to be able to do more because the community has so many demands in it right now, especially for the underprivileged population there.
Nathan: Is it available to go and see it and tour it sometime? That’s where the tutorial programs would take place, is that right?
Darryl: It is. We could definitely open up a tour. Yes, that would be a great thing to be able to share with you.
Ryan: Nathan, would it be okay if we shared, say, the early designs for the app and some of the architectural renderings of what we think it’s going to look like, and then afterwards, you’ll have a little bit of time to roll that over and we can for the facilities together?
Nathan: Yes, that does sound appealing to me. If you could send me more of that information, give me an opportunity to look it over and have a better understanding of the youth center and how you’re planning to expand it. Once I’ve looked at that information, I could let you know about some possible dates that I might be available to follow up.
Ryan: Okay. Thanks so much. That’s great. I’ll get those documents over to you right away, and then we’ll find a time to connect. We’re really grateful that you took the time today and that you’re interested in exploring this further, so thank you.
Nathan: Thank you. Thanks for the explanation.
Donna: All right.
Darryl: Great comments, everyone. Unfortunately-
Donna: Yes. Thank you so much.
Darryl: -we are already bumped up against the very last minute here in our presentation, and it may be something that we’ll end up covering in some of our workshops. Please let us know if you think that this is a really popular topic that you would like to see and hear more about. With that, we’ve got our Q&A, but I think everybody has actually been jumping on the questions that have been in our Q&A session right now.
For those of you who may not have had them answered, we can reach out independently and go ahead and send you an email for some of this information. I think we’ve got sources of information, but most of the questions seem to be answered. With that, I know you’ve got some other valuable sessions that you want to be attending. Thank you so much for attending our session and for taking the time to join with Ryan and Donna and all of the team that got to make these videos.
It was a ton of fun and I hope you’ll get to see the next one. Next up is our Power Session on Fundraising Goals and Tracking Growth, Social Media Campaigns for Donor Acquisition, and From Social to CRM. No matter which session you choose, you will not miss any content since they’re all available recorded. Hoping to see you in one of the next sessions. All right-
Donna: Thanks, everyone.
Darryl: Thank you.
Donna: Thanks. Bye-bye. Thanks, Ryan.Read Less