From transactional to transformational
This session breaks down the behaviors, habits, strategies, emotions, and language that make a relationship move from transactional to transformational.
Categories: Expert Webcast
From transactional to transformational TranscriptPrint Transcript
Good morning and welcome to our first session. It’s titled From transaction to transformational five steps to human focused fundraising. Our speaker this morning is Mallory Alec Erickson, Mallory helps nonprofits radically shift their donor engagement Read More
Good morning and welcome to our first session. It’s titled From transaction to transformational five steps to human focused fundraising. Our speaker this morning is Mallory Alec Erickson, Mallory helps nonprofits radically shift their donor engagement strategy. In fact, Forbes named her the number one female disrupter in the nonprofit sector. She is a certified executive coach, fundraising consultant, creator of the power partners formula, and host of the podcast what the fundraising is sponsored by DonorPerfect. Her technique helps reduce burnout among nonprofit employees, and adds the human touch back into what should be a human focused industry. Keep in mind, before we get started, that you have a handout that you can download and put into your briefcase, and you need to put your questions into the q&a section, we do have a general chat, which you can all greet each other. But please make sure your questions go into the q&a. Mallory, the stage is yours.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Laurie. So let’s just start with busting a big myth. We hear this all the time. Don’t be transactional. Seriously, if you’ve been fundraising for more than a week, chances are someone has sent this to you. Don’t be transactional. And that’s probably why you’re like, Yeah, Mallory. That’s why we’re here. But I don’t think we actually understand what being transactional looks, sounds and feels like. We think that being transactional means talking about money. Money is like this super bad word. And we want to avoid the subject at all costs, especially when we’re trying to build a relationship. But I don’t agree. Talking about money is what makes is not what makes something transactional, only caring about someone because of their money. And their money alone is what makes a donor relationship transactional. And when we go on these listening tours, where we don’t talk about money, but we’re thinking about it the whole time. And we aren’t genuinely interested in what the donor is saying. But we’re just collecting data to input into our CRM system and then never use again, that’s a transactional meeting, even if you didn’t say anything about money at all. On the other hand, a meeting that does talk about investment and partnership, but is deeply committed to finding alignment and being ready to admit when it isn’t there to that’s not a transactional meeting, fundraising in a transformational way. A human centered way, means that we’re transparent, honest, respectful, and looking for mutually beneficial opportunities. It means we tap into empathy with all of our funders, to see their pain points, interests, goals. And when those things align with the goals of our organizations, it’s magic. When that’s the genuine focus, the conversation around investment is an exciting one. Because let’s also be clear about something transactions are not inherently bad. A transaction is not the same thing as being transactional. Buying a house is a transaction, a transaction that people are so proud of and makes people feel great. Investing in a nonprofit can also feel really good, but only when the road to getting there is honest, open and partnership oriented. If we haven’t already met yet, it is so nice to meet you. My name is Mallory Erickson. I’m an executive coach and fundraising consultant, and the creator of my signature course the power partners formula, and the host of the new podcast what the fundraising, and I’m so proud to have DonorPerfect as one of the podcast sponsors as well. Most importantly, I’m a fierce advocate for the nonprofit sector. I’ve spent the last 15 years working exclusively in it. And while I love it and believe in its potential to transform the world, I also see the stigmas taboos and limiting beliefs that are holding the sector back, both structurally and inside each of us as leaders and fundraisers. And I am here to kick off this amazing community conference today with how you can transform your fundraising right now. I am so grateful to DonorPerfect for having you today and grateful for all of you and the work that you do to make this world a better place.
Before we walk through all of this content together I just want to say I have been exactly where you are running a nonprofit feeling like I needed to put on an appearance everywhere that I had it all together. I often say that I was an accidental fundraiser just getting promoted up through the ranks and nonprofit found myself in a managing director role and then executive director role that came with multimillion dollar fundraising
responsibilities, and I hated fundraising. And every day was a constant hustle, I was so burnt out and overwhelmed all the time, I got to a real breaking point where I actually did think about leaving the nonprofit sector. But instead, I went through executive coach certification behavior change training, has it designed training, and even worked with folks at IDEO on design thinking, and those experiences and frameworks, they are what turned into my course the power partners formula, and it is a fundamentally different way to show up as a fundraiser. It focuses on alignment, mutual benefit, showing up in bodied and authentic, and transformational fundraising is at its core. So I’ll be taking the principles we go over today, from my course, to walk you through these five steps. As Laurie already mentioned, there’s a workbook to help you follow along, I wanted to give you as much content as possible, which means that I wanted to give you an easy way to track and reflect later. So you can go ahead and download that now and use it as we move through this content. Or you can just sit back and listen, I am not going to be able to monitor the chat while we go because I want to get through this content or the q&a. But I will make sure there’s time for q&a at the end of our session.
So when you hear the word transactional, or transaction, I know I already did a little myth busting here. But what’s the first thing that comes to mind typically, and if you want, throw it in the chat, and while you’re doing that, let me just define it for a second. A financial transaction is an agreement or communication carried out typically between a buyer and a seller to exchange an asset for payment, or in this case, a donor and the recipient. It involves a change in the status of the finances of two or more business organizational or individual entities. Okay, so why am I even telling you this, because making a donation is a transaction, it just is. But like I said before, the beliefs we hold about the about the actual transaction part being bad, is straight up wrong. So I just want to make sure that we’re all on the same page about the transaction of donating not being a bad word or a bad thing. We need to address our limiting beliefs as a sector around that. But that’s for another conversation. Today, we’re talking about how to not be transactional. And what that means, right? Being transactional, as I said before, is that you only see your donors for their money, and your communications revolve around that. Or even when they don’t, we can all tell and feel that that’s the energy or the purpose behind them. Energy is contagious. And so many of the things I go over with you today are going to include the strategy for transformational fundraising, and how to show up energetically aligned with the right behaviors and habits. Before we dive into my recommendation around transformational fundraising, I want to look at some of those transactional things. And if you’re looking at that list, and you’re feeling like, oh, like you have this little pit in your stomach, I definitely do some of those things. Do not worry. I was 100%. Right where you are okay, I was doing so many transactional things in my fundraising, because a lot of old school fundraising trainings teach us to do exactly that. Okay, they teach us how to communicate in one certain way with all of our donors or to have us ask for donations way too much, or rely too much on certain donor data, but not looking at the holistic person, right? Or they have to rely on an established donor outreach process that’s been set in place for some time, right? Might feel really good to set it and forget it. But that’s not transformational fundraising. So I’m going to walk you through five steps today to make sure your work with donors is transformational, not transactional. We’re going to talk about in step one and two, how to tailor donor outreach to who your donors are and your alignment with them, and how to even understand that in a whole new way. We’re going to talk about how to frequently communicate with donors about the right content pillars, including the donors impact, how to develop personal relationships with individual donors, and how to continuously optimize the donor journey to meet donors where they are in relation to your shared goals and the mission of your organization. I also want to mention which you might already have a sense of is that my work always combined strategy, mindset and behavior work and habit design. So as we move through these five steps, I’m going to be providing insight into my biggest recommendations, both from a strategy perspective, and I’ll be calling out mindset traps or helpful habits along the way. We can’t cover everything surrounding all five of these steps, but I want to give you the most valuable content I can in our 45 minutes together today to really inspire you
to think differently about what transformational fundraising will look like for your donors inside your organization, and in terms of you as a fundraiser. So let’s dive into these steps take a quick sip of water.
So, step one of transformational fundraising, is that you really need to actually understand your donors. Okay? This is the underlying foundation of transformational fundraising. And it might seem obvious to you right now in the middle of this training, but let me tell you, the practices I’m about to talk you through about empathy, putting on donor lenses, getting curious. These are things I watch fundraisers and nonprofit leaders forget when they get stressed and overwhelmed, which is, understandably, a lot of the time. Okay. I understand, as I mentioned, before the hustle of running an organization. I’ve been there too. But I want to talk to you about why it’s so important for you to keep curiosity, empathy, and these donor lenses at the center of your fundraising work, and in all of your fundraising meetings.
So first, let’s talk about empathy. So empathy is our ability to see the world through other people’s eyes to see what they see, feel what they feel and experience things as they do. We often confuse empathy with sympathy. And so we have this misconception in the nonprofit sector that we are like the most empathetic people there are. But actually, I don’t always think that we’re very good at empathy, especially with our funders, we don’t know how to see the world or even our organization through their eyes. Empathy has to start with our desire and capacity to be empathetic, right? So if you’re sitting there in a super bad mood really defeated, because you just heard you didn’t get $100,000 grant, you were 99% sure you were gonna get, guess what, that’s not going to be the easiest moment for you to feel empathetic towards the pain points of one of your major donors. That’s okay. Feel your feelings, right. But having awareness around your feelings is a really critical step. So that you can make the right decision about whether it’s even the right time to have a certain meeting with a donor or send a certain email, right. And I’ll say, even when things aren’t as stressful as right after getting to know on a grant application, we still need to make the conscious choice to tap into empathy. You’re running a mile a minute handling way too many things, right, having way too many hats on all the time, it isn’t easy to just shift into empathy when you’re struggling, you need to consciously do it. So part of what will help you get there, in addition to just having more awareness around it, even just me talking to you about it this way is going to start to allow you to tap into empathy more easily. But another core strategy here is releasing judgment and being more open minded. Right, we also need to step out of our constant hustle scarcity mindset. There’s no way we’re going to be able to be empathetic if we’re sitting in a meeting with a donor, but we’re worried about something else at the same time. Honestly, it would be better to reschedule that meeting. I always require that my clients have a buffer time before funder meetings to get their energy and check in check and tap into empathy before they walk into that room or these days, log into zoom. Right? So really making sure that you are consciously activating empathy is the first step and being able to understand your donors better.
Activating empathy then allows us to put on what I call donor lenses. Okay, so what’s the idea of a donor lens? So everyone sees the world through the beliefs perspective, thoughts of their own life, right? I’m wearing pink glasses, you’re wearing green glasses, X foundation is wearing blue glasses. So if I keep talking to you about the the world describing everything as pink, how on earth are you going to connect with it? Right? Or think about a different way? Look up at the screen? What if I was convinced that that was an elephant with glasses on? And I keep talking about the elephant, right? There’s no way you’re going to be able to connect with it. That’s not what you see. Empathy allows us to put on the lenses of the people around us to build deep understanding of the problems and realities of different types of donors and different groups of donors, right? Try to imagine what your organization looks through, looks like through their eyes, right? What are some of the needs and desires of these human beings? And how does the their relationship with your organization meet those needs? It’s really important when you’re putting on funder lenses, whether it’s to help you design communications or events or meetings that you’re differentiating based on the type of funder
and how their lenses different, right? One of the biggest mistakes I see is people communicating with corporate partners the same way as individual donors the same way as foundations. These are fundamentally different people and different entities, they make decisions completely differently. We have to be able to put on those lenses if we’re going to connect with them in a more real and authentic way. And I also want to be clear about something being empathetic and meeting someone where they’re at isn’t about being donor centric in a way that’s harmful to your community, right? I’m a huge advocate and training around community centric fundraising principles. You can have community centric fundraising principles, and still empathize with different groups of donors in your community, still talk to them uniquely, still meet them where you’re at? And if you’re like, Well, how do I get a sense of their lens? Okay, that sounds great, Valerie, I want to prime their lens, but how do I know even what color glasses they’re wearing? Well, you can get a sense from really looking at their websites, how, what are they saying in emails? What are some of the patterns in their, in their language? What campaigns have they given to before? What are other actions or prompts they’ve taken over the years? Right, looking at that data, thinking critically about what that means. But the absolute best way to understand their lens is to meet with them one on one and go deeper.
Which leads us to the third part of how to really understand your donors. The best way to understand a donor better is to get curious, I mentioned earlier about one of the things you need to do in order to really tap into empathy is to decrease judgment. And the antidote to judgment is genuine curiosity. Ask genuine questions that allow you to build deeper understanding and alignment between your organization and the donor. I know sometimes I hear this from clients all the time, we really want a script for a donor meeting. But getting a list of questions sometimes gets us into a trap of like, wrote questions and answers. Instead of really getting to know the donor. Do you have a sense for who they are and what they care about? What problems in the world they’re trying to solve? Do you know their story, right? So many of the suggested questions I see online around what to ask a donor are so generic, and they’re asking the questions through the nonprofits lens, right? For example, here’s a question we hear all the time. What connects you to our mission? Right? Really standard question, right? I used to ask this question all the time. But think about it, that really centers the organization, right? And it gives the donor is going to answer that question with a lot of tunnel vision, right? But think about the difference between that. And if you ask them something like, what problems in the world keep you up at night, you’re gonna get a much deeper answer and understanding of who they are as a person.
If you get stuck, if you’re like, No, Mallory, please, I really want a long list of questions that I want to just encourage you if you’re getting stuck in feeling overwhelmed, to think about the power of Why asking why digs deeper into emotion and motivation. These help you understand your donors behavior and identify their needs different ways to ask, Why are Why did you do say or think that? Really? Why was that? Or can you tell me more about that? Or even just tell me more. The last thing I want to say about curiosity is check your assumptions. And make sure you’re asking open ended questions. We make a lot of assumptions about our donors. And I’m not saying that pattern recognition isn’t important it is and we’ll talk about donor personas and how to use your CRM to segment in a minute. But when you’re meeting with people one on one, you should be asking really open ended questions like tell me about the last time you like, what did you think about blank? Why do you feel X? Okay, so now that we’ve walked through how to really understand our donors, let’s talk about how to communicate with them in a transformational way, all year long, and even in between your one on one interactions.
So before I talk about the type of content to use with your donors in transformational fundraising, I want to talk about the second step that I put here, which is run segmentation. So by segmentation, I mean the way your groups of donors the way that you group donors inside your CRM system to be able to communicate with them as a particular group, right. Those are your segments. So once you understand the pattern differences between your donor groups, you want to segment them by personas and alignment. One of the mistakes I see a lot of the time is that organizations spend
time meeting with donors and learning about them, maybe even sending out surveys and collecting feedback and input. But then they just communicate with everybody in one big group. And they’re not talking to the donors, they’re sort of ignoring all the things they heard. And they haven’t kept the empathy or kept the donor lens front and center. So you need to segment your donors by personas and go really deep around their alignment with your organization, so that you have the right lenses on when you communicate with them.
So I know we know this, right. But it’s important to say that when you communicate with all of your donors as if their interests or giving capacity and motivation are all the same, the messaging gets lost on many of them or all of them, right, we hear that saying, communicating with everyone is communicating with no one. So that’s why we segment and donor segments might be based on giving levels giving frequency is, you know, event attendance, campaign funded, DonorPerfect actually has a great guide around donor personas. And so I think Lori’s gonna just drop that link in the chat. So you guys can grab that too. So I don’t want to be repetitive around the resources you already have. But I do, I did want to put this in here because I wanted to highlight why I have event attendance and campaigns funded highlighted on here in particular. So inside power partners, I talk a lot about alignment, okay. And I think this is one of the biggest missed opportunities and how we communicate with our donors. One of the keys to using donor lenses is to be able to communicate how the donor aligns with your organization, and highlight that in future communications. And it’s not just about knowing that they donated to a certain campaign or came to a specific event. But understanding why they did those things. What does that behavior likely tell you about them? Right? So instead of saying something like, thank you so much to giving to our last campaign about blank, let me give you another example of what this would look like. Okay, think about this for a second. Let’s say you were able to create a segment of donors, that for everyone who had donated to every campaign focused on reforestation in Ecuador, over the last three years in a particular region that had undergone a big fire, right? If you had that segment inside your CRM, just imagine how specific you could get in your communication with that segment, right? How much more you could highlight the alignment between what that donor wants to see and what your organization is doing to create the world or community you are both working towards. Right. I want to thank you so much for being a part of this initiative over the last three years. I know you were devastated just like us when the fire hit the blank region, it meant the world to see our community rise, right like and all of that talking very specifically about the journey that that donor has been on with your organization since that fire reforesting. That very specific reason, region. I hope this gives you though, an idea of how segmentation even when we’re talking about mass email, and not just one on one meetings can be used to continue that commitment to empathy and donor lenses. And actually curiosity, which we’ll talk about next, as we talk about the types of content and communications you should be putting out there from a transformational perspective.
So step three is just that moving from transactional to transformational is to create an impactful communications calendar. Again, I’m not going to talk about the specific calendar part because this is a resource that DonorPerfect already has. But I do want to talk about the types of communication and content buckets that I suggest. But before we get into that, I need to get your attention around this one. You are not sending emails to just send emails, every communication piece of content. This goes for social media two needs a clear goal and purpose. This is super important. I remember when I was in ED with wage many hats on holding wage many things. I just really wanted to check the boxes off right to be done with it. But that’s not how transport transformational fundraising happens. So if you want to be transformational and not transactional, you have to be really intentional about the content and communications you put out there not perfectionist but intentional, and again with that empathy and funder lens activated.
When I think about content, and I help my clients around content, I really think about three types of content three buckets of content, building community and a sense of belonging key
Seeing your community problem aware, and making people feel hopeful. So let’s talk about each of these really quickly. So building community and belonging, one of the most core human desires is to belong, right? It’s something I don’t think we foster enough in our work, especially with our donors, right? Help your audience self identify as your people, Seth Godin, the marketing guru is a great resource on this, he has the sentence that I just love. He talks about people like us do things like this, right, who’s the US? And what are you asking them to do? Right. So help your audience self identify with your people, and highlight alignment. When you’re able to do that, which is made so much more easy. By the segmentation we talked about, people continue to know that they’re in the right place. And then the third piece of building community and belonging is that communication needs to be a two way street, whether that’s surveys or other opportunities for folks to take action. That is really core. And then number two, keep your community problem aware, I did a podcast series with Jamar Diggs recently, who’s this amazing YouTube marketing guru, you should definitely check them out. But he really helped me recognize how critical it is for your community to be educated by you, and not in a paternalistic or self righteous way. But that being a part of your community and your network should mean that you’re supporting their education around the issue or issues that your position to address right. And so creating content pillars around that is really critical. And then the third thing I have folks focus on when it comes to their content is making people feel hopeful and impactful. So people take action when they feel hopeful. If you look at how the design and behavior change work, in order for a prompt to work, like that donate button in your email, people need to have a certain level of motivation at that exact moment, right. So often, we’re like they came to the event last night. Why didn’t they do this thing today? Nope. That’s not how motivation works. It needs to happen in that exact moment. And hope, hope drives motivation up. Fear drives motivation down, right. And so one of the things I want you to think about here, I also, you should definitely listen to the podcast with Dr. BJ Fogg around habit design and behavior change, he’ll talk more about how to enter twine, appreciation and gratitude into your communications as well and how to give prompts that help people take action. But one of the things I really want to highlight here is that writing this content, if you’re going to write content to try to help people feel hopeful, make people feel hopeful, you need to be in that space. When you’re writing that content, right, you need to be tapped in to that energy, and that alignment, and that empathy, all these things. Because it’s not that easy to write an email that’s going to make other people feel helpful when you yourself are not feeling hopeful.
And I just wanted to put a little note in here a little attention. I want you to bring some awareness and catch yourself when you’re building out your content calendar, if you’re avoiding talking about that M word, right? If you’re if you’re avoiding talking about money, other than in your ask emails, you should be incorporating conversation around your investment or our community’s investment in blank. Or it was so incredible to have the support of x to be able to do why that should be interwoven into all of these emails, right? The more we sort of segment the money conversation to only be in these very specific asked emails, the more uncomfortable it’s going to continue to feel. Okay, I know this is a lot. Let me take another quick sip of water and we’ll go to step four.
Okay, so we have talked about three of the keys to transformational fundraising in terms of your meal delivery truck service, right, you can write multiple emails on the same topic, maybe even work on part of a grant that’s focused on that, right, because you have the same donor lens on and tapped into some of that same or related empathy. Okay, think about how much more that’s really going to optimize your brain power and energy. We do this inside power partners, and it is seriously game changing.
My second big suggestion for bucketing Your time is that when you’re scheduling your time out for the week around content, engagement, etc. You need to give yourself double the amount of time you think you need, okay, this might sound kind of crazy, but this helps your brain actually relax into the task. Okay? And it will honestly actually probably even take you half the time you originally thought if you do it this way. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this before, but sometimes if we have like 30 minutes on our calendar to do something, especially if it’s something that we
have fear or nervousness around, then we’ll start to kind of freak out. And we’ll make up a lot of excuses about why we don’t actually have enough time. And oh, man, then I went to the bathroom, I only have 26 minutes left. And so I should probably actually respond to that other internal email that’s more important. Like, we have some fun ways of self sabotaging ourselves. So when we put those bigger time buckets on our calendar, we can sink in, get comfortable, get into flow, and then we’re actually able to pump out the work so much faster.
Speaking of time for one more second, we are I’m not going to talk about this in detail. Because again, I think there are so many other great resources throughout the conference and with DonorPerfect to help you with this. But I would be remiss to not say that streamlining the tasks that steal time away from donor engagement is critical. So anything that your CRM can do, it should be doing, right, and you should be doing only the things that only humans can do, right? So you really need to let technology bear the burden of so many of these different things. And one of the things that breaks my heart when I is when I see an organization that’s using maybe 10 to 20% of their CRM capacity, I really understand the upfront investment that it takes right to to automate and set up all this app, but it is going to pay off in the boatloads. Okay, so I just want to make sure to say that before we move on to Step five.
All right, friends, step five. So here we are, you understand your vendors, you’ve created personas, and segmented around alignment. You’ve created all of this meaningful content, you’re building these transformational relationships, your time blocking, you’re feeling like you have all this cognitive clarity as a result, you’re letting your CRM do so much of the background work, right? It’s increasing your capacity. Are we cruising? Or what? Okay, well, now, I’m going to tell you that you can’t just set it and forget it, right? You need to be reviewing and iterating in this process. So listen, your habits and behaviors as a fundraiser as a nonprofit leader are really important. If you follow steps, 123. But don’t streamline time block, or review and iterate, you’re going to lose your mind when something doesn’t work the first time. And you’re going to go from 100 to zero really fast. Okay, and I can I can count the number of times I did this as an executive director, before I really understood this. We have a huge fear of fair, we have a huge fear of failure in this sector. Right? There’s so much perfectionism. And I do a lot of work around this in other spaces, but I just want to call it out here. Right? I get it. Like I call myself a recovering perfectionist, too. But we need to adopt a growth mindset here and a culture of continuous improvement. Perfection does not exist. It’s an illusion. And so the goal we want around this is momentum. Okay, that is the goal, right? And so first, I want you to recognize that fear often holds us back from looking closely at data. I just want to call it out, right? We say it’s because we don’t have time. But really, it’s because we don’t want to know maybe what’s under that rug, right? Because it might make us feel like we’re failing. With a mindset of continuous improvement, though there is no such thing. But it is up to you to model this for your team and your organization sometimes model that for your board of directors, right. When I was an executive director, I ran something called failure Fridays, and I don’t really believe in failure, but I really liked to be literate.
So I would have a staff meeting every week seriously. And everyone would go around and share their sort of like biggest like want law of the week. And we had this fun little buzzer we would push after someone would share and then we would laugh and we brainstorm for two to five minutes about what we could learn from it. We got better every week as a result, right? The reason I’m talking so much not just about strategy around transformational fundraising is because how you show up as a fundraiser is what actually makes the strategy work or not. Okay, I’m going to give you a film analogy here. The strategy is like the script or the screenplay, okay? But your mindset habits, energy, that’s what sitting in the director’s seat, so you can have the best screenplay and all the land. But if you have a bad director, it’s a bad movie. So if you truly want to move from transactional to transformational fundraising, you have to be human focus in everything from your content and email blasts to how you talk to yourself and your team. When something doesn’t go well.
We only had a short time together today and there is so much on these topics. So before I get to questions and Justin
moment, I just want to invite you to watch my masterclass where I go over the entire blueprint of power partners. It’s not one of those webinars, that’s like just a teaser with no actual value, you can literally take it and apply the whole process right away. But if you do want to join me inside power partners, you can, you’re also invited to do that at the end as well. But these topics are big right around how to prospect differently, how to show up differently, how to feel aligned, and embodied in ourselves as a fundraiser, what I want more than anything is for fundraisers to feel so proud of the work that they’re doing moving money into the sector, moving money to address these issues that we all want to see solve. That is the foundation of all of my work. And I’m so grateful that you joined me in this conversation today. So let’s make sure we have some time for some questions. Here’s some other ways you can get in touch with me too. And Instagram is sort of the only social media platform I kind of hang out on. So come say hi, DM me there. Okay, questions I am going to see I think Laurie is going to feed me some of the questions that came up during the presentation. So I will wait to check out those.
Okay, I think I’m just gonna read them. Okay.
Um, how do you feel about one ask letter to all but having three to five targeted groups, or options? So I think what I hear you asking is that the can the letter can an outreach letter have kind of a general template, but then be customized based on the lenses of your targeted groups and, and segments? That is absolutely okay. Right. I think what you want to be clear about though, and especially if you’re writing a one on one email, like from your email box, to get a meeting with a foundation, or to get a meeting with a corporate partner, or a new prospective individual donor, you really need to customize that email. And you should make 75% of that email about that. So much of what I see folks doing is writing emails all about their organization, here are impact metrics. Here’s all this stuff, right? That’s through the nonprofits lens, that’s through the nonprofits lens. But if you’re writing an email that says, hey, Blanc, I just saw your recent campaign on X, Y, and Z. I was so inspired to watch you doubling down around how we can change the length over here at x nonprofit, we are fiercely committed to that too. I think there are ways we could work strategically together in order to do blank, would you be open to a quick 15 to 30 minute meeting to discuss how we might partner?
The end, right? Like I know, there are a lot of blanks and blah, blah blahs in there. But you get the point, right? It’s about seeing them and really reflecting on their lens and how that lens intersects with alignment with your organization. So yes, create that template around your different program areas, but then customize customize customize.
Okay, Mallory, can you hear me? No? I can. Okay, great. We ran into a little bit of a snag where the stream froze. So we had to redo it. That’s why we have a question about going through step four, again, of your list. So it was around the end of step three, and into step four, that they had missed. So they were all asking about it. Oh, do you want me to go back to that really quickly? If you could? Quickly? Yep, of course, yes. Hold on one second, okay. So
into three and four. So I’m not sure if we got through all of this. But um, but what I will say is that I will have up this, I will write an even more, because I don’t want to make you wait for your next session. So I will write a robust and post on Instagram later today where I really go into detail around all three of these types of content in more detail, and I’ll send it out to the DonorPerfect team as well so that they can share but just high level, you know, your content should be focused on these three pieces, building community and belonging, keeping your community problem aware, and then making people feel hopeful and impactful. The thing I really want to make sure you don’t miss around number three, is that on here about hope is that hope is what drives motivation up. Fear drives motivation down, you should know that in terms of your own behavior, but also in terms of the relationship between when you’re prompting donors to take an action, right? A lot of people think oh, we just had an event last night. Why didn’t my donor do both?
Like today, motivation is actually only about how somebody feels in that exact moment in time. So your content itself really needs to focus on being hopeful in order to increase motivation in that moment, where you’re giving folks a prompt to take action.
So then moving out of number three, one of the last things I said here is that I really want folks to have awareness around when they are avoiding any mention of money or investment, right? I watched this happen in content, where it’s like, you don’t even know the organization’s a nonprofit. And then all of a sudden, there’s an email with an ask, you should be talking about the way money is moving through your organization, the gratitude you have for different investments, what it’s making possible, X and Y, and Z in all of your different content in different ways, right? So catch yourself if you’re, if you’re holding yourself back from talking about those things, because of some discomfort around money and fear. That’s a super important thing to recognize and to address. And then number four was around bucketing your time and streamlining. Right. So we talked a little bit about context switching, there’s so many great resources online context switching short of it way too many brain tabs open, like way too many computer tabs open when we’re switching back and forth really quickly, right? We’re losing energy every single time we switch. So if we want to make the most of our energy, I encourage people to bucket their fundraising time by a funder type, a segment, an interest area, so that you’re talking about one program, one interest area through the lens of one type of funder at a time, right? That’s going to really optimize your energy. In that moment, people might think, oh, but I’m optimizing my energy because I’m writing all these different donor outreach emails. But if those outreach emails like that great question I had before, if those outreach emails are about a bunch of different programs, or people who are aligned with a bunch of different things, you’re gonna have way more context switching than if you’re writing a blog post and an email, but they’re, but they’re targeted and bucketed by the things I mentioned here, and then I also talked about and Laurie tell me am I hope I’m covering what we what we miss you, but we’re running out of time, so Okay, okay, so listen, I want to be so respectful of everyone’s time. I’m so grateful you were here. If for some reason, because the templates, you didn’t get anything answered, find me on Instagram, find me on LinkedIn, email me Mallory at Mallory erickson.com. We will get your questions answered. In any which way. Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you, Mallory, and thank you for attending our kickoff session and for the helpful and informative presentation. Mallory, we do appreciate your time today. We have a 15 minute break before our next session. Make sure to visit our booths, our rooms and lounges to gather more information and learn what tools can help your organization. The next session, how to create donor personas to better engage your community with Lou Bruggeman and Kelly Ramage is at 1230 Eastern. I hope you’ll continue to join us
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