Get off the Fundraising Treadmill
Shake Up Your Regular Routine to Raise More for Your Cause.
Get off the Fundraising Treadmill TranscriptPrint Transcript
Hi there, how’s it going? My name is Julia Gackenbach, and I’m so excited to chat with you all today. Thank you so much for joining us. For this webinar with DonorPerfect. We’re really Read More
Hi there, how’s it going? My name is Julia Gackenbach, and I’m so excited to chat with you all today. Thank you so much for joining us. For this webinar with DonorPerfect. We’re really excited to talk about some great fundraising habits and things that we can do to kind of freshen up our fundraising routine. So welcome to get off the fundraising treadmill. shake up your regular routine to raise more for your costs. Again, I’m Juliet, I am the Communications Manager here at DonorPerfect. Prior to being at DonorPerfect. I was in fundraising for 10 years, I have been there before. So all of you that are here today, totally understand the ins and outs of fundraising, you know where I’ve been, I know where you’ve been, I started out as a relationship manager, so really building relationships with our partners. And then I went into a one person development team where I worked on fundraising and communications. And then I was a development director. So wherever you are in your career, I’m totally understand. And I’m excited to join you and getting off the fundraising treadmill today.
Okay, so let’s jump right in with defining what is the fundraising treadmill, obviously, you know, the title of this presentation, you know what a treadmill is, but what do we really mean by the fundraising treadmill, I’m going to be very vulnerable. And I’m going to show you my fundraising treadmill.
This is what my planning calendar looked like when I was in fundraising. So I have to admit that I don’t even need to know what year this is. I don’t need to know what was going on in my community. I don’t need to know what we were doing. All I need to know is that these lines all mean the same thing. Year after year, I can look at this. And I can tell you exactly what we were doing when we were doing it because we did the same thing year after year. So for example, that red line between March and May, that was our golf fundraiser, we were always doing our golf fundraiser. During the first week of March until the third week of May, we would always reorganize our specific groupings of our givers in the beginning of the year and in the middle of the year. So if we had a huge giver that gave in March, we wouldn’t put them into our major gave her category until the end of July, because that’s when we were reorganizing those groups, or when we reordered printed communications. That’s that yellow line in the middle of June. So if there was something really exciting happening or something we wanted to add to our brochure, we were adding it until the middle of June because that’s when we ordered new printed communications. And of course, we all can probably look at our calendars and know when our year end campaign is. For us. It started giving Tuesday and ran all the way through the end of December and the first week of January with follow up. For me I feel particularly a fundraising treadmill ish, because I did the same campaign year after year, we did the same ask we did the same theme. We did all the same things. And I was totally on the treadmill when it came to what I was doing for a year and campaign.
So why was I on a treadmill, it’s I’m very understanding that I was on the treadmill, but it for a good reason, at least in my head at the time. We did this because it has worked. We ended in the black each year. You know, we were making our fundraising goals, people were attending our events. I mean, it’s it’s worked. So why mess something up if it’s already working. Also, if I had this plan that like that calendar I showed you, I could really focus my energy on execution instead of ideation. As I mentioned, I at one point was a one person team. And I had to execute all of those lines in my calendar. And so if I was focused on execution, instead of ideation, it would be my job, about half of the load, which meant probably one whole job. So it was easier for me if I had a total thing planned out. And then lastly, the other staff members knew what was expected of them. I’m sure you have wonderful program staff, I had wonderful program staff, but sometimes they all the time are most focused on their program. And we try to pull them into some of the development or communication conversations, and they have other things that’s going on. So staying on the treadmill was a great opportunity for them to know exactly what was expected of them. I also want to mention that the treadmill is not necessarily all bad. Like I said it’s worked. I could focus on execution. Other staff members knew what to expect. We’re not trying to say everything should be new every year. We’re just establishing the fact that maybe there are some things that are repeated that you could reevaluate to get off the treadmill
So, now, let’s talk about why the treadmill because, but maybe not be as great. One example is that everyone would get bored. So an example I have of this, we had a retention dinner in the fall. And we did an ask for the attendees of the retention dinner. And then we started playing a video. And when the video started playing, it was something that our staff had seen a million times. So they were not interested in what the video was saying, doing talking about anything. So they all got up and started like clearing the plates of the people who we had just asked to give to the organization, the people who are filling out pledge cards, and we’re using the table to fill out those pledge cards. But our staff were grabbing their plates, because our staff was bored with what was on the screen. And so they got up to find something else to do but distracted our givers. By cleaning off the tables instead of sitting and giving time for them to fill up punch cards. Another way that the treadmill could be detrimental is that problems are being solved. So maybe you have a crowdfunding campaign. And each year, there have been fewer and fewer crowd funders representing your organization from a high level and you’re still hitting your goals, but there are fewer crowdfunders. That’s a problem that needs to be solved, even though your goals are being hit. And then lastly, maybe just the whole thing isn’t even working. But you don’t have time to re address any of the problems. We understand. I understand that I’ve been there before for sure. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the benefits of leaving the treadmill. First, you can diversify. i If you all have seen the meme that’s every day can’t be leg day. And it’s somebody with really swollen legs and kind of moodily arms. That’s the same. The same can be true for every ask can’t be an email, or every event can’t be a gala, every day can’t be like that you can just completely give up other opportunities to focus on one area, because then you’ll be very lopsided. Another thing is that other workout equipment may be more beneficial. Let’s change the words workout equipment to fundraising activities, other events, other emails, other opportunities may be more beneficial than the ones that you’re using or have been using for five years.
And then lastly is evaluation. Maybe you’re I don’t know about you all. But sometimes you use like the wrong workout equipment and you’re using it wrong. And maybe it’ll hurt you. But there’s a time where you can get off the treadmill and kind of evaluate some things and decide what is hurting and what is helping. If you don’t take a moment to evaluate, then you might miss some things that you can work on.
Now I’m going to give you an example of a success story. This is Orange County School of the Arts. They are a DonorPerfect client.
They had this school that had 33 individual programs, and it was mostly funded by the state 80% 20% needed to be raised by the parents. And so what this school had done for years and years was they gave pledge cards to the parents. And they said okay, parents at this parent meeting, we want you fill out this pledge card and tell us your contribution for the year. Now, this is a little bit of a problem for two reasons. One is that there were more than one opportunity, there was more than one opportunity to give. So maybe there later in the year was a sponsorship for a football team. Or maybe later in the year there was sponsorship package for a dance recital. But they had already filled out their pledge cards, which meant more pledge cards. And the second reason this is terrible, and I am sure you all can empathize with me here. pledge cards are really difficult, it’s very difficult to know what people meant to write or to read the handwriting or to follow up on whether or not a pledge was fulfilled. So this organization was spending so much time on these pledge cards and these gifts, that a lot of time that could have been spent with students was spent in the office in putting punch cards. So they found a solution, which was for them to have a CRM that has electronic forms for pledges and crowdfunding pages, something they’ve been doing for a long time, parents came to expect these pledge cards. I assume that those parents love to filling out the pledge cards every year. They had to make a decision to say okay, we’re going to move from that in order to get off the treadmill and save ourselves some time and they did and it was excessive success.
So the question remains, if you are on the fundraising treadmill, like I said, I was, it’s totally okay. Maybe you are maybe one of your events.
is on the treadmill, maybe it’s one email that’s on the treadmill that you send every week after week after week, maybe you just need to reevaluate. We’re not saying your whole system is on the treadmill, give me some parts. So we’re gonna work through how to get off of the treadmill, some practical ideas on how to freshen up what you’re doing in your organization.
The way that we’re going to do this is through drive. So we all know we think in five letter words, now that a certain Apple somehow that has us thinking five lever letter words all the time, this is a five letter word that will help you get off the treadmill, we’re going to have some drive and get off this treadmill. So let’s start with Discover. Now, I want to say this five step process can be done by any organization, no matter the size, and any subset of that organization. So say you want to sit down with your entire org and walk through some of these, that’s great. They, you can only sit down with yourself, which was me for a while, I could only go through these stages by myself. Or you could sit down with just your board or you could sit down with just your executive director. Either way, anybody can do this, do not feel intimidated. So we’ll start with Discover, you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what the problem is. So let’s talk about identifying your problem. This is an MRI machine. Now I know some of you maybe have some terrible experiences with MRI machines. I know that claustrophobia is a thing and that MRI machines are sometimes a little bit terrifying. Now imagine a child going through an MRI machine like this, it could be scary, for sure. However, this particular MRI machine was created by a gentleman named Doug Dietz. He worked for two and a half years on this great imaging product. And it got to where he needed it to be it produced wonderful images, it was incredibly helpful for doctors and patients. And it worked. So Doug was excited to go check this out at a local hospital, he went to the hospital is looking at the machine. And then the tech in the room asked him to step outside. Because someone was coming in for an MRI, they stepped out into the hallway. And he saw some people kind of clustered around a young girl, and she was really upset. And he overheard the parents saying, you know, you got this, you can do it. It’ll be over soon. And he realized that these children were really terrified of his machine, and went inside to talk to the tech again. And then tech claims that 80% of children had to be sedated when they went through this MRI machine. It was not a great experience for them. And it was something that was getting the results that he needed for them to get. But it wasn’t a great experience. And he could have just stopped there, he could have said, you know, it’s not a great experience. But we’re getting what we need, we need these images, and it is what it is. But he didn’t. So he had an opportunity to get off of the treadmill and create something new, which he did create something new. This is an example of one of the nine types of MRI machines that were then created. For children. This is a part of the adventure series. This is obviously a pirate ship. There’s also a spaceship, there’s a multiple different kinds of MRIs now. And this gave him a new opportunity to really reach the people that he was trying to reach to still get the same result the same way you are still trying to raise funds. But it gave a new experience. And this isn’t the only one. Like I said there’s a spaceship that when the child goes through it, there’s this whole narrative that the tech reads while the child is going through it. And when the MRI makes those scary noises, they explain that that’s actually just the sound of blast off. And then they got to stay really still because they’re blasting off. It’s this great, empathetic reaction to the discovery of a problem. So how did he discover that problem? He talked to the kids that were going through the experience, he figured out that what was happening was not great for the people it was happening to. Once you can do that, too. You have people you can talk to about what could be a problem that we’re trying to discover or what could be something that’s holding you back from being more involved in our organization. It’s an opportunity to be very vulnerable, let me tell you, but it will give you a lot of information. And these people want to provide feedback. So here’s how you can talk to them. This is an example of a great way to set up a safe space for your staff. This is called a retroactive and a retrospective rather, and it gives an opportunity for staff sharing things that are stops, starts or continuous things they want to stop things they want to start things they want to continue. I’ll give you a couple of examples.
Here’s an example. Sherry thinks it’s a great idea to start doing kickoff meetings at the beginning of
Project, she thinks that the team has been a little bit
under communicated with when it comes to what’s expected of them and who it’s expected of. So she thinks that starting off a project with kickoff meetings will be a great way to get the whole team on the same page. This gives her an opportunity to share that feedback.
Robert thinks that there are selling tickets to their auction. In too many places, it needs to be all on one form. And it’s it’s not possible to keep track of who’s bought auction tickets, because it’s in too many places. However, in this case, maybe that’s a
problem that you’re not able to avoid. For example, I had a certain auction go or that would only come into the office and pay for an auction ticket, they would not go through it online. But this gives an opportunity to talk with Robert about other ways we can report better on auction tickets, or ways that we can make sure that he is communicated with when an auction ticket as bought somewhere other than form. Even though it’s not necessarily something we would stop it is something that we can discuss. And then an example as I continue is that someone came up to Jamar after the auction and explained that they loved the story from the student that was on the stage. And they think that we should do more of those. So Jamar thinks we should definitely continue using beneficiaries.
Again, this just gives a great place for your staff to provide some feedback, and to create conversations maybe to solve some problems.
Now let’s discover the problem with our donors. We discovered it with our staff. Now let’s discover with our donors. Maybe you’re seeing some declining numbers, use your CRM use DonorPerfect to see what declining numbers you have, maybe you’re not getting as many attendees to events, or you’re giving as down. These are indicators that things may be a little stale. You can also reach out to donors for their testimonies. Pull your side that list. People who gave some year but not yet this year. Those are people that maybe have a reason that they gave that year and not yet this year, find out what that reason was, or former board members, people that used to be incredibly involved in your organization, but maybe aren’t as involved because they rotated off the board. Why are they less involved now than they were before. Maybe they can give you some insight as to some things that are a little bit treadmill ly. So that’s step one discovering why, what the problem might be. Step two is to realign with your team. This is a very important step. And it’s twofold. First, we want to remove bias. Now, I am sure there are some things that you or a team member really loves that you get to do. Even if numbers are declining, you really enjoy something specific. So for example, maybe Fred loves a golf event. But the reports and the testimonies are saying that that has become stale and that people are no longer interested in the golf event, we need to work to remove the wall of bias that Fred might have about this golf event. So here’s a practical way to do that. Called the five why’s. So the five why’s is just what it sounds, you ask why five times. So let’s go through it. We do a golf event every year. Why? Because it raises money and is a great way to engage specific donors. Why? Because it’s the only thing those donors want to come out for. Why? Because those donors are not really interested in anything else we are doing.
Oof, that, for me is a yikes moment. If there are donors that are only doing one thing with you, if your organization is only important to a donor, one day a year because of one action that you have for them to take, that’s maybe not a great, consistent opportunity for that person to be involved in your organization. And sidenote, maybe your donor is all on their own fundraising treadmill, maybe they just don’t know all about the other things that you’re doing. Maybe they thought that they’re only interested in golf, but you also have a sporting clays event that they’d love to be a part of. Or maybe they would love to host an event. There are other opportunities for them to get involved and for them to get off their own fundraising treadmill. This QR code will help will lead you to an ebook that will help you build strategies for multi channel donor relationships. It will walk you through some ideas and some great recommendations. So if your donors may be on their own fundraising treadmill, this is a great resource. Okay, well, let’s get back to your fundraising treadmill. So we’ve talked about the whys on why we have kept this event for so long. And I hate to say but in the end, it’s not because it’s raising a lot of money. It’s not because it’s fun.
And it’s not because lives are being changed. It’s because this group of donors is only doing one thing. So that’s something that can be addressed by getting off the treadmill, maybe there’s something else you could be doing. And I want to point out, you didn’t even need five why’s in this case, usually you go through five why’s, but by the time somebody says they’re not interested in anything, well, it’s probably time to reevaluate that situation. Also, you can do this as a group, as I mentioned, maybe there are some other people on your team that also have a bias for this event. Or maybe even they have a bias against this event. It’s a great open conversation to have amongst you.
Now, the second part of aligning is to provide proof. So you’ve removed bias. Now let’s provide proof, we talked a little bit already about the reports that you can pull, declining numbers declining, giving declining attendance, you can also do some comparisons, look at what other organizations are doing organizations in your sector in your neighborhood, or anywhere. This is the beauty of living in this century is you can follow any organizations online. What are some creative things that they are doing that you can use as proof to your group, that we could be doing something different. For example, someone in our community started doing a gallon times day event, it was a wonderful event that people started to look forward to. And so that was an example I could use. I could say, hey, this organization did a gallon tines event, and it worked well, and people are talking about it. Why don’t we follow suit and create something new just like they did. Now, I want to let you know that the discover and the realignment parts of the drive are definitely just some problem based steps. We’re not yet talking about the solution. We’re just identifying the problem. We’re trying to figure out what things are blocking us from being creative, or trying new things and our fundraising efforts that we’ve gone through this problem identification stage. Now we’re going to go into the one solution part of things, the ideation part of things. So this is the section where you’ll get to provide some solutions, get some ideas get together as a team. And, and be really creative. I’m going to give you two examples. There are plenty of examples on how to be creative in your fundraising efforts. I’m gonna give you two practical examples now. And then I would definitely encourage any other examples if you have some to share with your team. So we’ll start with the storyboarding example. And I’m going to use myself as the guinea pig on this specific topic. So I had a email that I sent out once a month, and it was called a three to one email, we sent out three stories from our program to announcements and one upcoming event ways people could be involved. And it was something that I loved. I loved the three to one emails, I loved getting to share the stories of what was happening in our program. And it was something that really did well when we first started doing it. But as time went on the clicks kind of slowed down. People didn’t bring it up as much when I sold them, they weren’t as excited about it. So we needed to really reevaluate that three to one was what we wanted to continue doing. So I put myself through the five why’s we do a three to one?
Because people were clicking on it, and we had things to say to people. Why?
Because it was important to communicate with them as quickly as possible, especially when a great story happened. Why?
Because an informed donor was someone that would be excited to give and to be part of what we were doing. Okay, so that’s really what I was going for was an informed donor. That was my end result, to have informed donors who knew what was going on in our organization, and who wanted to be a part of it. My goal, my end result was not clicks on a three to one email. My end result was an informed donor. Now, Stephen Covey, who wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says that the second most important habit is to start with the end in mind. So in this case, let’s start with the end in mind, we are looking for informed donors. Here’s how to be creative to end with that end result. This is what storyboarding looks like, which I know you all are familiar with storyboarding. It came from Steamboat Willie. A long time ago when it was great it Steamboat Willie was created by Walt Disney, and he created all these storyboards to tell the story. Your organization can do that same thing. You can break into groups if you have the ability to break into groups and create storyboards on how to get to that end result. Now again, my end result was not getting more clicks on the three two
wanting to know, my end result was getting informed donors, though you can break into groups, and everyone can kind of doodle out some ideas of how to get to an informed donor. Where do they start? How do you move them from phase to phase, in order to get to this end result of informed donors, there are no rules for this, there is literally just ideas, we’re in the ideation stage of drive, we’re just trying to get some ideas on paper. So in the end, it would look something like this, a bunch of doodles and words and people and things. And not even that great of time. This particular image is from a book called Game Storming. If you’re not familiar with the book gain storming, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking to get off the treadmill, it’s a great opportunity. So learn some creative habits. And this one in particular is from there. So after you draw out all of your ideas on how to get to uninformed donor, then each group can present. And maybe you all have some ideas that align, or maybe somebody had a really creative idea that you can implement today. And you can share these ideas as a group. So that is one way to ideate when you are looking to get off the treadmill. Another way, and this was something that was so hard for me is to think like someone else. As a development director, all I could think about was what we needed to raise at that event. When you think about anything else, in think about the importance of stories, couldn’t think about anything, all I could think about was the bottom line number. I know you all might understand me a little bit in that scenario. So in this exercise, you will break into four main groups, you have the development team, the program team, the executive team, and a couple of event attendees, let’s say we’re gonna re evaluate the Gulf of that, like what we talked about earlier in the five why’s. So you grab a couple of people that come to the golf event, and you all sit in a room. If you need a few more people to fill in some spaces, maybe you can use your board to fill in the event attendees or the executive team. They’re all in your groups. And then it you’ve had those big post it notes in front of you the ones that are on the yellow handle thing. And you at the top you write the development teams goal for the golf event is to my case, raise $25,000. So that is all I can think about when I was thinking about planning the golfer back, then what you do is you rotate around the room, the development team becomes the program team, the program team becomes the executive team, and so on. And then the new team solves the previous teams problem. So as I mentioned, the development teams goal for the golf event is to raise $25,000. Well, now the event attendees are serving as the development team. And so they are going to solve that problem with some new ideas for how to raise that money that the golf event gives you an opportunity to have some new ideas for your team. But also to think that it’s the other teammates who are part of that event.
Those are some ways to Ida in this case. Next, we’re going to go through value. So we’ve got to discover align it now we’ll do value we know your time is valuable. I know I wore so many hats on my organization, I’m sure you feel the same. I’m sure you also are wearing so many hats. You cannot do everything. You are busy and have a million things on your plate. So how do you assign value to the things that you’ve just created with your team? How do you decide what is going to be put into practice? Look, here is one example of ways to prioritize some things that might be happening in your organization. So this is obviously a matrix. There’s a high impact and high effort section here. So you want to try and figure out what things are maybe the low bearing fruit, and what things are really important and worth the work. So we’ll walk through this as some examples from my organization. But my org, responding to social media comments was totally a low effort. Somebody is on social media every day. But it was also low impact. We were a student based organization. So the people responding to our Instagram photos were students. And as a development person, responding to the students was not my most important impact moment. They were not going to be our givers. I was in development. Maybe our program team would have that on a different part of this matrix up for our development matrix. Responding to social media comments was definitely low impact. The next quadrant right above that where it says campaigns specific header image on giving page that was really low effort. We had DonorPerfect forms. It was very easy to add a header that was specific to our campaign on our giving page really easy. Also, you see
Give button on a website, maybe that’s a little harder than a drag and drop image onto a form. But it’s still really high impact, really low effort. Now let’s look at the third quadrant, the lower one at event in the box. So I don’t know about you all, but during COVID, we can do our events. And so we tried to do something different, which was an event in a box, it was so much work, so much effort, we pieced those things together for hours, and got very little response because of those event in a box. Again, maybe your organization is different, maybe an event in a box would work great for you all and would be in a different place on this matrix. For me, it was in the bottom corner. That said, I worked really hard on this, and I saw no results. And then lastly, in the upper corner, creating an auction committee, I’ll tell a lot of work for any of you who have put together a committee is a lot of work a lot of time, a lot of communication. But in the end, for me, having an auction committee helped us to do better at our auction event. So it was high effort, but also high impact. Now using a matrix matrix like this can help you to prioritize what you can do. And when, what’s most important, what do you have time for, you have a million things on your plate. So putting them on a matrix like this would be incredibly helpful. Another more sophisticated example of matrix is a weighted scorecard. So this is something that maybe you’re a data person on your team or on your board, the person who really loves math and numbers. I’m a, I’m a words person, but there are definitely people out there who love the numbers of things. And so this is a weighted scorecard that you can find on Excel or on smart sheets, or some kind of document that you can fill in. So this was the one that we made. And I’ll just walk you through it as an example. So we established three criteria. The first was the cost, like the time and funding of a certain event. The second was the donor reach, am I getting new names, are we retaining donors. And then the third is return on investment, for lack of a better term, our people giving at this event isn’t raising money, it’s not making us bleed. And then if you look at the line under that, where you see the weight of each thing, you can see that for me, my most important thing was donor reach and return on investment, the costs with the time and the funding, obviously important, but not as important as to arrange and, and return on investment. So it waits things a little bit differently. So let’s look at how we awaited our gala event, the cost with the cost of the event as a whole with the time that was spent with the development team. And the funding that went into pulling off that event was really high, it was a very laborious project. So that was given a five because it was a very high experience need, the donor reach was only a two because these are a lot of retained donors. So that’s important, but we’re not getting new donors. But the return on investment was high, that was a four. So if you weighed all of those together, the weighted score of this is a three. And then the fun run, you can see much lower numbers. So by looking at these lower numbers, that shows me that maybe we don’t need to do our fun run anymore. It’s not as important to us as the gala might be, the numbers are higher for the gala. So let’s reevaluate the Fun Run, what are some things that we can do instead of the fund run? Here are a couple of examples. So this is a great way to decide what things might be more important. So maybe in your ideation stage, you came up with four opportunities to replace the funder and you thought of the data project event being held in the home of a board member, a focus on monthly giving, and the use of a crowdfunding campaign. But you see that these numbers are all plotted in there to describe which thing is the most important. In this case, I see a couple of fives I see a five for the data project under donor reach. Donor reach is really important to us. If that is where I can find new donors, that’s something I want to do. Same with monthly giving UCF five on return on investment. That’s a long term thing that people can be a part of. So focusing on monthly giving might be the right thing for your organization. But these all could be completely different numbers for you. Maybe a board event does cost a lot of money and is less dollar reach opportunity because your board member doesn’t have a very big community. So those numbers would be different for you than it would be for me. But putting things into this weighted scorecard will help you to really know what’s most important and what you have time to do and where you could spend your time because you don’t want to spend your time on things
are giving you ones or twos, you want to spend your time on things that are large return on investment, large donor reach, or large whatever is most important to your organization.
Now we have hit the last point on the drive, now we are ready to execute, we have discovered the problem like Doug Dietz did with his MRI machine, we realized by asking the five why’s and by using reporting to prove why we want to make some new decisions, we had a great time of ideation where we created some new things using storyboarding, or thinking like other people on our team, we looked at the value by using a matrix or by using a weighted scorecard. And now we’re going to look at execution, you are ready to start trying to pull off some of these things. To get you off of the treadmill. We’re going to go through some habits that I have learned since working at DonorPerfect, which is a software company that cares for nonprofits. So it’s a great use of long term software solutions that are really personalized, like nonprofits are. So one thing that we do is this kind of project board. The gray lines on the side, indicate the name of a project. So say you’re trying to create your annual report. And then all of these postings are the things that you have to do. So you have to talk to a printer, you have to decide what is going to be written in the annual report, you have to pull certain reports, you have to get the letter from your executive director that goes in the front of the executive of the annual report. So you list all of those things on the post it notes. And then as things are moving through, that this is ready, and then that this is written and now it’s being reviewed. And now it’s done. As things move through each of those stages, you can move that post it, you can see that you’re making progress based on what is being moved through the whole project board. That’s what this example is, it’s a project board, or you and other members of your team can walk into the office or use a digital platform to move things along. And you’ll know where things are going and how things have progressed.
Another way to do this is again, to align your team, you need a clear vision of success and achievable measurables. For that success. There are some really great habits that we’ve already mentioned a little bit like kickoff meeting, or clear milestones and deliverables. There’s also strategy briefs, I love using strategy briefs at the beginning of a project, you’re able to lay out some of the deliverables. But mostly you’re laying out why you’re doing something specifically, why are you having a golf event? Why are you sending gifts at the end of the year to people who gave a certain amount? Why are you doing the thing that you’ve been doing over and over and over? If you have a strategy brief that says for the same way, I had the three to one email, the the why wasn’t because I wanted to tell people three to one, it was that I wanted to communicate with people with some specific things. So why was I doing that, you can list all of that in a strategy brief. And it can be a great point of communication within your team.
Also the project plan and timeline. Here’s another example kind of like the one on the previous slide, where you move to tickets through a certain graph, a Kanban board. That’s another way to do it here shown.
And then the next thing the next way to pull off execution that which is something that we do at Donald perfect is through agile project management. This is a whole system that was created and takes place over the course of two weeks, if that’s a sprint. And so you plan what you’re going to be able to accomplish in a sprint, you’re able to say, okay, that matrix when you put those things in each category, and you decide which one has the most value. That’s when you say okay, we’re gonna do that this sprint, we have two weeks to accomplish the writing of this month’s newsletter, let’s let’s figure out all the things we need to do and plan that for a sprint. That’s what sprint planning is used to plan the course of the project through sprint planning. Then you can have a scrum which is a daily or
consistent check in to stay aligned on progress. You review what’s been completed, you have a retrospective which we talked about earlier where you can do this stop start continues. And then this backlog. This is so important to me because again, we know your time is incredibly valuable, and you only have so much of it. So there are only certain things that you can do. So pull the things from the matrix that you can’t get
to write this second and you put it in a backlog doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get to it, it just means that you’ll get to it when the time is allowed. You put it in the backlog and you say, we’ll get back to that. And that’s a great way for you to really execute some of these projects that you’ve created through this drive method.
All right, if you take one thing away from this presentation, I know we just talked about so many things, and so many practical ways to Ida and create and get on the same page. And we’ve talked about so much through this presentation. If you take away one thing, it should be this. Are you on the fundraising treadmill, we talked about this early in the presentation? Let’s revisit it? Are you doing the same thing over and over and over? Because you don’t have time? To recreate the wheel? Are you doing it over and over and over? Because it’s easier to just pull things off and to create new things? Are you doing it over and over and over? Because somebody on your team is not always receptive to change? Are you on the fundraising treadmill? Is there something that you’re doing consistently that maybe could use a breath of life? I was on the fundraising treadmill I was. And it’s it’s really funny, because I look back on it. And I didn’t know I was then. Now I do. Because there were so many things that I kept doing year after year that became stale, not only to me, but also to my donors. And if it’s becoming stale to your donors, you’re going to lose them, they won’t be as excited about what you’re doing. You weren’t really even as excited about what you’re doing. I wasn’t as excited when I did my same year end campaign for the fifth year in a row. It’s not always bad to be on the treadmill. But definitely taking a moment to evaluate whether or not you can get off. And whether or not you can be a little bit creative is a great opportunity.
So what can you do right now, you can get off this call and take a critical look at the treadmill that you’re on, and that your supporters are on? Are you able through this presentation? Were you thinking of things that you thought, oh, man, yeah, I’ve been wanting to revamp this thing that we did. Oh, yeah, I showed the same video at every event last year, maybe we should revamp that. Maybe there are some things that are really obvious that you can say, we can start that over. But maybe it’s just a new way to look at the things as you’re going through the year, maybe there’s little changes that you can make off the bat instead of huge overhauls. Maybe you can change the video at your event, maybe you can change the invite, maybe you can change the colors of things that you’ve been using wheezed the same colors for every single thing. Maybe it’s time for a little freshen up of your branding. It’s an opportunity to just take a critical look at the things that you’ve been doing, and challenge some of your assumptions and open yourself up to the unknown. It’s a exciting and fearful situation, I understand. But I encourage you just to take a moment and try and see if there are some places in your organization that you can breathe new life.
So I just want to say thank you so much. I know that there are some comments and some questions. I’d love to answer some of the questions and thank you. If if you have any more questions, you’re welcome to add them to the chat.
And here, you can use this QR code to download the presentation. There will be a email sent out after this presentation that will give you the slide deck and the recording of this presentation. So let’s see if there weren’t any questions.
Hey, Julie. Hey.
We do have one question that came in it was a little bit early on. It was from Sue. And she was asking about more of the three to one that you were talking about. Can you just kind of explain that?
Sure. So my three to one email while I was at my old organization was a three, three stories. So I shared three things that had happened on campus that during that time, to announcements like
we hired a new director or we’re, I don’t know, follow us on social media, and then one opportunity to be part of something so we’d love for you to come to this site visit or
we have our auction coming up. It was just a consistent mess that method of communicating. However, like I mentioned, I
Used it for a very long time. And so then people, it became very stale to people because they knew exactly what to expect in that three to one email. They knew that when they opened it, they were gonna get three stories, two announcements, one opportunity, resource, two announcements, one opportunity resource, two announcements, one opportunity time after time after time. So then they stopped clicking on it as much because it was something that they already knew about. And they’ve read it five times. And so they might as well have read it every time because it was the same thing over and over. So it worked for a time and maybe if I used it more sporadically, it would have continued to work. But it was overused. And so I needed to reevaluate a way to communicate with my donors.
Okay, so one of the things that you just mentioned is they kind of stopped clicking on it, because it was something they received over and over. So Jim asked if
donor fatigue is a myth?
Is donor fatigue a myth? I do not know, I’m I would assume that by donor fatigue, you mean?
Just the lack of interest? I don’t, I don’t think it’s necessarily a myth, I do think it’s something to look out for. If your donors aren’t excited about what you’re sharing, or aren’t interested in hearing more about your organization, then that probably means there needs to be a fresh way to communicate. They were interested at one point and if they get incredibly fatigued, then maybe it’s an opportunity to try and bring them back into the conversation by using something new.
Okay, so we have a few people that asked to go back to the QR code.
Screen Share the one at the end for the presentation. Yes. Once you will all you will receive the presentation for sure. But yes.
Okay, so now, now they’re happy. And I’m
happy, I’m happy. Yeah, it’s just that they were coming in, and I thought Leo will just sit on it. No, I don’t have up Hang on a second.
They are coming in. What is your best tip? And this is from Lorraine. She says, What is your best tip or tool to get more people to volunteer?
Ooh, that’s a great question. This tip or tool to get more people to volunteer.
I mean, the first thing that comes to my mind is site visits. I think that if people can see the things that are happening in your organization, then they will want to be a part of it.
My origin it was tough with my org because we were in schools. And so getting people to be part of the school what the school was doing was sometimes difficult.
I think yeah, a site visit.
Maybe more direct stories from people being affected by volunteers specifically. So maybe someone comes to your gala and shares that a volunteer was part of their recovery. Also giving opportunities in multiple ways. Like when mentioned, we don’t want to just be like day every day, we want to give opportunities via email, give opportunities in person give opportunities through a friend, maybe you use your current volunteers to recruit new volunteers.
Definitely not just just asking once a year via email, I’m getting opportunities to discuss volunteers more often will be great.
Okay, so I’m just gonna say this outright, because we had a few people asking again, about the recording. Julie had mentioned that the recording and a link for the slide presentation if you don’t download it from here will be going out on Friday. So for those of you that are looking for the recording, if you started late, you’ll find that them
and the C
Trisha is asking how often is too often to send emails? This is the question I every organization has this question Trish. So I totally understand. I asked this question all the time. And especially now in marketing at DonorPerfect. So
I think that the only way to tell is by the results of your email campaigns by checking the clicks and the drop off rates. We do that we just left a meeting where we were talking about what emails were clicked on the most. And in a in a course of emails and a drip. How many people clicked on the last email
All about drip versus the first email. So just looking at a lot of those results, for me, and depending on the campaign, or if we were doing an event, I would usually send three emails promoting an event, my year end campaign had 10 emails, and then
we want to make sure to suppress people or take people off of the list, when they have done the action that you’re looking for them to do. So for example, if they already have tickets to the auction, you don’t need to continue emailing them asking them to buy tickets to the auction. So it’s more about the interaction with the email than the actual number.
Let me see where we are, in terms of questions. Patients is asking, how should a new employee properly address the treadmill, I just joined an organization and see some issues like this, but don’t think I have the seniority to suggest serious changes.
I mean, first of all, I’m gonna say you go you go patients, there’s always an opportunity. Something else I’ve learned working out DonorPerfect I love and appreciate about this company, is something called the orange extension cord.
It’s this idea that maybe you have an office set up and one of your outlets was broken. And so you ran an orange extension cord through your office to plug into a different outlet.
But now your outlet works again, but you forgot about the orange extension cord. It’s very easy for new employees to see a bright orange extension cord running through your office. Hopefully your organization gives an opportunity for you to have new goggles on, you see things that are new that can be taken care of. And you’re able to say, Hey, I see this bright orange extension cord, why don’t we try and fix that. If that’s not the case, I would recommend making a list. I for the first year working on my organization just wrote down a bunch of things. And once I was able to prove that I cared about what we were doing, and that I could communicate or that I was willing to talk to donors or whatever I needed to prove. Then I was able to bring up that list and say, Okay, now let’s let’s reevaluate what we’re doing here. Or let’s tell me the five whys of this. And maybe that’s something that you can start with now is the five why’s, as a new employee, you can be incredibly inquisitive. And you could say, Hey, I heard about this strategy called the Five why’s. And I think that will be a great way for me to learn some things about what we do. Would you mind if we go through a couple of exercises where we ask the five why’s, and they can start a conversation about redoing some things?
Okay, so it looks like Aaron is sort of piggybacking on that, because he says similar question. I’ve already tried pushing changes and innovations, but I’m dealt with some pushback from management and leadership who feel like the treadmill works, what are one of two smaller changes I can work towards, they may be open to no pressure at this question is too much of a retread.
Now, I understand and like I said, there are times where their treadmill works. I do understand that. I wonder if there’s a time like, like the example that I used when we use showed the same video over and over. I wonder if there’s a time where you can stop and say, Hey, this is kind of an example of what I was talking about, that maybe we’re stuck on a treadmill? Um, I’m, I’m interested in the data of things, like I said, with the reporting or with the emails, if there’s some kind of data that could move what you’re saying, I think that is the most important indication.
Some point you can’t argue with facts. So being able to prove things like that might be helpful. I think a couple of examples of small changes. I don’t totally know, because I can’t speak directly to your organization. I don’t know what the fundraising treadmill things are that you’re stuck on. So it’s kind of hard for me to say, specific changes, but I would be happy to talk about that further one on one with some examples and try and help I know that pushback from leadership can be difficult.
Okay, um, let me see what else we have
any advice? This is Stephanie. Any advice to implement a brand new given campaign, how to gain more potential donors contact information perhaps?
Ah, I mean,
I am definitely a fan of just try it. So one example is an I actually wasn’t at my organization when they did this. But the first time they ever heard about giving Tuesday was the Day of Giving Tuesday. And they said, Oh, I think there are a bunch of people giving today, we’re just going to make a quick post on social media, and they raised money. So just trying something anytime there’s a reaction about something. For example, my organization had never done a back to school giving campaign before we tried to do back to school giving campaign where school organization, maybe people want to give one school starts. Or maybe we could do a summer event. That is where we all meet up at the beach. I live. I’m from South Florida. So maybe we all meet up at the beach and have an opportunity to bring your friends maybe you invite certain givers and bring your friends or we talked about one time doing a food truck event where we brought a food truck to our offices, and invited our donors to bring their friends for food truck and hang out at our office to hear a little bit more about what we were doing. There’s many opportunity to implement new giving campaigns. Mainly I just say, if you think, Hey, I would give at this very moment, why not try it? What’s the worst that can happen?
I like that advice.
Okay, so we have time for one more question. And this is from I believe, I apologize. If I say this wrong, it looks like Blanca. How do you get execs and board members to be more open minded about change and new ideas?
Show them this presentation?
That is a great question. And something that we all really struggle with. I had a hard time with that, too. I think it’s a combination of a lot of things we’ve discussed in it. I think it’s using data. I think it’s using reports using donor testimonies. And proving that you know what you’re talking about by getting some wins getting some success stories from certain things that you’ve created, or that you’ve implemented, I think you can use that to kind of encourage your board or your executives to trust you and to be willing to take risks, because you’ve taken risks, and it’s paid off or because your donors are asking for risks.
Okay, it looks like actually, that was the last question that came in.
So we are just about at time. There are a bunch of thank yous in that list as well. They thought it was a great presentation. The fact that you’ve been in their shoes, and now able to say, look, here’s what I learned. So let me pass that on to you. Is Yes. All good thing. And I’m sure I can learn so much from all of you.
Okay, do you want to close it out? Sure. Thank you all so much for being here. It was really a pleasure. And yeah, let me know if I can help with anything else by emails in this. In this presentation. I’d love to speak with any of you.
Thanks so much.Read Less