Optimize Major Gift Opportunities in Extraordinary Times with Optimized Intelligence
In these extraordinary times, your major gift fundraising success comes from integrating prospect intelligence with the internal knowledge in your CRM.
Optimize Major Gift Opportunities in Extraordinary Times with Optimized Intelligence TranscriptPrint Transcript
Hello, everyone. And thank you for joining us at the DonorPerfect users conference. I’m Mike Bronson with donor search. If you don’t already know, donor search is a prospect research company. Read More
Hello, everyone. And thank you for joining us at the DonorPerfect users conference. I’m Mike Bronson with donor search. If you don’t already know, donor search is a prospect research company. We’ve been around for about 13 years. But for the last seven or eight years, we’ve been the preferred provider from DonorPerfect DonorPerfect, has an integration in their online platform that over 950 clients have taken advantage of will give you the ability to click a button, do research, and then use that research data to segment your database based on annual fund, major giving or even playing giving back. But we’re not here to talk about us. We’re here to talk about two fantastic clients, among many who have used our services to go above and beyond in the industry at a time when most organizations have not seen much success. They used our data to segment to identify and to get better general understanding of their donors and and use that to make their goals. I don’t know all the details, so I’ll let them tell it.
But couple more things you should know about us. We are a family owned business, we have put a focus on charitable giving, as opposed to the traditional science of wealth that some of our competitors offer. But overall, we want to point out when somebody’s philanthropic, as opposed to just wealthy.
Beside all of that, we also allow unlimited client support and training. So if you have any questions, you always have somewhere to go.
Let’s talk to those clients.
Thank you, Michael.
The Living Desert has been in existence for 50 years, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, we had a wonderful 50th Anniversary Gala.
The it was based on the premise our mission is desert conservation, through preservation of land,
education for our youth and the public and
desert conservation of our endangered species, both locally and we also work abroad to save endangered desert species of animals. So the impact on the community? It’s an interesting question, because it was started because of the development of the of the cartella Valley, the desert. And so it was originally started to conserve the land for future generations. But I have to tell you the best answers to that question we received during these last three months of the COVID crisis. The cause, as you’ll hear from the team, the numbers of donations that we got, were accompanied by heartfelt heartwarming comments from the public. They told us what we meant to them.
We are a treasured community asset in this community. It’s a place for people to bring their grandchildren. Children have grown up generations, they come back to return here. While they’re doing that they also learned about the importance of protecting our treasured desert animals here and abroad that are just about ready to go to to go away. So it’s it’s a multifaceted appreciation of the Living Desert and what it does for the community.
On March 17, we learned of the COVID crisis and how it was going to affect the Coachella Valley in California. Our CEO and President made the decision to close the zoo on March 17. That was the day that we also informed the staff prior to March 17. We had about 150 full time employees 500 volunteers, we cut that staff immediately by two thirds. So we were running the staff on about 50 people that comprised mostly those folks that were that are engaged with the animal care, the keepers, and then essential people that were needed in the administration area. So we went down to about 50 people, the Development Office
So we lost three of our seven
people, we concentrated on those team members who work on immediate income.
The people that we lost for those that are more long term, they were working on events, which we knew we would not be holding immediately for Planned Giving and grants, which were not an immediate income source. So the so we cut the development department, all the departments were cut across the, the park, we kept our two veterinarians, we have two full time vets. Because what we decided and you’ll hear that from our from our team, is that we needed to concentrate on providing the best possible animal care that we always have. And we needed to share that story.
And I’d like to turn it over to Amy Crabb. She’s our senior manager in the development department who really got us hitting the ground running. Thank you, Dan. So just to reiterate, our gates closed. And as a Zoo and Gardens, our revenue is walking through the gate about 75% of that revenue. So we were just approaching our busy season, which is Spring Break time and Easter here in the desert. And we closed. So we were really tasked with three focus areas by our CEO. One was to keep our brand front of mind with our supporters. One was to the second was to reassure everyone that we were here to take good care of our animals. And the third was to raise money.
The way we came up with our goal was prior to closure, we were to cost about $45,000 a day to run the zoo. And once we let staff go, we got down to bare bones, it was about $22,000 a day to run the zoo. So we basically took that times and arbitrary 90 days we thought we might be close for and came up with that $2 million goal.
After that, we broke down silos in our organization. We have a marketing department that’s a part of a park services. We have our education department, we have our conservation department, and we have animal care department. And although we do a lot of things together, we really had been working on breaking down silos across all departments. So we called a meeting, the development department did and said, we’ve got to figure out how to raise money. And one of the
things that really came out of that very first meeting was we know as fundraisers we have to raise money, we can’t stop no matter what’s happening in our world. And for the rest of the team, that was really a hard thing to do. They we had just seen two thirds of our fellow staff members be laid off. Without income, we saw a lot of people in our community lose their jobs, because we’re a tourist community. And it was really hard. But we said no, we have to ask for money. We know there’s still people working. We know there are people out there that a lot of retirees that have set aside money to make donations and be philanthropic. So once we got through that we really started brainstorming, we had to do everything from how are we going to handle phone calls that come in and ask if we’re open? How do we change our website? How do we readdress kind of pivot or social media, we had a conference in Association conference that was supposed to be here, we had to cancel all that and call donors and let them know that wasn’t going to happen. So we put together a 90 day plan. And I think one of the most important parts of that plan was a clear and concise message on what we were doing, why we were doing it and how people could help us. So it’s very important that we did that.
And then we really looked at who was going to be the face of the zoo. During this time, we decided our CEO was our main face development department was not the face of the show. It was going to be our animal keepers of our animals because that’s what people care about. And then finally, we talked about our audiences and our communication methods. And I think this is where I’ll probably turn it over to someone else on our team who might be able to talk a little bit about how we use donor donor search to really segment and
work within our audience groups to have special messaging that would support their desire to help us and really touch their heartstrings.
I’ll take that a little bit. While some of our staff much of our staff was able to work remotely, we really felt a lot of responsibility to make sure we were successful and we were always coming in and we were very siloed so in a way you could
If you could call that remotely, we were in our offices a lot. Obviously, the tools we had, we could use very easily, you know, from home from here. So that really just wasn’t an issue for us. But one of our an important part of our strategy was making sure to really engaged the donors that we were working with. Can we’ll talk a little bit more about some of our numbers and some of the ways
we did things, but we had more than 1800 donations come in with, with actual donors, more than 600 brand new donors. So it was really important to us to engage those donors to interact with them. We either initiated a brand new or updated donor search on every single one of those donors to see where their interests were, where their capacity is, that’s the reality of what we do. Right. So we had to prioritize how we’re going to interact with all of those donors, every single person received a thank you note. And then depending on some of the information we had, was it a more personal note? Was it a phone call? Are we noting them to follow up with them in a couple months, because we know that they are strong prospects. So that’s one of the ways that that was ongoing throughout these months, and certainly will go on as well from here. But I’ll let you talk a little bit about more how we segmented during this time.
I’ve been in the nonprofit world now for I guess, almost 20 years. And for good 12 of those years, I’ve been a DonorPerfect user. So that was a great advantage. Because unfortunately, our research person was laid off. So although we could as a team all do basic searches in for in donor search, we were forced to learn quite quickly, I might add to do those deep dives.
And I must say it was there. Both of the packages, both DonorPerfect and donor search are very intuitive. I was the person who was in charge of finding the different groups that we were going to be sending our letters to. We sent over 20 100 letters in that three month period, to 17 different groups. And and of course, you know, I mean, it’s sort of easy peasy. You say Well, yes, my top 100 people my plan giving people my board, you know all of the sort of normal groups that you would go after. But what we wanted to do is dig even deeper. So we looked at things like our volunteers, we’ve got a huge volunteer base of over 500 people. And of course, they miss the heck out of us. And so did we, they were not allowed on property for well, it’s only been what a month now maybe three weeks. So although they’ve always been supporters of ours, of course, because they love coming in every day and working for the zoo and showing off. Not necessarily the biggest givers because quite frankly, I don’t think that they had ever been asked. So that was a new a new silo if you will, that we looked at. And some interesting, interesting numbers when it came to the volunteers, we sent out to
present volunteers and past volunteers, so almost 800 people that we sent out to, and we got close to $10,000 in donations almost immediately from that group. We also asked these people if they would consider making monthly gifts. So our gifts, I think when we started off, we were, I don’t know, maybe 13 monthly givers. We ended up I think just a couple of days ago doing a count where 78. So that’s a 600%
increase by just asking, by just asking. So we were thrilled with with the response
of the million and $30,000 that came in in that 90 day period, about 59% of that money came from those 17 different silos that we sent letters to. So it was very well humbling, quite frankly,
for us all to realize how very much loved we were in this community. I mean, there’s just no two ways about it. As Amy talked about, we’ve got
Have a PR and marketing group. So we, we hit it hard with Facebook, we got let me see out almost $22,000 in gifts from over 450 Facebook users that did fundraisers for us, we had staff doing fundraisers for us. And the average gift was like almost $48, which is unheard of. So as we dig deeper into, who are we going to go after? I know, that sounds a little crass, but we were very, very focused on a, is there a possibility that we’re going to get a gift from them. And that’s where donor search really shone for us. Because, you know, we could we could export our lists and use the filters in in DonorPerfect, and then look at the donor search data and say, Okay, I’ve got 1000 people here, I’m going to have to go after the chop 30%. And it was just quite frankly, you know, doing a search on an Excel spreadsheet. It sounds a little simplistic in a lot of ways it was it was easy.
Donor search and DonorPerfect. Were the tools, thank God, we
don’t even want to think of where we’d be where we would have been without them.
So now what’s happening is, of course, we’ve got sort of forced into segmenting the, the the database. And we’re looking now at those those almost 700 brand new donors, they have never given us a dime pre March 23. You know, who are they? What do they like? What kind of capacity do we have? Because Jen and I are in charge of a $45 million capital campaign. So in all of this horrible things that are going on in the world, we’ve got brand new people to be able to engage and hopefully get some capital campaign gifts. So we’re, we’re all beyond thrilled with with the tools and how they they never let us down.
Yeah, so I just want to kind of echo what could be saying, and I think a lot of nonprofits are going to be feeling this way. Because what I’m reading that there is a lot of there’s a lot of layoffs going on, we were a nonprofit that was able to ask for money during the pandemic, the beginning of it, because we had, we have people who have heard that zoos were going to feed their animals to other animals. I mean, it was really there was some stuff going on, that really scared people. And we couldn’t just lock our door and walk away, we had to be here for animals in our facility. So but we just lose half of our development staff, we lost two thirds of our staff. And I think the big thing that DonorPerfect and
donor search is going to allow nonprofits to do is to really work smarter. By segmenting our markets by looking at where people have given how much they’ve given. Understanding, you know, we have a lot of people who come here in the wintertime because it’s very nice here in the wintertime. It’s very hot here right now. But it’s going to allow us to have a better understanding of what’s important to our donors, what emotional appeals will allow our donors to have a heartfelt connection to us and open your purse strings. And it allows us to dig even deeper. So we can find those donors who might want to leave the state to us or who might want to be, maybe we see they don’t have capacity to give a lot on an annual basis. But they could give a little bit over a long amount of time to be a monthly donor. So I think from the standpoint of other nonprofits that are out there, really coming using the tools that are available, and figuring out how to work smarter with less is going to be imperative for the next two or three years until we can get going get back up to where we were because we were going gangbusters until this hit. So it’s going to be hard for a while so you guys have a great set of tools, it’s going to make it a lot easier for them profit. So I’d like to end on our our last story because that’s really what we were so successful in doing was telling our story to people and not being afraid to do that. About three weeks ago we had a supporter walk in and drop off a $26,000 check in
that put us over the $1 million mark for incoming funds. The other million that we because we did reach the 2 million we received last week, a $1.4 million estate gift. Now that a state gift was the result of stewarding donors over the years, all those notes were in DonorPerfect. We could follow them up with donor search. Many of us were new, we didn’t have not known the donors, but we were able to keep up the relationship that had been built many years ago. So that 2 million that we reached, was the result of doing of using best practices and the development field.
Yeah, well, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Community volunteers and medicine is located in Chester County, Pennsylvania. And we are a free and charitable clinic, a health center. And we were founded 22 years ago by three social philanthropists that sat on a local hospital board and saw the need for uninsured individuals coming to a local hospital for their health care access.
So they met a gentleman by the name of Dr. Jack McConnell, who was the founder of the volunteer and medicine movement 23 years ago, and took that model of free health care offered by volunteer physicians and dentists to Chester County, Pennsylvania. So now we are one of the largest free and charitable clinics, health centers in the state. And even in the United States. We’ve served over 4000 patients every year.
And we have about 44,000 visits up until about when the pandemic hit almost every year. So it’s a very busy place. We are supported by philanthropy 100%. We receive donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and organizations in our community, not just locally but abroad as well.
And the volunteers provide the care we have almost 500 volunteers who are retired, semi retired, are still practicing. And we have fantastic partnerships with really three local health systems that provide the care for our patients such as X rays, and cancer treatment and general surgery and a lot more, and that that partnership totals over $2 million worth of in kind services from those health centers, those health systems, I should say. So it’s a place where all roads that kindness meet, I think, from our community’s standpoint, to care for those who have no access to health care, who are underserved who have pre existing conditions. And so our organization has now found itself, really on the front lines of providing health care during this pandemic. We see it in the news right now, of a lot of folks who have no access to health care who have pre existing conditions being affected majorly by this, this virus and by this pandemic. And it’s certainly relevant, and it’s certainly noticeable when we provide care to our patients. So that’s the story of CBI M.
So I started with CBI m, little over three years ago. And to that, before I joined CBI M I was in various fundraising roles with a local health system. And that health system is very much tied to CBI EMS organization. So, when I got there three years ago, I arrived three years ago, it was just a staff of two and a half and a grant writer and a part time development person. And since about over the past two years, we’ve really grown our team, where we have now have a you know, two full time employees dedicated to fundraising efforts. We have a dedicated marketing communications person and we’re able to split that role and and have a have a part time development person who’s now handling all of our database needs as a development coordinator. And this person has
database and development experience. So it was a huge plus for us. We started using DonorPerfect about three years ago when I came I think they made the switch from
Another product of Blackbaud products about four years ago. And the as you can imagine, with a small development team, there’s so many balls in the air, and so much to do in terms of projects, sometimes a database. You know, when you switch like that, or convert to a new platform can really be the lowest end of the project. They’re on your project timeline. So with the approval from our board of directors, we were able to hire a part time person that helps us with database management, and really is that the linchpin for our team. We also have a part time grant writer now who actually was the lead of the development department. She just retired last year. And then we have two consultants working for us on our team as well.
So I can tell you that as I mentioned, the CVI ms found itself in the middle of this pandemic, caring for our patients.
Early on, when things shut down in March, march 13, to be exact, we really reached out to our core group of volunteers, and that’s a lot to express that they should stay home and be safe during the first few weeks of the virus. A lot of our virus volunteers are retired and semi retired, and some of them themselves are actually considered high risk
for the Coronavirus. So there was a small clinical team and clinical medical and dental team that really focused efforts to still steer the ship so to speak to care for our patients. Over 4000 People still needed our organization to provide them care whether it was through we have an onsite dispensary. So whether it was providing medications to them, or you know, really providing counseling sessions. We have a lot of patients who are diabetic. So we have a very good diabetic program that, you know, we were able to keep in touch with our patients during this time, and we used it by very innovative ways. The first was telehealth telehealth has been instituted at CBI M at our organization, and has really been an invaluable for us. During the first few weeks when we started the technology. I had met we were a bit rusty, but really now it’s a it’s a well oiled machine. Keeping in touch with our patients, our diabetic patients, making sure that they’ve you know, taking their insulin shots, how they’re feeling today,
to you know, people who needed dermatology appointments or rheumatology appointments. So we’re using it for many different subspecialties of care. A lot of our retired doctors and semi retired doctors and practicing doctors all represent close to 24 different sub specialties of care from cardiology to OB GYN, to dermatology, you name it. So this technology has really opened the door for us. And it’s allowed
us to be innovative and it will stay with with organization as we move forward. from a development standpoint, our team shifted back in early March we we looked at some different ways when the when the when the pandemic hit, we really strategize hard, we use the word pivot, to focus on the different things that we need to do to communicate to our donors and people in the community.
It was an opportunity for us to really turn and look at our digital communication and see what we could be doing differently because we knew at that point in time, the world was going to change. So we kicked off an early April mini campaign, again, not knowing how things were going to go with this solicitation, this digital solicitation. That was our COVID Response Fund for our patients. A lot of our patients don’t have transportation, they come to CVM through various ways public transportation, through with family as well. A lot of them were scared. A lot of folks were laid off at the early onset of this, this virus and didn’t even have food on the table that they can provide for their families. And other instances, a lot of families conveyed to us it didn’t even have thermometers to check for fevers. So this fund, we communicated out to our whole base, our board, our donors, all of our various constituencies. And I’m happy to tell you we really it was received very, very well. And I’ll get to that in a minute. I wanted to let you know that you know up until the the
The pandemic hit. We were tracking a gap to our fundraising goal makes a lot of fun as a fundraising professional. But we really were, we were strategizing to find out the ways we could counter this gap. And we had some great ideas. And we’re making great progress until the world changed in March. So the team really focused on digital solicitation, increasing social media communication, such as Facebook, and LinkedIn, and really focused on communicating with our donors in an ever digital world.
So when the pandemic hit back in March, it became pretty clear that our spring fundraising tactics could usually have a fall on a spring, like, I’m sure a lot of organizations do, needed to change. It was a traditional model, where we were doing traditional mailing, if you remember,
perhaps not in some of the states, but in Pennsylvania, specifically, a lot of the printers were shut down. Or were providing very minimal service. So it really, we had to really jostle every day to find out if we could even do a spring solicitation. So we pivoted and strategize as a team to find out, you know, how we could communicate differently and express to them, you know, what we’re doing
with our patients when, you know, during this during this pandemic, and what our patient’s needs were, and our
the initial response was, I would say, kind of overwhelming.
The they response, you know, we had a corporate and foundation grants that that came to us this, these were, you know, opportunities to research these, these opportunities for COVID funding. But then we were able to secure $75,000 in matching fund opportunities. Couples have come to us to couples rather had said, We would like to match COVID donations. So it was about $75,000. We had people just coming really technically out of the woodwork people who
gave to us 10 years ago and just stopped. But then got our newsletter or got our E communication and made a donation. People were making multiple gifts. So they have given early on in the fall, and maybe by December calendar year end, but that includes inclined to give another gift in response to this fund.
We raise from more than two 200 donors. This would include individuals, corporations, foundations, over $460,000. That amount helped us to get to inside of our $3.2 million fundraising goal, which at that time was the largest fundraising goal for the organization. As you can imagine, year to year, philanthropy 100%. So everything was was on the table in terms of strategizing.
In terms of major gifts, we were able to receive three very special large major gifts. These are gifts that were very generous 50,070 $5,000 We consider our organization consider a major gift over $5,000.
enhanced our digital communication efforts and the E newsletter. We remained consistent with that month after month of COVID 19 Response Fund really being the center of each of those pieces. I can tell you from a major gift standpoint, $5,000 and above, we had 19 donors who increase their giving to CPIM. Last fiscal year which ends ends June 30. For us 23 donors decreased with nine dropping off. And then major gifts from 18 stayed the same what they’re giving from a annual giving standpoint. We have a a group a program that is that really is a group of donors from $1,000 to $4,999. It’s our annual giving program our Harrison society. We saw a large jump just this past fiscal year. It was primarily due to the success of a donor couple wanting to do a match challenge if we were to attain 25 New Harrison society members
Tonight at least individuals, we’re gonna give $25,000. In addition to, to that what we were able to acquire. So we receive, we have about 130 donors
in fiscal year 2020, as opposed to fiscal 19, where we had 99 donors last year,
all positive statistics, with the exception that there was a slight decrease in the average gift. But that’s very typical when you, you know, lots of new donors, most of them enter in at a lower level. So we weren’t concerned about that.
DonorPerfect, and donor search have been a huge.
They’ve been a huge
part of our success this year. And in previous years, we had just subscribed to donor search two years ago. And we did a full scan of our database and really found some wonderful things, it allowed us to really focus on our data a lot more. And we didn’t have a previous wealth screening that was consistent
with our different products. So donor, donor search has been really just fantastic for us in terms of, you know, finding our major donors and finding folks who we can cultivate the relationship a little bit more to ask them to make a major gift. So the the opportunity to restructure some of the data in DonorPerfect allowed us to really pull less from DonorPerfect. These would be prospect lists, which we really focused on. And that that integration donor search and DonorPerfect really allowed us to, to run with it last fiscal year, to create it like a standard that had never been done before. And kind of like a best practice. If you look at other organizations, from to my knowledge in the arts and healthcare industry, from a fundraising standpoint, being able to pull your prospect list out of your database, as opposed to just having manual lists, we were able to do that as well. Thanks to donor search and DonorPerfect for for that integration, that cross integration for sure.
Now that that’s all past us, and hopefully we’ve all moved on, and we’re moving towards brighten better days for all of us. Digital Communication we feel is going to stay,
I think gone are the days of where it was just a male, traditional male type of solicitation. We’re really, you know, focusing on a digital strategy. We recently within the past month, purchase some data.
We don’t have a lot of birth dates for some of our donors. And quite frankly, we didn’t have many phone numbers and email addresses. But we’re able to very inexpensively purchase some data that allowed us to acquire those three main things, birthdates, emails, phones, for us to communicate better with our donors to make sure that we don’t lose them. And I think in this digital age and streaming, we’ve been very proactive, even in terms of building our digital strategy. What does that mean? We’re focusing on a digital library, we’re going to start a virtual tour of our health center. That way, if we can’t meet our donors, we’re going to review the video the virtual video of our tour of our health center where we can both be on the same zoom call, or you know, even phone call where we could go and participate in this virtual video together. So it’s a traditional way of having a donor come into our organization, toured the facility. That’s where people really have pulled at their heartstrings because they saw so many people that were that needed help. And for us to do it digitally now. It’s a little bit of a change of mindset, and I think we’re off to a good start.Read Less