Tag Archives: donor-centric

Nonprofit Radio for April 8, 2024: Email Deliverability & Email Welcome Journeys


Jamie McClelland, Natalie Brenner & Alice AguilarEmail Deliverability

In our age of rampant spam and artificial intelligence, you need to know how to give your emails the best chance of getting delivered. What are DMARC, DKIM and SPF, and how do they help with deliverability? This 2024 Nonprofit Technology Conference panel is Jamie McClelland, Natalie Brenner and Alice Aguilar, all from Progressive Technology Project.


Patty Breech & Elizabeth Sellers:  Email Welcome Journeys\

What happens after your emails are delivered and folks want to support your cause? How do you bring them into your family so they’re engaged and stay with you. Also from 24NTC, this panel is Patty Breech at The Purpose Collective and Elizabeth Sellers with Humanity & Inclusion.





Listen to the podcast

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!

I love our sponsor!

Virtuous: Virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer, and marketing tools you need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving.

Apple Podcast button




We’re the #1 Podcast for Nonprofits, With 13,000+ Weekly Listeners

Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
View Full Transcript

Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be stricken with Eisenmenger syndrome if you broke my heart because you missed this week’s show. Our associate producer, Kate is sick and lost her voice. Of course, I wish her a speedy recovery to good health. But then a question comes to mind. Do we need an associate producer? Let’s see how it goes this week, email deliverability in our age of rampant spam and artificial intelligence. You need to know how to give your emails the best chance of getting delivered. What are D mark D Kim and SPF? And how do they help with deliverability? This 2024 nonprofit technology conference panel is Jamie mcclelland, Natalie Brenner and Alice Aguilar, all from progressive technology project and email. Welcome journeys. What happens after your emails are delivered and folks want to support your cause? How do you bring them into your family? So they’re engaged and stay with you. Also from 24 NTC. This panel is Patty Breach at the purpose collective and Elizabeth Sellers with Humanity and Inclusion. I’m Tony take too. I love the wise. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. This is getting exhausting here is email deliverability. Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC. It’s the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. Of course, we’re in Portland, Oregon. You know that you’ve heard this already. Our continuing coverage is sponsored by Heller consulting here at 24 NTC. Heller does technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits with me now is Jamie mcclelland Technology Systems Director at Progressive Technology Project, also Natalie Brenner, Director of Resource mobilization at Progressive Technology Project, and Alice Aguilar, the leader, the executive director at Progressive Technology Project. Jamie Natalie Alice. Welcome. Thank you. Thanks for having us, Tony. Thank you all. Uh Your session topic is email deliverability in the era of spam and artificial intelligence. Um Alice, let’s start with you. What could you just kick us off? We have plenty of time together but general strokes. What, what could we be doing better? What are we ignoring? Why do we need this session on email ability? This session is really, really important for nonprofits and, and grassroots organizing groups, you know, um in PTPS 25 years, we know that email has been really critical to organizations and, and organizing. Um It’s a critical communication vehicle, um, to get the word out quickly to groups so that they can, and their community so that they can take action. Right. There’s no stamps. Right. It’s pretty instant. As long as somebody on the other side is watching. Right. And, and you know, the thing about email, it’s also the place where we control our own messages. Uh, we control our own lists, you know. So it’s, it’s democracy at work. we control the timing, the timing of it, right? Um So there’s nobody there, you know, like, you know, to like to look at our content. At least that’s how it has been, you know, email is Federated. You know, anybody could be an email service provider and send out your email. But now here’s the thing that we’re seeing, right? There’s this concentration of ownership around technology and you’re seeing this in email. So when organizations are sending out email, about half are going to gmail Yahoo or Outlook Microsoft, right? So, um if you think about that, it’s like now with this most recent changes, if you had seen there’s changes in, in uh Google and Yahoo had changed the rules about what emails are gonna be sent. So there’s a concentration and the rules are changing by the, the companies that control 50% of and so they’re controlling the deliverability, correct, you know, and, and like email is supposed to be different than platforms like Facebook or, you know, X you know where they’re monitoring your contact and the algorithms. Email is your, that’s your words, your story being told. And so, you know, it’s, it’s really critical for our groups to get their messages out. Right. And so now because of these rules and these changes and, and eventually they could just totally, they’re gonna make all sorts of decisions about what email is gonna go. Um We have to, we as organizations have to jump some hoops and take responsibility now to make sure that our emails are delivered and it’s really hard for folks to keep up with this. And that’s why our session is, you know, PTP is gonna help uh groups figure out how do we at least get our messages through these corporate gatekeepers, right? To be able to get that out. So that’s the, that’s the purpose of the session, Natalie. Um Who uh can you expose us to some of these rules or, or one of the rules that’s changed? We have plenty of time together, but Alice mentioned all these rules changing. What, what, what the hell is going on? Thanks, Tony. I knew you were going to ask me the technical question. Are you the person? I’m the accidental techie of the. However. Yeah, absolutely. Does that mean Jamie is the technician is I should say he surely is. Yeah, absolutely. So as Alice was saying, you know, email is kind of kind of the dinosaur of the technology world at the moment, but it’s also so critical still like Alice was saying, even after our 25 years, we’re seeing groups still relying and counting on it. And now they have all these acronyms to work through D Mark D Kim SPF. And what in the hell do those mean? Most of the groups we work with don’t know, I don’t know what the hell they mean. And so our session is going to expose that for folks and tell them how to work through all that Mark Net non profit radio. We have jargon jail. You just transgressed terribly like you are in it to bail you out. Obviously. D Mark D Kim and I am in jargon jail and I totally accept that will get you out. Pf to me is some protection factor because I live on and I probably even said the wrong jargon. We don’t even know, but I live on a beach in North Carolina. So to me, that’s my 50 at least help us just before we get into the technical details. Just what are these rules about, right? The, the main goal of the rules is to stop fraud. Um You’ve probably received an email that was sent from Tony Martignetti and it wasn’t you? Yeah. Yes, I have. It’s another guy out there and there are other folks I think I might have just called you Mark. By the way, it’s Jamie because we have another, it’s not D Jamie. It’s D mark is the acronym and Jamie is the, that’s where it came from. Thank you. That’s very gracious of you to bail me out. It was my fault. It’s mine. I made the right Jamie. So the main idea is fraud because Google and Yahoo, in this case, at least they’re trying to impose new limits for a noble cause which is they want to stop people from being able to send messages that claim to be from your domain name, but they aren’t. And your domain name is the part after the at sign in your email address. And you don’t want, I don’t want to get a message from Alice at progressive tech.org that says, hey, Jamie, your payroll didn’t go through click here in order to make sure it’s proper, that’s what we’re trying to stop. Have there been problems with Mark’s payroll payroll? No, I get it from Natalie asking me to like, hey, I forgot the login for our bank account. I need to get these checks. Can you please just click here and just give me you hover over the email address and it’s like that’s not Alex dot ru when you hover over. So they’re doing it for a noble cause they’re doing it for a noble cause. And you might, you know, 10 years ago you got these also, but they were full of typos and they were so obviously not from Natalie or not from Alice, but now with artificial intelligence. It’s possible for anyone you don’t even like, you can be anywhere with any kind of language skills and you can have a perfectly written email that’s very convincing. And, and they’ve also cut down on the, uh, the estates, you know, a $45 million estate greetings of the day, you know, from one of the African countries, you cannot, they are smarter, they are smarter and they’re closer to the real thing, close to the real thing. And so, you know, if you hover over and it says.ru it’s easy. But what if you hover over? And it says Alice at Progressive tech.org which it can you just to make clear.ru is a domain, a Russia, it’s a country level domain name. It’s owned by Russia and it could be anything. Tony dot Ma Ma is Morocco, it’s country of America. So every year I think I pay 75 or 100 and $75 or something to the, to the to the my domain provider. Of course, but they’re paying the country of Morocco for my dot Ma U so.ru is Russia, which means it’s very likely spam. I’m sorry, Jamie. That’s great. So the deep dark secret is that from the beginning of the internet, you could send an email that was from progressive tech.org and you still can send an email, you can put whatever from address you want in the email protocol. It allows it, you can put whatever you want in the from address and it really will be whatever domain name you want it to be. So these new rules and regulations are intended to stop that. And there’s two main rules that are used to test and the test, one of them is called SPF for Sender policy framework, policy framework. And that one says I can, I love the energy between the three of you, Natalie and Alice are giggling while, while Jamie is talking, I love the energy we’ve been working. Plus there’s this guy Mark who’s presence is hovering over us. We’re channeling Mark even though he’s 3000 miles away. Are you, are you based in New York or a Texas, Texas? Paul Minnesota. I’m in New York is somewhere. We’ve worked together for over a decade and he’s only five 100 miles but his presence is felt we’re channeling. So SPF again, SPF is center policy framework and this allows us as progressive tech.org to publish to the internet to say if you get an email that claims to be from progressive tech.org, it has to be sent from one of these 10 servers. And if it wasn’t sent from one of these 10 servers, you should consider it fraudulent because there’s only 10 servers that legitimately send our email. Those are the email servers of our internet service provider. So that center policy framework, if Google or Yahoo or proton mail or may 1st mail, whatever, that’s an email that claims to be from progressive tech.org. That email provider can look up our SPF record check to see if it was sent from the right server and if it wasn’t sent from the right server, it fails the SPF test. D mark. Let me do D mark last DKIM. Let’s work on Kim. There’s no, no job description. Your name must be Kim. We’ll accept middle name, first name preferred. We’ll keep an open mind. Kim is a signature. It’s a digital signature. When we tell us what the acronym stands for, can I on the domain key identified? Male? Yes, there’s math involved. There’s math involved. There’s some very cool math involved. So he said cool math what I was saying? I thought it was redundant. So dkim, when a message is sent by us, we insert a digital signature into the header part of the email, the header is usually hidden from most people. So you can’t see it, but a digital signature is sent with the email message. So when the receiving server gets the message, the receiving server sees the signature and then it has to look up your DKIM record to see if it’s a valid signature and if it is a valid signature, then you pass the DKIM test. So two tests every does every email have to pass all three of these tests that we’re talking? Right? So that’s where Mark comes in. This is the rule. Oh jeez, don’t ask me what that one stands for the D mark is when you make those two tests and then the receiving service says, well, what do I do if it fails? And a dar policy can be, none says, don’t do anything. It’s OK. You can be fraudulent and two is reject and three is quarantine, which are in practice mostly the same. So in other words, you can set your SPF and your DKIM so that the receiving server can tell whether it’s valid. And then you can say this is what you should do if it fails either one of those two. So if the rule is you only have to pass one, so you can fail SPF. But if you pass DKIM, you pass, you can fail DKIM. But if you pass the SPF and the reason is because there’s actual legitimate reasons why you might fail one or the other, it’s still valid and you could fail one or the other. So you just need one. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers responsive. Fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org. Now, back to email deliverability. This really is getting exhausting now. All right. So we’re acquainted with what the rules are rules, these are new rules. So this is, this is, I mean, if you consider relative to the internet, this is ancient history. These rules have been around for over 10 years, but the way rules become adopted is very slow. So what Yahoo and Gmail have done is they’re trying to speed adoption of these rules by saying we’re going to reject your email if you don’t have these three things in place. And it’s kind of interesting because D Mark is supposed to say no, you’re supposed to accept it if the policy is none, but Gmail is breaking that protocol and say no, we’re going to reject it. If you don’t, if you don’t have one of SPF or Din, we’re going to reject it regardless of D Mark. If you send more than 5000 messages a day, we’re really going to make sure you have at least one of these two and you have to have ad mark policy, even if the D MARK policy says none, you still have to have that D Mark policy if you’re a bulk sender and we’re gonna stop you. We’re gonna, we’re gonna break away from the technology part of it. I wanna talk. No, no, we’re not abandoning. I mean, it’s important, but we’re gonna move to leadership Alice. What, what is a nonprofit leader’s role in ensuring email deliverability? Well, you’re the executive director. What, what do you feel you take on in, in, you know, in your role obviously as your role as executive director, what do you think is your responsibility around email deliverability? Our responsibilities are responsible to our help our groups because that’s what we do. We support community organizing groups, that’s our niche. Um really think about like, you know, because we care about their work and we care that they get the communications out. It’s our responsibility as our team to understand these rules to be on top of this stuff, which is really hard. I mean, we’re a team of three plus mark out there. Don’t forget I can’t, you know, and so we have to like sift through and keep up with these rules because our groups don’t have time for that. We work with small to medium sized organizations that don’t have a tech arm. They don’t have a techie, they have accidental techies like Natalie, um which we make Natalie do a lot of things, right? They make me do a lot of, you know, so, so that’s our responsibility to move. We were there to really help groups navigate this world and also help them understand the role of technology in their organizing work and the impacts um that technology has in society and for social change. And this email stuff is critical because there’s so much dependence, we call it dependence on the master’s tools. You know, Audrey Lord, uh the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. You know. So for us, it’s like having we, we throw in a lot of political education around the role of technology. Email is like the one that everybody understands, but they don’t realize that as organizations that their emails are not getting sent. And they’re wondering like, why can’t we move our folks just because they’re not receiving an email. And so our responsibility is to help them get that word out. And so we deconstruct this stuff, figure it out. Jamie memorizes these acronyms and we hold trainings, we actually hold trainings, we help them navigate, help them get things set up. That’s our, that’s our role. My role is to work to move our team to make sure that this is we’re doing the best we can. We work with almost 100 and 50 organizations, nonprofit, uh grassroots organizations. It’s, it’s our job to make sure that we’re on it and in a timely way and we keep up with it and also translate, right? We got to translate this stuff for the groups that don’t have a technologist. They don’t have the benefit of a Jamie, right. And also the, the understanding is not, it’s, it’s again, understanding that role because we sort of like use whatever is easy. But to do this stuff is actually takes a little bit of, you have to dig in a little bit and that’s our job to help dig in and we’re gonna get to what to do very, very, very shortly. But this is why this is perfect for our listeners because most of our listeners small and mid-sized nonprofits, they don’t have the benefit of a full time or even maybe even an outsource technologist, like you’ve got Jamie. Alright, Natalie, how do you, how do you fit into this? So, um I have been with progressive technology project for 11 years and I started in an administrative role um and in a small organization that doesn’t take a whole lot of time. Um And so I started to learn how to do technical support and started working on the programming aspect of things. Um started training alongside my colleagues. Um We provide several trainings a year online and we’re going to do our first in person since COVID this year, probably this fall. Um And so I do a little bit of everything and it’s wonderful. Can you so can you help us start to get into the topic of how to design your own emails so that they, so that they meet, meet the criteria? Don’t suffer the uh the consequences of, of D mark. I got these acronyms down. Now, you got to do one of the two SPF or D Kim and D Mark will evaluate, will instruct the internet. Well, the email provider, what to do if, if one of those two tests is not passed, I’m, you’re like your name. I didn’t say hirable. You don’t want me as an employee. I’d be a terrible employee. You wouldn’t want me as an employee. But yeah, there’s a lot of things you can do to help before you get to the acronyms. There’s a lot of things that you can do on the front end to help your emails get delivered. And that has to do with setting up your template, not including weird characters or you know, animated GS like the word free can sometimes be, don’t use the word invoice or free in your subject line in your subject line. Don’t send an email to 20,000 people and include an attachment, things like that. And so we do train on things like that as well. And then on the technical end of things, you’ve got all the acronyms to work through and there’s lots of ways that you can get help addressing those if you don’t have a technologist at your organization or if you’re not with a social justice partner, like progressive technology project, um where we provide uh really awesome support to help you through that. So I want to go into a little more detail about the structure of emails, the planning of emails. So that uh Jamie, you want, I mean, I don’t know, Natalie, should we stay with you? I, I’m just, I’m still concerned about the subject line. Leave out free, leave out invoice free at if you’re sending to thousands of people that don’t do attachment. What else just about? Yeah. So, you know, there’s a lot going around these days from different consulting firms or organizations talking about how to craft a subject line that will gain attention. And that’s really important. But you also have to just be careful about the buzzwords that you’re using to avoid the pitfalls. And it’s not that hard if you’re talking about a subject line. Do you guys have anything to add? I think everything Natalie said is straight on some of it. It is common sense. You receive lots of spam messages and you don’t want your email to sound like that and look like that. And some of it can be obvious the no free act. Now there’s a lot of exclamation points, things like that sometimes get picked up. But I think that’s important. It’s becoming less important as these new rules and regulations are happening because it’s getting bigger, the data’s getting much bigger. And I feel like the big providers are really getting a little bit better at differentiating between the spam and the non spam. So I think that really important is following these rules and getting your domain names properly set up. Um, the only other things I would add are just, there might be personal preferences. Like a lot of people have the subject line newsletter number three, number 12. And it’s like, no, it’s the same thing I find too. I think most personally and this is very, like, there’s a matter of taste. I’m not a big fan of the newsletter that has 12 different stories in it because I see a subject line and I decide whether I’m going to open that message based on what’s in the subject line. You can’t put 12 things in a subject line. Yeah, but then whatever is not in the subject line is buried and it’s difficult. I’m a bigger fan of sending out more frequent emails with um that are shorter that like you, you see in the subject line, what it is and then you’re going to open it and you’re going to read it as opposed to a long newsletter. Now, do things like frequency. Does that impact your deliverability? Frequency? So too many, too much. No. In fact, it’s the opposite quantity and volume help you because a lot of these are percentile rankings where the providers are going to say, oh, wow, we received 1000 messages that were successfully sent and not complained about and you got two complaints. That’s a, you know, very tiny percentage. If you send 10 messages and you get two complaints, it’s, you know, it’s like a complaint can sink you more. So they’re tracking, there are, aren’t, aren’t the providers also able to track what people do with your message, whether they, whether they, whether they, whether they put it, whether they market junk, do, are they able to track that you’re doing in your inbox? They’re 100% able to track it. And it’s a black box as to what the algorithm is as to what they’re doing. And this is one of the, when you’re talking about, I think what leadership as a nonprofit sector, a lot of that has to do with paying attention to the power we’re giving these corporations. You’re familiar as a media person in the nineties, we were really fighting hard against the concentration of media ownership. It was a huge threat and it’s still a massive, massive threat. The same thing is happening with email, there’s a concentration in owner within the internet in general and with email in particular with Google Yahoo and Outlook. And we think, you know, Google is free and it’s not, it is like it comes with a price cash. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Surrender, privacy, surrender. Yes. What did you say? Free as kittens? Ac RM kind of thing. Free. Yes, exactly. So, but that’s where this black box comes in is that we’re giving the power to a very small number of corporations to decide based on our actions and based on who knows what, whether the message should arrive in the inbox. Now, these new regulations, I think they are in the public interest. I’m very glad that Google and Yahoo have decided that they’re going to cut down on fraudulent email. I applaud that, I think that’s good, but they’re doing it for their own reasons. And that means next time they might have other changes that they want. And I’m not at all comfortable with us as a sector saying sure, we’ll give three corporations the ability to dictate what messages land in the inbox, especially during these really crazy political times, it’s un predictable what could happen. And I prefer for us as a movement for us as a nonprofit sector to diversify. I really encourage people to look at other providers. Don’t just go to Outlook or Google because your a technologist says, oh, this is a simple thing that everyone’s doing. It’s really important to diversify to go to other providers. And I just want to say like, you know, we can make a choice, we make a choice to voluntarily give up our, you know, work, go to gmail because it’s oh, it’s so easy and, and it does all these things, but we can make changes now, right? I mean, I think that’s what PTP, what we stand for is we believe in people controlled technology for social change because then we can control, right, our data, our messages, how we wanna get things delivered. And so and, and also design it the way we need it right? To design it, the way organizations and organizing, really need to do the work and in our language, right? So this is where we can make choices. But it’s, um, it’s usually most folks get directed, right? Because of whether it’s consulting or sometimes it’s foundations. I hate to say it. But, you know, because you’ll get free money if you just like, everybody get on 365 Microsoft. right? It’s like without thinking and it’s like, but meanwhile, here they are doing work, you know, and that’s anti corporate work or something, you know, and so be conscious about your choices, especially how it may, may uh coincide with your own cause you were going to say something. I am in total agreement with all of that. And I just wanted to go back to a little bit about email deliverability on the recipient’s end. A shout out to all email recipients out there. I know the spam button looks very inviting for every single email that you don’t want to see in your inbox. However, if it’s not real spam, if it’s from an organization where you went to their gala maybe and you decide you don’t want their email, try to click unsubscribe because when you click spam, you know that goes in to mark against that organization and maybe that’s not what you intended. The user actions that do get collected aggregated. I was gonna ask you too, Natalie about Alright. So as a recipient, be thoughtful. Not real spam and we get it. You don’t want our stuff. That’s totally cool. You get to make that choice but just like unsubscribe instead of a spam. What about cleaning up your list? I mean, isn’t there in, in having a smaller list that’s not gonna mark your spam that’s more engaged with your emails and having a bigger list and, and lower quality receipt actions. That’s such a good point. And uh with power base, the database for community organizers through our support, we do a ton of work with um the groups we work with on duping, making sure you have valid and correct email addresses, you know, having a sign up sheet at your gala or your event is great. Um However, if those people are clicking unsubscribe, make sure they’re actually getting unsubscribed in your database. Um You can even go so far as to if you want to keep them in your database, remove their email address, just you brought up such a good point. Make sure you’re not sending it’s, you know, quality over quantity. Definitely you don’t need to send to the world, you know, do some searches in your database for who is the most engaged and send them a particular email segmenting your list can be very helpful for that. Yeah. Did you have more to add? No, I was just saying it’s like, it’s sort of interesting because the idea of unsubscribing, people should know that they’re only unsubscribing from that one list. And organizations are great at like, creating multiple lists for multiple different things and just like, I have 1625 30 different communications lists and like, people are wondering why am I getting all these emails? Because, well, you only subscribe from the one list, you know, so what that email list was on and sometimes you may not know what list you’re on so organizations can do that too. I mean, if you think it’s good to have 25 communication lists, maybe you should pair it down to 10, maybe like limit. I have another technical question. Mark Jamie. I want to ask you to myself. Don’t be so harsh if I was a DJ DJ. Got it. Alright. Um You mentioned setting your domain name up properly. What did you mean by that, please? So with Dkim Dar and SPF these all are referred to stop laughing at the, stop laughing at the acronyms are bona fide. He got you out of jargon jail. Some gratitude. I would, I would charge you interest on the bail payment. I just made quite an acronym. Yeah. Jeez. So how do you do? How do you put up with this? This is a virtual organization. I was glad you’re not all based on the laugh at your technology. So your domain name, she’s I know she’s going to apologize for that. I know she feels bad already. I can say she’s blushing. I’m putting, I’m putting her on the spot. Does she feel she feel bad? I do. I sorry, deeply sorry, apology accepted. I know they really care about setting up your domain name. So if you own your own domain name, then you have a company that’s called the Registrar, which is where you pay an annual fee. Usually about $20 a year for the right to have this domain name. Domain 10 one is a big one. Hover name.com, gandhi.net registrar.com. There’s a number of different ones. The company you’re paying for your annual registration exactly. Now, that often is different than the company you’re paying to host your domain name. Now, these are really subtle and nuanced differences but they are important differences. The company that you pay to host your domain name is usually the same company you pay to host your website or your email or something like that that’s usually packaged together. Now, the company that’s hosting your domain name is where you can set what your domain name records point to. So that’s what you say DNR S domain name records. Yeah. Well, DNR, I don’t know if I haven’t heard that accurate. That makes me think of testing Department of Natural Resources. We can name them. All right. Look, I have the board here. I can shut your mic down. Not supposed to make fun of the host that consolidation of power. You’re damn right. This is not progressive technology project. Nonprofit Radio. This is Tony Martignetti, Nonprofit Radio. You’re damn right. The middle aged white guy is taking over explicitly. At least I do it explicitly. I acknowledge the power so I’ll shut you down. All right. So no domain name record if we spell it, DNR do. So that’s what you’d say. This domain name points to this IP address. If you want to send an email to this domain name, it should go to this mail server. Those are the historic ways that domain names have been used and they’re being added to and order to support the SPF, DKIM and D Mark records. So SPF is a kind of a domain name record called the text record. And DKIM is also used as the text record. So you say for progressive tech.org, show me the text record and it will say SPF policy is this or you say, OK, and you look it up just the same way you’d say for this domain name. That’s the IP address. How do we make sure we’re set up correctly? You know, I would love technical help with this. I would love to explain to you how to do that. That would take a diagram in 45 minutes. It’s painful. I’m embarrassed as a technologist, how complicated it is to do this. The best I can say is first ask your consultant, staff or volunteer if you’re lucky enough to have one, if you’re not then ask your web host and if your web host can’t do it and you have a database, maybe you have power base or maybe you have um sales force or maybe you have networks nation or any of the other corporate places. Ask them because they’re the place you’re sending your bulk email, they have a responsibility to help you and they should be able to help you solve this problem. That’s valuable. Natalie, I’m going to choose you to bookend us. So the Accidental Techie, which a lot of a lot of people find themselves in that position. Uh You know, just take us out with uh with final thoughts. Yeah. Um Well, we really appreciate this opportunity this time. It’s been a while since we’ve done a radio show and progressive technology project is growing. Um We’re a social justice nonprofit organization that believes in transparent and democratic technology. Um like Jamie said to get help with this stuff, your database provider should be helping you, your technology providers should be helping you with this, so seek their support. Um And then, yeah, we’d love to hear from anyone out there who’s interested in learning more progressive. Tech.org is our website. Ok. Thank you. And just to set the record straight, it’s a podcast. It’s, it’s called Tony Martin TI Nonprofit Radio, but we’re, we’re a podcast, weekly, weekly podcast. Alright. So they are Jamie mcclelland, uh at Progressive Technology Project, Natalie Brenner with progressive technology project. And Alice Aguilar, the leader, the executive director, progressive technology project, Jamie Natalie Ellis. Thank you very much Tony and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC, the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are graciously sponsored by Heller consulting our booth partners, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. It’s time for Tony take two. I’m at the National Association of Y MC A Development Officers Conference, the National Association of all the Y MC A s in uh Mexico, Canada and the US. We’re in Denver, Colorado and I have to admire the w for just all their camaraderie, you know, their support for each other. Um I saw it today at uh two round table conversations that I hosted the desire to help each other. Um These were all small and mid size wise and the sharing of ideas, you know, the, just the, the getting along the collegiality. Uh It’s really delightful to see. Uh There are about 1800 people at this uh North American Y MC, a conference and I’m delivering uh a session on planned giving, not surprising, planned giving 101. I haven’t done that session yet, but from everything I’ve seen the two days I’ve been here, the WS really do support each other throughout North America and it’s uh it’s, it’s inspiring, it’s really, it’s, it’s uplifting to, to see everyone just desiring to help each other so much. Uh sharing ideas, you know, and just laughing and understanding. Yes, understanding, empathizing, even if there isn’t a solution or a suggestion, but, you know, just the empathy. So my, my hats off to the Y MC A s of North America. It’s a real pleasure and a privilege to be at their conference. And that is Tony’s take two ordinarily I would say Kate, but she’s not with us. Uh uh III I think she’ll be back. Uh I think we’ve got Buku but loads more time here is email. Welcome journeys. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are in Portland, Oregon at the Convention Center and where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits with me. Now are Patty Breach and Elizabeth Sellers. Patty is founder and CEO of the purpose collective. Elizabeth is us, Director of Communications and Development at Humanity and Inclusion. Patty Elizabeth. Welcome. Thanks for having us. Good to be here. Pleasure, Patty for you. Welcome back. I think this is your third spot on nonprofit radio at NTC. You’re a perennial. It’s great to be back. I’m glad, glad. Thank you and Elizabeth. Welcome. Welcome. First time we’re talking about the secret to loyal donors. Email, welcome journeys. Um Elizabeth, why don’t you start us off with how important because we’ve heard from Patty on this subject in the past. Uh I believe it was two years ago, but it, that was two years ago. Uh start us off motivation. Why is the email? Welcome journey so important? Sure. So we’re all nonprofits. We all rely on donors to do our work and have impact. So we’re welcoming donors into our organizations every day. Um But so often we’re not nurturing them in a way to share the impact they’re having and share other opportunities for them to get involved. So welcome journeys, really provide an opportunity for us to introduce people to the organization, to our work and to ways that they can take part in our work with us. Um And of course, whenever you’re able to automate a welcome journey, it helps small teams like ours at Humanity and inclusion to welcome those donors out as much capacity or or resource of a manual welcome series. So for us, the initial need for a welcome journey that kind of pushed us over the edge was two years ago when the Ukraine conflict started, we work in situations of conflict and disaster mostly with people with disabilities. And we saw an influx of thousands of new donors who really didn’t know much about our work. And we’ve caught ourselves with the problem of how do we tell them who we are, why we’re managing this emergency situation. And the answer to that was the email welcome journey. And we’ve now added more of those to our repertoire to bring new donors into our space. And and Patty, we can do this with, with uh automation, but also, as Elizabeth said, also nurturing we can, we can automate and nurture together. Yeah, absolutely. Um I think the primary goal of any welcome journey is gratitude. Um We want to thank the supporter for whatever their most recent action was, whether it was a gift or joining an email list or signing a petition. We really want to validate that decision and say um you know, we really appreciate you and we’re so glad you’re here. Um Patty, I gotta ask you a question from previous years. Are, are you the person who told me that you, you, you go on dates and they google your name and they find your nonprofit radio appearances was that you, it wasn’t you? I thought it was, you know, well somebody did tell me I thought it was you. Uh no, you’re not, you’re not seeing that. Ok? No, you would remember all. I’m just sorry I I remembered the wrong person but uh it is happening. I I can’t say that there are any uh marriages have spawned from nonprofit radio appearances. Not yet, but I’ve only been at it 14 years. So I’m still working to get to reach that marriage threshold. Somebody did tell me that their dates were, were mentioning their appearances. Yeah. Yeah. Alright. So it could happen in your future, you know, I don’t know if you’re dating or not but let’s talk about uh is this, I mean, there’s a series, you have a, you have a kind of a, this is a series of like four or five emails properly timed. Ok. Now, let me ask, uh Elizabeth, are you working with the purpose collective in your email? Welcome journeys. We presume we’re here, we’re here together. Ok. Um So Patty, you’re the expert here. Uh How do we, how do we get our plan started? We got to think about the timing, the messaging, right? Like isn’t the first one supposed to be within, within 24 hours, 20 four hours? Ok. Describe what that first message should look like. Yeah, so that one is just a simple. Thank you. Um We usually recommend that it comes from someone recognizable within the organization. So like the executive director or anyone who has name recognition with your supporters. Um and the email can be really simple. It can even be plain text. And the goal is just to say I saw your donation come in and I wanted to tell you how much we appreciate your gift. Ok. So really simple. It doesn’t have to be formatted. Like plain text is great. It’s like like the digital equivalent of a quick handwrit note. I saw this come and it moved me and I want to thank you. Of course, you’ll hear from us, you know, you’ll get something more formal maybe or something. Yeah, that’s a great way to describe it. OK? Ok. And that within 24 hours, I mean, with automation, I mean, should we do this within 15 minutes or 30 seconds? Yeah, it depends on the system you’re using. Sometimes there’s like an overnight sink that it happens between like your, your database, your donation platform and your email program. I’m also thinking timing wise, if you want it to look authentic, if it comes within 15 seconds, it’s unlikely that your CEO could have, would have typed that and now you’re giving away the authenticity of it, the authenticity. Yeah, so that’s, that’s actually why wait until the next day, we usually wait at least a couple of hours if it’s a more automatic sync. But if you have an overnight sync that can, that can work in your favor because it looks like the executive director saw your donation come in first thing the next morning and wanted to send you a note. Ok. Alright, Elizabeth, what kind of responses have you seen? You? You’re getting emails back. Like people believe that the executive director really did take the time. Yeah, we do sometimes get emails back. Um just thanking us for the work that we’re doing asking if there are other ways that they can get involved. Um So yeah, we do see some people who reach out on those um on those emails and, and the best thing about those emails is they’re when someone is super warm to your organization. So our open rates are are much, much higher. So we’re automatically seeing more engagement from those folks. After that first email. Are you adhering to the patty breach purpose collective best practice of doing it within 24 hours that first? So yeah, so our donors, they actually do get an immediate thank you receipt if they’re donating online. Um So they get that immediately and then that first email from our executive director lands within 24 hours. And what’s what’s the next step in the in the journey? The next step is story of impact. Um So for us to her validation, for nonverbal validation, story of impact, gratitude and validation happening with our glances at each other. So yeah, have you done your session yet or no? It’s coming up. Oh, good. Let’s have some fun prep. Ok. Alright. So next uh story of validation. No, no validation is of impact is what you get from your consultant of impact. What does this one look like? What’s the timing, story of impact? Um We’re letting the donor know the difference that they’re making with the gift that they’ve sent. Um So for us, we typically will feature someone who’s directly impacted by our services. So our most, I guess most used donor welcome journey features the story of a little boy who was injured by a landmine and actually lost his leg to that explosion and went through our rehabilitation services and was fitted with a brand new artificial leg. So he’s, there’s a photo of him happily running through the streets and just the story of his recovery and, and the life that he’s living now thanks to our donors and I’ll let Patty answer the exact timing of that timing. Well, what is the format? What does it look like it? Now, this is, this woman has pictures and or maybe video or something. This is not the not akin to the first one, right? This is not plain text. We want people to actually be able to visualize the impact that they’re having. So um your typical kind of designed email with, with photos with text, maybe bolding certain um certain pieces that you want to stand out. Um That’s what it’s gonna look like. And what’s our timing? Timing is 2 to 3 days after the first email, we have data behind these uh these timing the flow. I mean, like if it comes too soon or if it, if it’s a week, it it it diminishes the uh the engagement with it. Yeah, exactly. We found that if you wait too long to send these emails, um people kind of forget about the donation that they just gave you and the email feels like it’s coming out of the blue and they’re like, why are you, what is this? So we definitely have clients who are nervous about. They’re like you want to send two emails within the first week that feels like a lot. Um How do you reassure them? We reassure them with the data behind it so we can show them that the open rates, the click rates are really high, usually double or triple their usual email newsletters. So that shows that people want to get these messages and they’re happy to receive it. And we really are striking while the iron is hot and we’re not annoying people with too many messages. And Elizabeth, you haven’t seen push back that, you know why? Two messages after I made my first gift or something. I mean, it seems it’s, it doesn’t seem likely. I mean, II I just made you a gift. I mean, I actually appreciate the attention and knowing now from the second one, what, what my gift is doing but, and just validate, you’re not, you’re not seeing no push back on that. People are opening them, people are engaging with them. I think the important thing on that second email is that we’re not making any sort of ask. We’re just providing them information on the impact they’re having no follow up. You know, if you want to do more for you, it’s too soon. Let’s talk 2 to 3 days much, too soon. Patty, what’s uh what’s our third? How many, how many are there in the The Journey Series? How many emails? Yeah, for a donor welcome series, we recommend five. Ok. Um and we’re about to do number three. And what are the other types of series you folks might have um you could have one for new subscribers. So whenever anyone joins your list, you could send them a welcome series. Um You could also get more specific about your donor welcome series. Like you could have one series for people who give a one time gift and a different series for people who sign up to give monthly. And then depending on your organization, um like Elizabeth’s organization has petitions that people can sign. And so we have journeys tied to those. So if you add your name to a certain cause we can send you a personalized series of emails about that, that cause. Um but yeah, if you also, if you’re recruiting volunteers, that’s a great time to send a welcome series. If someone signs up to volunteer or maybe after they do their first volunteer experience, they spent their first half a day or whatever. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Alright. So bring us back to number three, the third one in our journey. What’s our? So the first one was 2 to 3 days after the first email, which was within 24 hours. When should this third email be timed? This is one week after email number two and this is an invitation to become more involved. And so the key here is that this is also not a donation ask, but we’re asking them to take some sort of action with the organization. Um That could be anything from, you know, will you, will you become a volunteer with us? Will you follow us on social media? Um In the case of humanity inclusion, it’s, will you take a survey because we want to get to know you better? Um And the goal is basically saying like, we appreciate you so much. We want, we want to invite you into our inner circle. We want to get to know you. We wanna, we wanna have more interaction with you, Elizabeth. What does that survey look like in this third email? Sure. So we really wanna get to know our donors, so who they are, what motivates them um and what it is about our work that matters most to them, which then of course, helps us tailor our communications to them in the future to really make sure that we’re nurturing them and nurturing their interest moving forward. It takes like two minutes. It’s three questions um very, very easy to complete. So at this point, you’re not asking how, how do you like to hear from us or how often or anything like that? You’re saying it’s only three questions we’re not asking much on um on preferences of that nature, but really just what, what areas of our work they want to know more and and why so you can segment your future communications. OK? Anything else on email? Number three? Either of you that it is important for us to know we wanna do this journey correctly. Now, we don’t wanna, we don’t wanna uh we don’t want to uh walk off the path to follow the path correctly. All right. So we’re OK. Don’t message number three. Yeah. The only other thing I would add is that you can test this out for your organization, you can try a survey and if you’re not getting a lot of responses, you can try something else. OK. How about number four, kick us off with that one. Number four is another story of impact. So we as human beings interpret the world through story, we love stories. So I don’t think that there’s such a thing as too much storytelling. Um And this is just another opportunity to say um Here’s how you’re changing the world, here’s the impact that you’re having and again, that gratitude message, we really appreciate that you’re helping with this work. And again, no, no, no. And what’s the timing for number 41 week after the previous email? Ok. So we’re about two weeks after the right? Aren’t we about two weeks and 2.5 weeks or so after the action that began the journey another week? OK, Elizabeth, what are you doing? And number four? Sure. So number four clients. So we actually, we do have a story of impact, but it’s a little bit interesting because this email actually comes from one of our staff members on the ground in Columbia who works as a Dinor. So, clearing weapons contamination from communities and she’s actually clearing contamination from community, the community that she grew up in where she actually herself as a child stepped on a land mine that fortunately did not explode. Um And she opted to become a de miner and later went back and cleared that same area where she had had that interaction as a, as a kid. So, yeah, so it’s a really, it’s a really nice like behind the scenes stories getting to know both the impact of our work. But it’s another opportunity for us to showcase the boots on the ground that we have as an international organization. And that um you know, the staff that we’re working with are local and are working to improve their communities and they’re doing that. Thanks to our donors, anything you wanna add about? Uh your email number four feedback. Are you still? Uh So it’s through the journey, we’re doing five messages. Are you getting feedback? Uh like through you said when you get the first one from the executive director, you do get some messages there. Do you find much response to 23 and four? Yeah. So sometimes we, yeah, sometimes we get responses. Sometimes we don’t, I think the important thing on these journeys is to recognize that it’s really about keeping your audience warm and informed and familiar with who you are. Um So that whenever it it it’s right for them to take the next action, they know what they can do and why it’s important that they do it. Um So we do sometimes hear back from people. Um But for us, I think the most important thing is just knowing that people are reading those emails and they’re seeing about our work and the impact that they’re having. Um, so that we know that they’re gonna continue to engage with us and that goes to Patty’s point that some folks will forget that they even made the gift of you said, if Patty, if the second email comes too late, folks will wonder why you’re writing to me. You know, they don’t even remember. So you’re trying to keep them warm and engaged as you’re saying, Elizabeth. OK. And how about your, your fifth email, Elizabeth? What is that the the fifth email is the ask? So we’re looking for validation in that one. Yes, we’re asking. So um in that fifth email, um we are typically asking and encouraging those one time donors to now take another step forward and become a monthly donor and join our monthly giving community. Um What if they, what if they were monthly donors to begin with, if they are monthly donors to begin with? So we do have a separate, we have a separate journey for monthly donors. And so in that one, we’re asking them to upgrade their monthly gift so they can give extra and that’s actually a really good point. There’s a filter before this email. So in case anyone signed up to give monthly in the meantime, um they’ll be excluded from this message. The last thing we want to do is ask someone to give monthly who is already giving monthly. It makes it seem like we’re not paying attention a little bit, just a little. Ok. Ok. And what’s the timing patty for this fifth male? We want ideally be a month after the gift. So it should be about two weeks after email number, right? Ok. And so, and you feel comfortable Elizabeth that asking for do more within a month after about a month, right? Yeah, I think, I think that can initially be scary to folks. How is this, you know, are we going to offend anyone? And if we’ve offended anyone, they haven’t told us that we’ve offended them. Um So you got that right? No, we haven’t gotten that feedback. And in fact, we’ve seen people who have either made a second one time gift or people who have decided to start um that monthly gift or maybe they don’t take an action immediately after that email, but two months from now when we continue nurturing them and showing the impact that they’re having, maybe they make that gift, you know, two or three or six months down the road. Um But yeah, we haven’t had any, any negative feedback. I think the important thing is that, you know, donors choose their philanthropy and they choose when to give and how to give and where to give. And so for us, you know, I think Patty and I were talking about this earlier, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. And so, you know, we’re just asking, we don’t expect anyone to do anything that they can or don’t want to do, but we’re giving them that opportunity to make another gift and broaden their impact. If that’s, you know, if that’s on the table for them. And at this point, they’ve learned how important that gift can be and the, the life changing um actions that it can, can fund Elizabeth if it, if it was a petition, that was the first action that began the embarkation on the journey. But I love this journey. So I’m sticking with this journey metaphor. You have the path and it’s a cruise, maybe it’s a cruise ship or um if, if so, if they were uh they signed, they signed a petition, then I assume your ask in email five is for a gift. And how do you decide how much to ask for? Um We actually don’t, we don’t include amounts. Um So, you know, that’s something really up to the donor. We actually um I will give a plug to fundraise up, which is our donation platform and we actually use their machine learning um which A I is, I’m sure gonna be a focus of some of your other interviews. Um but we use their machine learning and they actually will suggest gift amounts. That makes sense to the person who is, you know, coming to our site and opening that donation form. Um But yeah, if they, if they sign a petition that last ask is just to make any gift, whatever the amount um to fund our work. Ok. Ok. Patty gift number, email number five. You haven’t said anything about this one yet? What do you want to add? Um Yeah, I would just add that. I really recommend acknowledging the donor’s previous gift um explicitly in this email. So saying like we remember that you donated to us a month ago, we’re still thinking about how great you are over here. Um We’re still really grateful for that and we wanted to invite you to become a part of this monthly giving program because we think it would be a good fit for you because we know that you’re passionate about this cause it’s because you gave us a donation a month ago that we’re now asking you to do this. So again, we want, we want to make it seem like we’re paying attention. We remember you, we see you um and we’re not just blindly sending out donation requests. I appreciate that. It’s because of your first action that we’re we’re asking this. Alright, we still have some time together. Is there more that you’re gonna share with NTC attendees? That you have not yet shared with nonprofit radio listeners. I mean, I don’t, I don’t appreciate you holding back on uh on our listeners. Is there, is there more that uh we haven’t talked about yet? Um Yeah, I mean, one thing that we’re going to mention in our presentation is that if creating a five part welcome series, feels daunting to you, you can always start smaller, you could start with 123 emails in the series. And as time allows, you could add more emails to them or not like the petition series at Humanity Inclusion. It’s a three part series and that’s it just three emails. Um So we believe having something is better than having nothing even if the something isn’t like the full recommended journey link. But you can set these up as automations in probably any decent email provider, right? I would think contact mailchimp sales force. All the big ones have automated series features. And Elizabeth, is that just a capacity issue for now? I thought you said, I thought you have four and five on the donor Impact Journey. We do have on the on the donor welcome journey. We have five, the subscriber series. We have five, our petitions, we only have the three. So we have two petitions that we ask people to sign. So um so on that one, the j it’s a thank you for adding your name. And then the second one is again that story of impact. And then the third one is that one time ask. Um So I think it depends on to the action that someone is taking. What makes the most sense and what kind of that final ask how it compares to the one before. So if someone’s already given you money, I think nurturing them a little bit more before you ask them for more money is important where if someone is, has taken an action like adding their name to a petition, then for me, it feels a little bit more comfortable to more quickly ask them to, to make a gift. So they get the shorter journey. The three messages makes intuitive sense and you’re seeing good results. Yeah. Another thing I want to mention is that we really recommend segmenting anybody who’s on a journey, segmenting them out of your general newsletter list until they finish the journey. So, ok, your regular list. So like we don’t want someone to get email number two in this journey and then six hours later get your monthly newsletter that might feel like email overload for someone. And um we also feel like it’s the point of this is to nurture someone to the point where now they’re ready after the five emails, now they’re ready to be added to the general list. But for that first month, let’s really make sure we’re just talking to them about their donation and their donation only. Ok. Yeah, it seems disruptive to the, to the, to the whole cause of the whole purpose of the journey to, to have other communications in there. There might, there might be an asking that you might be asking that a newsletter, right? I mean, there probably is and now it seems incongruous like what? But I, I thought you were. Yeah, II I thought I just gave especially if it comes too close to the gift to the initial gift that started the journey, I could see. All right. That makes sense. It’s confusion. It’s disruptive. Ok. Ok. Ok. This is exclusive for the first month. They are exclusive communications. Ok. Is there anything else I I would just say for nonprofits, especially smaller teams, it can feel daunting to set these up at the start, but it’s really worth the time and investment to do that because you, you are now having these personal tailored touches to every donor that’s coming through or every subscriber that’s coming through and there’s a little bit of work on the front end. But really these journeys, once they’re, once they’re set, you can kind of set and forget, you know, maybe do a refresh every 6 to 12 months to make sure that the is still relevant to make sure that, you know, maybe you have a new story of impact that’s more recent that you wanna change out. Um But once you get these going, um they make your job as a fundraiser as a communicator as a marketer, a lot easier um to, to meet these donors where they are. That’s a perfect place to end. Thank you. That’s Elizabeth Sellers, us, Director of Communications and Development at Humanity and Inclusion. And with her is Patty Breach founder and CEO of the purpose collective, Patty Elizabeth. Thank you. Thanks very much. Thank you. Thank you and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Next week, the generational divide. That’s not a joke. You’ll see, you’ll see it’s coming. It’s next week. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. I think this went pretty well. Uh It’s, it is exhausting. Uh um And I’m a little tired of hearing my voice. Uh But you know, I’m the 1st 600 40 shows were all me and I didn’t get tired of hearing myself for those 13 years. So we’ll see, we’ll see the, the jury is out still about uh whether we need an associate producer on nonprofit radio. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The show’s associate producer for now is Kate Martignetti. Our social media is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that information, Scotty. You with us next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for February 19, 2024: Frustrations & Opportunities With Jay Frost


Jay FrostFrustrations & Opportunities With Jay Frost

Jay returns to share his reflections on four decades in the nonprofit community. There are things he’d like to see us doing better, that the sector has been talking about for many years. But they haven’t changed much. Yet he remains optimistic, so he recognizes the brighter future that’s possible if we practice more of what we preach. Jay is on LinkedIn.


Listen to the podcast

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!


I love our sponsors!

Donorbox: Powerful fundraising features made refreshingly easy.

Virtuous: Virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer, and marketing tools you need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving.

Apple Podcast button




We’re the #1 Podcast for Nonprofits, With 13,000+ Weekly Listeners

Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
View Full Transcript

Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. We have a new sponsor. Welcome. Virtuous to the nonprofit radio family. So glad to have you. I’m grateful for your sponsorship. Welcome. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of irises if I saw that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s going on this week? Hey, Tony, we’ve got frustrations and opportunities. Jay Frost returns to share his reflections on four decades in the nonprofit community. There are things he’d like to see us doing better that the sector has been talking about for many years, but they haven’t changed much yet. He remains optimistic so he recognizes the brighter future. That’s possible if we practice more of what we preach on Tonys take two last chance were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms, blocking your supports, generosity, donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. And by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools you need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Thank you again for your new sponsorship. Virtuous. Welcome. Anyway, here is frustrations and opportunities. It’s a genuine pleasure to welcome Jay Frost back to nonprofit radio. Jay has worked in the nonprofit community since 1985. That’s 39 years. Let’s call it 40 years between friends. He’s been a grant writer, fundraiser service provider and now he’s a consultant and content creator. You’ll find Jay on linkedin and he hosts Donor Searches Philanthropy. Masterminds series. Welcome back, Jay. It’s good to see you. It is always great to see you, Tony. We talk a lot on the Masterminds series. You’ve hosted me there probably by mistake or, or you had last minute cancellations. Uh I don’t know, three or four times. I’ve been on a bunch of times. I think you’re a popular guy. I, I like to draw a crowd. I, I like to think I draw a crowd but, but we’re focused on you today. The crowd that you draw, the thinking that you have the wisdom of let’s call it 40 years, 40 years in philanthropy. What does that feel like? What does it feel like to have done something? 40 years? Who, when you say the number over and over and now so far it’s 100 and 20. Uh I I it, it uh it, it really, it really makes me feel old Tony. So, thank you. Um But, ok, so there’s a line from Mary Oliver that I want to quote because it’s what I’m thinking about a lot, which is that, um, when it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I’ve made of my life something particular and real. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. So that’s what I’m thinking about these days. And, uh, and it’s a good place to think about it. Right. I mean, we have a lot of fun in our world, especially when I’m hanging out with, with a friend like you. Um, but it’s serious stuff too. And when you say 40 years, 40 years, 40 years, the first thing I think of is, oh, my gosh. I’m just getting started for, well, first of all, it’s not additive. So it’s, it’s not 100 and 20. So, uh, it was, it was keep you with your 40. Let’s not get carried away. Don’t get a big hit. Um, no, but, you know, uh, well, I like the, I like the idea of not, not simply visiting our world. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Um, what was your very, very, very first job? Was it the grant writing job or? Very, very, very first job in, in nonprofits? Oh, my gosh. Ok. So, first I wanted to be in the film business. I went out to LA. I lived in a garage. I didn’t have a car. I took buses, you know, you don’t do any of that in L A and I did all those things and that’s why I left. So I was there for a brief time, came back tail between my legs to Washington DC where my parents then had, had uh moved and I was introduced to a person at the National Endowment for the Arts. And very quickly, somehow miraculously got a job there as what was called a floater, which is back when people typed stuff and printed stuff, I was running around just doing all those odd jobs at the National Endowment for the Arts. And it was the dream for me because I was raised to study poetry and music and all these other things. So the ne A it was the citadel of all those things. And so very quickly, I, I had the opportunity to work in the inter arts program which was very interesting and controversial place. What program inter arts which is introduced plenty of arts work and um lots of controversy there. And then I worked at the literature program which also had a share of controversy, but that’s where I had a chance to as a 24 year old identify poets who would then be reviewing manuscripts from all the people, writing poetry and fiction and so forth around the country to review it and make investments in writers. I mean, it was, that was my first job. I was 24 I had $2 million in grants responsibility but, but uh I was not making the decisions. I was administering that work. But still, since nobody else really knew a heck of a lot about poetry then or now it meant that I got to be in this candy store of being with people who cared about words and their, and their impact. And that was 1985. That was, yeah, I was, I got there at 85. I was there through just a brief time through 87. Yeah. What happened in what, what happened in uh Hollywood, Los Angeles filmmaking? Oh man. Uh well, you know, you can only live so long on patty melt sandwiches served to you from behind a plexiglass screen for cash um working across in the Kit Kat Club in a theater that’s closed most of the time. Uh I I that was, that was my life, you know, occasionally getting into 50 bucks in the Kit Kat Club. You could have been a, oh my God, you could have been a floater instead of a floater. It could have been many things on that street with Santa Monica Boulevard in the eighties. Yeah, it was an interesting place. Um Alright, but it didn’t go, it just you didn’t take off. No, I did not take off. I had the opportunity to write some uh some scripts for things that probably didn’t need the scripts. Um and I decided not to do that over Christmas vacation. Looking in the mirror. Um, and then was able to rededicate myself to things that have, you know, aesthetic value. I see. All right. Oh, this sounds like a conversation that we should continue over a beer at a conference, uh, on a, on a Friday night. All right. All right. But, yeah, it’s fascinating. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so let’s turn to, uh, your thinking. I mean, I, I invited you on to, to share your thoughts about our, our community. You have 40 years to reflect over. You’ve seen the things we’ve emphasized over 40 years, the things we’ve accomplished not accomplished. What uh what strikes you first? Wow. It’s a lot of it that occurs to me first are the kinds of things that you and I have chatted about um over the transom every time we’ve, we’ve talked a lot of the petty frustrations that kind of, you know, gnaw at you. Um The things that we laugh over such as uh such as, you know, um why don’t organizations we know, do the things that they should do that are relatively easy to do um such as, uh you know, send out a personal thank you note once in a while. And then we get into all these debates about whether or not people should write thank you notes, whether they’re vestiges of the past, whether they’re too elitist, there are other terms that are less polite for doing this kind of thing. But the, but the thing that really drives me bananas about all that is that it focuses on a tiny, tiny sliver of activity. Uh instead of thinking about the whole, where we can say, what is it that we’re here to do? What is it we’re trying to address what are the best ways of engaging with people who believe in the same things we do, making sure so that they know that we see them, that we hear them, that we know that they’re human and they’re valuable and then we truly partner with them to get things done. Instead, we’ve divided all this stuff up and these little uh actions and then half the time we ignore some of those things to do and I’ve been guilty of it too. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that that I haven’t failed at almost everything because I have. But rather that once we learn these things, I’d like to think that we could put some of them into practice. And I have seen best practices over 40 years. So if we could just pull them together, sort of like our own little mini Bible and actually practice that stuff. I think we could have better partnerships, better friendships and be better trusted and then have better results. Let, let’s take off a few of the things that uh you’re talking about these, these small things that uh accumulate into better, better relationships. What you’re saying, stronger relationships, longer, more devoted donors pick off a few things that pick you off. Yeah, I took some notes so I wouldn’t forget. Um So what are these are so reverential to you? So I have to take notes to you that you have to write them down to remember. Ok, there are two levels here. So what we’re talking about first actually are kind of the appetizers of a conversation like this. They’re the annoyances, right? So those are the things we mess up that we can control for if we thought they were important. So it’s treating donors like ATM machines. This has become a common phrase now. Uh But uh but I think I’ve been saying it for a long time, I’m sure you have to and it’s not just because we see other people doing it and we say tis tis you should do what I say and not what I do. No, it’s because as donors, we experience this, we wonder what in the world is going on here. We make it donation and then we don’t hear from anybody or we get a digital receipt and they think that’s enough. It’s never enough. So uh just one practical example. And I think I’ve told you this before. Um off offline is that I started giving to an organization that this was two years ago now. So it was in the middle of the pandemic uh based on a book and a movie that I thought was just so powerful emotionally wrenching. And so I won’t mention the name of the organization because what I’m about to say suggests that they, that they are not taking care of their donors. And I’m hoping that what I’m going to tell you is isolated, although I fear it’s not. And I know it’s also true for many organizations that is it. I saw this powerful story. I’m really engaged. It’s a way to help people who are getting out of the prison, industrial complex. It is a big deal. We have more prisoners in this country than anywhere else on earth. And so, uh what do we do for these people when they get out? Well, pretty much nothing. Their life is almost over unless they’re lucky or they happen to live in a state with a program for that. I mean, it’s just awful on every level. So, wouldn’t it be great to help out? So I start giving an amount every month, which for me was a fair amount every month. Um And, and even though it’s not a lot of money, I knew it was probably putting in the top like five or 10% of donor pool just because of the stuff we know from fundraising. And so they keep, you know, sending me the kind of the notes uh via email that say dear friend. So I made a point of calling at one point just to say, you know, I’m doing this. They didn’t call me back and then at the end of the year I stopped giving, I thought, well, let’s see what happens. Not because I don’t care. But I was hoping that this would be kind of jarring and they do something and then I’d have a discussion not trying to get business, just trying to say, hey, I’m not special. There must be a lot of people like me silence every once in a while. I’ll get a note from the organization saying, dear friend asking me to give, not even mentioning my past giving. Now this all sounds pretty petty on my part. But the reason I’m mentioning it is because I think it’s just emblematic of a larger problem. Um On the one hand, we don’t have a lot of time in this world, fundraisers just don’t have a lot of time. We’re, we’re, you know, we got a lot to do, we aren’t particularly well paid to do it and we’re doing it out of love. All of those things are true. We don’t often have a lot of support staff. We don’t have a lot of great resources. It’s all true. But then there’s what we do with our time. And if there’s not, I don’t know that there’s anything more important than saying to people who believe in the same things we do that I see you and you’re important and this is important to do together. And I, and I know that organizations can do it and they’ve done it very well in some places, but somehow in the nonprofit industrial complex, we’ve forgotten a little bit of that. And I’m not sure that some of the new technology is, is helping us to become more human. I think sometimes it just relieves us of this nagging responsibility to, to have those little personal engagements that make this work so personally rewarding and so financially successful. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in-person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk, the smart way to accept cashless donations. Anywhere, anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data, entry or errors, make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try Donor Box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to frustrations and opportunities. Well, the promise of artificial intelligence is that it’s going to free us up for, for all the things that you’re talking about. So we’re gonna be better to our donors because we’re gonna relieve ourselves of the mundane writing tasks. Uh I think it’s mostly right. I’m gonna use that as the example. That’s what I see the most, you know, the the writing tasks, whether it’s annual report or a 200 word article or whatever, you know, and that’s gonna, the promise is that it’s going to give us time for the, for the human relationships and in my, uh, now we’re on Tony Martignetti s frustrations that, that sounds familiar. It’s a good show. I, I think the, I think the smartphone was supposed to do that for us too. Yeah. And I wonder if the telephone was supposed to have done that in the, I don’t know, 19 tens or I might be off on when, when that was became a widespread technology. But I think I’ve heard this promise before that we’re going to have more time for other activities and, uh, the promise hasn’t been realized in my mind. Right. Yeah. No, I, not only do I agree with you but I think it’s, it’s going back to what I was trying to get to, which is that this is a symptom of a larger issue and the technology it is, seems like a patch on this big tire that we’ve created to try and drive down this road of social change and, and it’s good. I mean, I, I’m all about tech because tech is, is awesome and we really can use it for good. Um, but at the same time if we’re using it as a patch to just keep driving down the same road in the same ways, it doesn’t necessarily serve the purpose. Um, so I’d like to think that if we can go back to what it is that’s supposed to be guiding us. What is the principle behind this work? You know, keep that in mind all the time, keep it up on our wall and look at it all the time. Then hopefully we’ll be doing the more human things. Um There’s a book written years ago by Robert Putnam, you know, Bowling Alone. And the reason I’m mentioning it here is because this concept about uh this kind of fracturing of society where we don’t know each other as well has been potentially exacerbated by some of these technologies, not because of the technologies themselves, but how we use them to avoid actual interaction with one another. And I think that the nonprofit sector and fundraisers specifically not only have potentially a responsibility to do something about that, but it’s more of an opportunity to do something about it that we could decide every time we employ a technology or a technique um that we can use that in order to get closer to people instead of just to mechanize and uh efficient and make more efficient our work because I know what we’re trying to do is get more money. But what we really need to do is build stronger connections in order to get that money, be mindful of your use of the technology. I mean, if, if, if it does, in fact, if artificial intelligence does, in fact relieve you from the, the drudgery of writing your annual report then what are you gonna do with those extra 15 hours that you saved? Because nobody’s gonna tap you on the shoulder and say you’ve got 15 free hours. Now, what are you, how are you going to use the time that the A I saved you? You’re, you’re boasting over coffee. Whoa, the writing, the annual report was so easy this year? Ok. What did you do with the quote surplus time that the, the A I uh allowed you? Did you, did you make more donor calls? Did you have more donor meetings? Did you write more handwrit notes? Did you uh pick up the phone to somebody you haven’t talked to in a, in a while? And this implication, this leads over into the personal too, not only the professional, but you and I are talking about fundraising and fundraisers. So I’ll, I’ll keep it there but use that time consciously if you feel A I is or some other technology has relieved you of a burden. How do you use the new time that, that you used to uh devote to that burden? But, but we kind of forget then about those other things that we can do because if we’re all then trained to engage with one another in these almost mechanized ways like by text and I use text all the time like we all do. But if, then that’s what we’re used to. How comfortable does it feel to just call somebody. So every once in a while I’ll do this, I’ll just grab a number on my phone of somebody I haven’t talked to for a long time and just call them up. And it’s almost shocking because we’re all now so used to communicating in this other way that to do that other thing, sometimes it can be refreshing but sometimes it can be off putting because we’re not accustomed to it. And I, and I, and if that’s true in the personal world, I know it’s also true in this professional world, you, you feel like it’s off putting, I find it more refreshing, then off putting it, you can mean off putting to yourself or to the person receiving the call to the person, receiving the call. And I’m not suggesting we don’t call. I’m saying the opposite. I’m just saying that I think people have become used to a certain kind of thing. And so this new thing, some people do find it refreshing like you and I do. But other people just, they don’t know what make of it. Like, why is this happening? Why is this thing happening? We have to do that. We have to break up that thing and, and do those things to, to engage with people in these ways to make it more human. I, I think my experience is, you know, I I’m working in Planned Giving. So I’m usually talking to people who are 70 80 90. And there’s one woman who’s 100 and one and one who was 100 until she died recently, they grew up with handwrit notes and then they had decades and decades of phone conversations before we went virtual that many decades, like 4050 decades of, oh, no, 40 or 50 years of, uh, phone calls. So to them, uh, a phone call is very thoughtful. A handwrit note is even more thoughtful as the recipients of those. And I, you know, I, I think, um, I think when you do more than what’s typical, I think it’s more refreshing to the recipient than it is off putting. So I guess I’m pushing back a little bit. You know, I, I would and I know you’re not discouraging folks from doing the extra, you know, look, customer service is, um, I have a recurring show that I, uh, replay called Zombie Loyalists with a, a marketing and, uh, pr guy named Peter Shankman and he says, well, he said years ago when he was first on the show and I’ve replayed it many times since then, you know, the average, but it remains true, the standard of customer service is crap. So if you could just be a little above crap, you’re setting yourself apart. So just don’t, just don’t do crap. Yeah, I absolutely agree. You know, whatever it looks, whatever, taking an extra step looks like for you and your donors do it because you’ve got this, uh a surplus time theoretically from the, from the, from the technologies that we, that are, that are saving us so much. But if you do find you have extra time, um, use it, you know, use it consciously. That’s, that’s kind of what I was getting to is, you know, conscious use of time. Yeah, I absolutely agree. And I use off putting that as the way I feel about it but as how some people react even to the idea of doing it. Um It’s, it’s funny though because in talking about these things and you, you’re going through the idea about people who were used to handwrit notes of a certain age than people used to phone calls. And if you talk to people who are maybe of the successive generation, they might say, well, we don’t do these things or people in this age group, they make assumptions, they don’t do these things. But in fact, if we go on to Twitch right now and we see a Twitch streamer who’s raising money for, you know, pick your cause, it might be Saint Judes. It might be something we know as well. What are they doing? They’re engaging with people live right now. They’re talking to them. They’re, they’re um they’re doing that through the chat. They’re engaging with people in a meeting that makes sense for them today. But the reason why I mentioned this is, it’s not about the tech that’s just today’s tech, they’re really engaging with people so anything we can do to properly engage with people, uh, I think is that is exactly what we should be doing. And I, and I, and once again I don’t think it is off-putting. I just think that’s the objection. I think what we really need to do is bring things up a little to, to be better than the boring to go back to your point. Yeah. Oh, I see. You’re, you’re concerned. Yeah, I see what you’re expressing that people might be put off. No, I think people will be uh elated. You know, I write a lot of handwrit notes and not surprising that I get a fair amount of handwrit notes back. But again, I’m writing to older folks. 70 plus, it’s time for Tony’s steak to do. Thank you, Kate. This is the last Chance for Planned Giving Accelerator. The last few weeks. The class starts in early March. If Planned Giving is on your to do list, you wanna launch it. Your board has talked about it. You’ve been thinking about it. I can help you in Planned Giving Accelerator Guide. You step by step week after week, how to launch Planned Giving at your nonprofit. Of course, there’s the incredible peer support too. Besides what you learned from me. Lots of cross talk. We, we set this up as zoom meetings, not webinars, so you can talk to each other. Folks get to know each other. Share successes, frustrations uh help each other. That, that part has been much more uh than I than I expected the, the, the peer support. So there’s all that if you’re interested, the info is at Planned Giving accelerator.com. If you use code nonprofit Radio, 1500 you can claim $1500 off the tuition. It’s all at Planned Giving accelerator.com and that is Tony take two. Hey, I hope people join in the class. Thank you. We’ve got just about a butt load more time. Let’s return to frustrations and opportunities with Jay Frost. What you’re espousing is be relational, not transactional, but that’s something that we’ve been talking about for 20 years. Donor centric. How long about 15 years we’ve been talking about being donor centric. Do you feel like we’ve improved? II I, I’m not experiencing it when you give, when you leave the prison. The prison charity is, hasn’t heard about donor centrism or hasn’t put it into practice. I think that’s it. I think that they haven’t put it into practice. I mean, we have had a really important discussion about whether or not organizations are community centric or not. And I think that’s a valid and important conversation, whether the organizations themselves are accurately representing the needs and interests of the community by having people within the community uh on the board and engaged in the activity and engaged in the fundraising and all these things. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the organization, uh, shouldn’t do these things we’ve been talking about, shouldn’t have a note written to somebody. Shouldn’t pick up the phone and just say I appreciate so much that you care about the same things and what can we do to, you know, to make sure that you have the information you need to keep being involved. These, I think these things work well together. So I understand why we’ve had this discussion. I don’t understand. It sounds like you don’t understand it either is why when we’ve been talking about these things for so many years, whether it’s about donor Centricity, whether it’s about actively engaging the community that we end up in the same place of not doing it, of sending a digital receipt of not just finding whatever the current version of picking up the phone is. And here’s the reason why I think this really matters. I, I think it’s much more than just whether or not we’re going to hit this year’s retention figures and make this quarter’s goals. That’s important. All of that is important. But what’s far more important is that it’s about building relationships of trust that’s fundamental to major gifts, that world that I spend some time in. It’s obviously important to plan gifts, which you spend so much time in. But, and there’s so much revenue there that that’s important, but far more important if people don’t trust our organizations as a whole. And the Edelman Trust survey shows that nonprofits are also seeing declining uh faith in, in our organizations. If people don’t trust our organizations as a whole, then that means they won’t start, they won’t come on the on ramp to supporting us as volunteers, as, as employees, as board members, as contributors. And if they won’t, then we can’t meet the big challenges of our time. So these little things that we choose not to do either because we think we’re too busy or because they’re not important. End up having a direct correlation to whether or not people trust our organizations to take on the biggest challenges of our time. And these are existential. I mean, if, if we can’t get anybody to trust uh the government um or major institutions about issues like climate change, why should they trust, you know XYZ organization either if, if they are engaged with us that we haven’t asked them to volunteer, we haven’t invited them to sit down and have a discussion in the local community. We haven’t invited them to invest. And if they’re not really engaged with us, why in the world should they listen to us about why we need to make sure that we don’t go above 1.5 °C, which we just hit, we just hit this week, the thing that we were supposed to avoid for, for decades, just like for decades we’ve been talking about. Write a Thank you note. It’s, it’s almost parallel to see the decline in trust, the decline in generosity and ultimately the decline, our ability to address existential challenges and we have the ability as fundraisers to do little things to achieve great things just by building these bonds. That’s a terrific sort of segue to, you know, what we can do. And we’ve, we’ve toyed with this, uh uh while we’ve been talking, but we keep saying, don’t do this or do the other instead. But, um yeah, I, I mean, I’m, I’m, I’m with you. These, these small, these small things, small tasks lead to bigger uh either trust or a lack of trust if you’re not doing them, which impinges our ability to uh stop hunger and homelessness and, and reverse climate change and, and save whales and animals from kill shelters and domestic violence victims, survivors and all, you know, all of it and, and the arts education that, yeah. So, all right. So we have the ability to write the ship. It’s just, you know, we haven’t done it. We’ve been talking about it for decades. I’ve only been in philanthropies for 27 years. It got me beat by, by 1312 or 13. Um 12 or 13. Yeah. Right. 12 or 13. I don’t wanna overstate the case. Um But you know, but, you know, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not seeing big uh I’m not seeing big impacts. I’m not seeing big outcomes, outcomes is really what we want to be measuring. So, but that doesn’t mean we stop talking. That doesn’t mean we stop trying. No. And I, I wonder if maybe the, the thing is that we need to give people a bigger goal. Um, I mean, climate change is a pretty, pretty large, pretty existential goal. Right. But that’s, that’s too big too. Right. I mean, an individual or even in an organization, probably many people and many organizations don’t feel like they can do a heck of a lot to make a change to something like that. Um They can do the little things but they can’t do the big things. But maybe there are, there’s a, there’s something in the middle that ties together the work that we do in our world of, you know, um fundraising, for example, and philanthropy together uh with um uh with that bigger, bigger existential um question and, and I wonder if it’s stuff like um determining how we work with other organizations to build trust, you know, consolidating and coordinating our efforts so that instead of everybody forming another nonprofit. Um No, well, maybe we find a way to bring these nonprofits together, not just out of financial distress, which is where we typically go with mergers, but out of AAA true desire to share power, to share resources and to achieve greater things, bigger goals, bigger impacts, you know, through consolidation and cooperation’s, that’s one and that’s a bigger goal that I, I think is also attainable. And um it, something it’s a little easier to sort of imagine rather than how am I going to make sure that the ocean water levels don’t rise too high in the Carolinas. Um, you know, but it does lead there, I mean, if we can get people to work together as organizations instead of all being separate entities, then maybe it’s going to be a little easier to communicate to the public about the importance of taking actions to lobby the government, which is another thing that we can do that we don’t do because we’re so fearful that if we lobby that it’s going to run afoul of the law and that also we won’t be able to receive all the donations we want. So lobbying is one and then we can do things like um ensure that we are partnering with the kinds of supporters who also best represent our values. So we’re not just going for whatever money is out there, but we have big audacious goals supported by larger consolidated and cooper entities in pursuit of these bigger goals, supported by people who are willing to make big investments towards those goals. So not just trying to get uh a few dollars together for a small thing, but bringing more actors together with bigger support from well aligned actors for bigger things. The first one you mentioned the partnerships and those are all valuable uh the the partnerships with other organizations. That’s something I feel that the community, the sector is doing better. I remember um grant making foundations focusing on uh on, on collaborations and, and I think that that made a difference. Um II, I do still hear that there’s, you know, fear about, well, you know, we don’t, we don’t really know what a partnership looks like, you know, is it just a memorandum of understanding or are we doing events together or, or grassroots activities together like uh an advocacy day on Capitol Hill or, or in the State Capitol or whatever? Uh you know, what, what does it look like? And, or our, our board is, is uncertain about working too closely because it kind of suggests that we can’t do the work ourselves. You know, I’ve heard some of these arguments against the, the, the, the partnership ideas, but I do still think we are further along in working collaboratively than we were like 10 years ago. You, you may be right about that. Uh But I do on my end in the consulting work that I do still see so many emerging organizations all the time. They’re popping up like, like weeds or maybe dandelions. I mean, something prettier than weeds. But they, but the problem is that they still are thinking I need to do this alone. And I, and I, and I don’t see the trouble there. I pardon my interruption, but you’re accustomed to it, you know. You know, I, I do that all the time and the, the trouble there is, you know, these are folks new to the sector. So like, you know, they have passion about something. It may have, may be an event that a AAA trauma in their life that they want to create a, an advocacy cause around, you know, but, but they jump in, I mean, their first thought is I want to start a nonprofit or maybe, you know, maybe the first thing is they do a uh a fundraiser, you know, on one of the platforms or something. And then they say, oh, you know, we made $1500. Well, you know, maybe I’ll start a nonprofit, you know, so they, they’re not acquainted with the sector. They don’t, they don’t know what they’re jumping into. And by the time they start to meet the partners, you know, they’re, they’re already incorporated for three years and they’re raising, you know, now, $5000 a year and they’re flailing. But, but they got in with all with passion, which is necessary but not sufficient. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world. And in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the Needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers responsive fundraising, puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow, impact virtuous.org. Now back to frustrations and opportunities. It’s, it’s uh it’s hard to watch because you want to take people’s, you know, all that, all that energy and passion that they have and, and help them to achieve that result that they, they say that they want to see in the world. Um At the same time, they’re never going to, it’s going to be extremely difficult for them to hit the scale that they want. What is it? Three quarters, three quarters of all nonprofits uh annual revenue under, isn’t it three quarters under $75,000 or something like that? But, but I, I don’t know, have, have you ever had these conversations with folks who just reach out to you because you’re in the sector and you’re well known and they want to start a nonprofit and they’re like, pick your brain. I, I, I’ve, I’ve had a lot of those pick your brain kind of conversations and the folks are resistant to the idea of donating to an existing cause. That’s, that’s already doing the work they’re talking about or volunteering with it or, or uh just approaching them about how can I help somehow if, if you don’t know what the structure looks like, just they, they feel like they have to do it themselves. It’s, it’s not that the existing organizations are not sufficient. But, yeah, but they’ve already, but they may have already scaled. They’re certainly more scaled than your non-existent organization. They’re, they’re, they’re way beyond where you are now, but folks are, are resistant to that line of thinking. They, they’re just so motivated. They don’t really want to hear the reach out to the existing community versus incorporating and taking on management of a, of a nonprofit corporation. You, you really don’t know what you’re getting into. So this is, this is one of the questions that I have for myself. It rattles around in my head all the time. How much of that is the result of the way we have kind of trained the community to understand how they can engage with the existing organization. I, I mean, some of there are going to be some people who tomorrow want to start their own organization and that’s just the way it’s gonna be, but it could be that they aren’t even aware of how they could be involved with another organization. So let’s take this down to the very, you know, practical kind of fundraising stuff that we do all the time. If we look at many organizations, websites, it’s very difficult in most cases to find out how to volunteer and sometimes volunteering is not only difficult to understand within the website, but there might be barriers to it. Um And those barriers are sometimes practical on the inside. But what it means externally is if you’re the person who says I really need to help the kids in my community um with an after school program. Uh And you don’t know any, any of the programs that are existing right now. Well, maybe that’s a bit of your own personal ignorance, maybe you can do more research, but it could be also that the organization already performing that role, or more likely several organizations have not found a way to bring everybody with that passion in. So I don’t mean to blame us for not being sufficient in our marketing, but I do think that we can open the doors wider to people who share our values and our passions than we have done. And we can certainly do it even in very simple, practical ways that fundraisers have some degree of control over like our websites, our Facebook pages, other places where we are acting as an acquisition tool. Well, it’s, it’s, it’s a way that we can say you don’t need to in indirectly say you don’t need to start your own thing. We’ve already got a thing here. We value you. That’s why we’ve already invited you to participate in this and that and the other thing and to give. So why don’t you come on in and work with us and that work may be as a volunteer, it may be as a advisory board member. It may be as some kind of community event or organizational um activity person, but I’m not sure that we’re doing that job very well. And in fact, if anything, I think that we have in our efforts to streamline our operations once again, um we have narrowed the portal through which people can discover and engage with us so they can find their passions through our organizations instead of coming up with 10,000 other competing organizations. I mean, let’s put it another way. 1.6 million organizations in the United States is just too many, it’s just too many. Some of that is uh the, the, the accessibility, you know, volunteering with us could look like two hours a week. I, I it could look like just a few hours a month, you know, or you, sometimes you see volunteer options but, you know, it’s not, I, I don’t, I don’t know, you, you sounds like you’ve, you’ve spent more time thinking about it and, and looking at them. Um II I, I’m thinking about, you know, volunteering. We, what does it look like? I mean, define, define what folks could do as a, as a volunteer. I mean, I think a lot of people would like to enter as a volunteer and then may very well become donors when they see the, the good work that you’re doing and they’re helping do it firsthand. They’re doing it with you firsthand. Um All right, Jay. Um what else? Now, what else? Uh What, what else would you opportunities on the opportunity side? Well, we also talked about the importance of, of coming up with advocacy um of making sure that uh we are taking a more pronounced role and discussing the issues that are important to us. And that might go a little bit beyond just a statement of our mission, our immediate mission. Uh maybe we once again get together with other organizations and say that this is our common platform, the thing that we all need to do together. So if we’re working with Children, there are lots of organizations working with Children and we need lots of them. Uh Maybe we don’t need as many as there are. I don’t know, but we do need a lot of people out there working with kids, but together, they probably have some common threads and if they worked together, I would think that they could also have more um more weight in lobbying their state legislatures. Um and, and their, their congressional representatives, um the federal government for more aid to Children um in various forms, whether it’s for head start programs or for after school programs. What have you. So in other words, we don’t have to have tons of organizations trying to fight over small amounts of money, kind of that scarcity principle, but instead coming together uh in pursuit of larger goals and then lobbying together uh to make sure that there are more resources available to address these common needs. So I think that advocacy is something that we don’t pursue as well as we could. Um And, and we could, we could do it in a more concerted and um, and successful way uh advocacy days in Washington or in state legislatures are a great example of this, but they’re usually done by individual organizations rather than by a group. Um, and so that’s one more way that I think that we could find common causes together and work together for, uh, a more, more successful outcomes, an advocacy day. I mean, I see that as perfect, uh, fertile ground for partnering, you, you’d rather have six busloads of people than one or a half and one of the organizations may have other organizations are gonna have relationships that you don’t have with, with staffs and, and this could be like we both said, Washington or at the state level. Um, I, I don’t know, I see that as ripe opportunities for, for partnering door knocking campaigns. The same thing. We, we’d rather have hundreds of people than a dozen. And I would think that would be easier if we’re working with a coalition of them. I mean, that’s, that’s definitely what happens in a political campaign. And there are some things that political campaigns do well and some things that they, they don’t, they’re much more transactional, but there are some things they do well that we can learn from and we can uh make sure that we employ those same tools and, and techniques and approaches to reach more people, get them more engaged. You had a, a dalliance with uh political campaigns. You were, you were considering running for uh for the US House at one point. I remember years ago, years ago, I never, I never jumped into the, into the, you were considering, I admire that you were thinking about it. You were serious enough that you, you publicize it to some of us, some. Well, I, I was involved at the state level with uh with the Democratic Party. Um And uh so uh was involved as a finance chair for our congressional district and doing other activities like that. Um There’s also a history of politics in my family on both sides of the aisle, uh especially with advertising and marketing, interestingly enough and in, in, in that world, what I find really interesting is advocating for ideas. So it’s not just, it’s not just the politicking over the bills, but it’s also saying that this is what’s important to us. Let’s fight for it together. Um And I, I think if there’s a kind of a through line in all this discussion, it might seem like we’re bouncing around a little bit. Uh But for me, it’s that if, if we can figure out what it is that we’re pursuing and then find out what our common interests are and common pursuits, then we should be able to attract more people to that together, um, to work on those things and more resources to, to accomplish those things. That’s certainly true in politics. And I believe it’s true in the nonprofit sector. Um, and if there’s something that, uh, that has driven me kind of crazy in the last few years, it’s this almost disaggregation. It’s this breakup we’ve had um that uh that I think that, that fundraising in part can help to fix. Um that instead of uh finding the way to divide up the population into a million different conversations, we can find common conversations and invite people to have those with us. Um instead of fighting over red and blue and, and so forth, whether it’s political or, or sports teams or our approaches to fundraising, um Instead we can find what it is, the majority of us need to do together in order to achieve these common objectives. Um So, yeah, uh politics in some ways is very appealing to me. Um What has been most uh um uh disturbing about politics is also in some ways reflected in the nonprofit sector, we may not have the same kinds of fights here in the nonprofit world that we do in politics. Thank God for that. Um But I do think that sometimes uh we, we get involved in these little uh rivalries over ideas when in fact, some things are, are pretty simple and direct, like sitting down with people across the table and listening to them first, um showing them that we heard them and then invite them to participate equally with us in achieving a mutual, you know, mutually desired result. And I know that in earnest, most of us feel that we are doing that. We are working hard to do that in this sector, but especially in some of the ways we’ve talked about so far today. Um I think we can do better. I think that’s an a, a fine place to stop if uh if, if you’re comfortable with that. Yeah. Is there? No, I need you to work with. I was kind of all over the place. No, no, you, you were restrained, right? All right. I think you like. That’s uh those are, those are excellent parting words and we, we, we can do better and we’ve got existential challenges that are at stake back to J Frost. Oh, thank you. Um Yeah. And we had a, you know, I should have given you a little more space for humor, Tony because this wasn’t the laugh fest. It usually is with you. That’s the only problem. Well, that’s when I’m, when I’m the centerpiece. It’s, it’s more uplifting. No, you were quite uplifting. Maybe. Uh maybe I wouldn’t go so far as to say jovial. But uh you’re uplifting, uplifting. All right. He’s Jay Frost. He hosts the, uh, you do this a couple of times a week, right? The Donor Search philanthropy Masterminds series. You do one a week or a couple of week, 22 per week, plus one podcast per week for 46 weeks. This year, I’m giving myself a little vacation. All right. Let’s not get too slack. 46 444 weeks of vacation. 4 to 4 to 6 weeks of vacation. Um, You’ll find him on linkedin and you’ll find him at the uh philanthropy Masterminds series, which is he’s the host and donor search is the sponsor of the, of the series. Thank you, Jay. Thank you for uh Thank you for opening up. Thank you to really, really appreciate it next week. Publish your book, Thought Leader. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com or sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. And by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving, virtuous.org. Welcome again. Virtuous. Thanks so much. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Marinetti. The show social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty be with us next week. For nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for September 18, 2023: Donor Dominance


Ian MacQuillin: Donor Dominance

Donor-centric doesn’t mean donor dominant. Ian MacQuillin shares his research and thinking on donor power structures in fundraising. For instance, let’s work at the sector, organizational and individual levels, to dismantle patriarchal structures. Ian is director of the Rogare fundraising think tank.


Listen to the podcast

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!

I love our sponsor!

Donorbox: Powerful fundraising features made refreshingly easy.


Apple Podcast button




We’re the #1 Podcast for Nonprofits, With 13,000+ Weekly Listeners

Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
View Full Transcript

Transcript for 658_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20230918.mp3

Processed on: 2023-09-16T15:16:58.078Z
S3 bucket containing transcription results: transcript.results
Link to bucket: s3.console.aws.amazon.com/s3/buckets/transcript.results
Path to JSON: 2023…09…658_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20230918.mp3.650622323.json
Path to text: transcripts/2023/09/658_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20230918.txt

[00:00:38.40] spk_0:
Welcome to tony-martignetti Nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I am glad you’re with us. I’d be forced to endure the pain of black hairy tongue. If you made me speak the words you missed this week’s show. Associate producer, Kate. What’s coming up this week?

[00:01:10.26] spk_1:
Hey, tony, this week it’s donor dominance. Donor centric doesn’t mean donor dominant. Ian mcquillan shares his research and thinking on donor power structures in fundraising. For instance, let’s work at the sector, organizational and individual levels to dismantle patriarchal structures. Ian is director of the Rore fundraising think tank on Tony’s take two

[00:01:12.74] spk_0:
fourth quarter approach

[00:01:45.45] spk_1:
were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor Boxx, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor Boxx dot org and by Kila grow revenue, engage donors and increase efficiency with Kila. The fundraiser CRM visit Kila dot co to join the thousands of fundraisers using Kila to exceed their goals. Here is donor dominance.

[00:02:28.32] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure to welcome Ian mcquillan to nonprofit radio. He is director of the international fundraising think tank. Rore Rore aims to help fundraisers better use theory and evidence by translating academic ideas into professional practice and building fundraising’s knowledge base. Ian is recognized as a leading thinker on fundraising ethics. He’s at Ian mcquillan and the think tank, which he founded in 2014 is at Rore dot net from Portsmouth England, Ian. Welcome to nonprofit radio.

[00:02:32.00] spk_2:
Thank you very much for having me, um tony and the way you spelled out and read out a little bio biography about what Roa does. It makes me think maybe I need to change it and make it a bit punchier.

[00:02:42.57] spk_0:
Why I think it’s fine. Uh You, you think it’s why punch you, you think it sounds dull and boring it,

[00:02:47.64] spk_2:
get it, get, it, gets it across, but maybe we’ve had it for a while. Maybe it’s time to refresh the brand of the mission of it.

[00:04:14.95] spk_0:
Oh, all right. Well, brand refreshing. All right. I, I see. But I think, I think folks understand and they’ll understand better how you’re, you’re translating uh academia, academic thinking into professional practice as we uh have our discussion about uh donor dominance and uh donor power structures and how these impact fundraisers, how these impact, impact uh individual uh nonprofits, how they impact the sector wide. Um And what individuals, nonprofits and the sector can do to maybe may uh fight back. I don’t know, maybe that’s maybe fights. I, I hate to be in a uh like sound like an a AAA belligerent American. Everything’s a fight and everything is a competition but uh how we can um manage our donors so that uh these power structures maybe are, are become a more, a more level field for, for, for everyone, for the donors as well as for the, the fundraisers, the sectors of the sector and the uh the individual nonprofit. So I’m, I’m, I’m looking forward to a conversation about donor dominance. What I I what, what got you into this? Uh I know there were some incidents that brought you to the work, maybe uh maybe reveal some of those before we get into uh the substance and, and how it appears, it itself how it shows itself.

[00:07:36.26] spk_2:
Well, well, the one that really brought us to the idea of donor dominance, which is not a phrase that we have come up with donor dominance was used in an academic article way back in the early August in 2003. Uh And it, it is describing an imbalance of power where the donor can exhibit controlling behavior and that can lead to compromising the mission of an organization or its ability to serve its beneficiaries. So most fundraisers will be aware of the idea of mission creep where they maybe the donor tries to exert an, an influence over, over the mission to maybe follow the donor’s agenda or the ends or things that they want to do. So the idea that donors will have and can might have. This power is not new or unusual to fundraisers. And if you kind of just try and think about it from first principles, all relationships can be analyzed and thought of in some term of power differential or power dynamic. You know, when you think of a customer and a retailer, there’s a power dynamic there and one has more power than the other and sometimes that power shifts. So when it comes to charities and their fundraisers, who are their agents asking donors for money, the donor has something the charity wants, which is their wealth, their philanthropy, maybe their influence, uh all sorts of ways that they can support, not just money, um time and treasure and influence as well. And the donor doesn’t have to give that the donor can withhold that. So there’s that power imbalance already. The donor has some something that the charity wants and they have to ask for it and be nice to get it. So there’s not saying that it inevitably leads to any abuse of power, but there is the potential for the abuse of power. You can see that it is just there. Now people in all walks of life behave abominably all the time. People just behave badly. You see it everywhere in all walks of life, people are abusive to other people, they talk down to ST to staff, to people they believe are be beneath the they’re not nice to their friends and relatives. Um It’s not saying that all people don’t behave well. There are lots of saints, there are lots of angels, there are lots of people that don’t behave well. And I think it’s kind of slightly naive to expect that just because somebody is a donor and they’re doing a good thing for society and they’re expressing their philanthropy, that automatically means they will also be saints in the behavior in all of life. So there is, you can see whether donor dominance and bad behavior by donors actually does come to pass. It’s obvious that there is a potential for it. And the thing that really got us at RAA to think about the donor dominance issues was a case uh uh in the United Kingdom. Uh in 2018, I don’t know if you’re familiar or your readers will be listeners will be familiar with this. It was called the President’s Club dinner. And the President’s Club was this annual fund raising dinner where lots of the great and the good would get together for a big uh uh meal in a livery hall in London. And they would spend lots of money, pitch or auctions, raise loads. I mean, a hell of a lot of money at that.

[00:07:46.28] spk_0:
All of the great and good, mainly,

[00:09:34.03] spk_2:
mainly all men and you’ll see why you the bit that I’m coming to, which is completely, completely shocking that I’m coming to around this, um, they would then, like, grant that out to lots of charities. Now, a journalist for the Financial Times went undercover with the event company that was, um, providing the event, we staff for that event and the women were given a dress code which included the color and size of their underwear or a fundraising event. And of course she wrote and, you know, they were being, yeah. Yeah, they were being improperly touched. They were being, you know, slapped, they were using sexist misogynist language against them. Uh And this all came out in a complete scandal. The President’s Club, you know, lots of charities returned donations, refused donations. But it got us to thinking about why did no one know this was going on anyway, people must have been turning a blind eye to this practice. You know, it can’t have been that no one knew it was happening until a journalist went in and, and, you know, worked it out. What was going on. Why were, were people willingly turning a blind eye because they were getting money? Were they allowing their potential donors or arm’s length one removed because they were given to the residents club who were then given to the charity? But they were somehow facilitating um enabling this kind of behavior. And our chair is a uh a is the name I’m sure will be familiar to many uh us fundraisers, Heather Hill and this kind of relationship, um, abuse donor dominance was the thing that was really interesting. Her and she said to us, well, we, we’ve gotta, we’ve gotta look at this in more depth about the same time we were doing that. The chronic of, of philanthropy, uh, had also done its survey about, um, sexual abuse of female fundraisers and uncovered, I think the statistic was something like 25%. It may have been more, more than 75%. But, but a lot, you know, a significant number of female fundraisers that suffered sexual abuse and sexual harassment and a lot of that was apprehensive donors. So 20

[00:10:01.58] spk_0:
percent is, is interesting. II, I would, I would think that’s actually low if, if, if that’s the number the chronicle reported, I I suspect that there’s some, there’s some women who didn’t want to

[00:10:07.44] spk_2:
report it may have been higher. I may have got the 25% with the people that didn’t report it. So

[00:10:12.97] spk_0:
75 70 but

[00:10:22.72] spk_2:
it was a number that was causing concern because 25% is, you know, you say it’s probably low, but that’s, that’s a high number and even even 25. Yeah. And so you can, it was clear that there are some issues that needed to be dealt with and that’s what got us into looking at this issue of power imbalances donor dominance and are the relationships that we have with our donors or rather the the relationships they have with us always the appropriate ones and carried out appropriately.

[00:11:37.88] spk_0:
And you mentioned a few symptoms of this, uh, donors insisting on, uh, you called it mission creep, you know, insisting maybe on a new program. Uh I’ve seen it, uh, I, I saw it, I think the most extreme I’ve seen just anecdotally is uh, uh an all boys, uh, a Catholic school that was offered a very large gift to start admitting uh girls and, uh, and they acceded to that and I, I was not working with them. I was just aware of what was happening. They were not a client of mine. I had no relationship with them uh formally uh but they acceded to that. And II, I thought that was disappointing because it was not what their, what their mission was. But um that’s, that seems extreme. Uh So how in whatever to not

[00:11:38.70] spk_2:
necessarily extreme but not necessarily atypical. So as part of the work we did on this, we, we actually did

[00:11:43.75] spk_0:
it may, it may not be atypical, but it seems extreme to me that you’d go from all boys to, to on the strength

[00:11:51.94] spk_2:
of response from the extreme

[00:12:02.34] spk_0:
response from the charity. Yeah, extreme request on the part of the donor. I see what you, what your perspective. Yeah. So, uh well, go ahead. You, you finished your point. Well, we, we,

[00:15:26.84] spk_2:
we as part of the, the uh project to look at this, we did do a survey amongst fundraisers. Now, this was a self selecting survey. So we said, if you’ve experienced any form of what you might perceive to be down in dominance, please come and tell us how you perceived it. And even if you haven’t do come and tell us because negative results are still results. So it’s self selecting, it’s not meant to be a representative sample. I think something like about 80% or so of our respondents had experienced something like this. That doesn’t mean 80% of fundraisers have all experienced that because it’s not a representative sample that it did give us an idea of the types of issues that people were encountering. So what we identified, you can have dominance in, in three ways. It’s either in direction. So that’s over the governance, the policy or the administration of the charity. So that’s where you get the mission creep from where donors are trying to influence that also over the relationships. Uh So that’s where the because donors are often in close proximity, particularly with fundraising in the relationship. There’s, there’s the way to influence the types of relationships. So that’s where we get the risk of sexual impropriety coming. But also there’s been examples, we’ve had cases reported to us where donors have tried to have people fired or removed because they didn’t like their sexual orientation or something like that. So it’s about hiring and firing who they’re going to work with. Um And then you’ve got dominance in kind of behavior. So this is kind of the expectation that they want of the treatment they’re gonna get, um having, getting, trying, trying to get undue public influence and really trying to get, uh get benefits from their relationships with charities that they’re not entitled to. And then we ask the people responding to give us examples of what they’ve done. So I’ve, I’ve just got saved a few from the research that we did to, to share with you the kind of things that the people were saying to us. So one said that the board member um and donor had a check ready to write. And he looked at me and said, what will, will this get me with you? Uh There’s one here where it says that a donor said that he would make a major gift if we violated tax law. I acknowledge the gift at a higher level. So this is asking the charity to be complicit in illegal activity. Another one said that, you know, if they used their consulting firm, they could expect a nice donations. That’s, that’s corruption, that’s bribery. You know that I’m sure there are, there are, there are laws against, against that isn’t another one? Uh AAA board member, they said was demanding use the charity resources for his own events. You know, this is a he is, is he not her? It’s his own event. Uh They were badged at supporting the charity but didn’t result in any income from the charity. And he implied that we should carry on doing this if we, if we wanted his continued support, and I’ll just tell you one more, um, which related to that point that I made about, um, relationships, um, and strad straddles with the direction of, uh, of, of, of mission creep as well. And one fundraiser reported to us that as they were trying to update their history of the charity and the work they did to a more progressive lens of history. A donor said that we would lose their support if we were at all explicitly non negative. So not just positive, but even if they were neutral about LGBT Q I plus issues and race. Um and the staff had acquiesced in that up to years for years, up until the fundraiser said that they’d had enough and left the charity.

[00:16:11.01] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Donor box quote. We’ve seen incredible results with Donor box. In the last year. We’ve boosted our donations by 70% and launched new programs in literacy, health, child care and tailoring for our girls. That’s Jennings W founder and executive director of Uganda 10 18. If you’re looking for a fast flexible and donor friendly fundraising platform for your organization, check out donor Boxx, donor Boxx dot org. Now back to donor dominance.

[00:17:23.50] spk_0:
I understand, not, not scientific but valuable examination of the, the, the breath and the, and the different, the different forms, the uh the, these, these power structures, this, this unequal power can uh can take, yeah, I have my own uh anecdote uh, years ago when I was a fundraiser, there was a woman who was harassed by a much older man and uh the, the nonprofit response was just to change the relationship to, to have to have a different fundraiser, uh work with that, that man from, from then on. Uh, but there were still large events where the, where the that donor and that and that previous fundraiser were were together because that’s the nature of large events and it, it was not a, it was not an adequate solution. Um And, and the, the idea of confronting the donor was dismissed, it, it just like it was, it wasn’t a possibility that was not, that was not gonna be a way that we were gonna deal with this to confront the donor and, and explicitly have him uh cease his a abusive behavior. We weren’t gonna do that. Um

[00:18:36.17] spk_2:
And it’s interesting to think why charities won’t do that because yes, they want the donor’s money and they need the donor’s money to help their beneficiaries, but they do have a duty of care for their employees to protect, not just their physical well-being, but their mental well-being as well. Um And it, it does seem to me a little bit that fundraisers are the forgotten stakeholders in all this. And what you said is such a common complaint of so many women, female fundraisers that many have got experiences very similar to the ones that you have just described in your own dot There. But the response is always seem to be left up to individual charities to come up with a response. And if an individual charity does decide to stop working with a donor, that donor just takes their behavior elsewhere, um, and carries it on at a different charity and some other poor fundraiser is now um uh susceptible to that or the, I don’t know if it’s worse, but it’s equally bad. They kick the fundraiser at the charity sideways and bring someone else and neither that person gets um more discriminatory behavior, but those things aren’t addressing a structural solution, which is what we need around this and the code of conduct, which is what you originally approached me about. Maybe, maybe one way to be able to do that, right?

[00:19:05.27] spk_0:
And we will get to the, the, the possibility of a donor code of conduct. But Rore is, is looking at this at, at uh on three different levels. Uh the sector, the nonprofits, the organizations and the individuals. Yeah, let, let’s, let’s flush out some about what uh what the sector could. Is it, OK if we start with the sector, uh it, it, it, it

[00:19:08.25] spk_2:
is. So

[00:19:09.30] spk_0:
others try to start broad and, and become uh and finish with the, with the individuals.

[00:21:28.46] spk_2:
Yeah. So we’ve, we’re doing this So we’re also trying to look at gender issues in fundraising and look at ways um that we can dismantle Patria patriarchal structures in the fundraising profession. Because uh I think one is refusing to acknowledge reality. If you just, one just says, ah, there’s no patriarchy, everything’s equal, everything’s and everything is fine. It is, they, they exist. And the thing what, what, what Becky Slack, one of our project team on this made the point is that the patriarchy is bad for a lot of men as well. It’s a system that is unjust and unfair and it’s mainly unjust and unfair to women. It’s intersectional, it’s unjust and unfair to women of different demographics like people of color. But there are also a lot of men that it doesn’t serve very well. Um because they’re not, you know, if you’re in a situation where you’re supposed to be negotiating your own salary, there are lots of men like me who do very, very badly about trying to negotiate my salary against the, you know, walk straight in, sits down and buttons his coat leans back and like they give him whatever he wants. I would never get back. Um So, so it’s, it’s a, it’s, it’s a structural problem and yet what it seemed to us when we were looking at this is that a lot of the ways people try to address that is by thinking that the problem is just one of human agency that for example, if the problem is about salary bands and negotiating salaries and, and women are disadvantaged in that, then we give women better training in how to negotiate a better salary. And that’s, that’s not a sustainable solution because we do it for every um every new generation of, of female leaders that are coming in or fundraisers to, to negotiate their own salaries. Some people just still won’t be very good at it and will still be disadvantaged and you’re leaving the unjust discriminatory structures in impact. So what we are saying is rather than trying to change people’s behavior in a broken system, let’s just to fix the, try to fix the system. So you’re

[00:21:29.20] spk_0:
referring to your lean in versus lean

[00:23:15.41] spk_2:
out. Yeah, the lean. So, yeah, so the, the approach is to try to help individuals um uh negotiate, navigate the situation they find and lean out is an approach where we try and we said dismantling, we, we, we personally didn’t say smash the patriarchy because when you take a wrecking ball or something, you just have a part of, you know, rubble on the ground. So we want to dismantle it, we want to take it apart bit by bit, you know, with a Wrench and Spanner and then put together all the bits that we’ve taken down in a more just and equitable manner that benefits. So, uh and so at the structural level, what way we, we’re thinking that what can we do, we can, it’s a structural solution. And at the structural level, at the sector level, we’ve got professional bodies, we’ve got um uh that can all play their role in changing those things. So one of the things we suggested that we should have would be um maybe donor code of conduct which could be developed by and tested by professional institutes by talking to their organizations and their members. Then at the organizational level, organizations can implement donor codes of conduct as a way of making it clear the standards of behavior they expect from donors. But also sending a message to their fundraisers that we’ve got your back. We’re gonna look after you and so have all the other charities in, in, in the sector that we work in. So we’ve all signed up to this. It’s a structural approach that we, we, we, we are, we’ve signed up to it. Don’t worry that we’re gonna kick this abusive donor away from our charging and they’re just gonna take their behavior to, to, to, to another charity. Yeah, let it perpetuate. And then at the individual level is the responsibility of everyone, especially men to see what’s going on. Take responsibility for enacting change. That’s when your individual agency comes in. But hopefully we’re doing your acting individual agency in a change system because I think if you just like keep exhorting people to change their behavior, but you leave the, the underlying context exactly as it is. I think we’re kind of wishing against hope that we will make substantial change.

[00:23:44.20] spk_0:
Rore proposed a donor code of conduct. Uh It’s, it’s on your, it’s on your site at Rore dot net and it was not too well received in the US. No,

[00:23:56.19] spk_2:
there was a lot of pushback from that. Um I mean, they, they did have some fans but there was a, there was a lot of pushback against it which slightly surprised me. Um Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but

[00:24:08.23] spk_0:
I’m surprised, I’m surprised that you were surprised.

[00:24:11.08] spk_2:
Yes. Um There was less pushback on this side of the Atlantic about there was some but, but there, there, there was less and I think it’s interesting to try and unpick why that? Let’s

[00:25:33.90] spk_0:
OK. Let’s, let’s uh tick off a couple of the, the uh the elements of, of the, the rore proposed donor code of conduct just so folks understand what we’re talking about. Uh So, uh and then, and then we’ll, we’ll, we’ll talk about the reaction here here in the States. So, uh num number one, there’s, there’s six, there’s six principles. Um I’m making a voluntary donation to a nonprofit, not buying a product or service. I therefore understand that fundraisers are not selling me a product or service that the professional relationship between us is therefore not a customer sales relationship. Uh I will treat fundraising staff as knowledgeable professionals, always accord them the professional respect. They deserve. I will never discriminate against or harass in any way, fundraising professionals or other charity staff based on any of the protected classes or characteristics. Uh I recognize I have a considerable potential power in the relationship. Uh Therefore promise not to exploit that power for personal gain. Uh I may as well read the other two will not put conditions on my donation for the personal benefit of myself, my family or my friends and I will not use my power as a donor to divert the nonprofit or uh from its mission. Uh uh a few of those which, which we talked about. And uh

[00:25:43.96] spk_2:
they all seem perfectly reasonable to me.

[00:26:19.20] spk_0:
I know, I know you do. Well, they seem perfectly reasonable to me. I think they seem perfectly reasonable to everybody. II I, however, the idea in the states of asking a donor to, to sign this because that’s, that’s what you ask you ask them to sign up to this code of conduct that uh I’m not surprised that that the sector and that individual charities and then even individual fundraisers would be uh I’m not surprised that they would object to, to putting this before, before donors.

[00:26:35.54] spk_2:
Well, I think we’re not asking people to literally sign it. Maybe this was a lost in translation thing, but by signing up to something, you know, it’s like we will need to sign up to this, this set of principles to, but it’s like sign up to means like buying into. So it’s the idea we want donors to buy into this set of principles about behavior. But I

[00:26:40.50] spk_0:
still have, I still have to put it in front of the donor. They have to, they have to,

[00:27:40.81] spk_2:
they don’t. So at no point, were we ever saying you have to give this to a donor? You have to give it to them. So, one of the people said, how could I start a relationship by presenting this to them? Well, you wouldn’t, would you, obviously you wouldn’t do that. That’s not what you, how you would start a relationship when you go on a first date with somebody you don’t start with. If we get married, here’s the pre nap I want, you know, you don’t, you don’t do that. Fundraisers are storytellers, they’re expert relationship builders. What you do is you build a relationship and at the appropriate juncture in that relationship as you get towards something. If the donor is a very well behaved donor, you can introduce them to this and say, what do you think of this? This is what we use to protect our fundraisers. You know, how do you think about, about this? I’m sure you’ve got no problem. You know, buying into, I won’t say sign up, buying into these, these printers. Yeah, of course. They, if somebody is, for example, maybe, um exhibiting the idea of Mission Creek, the fundraiser has got a set of six principles with the authority and already the backing of the charity, knowing the charity that can back them, can say to the, to, to this potential donor. Well, well, actually, we would not, um, permit that. That’s not how we would want to because we have a code of conduct that we like our donors to buy into. Would you like me to show it to you now? So you can see what’s expected of you and

[00:28:10.44] spk_0:
there’s the hard part, ok? There’s the, there’s the spot what’s expected of you and, and, and I know

[00:28:32.69] spk_2:
that is presenting a set of principles that it is reasonable for us to expect donors to adhere to. So for example, don’t discriminate against fundraisers on basis of their sex, gender and sexual orientation.

[00:28:38.37] spk_0:
I agree that that’s reasonable

[00:29:59.64] spk_2:
and they do. So at the moment, we know that fundraiser that that donors are doing this, we know something needs to be done to stop them doing it. We can’t, you know, we can’t just put out wish, you know, wishes into the air and, and thoughts and prayers and hope it’s gonna finish. We need to do something to fix this. And this was the first iteration of a set of principles that we think are fair for any right thinking donor to want to buy into and say, yeah, of course, I’ll treat you with respect. Absolutely. I won’t discriminate and the sense that a fundraiser would be scared to in the right way. Using their skill as a storyteller and relationship builder to introduce this. Struck me as a little strange. It struck me that what was being said was not so much. I couldn’t possibly find a way to talk to a donor about these difficult issues. I think it was pretty. It was also a sense that I don’t want to, I don’t think we should do. So, one person that said we shouldn’t have to do this. If they don’t want to work with us, then just tell them to take their money elsewhere. But that doesn’t affect the fix the problem because they take their abusive behavior to someone else and it’s somebody else’s problem. Have a responsibility in this sector, every single one of us to try and confront these issues and make them better and look after our fundraisers. And none of this is anti donors. Donors are some of the most wonderful people on the planet who use their philanthropy to make the world a better place. Some of them probably a small number abuse that power and while they might be making the world a better place, generally on a large scale and a very small part of the world, they’re making some people very miserable.

[00:31:13.28] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Kela increase donations and foster collaborative teamwork with Kila. The fundraisers. Crm maximize your team’s productivity and spend more time building strong connections with donors through features that were built specifically for fundraisers. A fundraiser CRM goes beyond the data management platform. It’s designed with the unique needs of fundraisers in mind and aims to unify fundraising, communications and donor management tools into one single source of truth visit. Kila dot co to sign up for a coming group demo and explore how to exceed your fundraising goals. Like never before. It’s time for Tony’s take two.

[00:32:46.88] spk_0:
Thank you, Kate. The fourth quarter is coming mid September right now. The all important fourth quarter, I don’t have to remind you, but I do need to send you my good wishes. Uh I’m, I’m sure your fourth quarter plans are well set, probably 90% set. I just hope that you have a successful fourth quarter. I hope, you know what metrics to pay attention to so that, you know how well you’re doing week after week. I know I there was one nonprofit I worked with that had daily goals for some key days too. Uh I, I think that’s an outlier but uh certainly weekly production goals in the fourth quarter and those, those are common. So, uh, try not to get too, um, worked up. I don’t know, maybe this is, are these platitudes? I hope not. I just hope you keep things in perspective, do the very best you can and, and that’s all you can do for the all important fourth quarter. So you have my good wishes for what I know is uh very important. Three months for fundraising, my good wishes. And that is Tony’s take two Kate.

[00:32:48.59] spk_1:
We’ve got, but loads more time. Let’s go back to donor dominance with Ian mcquillan.

[00:32:58.55] spk_0:
I agree with all that.

[00:33:26.81] spk_2:
So, how, how would you, maybe I could ask you if, if you worked at a charity and the charity had, this is what we have a, I mean, instead of a code of conduct, you could call it a covenant, a covenant with our donors if you wanted to change the word around something else to make it sound more, um, more equal, more, more engaging. But, but you’re an expert fundraiser and storyteller. How would you introduce it? How would you, none of it is to say, please read this before we go on. But you know that there are a set of expected behavioral standards that you want all of your donors. How would you introduce it?

[00:33:57.90] spk_0:
Yeah. Uh, in fairness. Yeah, I have probably, uh, 100.5 or 100. Yeah. Uh, uh, you know, relationships on and off with, with a bunch of different, on behalf of a bunch of different, uh, nonprofit clients. Um,

[00:34:37.61] spk_2:
and that, of course, is assuming that in all of those relationships you even need to, it may just be enough to have that pinned up on the charity’s website for people to look at. I mean, just putting it out there normalizing it. And the other thing about having something like this, it just normalizes the accepted standards of behavior. You see, you see customer codes of conduct everywhere. We will not tolerate, you know, in in in the commercial world. The the consumer is always right, the customer is king and yet while the customer may be king, there are still notices up in train stations and service places everywhere and restaurants and we will not tolerate abuse of our staff. You know, they they don’t co commercial organizations have no problem pinning up a notice that says while you may be king and we will do everything we possibly can to make your stay your service your product fantastic. And we’ll do everything you want. We still won’t tolerate you abusing our staff. They have no problem with it. Yeah.

[00:38:15.49] spk_0:
All right. But I don’t want to back down from your, your, your first proposition to me. You know, how would I raise it with someone versus pointing it to, to, uh, pointing someone to a, uh, a web page and saying, you know, when, when you get a chance to take a look at this. But uh so I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna back off the, the original hypothetical. Um I was taught in law school never fight the hypothetical. So iii I try to stay true to that as difficult as it, uh challenging as it sometimes is. Um Yeah, I would, uh you know, well, most of the people I work with are in their seventies, eighties and nineties because I, I work in Planned Giving. Uh, but the, the anecdote that I told earlier about the, the, uh, the abusive behavior with the very much older man, he was, he was in his seventies or eighties and the fundraiser was in her thirties probably at the time. Uh, so I’m not gonna, uh, get off the hook by saying, oh, older folks never do this because I, I have a personal example of one who did, um, I would, uh, I would, I would bring it as, as something that the, the organization wants, wants this to be, uh, a mutually beneficial and, and, and satisfying relationship and, and there have been times when it, it hasn’t been that way for the, for the fundraisers. And so this organization is, is trying to protect its fundraisers. Um, at the same time that we’re protecting your interests as, as a donor that we’re, we’re always going to use your gift in the way you want it to be used and that we’re always going to, um, treat you with respect and not, not treat you as a, as a cash machine. Uh So, you know, so mutually, there’s, there’s respect and, uh, and, and expected, uh, you know, expected behaviors. That’s not such a great word. I wouldn’t use that in a conversation. But, uh, ee expect there are expectations on, on both sides and, and so we’re, we’re to protect the fundraisers and, and protect the organization as, as well as the folks who do the work that I do. Um, we have this, we have this sheet of, uh, sort of mutual expectations and, and where I, I’d like you to, I’d like you to take a look, take a look, see what you think when I would sit there in front of them and, um, and let them, let them think through it and then see what, and then react to, to their reactions, which I think in 90 99% of cases would be. I think this is, I think this is fine and there might be a, a few within that 99% who say, I applaud what the organization is doing, that would be less than 99. But there might be like 15% or so might say I applaud what the organization is doing. So that’s, that’s, I think that’s how I would, I think that’s how you are.

[00:39:31.23] spk_2:
So that’s how we envisage this. We envisage this as being something that set one of those structural changes in motion that then people could say, well, this is good fundraisers. I’ll, I’ll work out how I can build this into my relationships in the most appropriate way, you know, I can like you have just done so as you said, it’s mutual. Um, but all of our duties to donors are all very well codified in, in the donor bill of rights and, and various codes of practice, they’re already well set out what they are. But as it’s a, as it’s a two way exchange, we have some other juices that are commenting on donors to fundraisers, just like, like you said, but they’ve never been codified before. Um, and so one of the things that is, you know, when a number of people have tried to come up with fundraiser, bill, bills of rights, um, and recently I think, um, it was um Jennifer T Holmes and Amelia Gaza in Chicago also did one and people don’t have seem to have the same level of opposition to the fundraiser bill of rights. They did to the donor code of conduct. But if you think about it, they’re just, they’re just, they’re just, they’re two

[00:39:36.20] spk_0:
sides of the same images.

[00:40:14.47] spk_2:
So in, in Jennifer and Amelia’s um uh bill of Rights, it says fundraisers have the right to stop working with the donor based on a donor’s behavior towards their gender. Sexual orientation is very similar to the one that we’ve got in the code of conduct, except rather than saying fundraisers have a right to stop working says I will have a donor will not treat them that way. And then in the um uh as, as what they say um in elaborating upon that, um Amelia and Jennifer say that it’s up to the charity to protect the fundraiser and not work with that donor. So, because rights and duties are correlative. So if have a right not to be subject to sexual, um to, to, to harassment and discrimination based on their protected characteristic. That means someone has a duty not to treat them that way. And one of the people whose duty is not to treat them that way are donors. Absolutely logical.

[00:42:13.81] spk_0:
Very cogent, very cogent, logical explanation. Uh Absolutely. It’s, it’s just, it’s the, uh, it’s, it’s the, it’s the execution that, that varies with the fundraiser bill of rights. The fundraiser has, has the explicit right to, to uh execute uh to, to uh take advantage of, to his or her or, or their right. When, when there’s a, when there’s a, someone crosses the line, I, I had to say, say a violation of the bill, you know, when there’s a, when there’s something inappropriate that violates the bill versus an expectation that, that, that the donor, I it, it’s, it’s, it’s the, the reason, the reason us fundraisers and, and the sector push back is because it’s, it’s, it’s where the action comes from. The fundraisers are happy to um exploit their, their rights but not happy to ask donors to uh control themselves. It’s, it’s the, it’s the executing, it’s the executing party. Look, you know, we, we put our head in the sand. You, the, I would, I, you know what, in 10 years, I bet, I bet, I bet the, the donor code of conduct will be pretty widespread. You, you can, you, you can count on Americans to, to do the right thing when, when they’ve exhausted like all the other, all the other possibilities. Uh So you’re ahead of your time and, and you’re admirable.

[00:42:17.20] spk_2:
That’s not,

[00:42:27.10] spk_0:
I don’t mean that to say you’re naive, you’re, it’s admirable. Um You know, the civil rights was a, was the movement was ahead of its time. Um, etcetera. So,

[00:43:12.08] spk_2:
well, that’s kind of you to say thank you. And I, I think one of the things that you said about when you, when in the most appropriate way you present this as you said to your donors and most of them will go. I I’ve got no problem with that because most of them will be decent human beings and most many of them will say, well, I applaud you for doing that. Some of them might go. What do you really need this? Are you me that some people treat fundraisers that way? Well, I I’m sorry to say, yeah, that that does does happen really. And then when you do that, maybe we’re raising awareness in the philanthropy and donor community about the way some and they may not be aware of this issue. And the next time that they are out with in their fellow, you know, and somebody says, oh yeah, I was talking to a very, you know, this little fundraiser and I gave her a little slap and do you know what I I you really should not be doing that. It just allows, you know, the conversation to come out in different ways and to normalize standards of behavior that really ought to be normalized already. We shouldn’t have to be asking for this.

[00:43:47.02] spk_0:
I agree. I agree. Um, and, and all right, so that, um, so that moves us to, uh, let, let’s, uh, let, let’s look a little broader to, to what the, uh, what the sector can be doing in terms of awareness, consciousness raising uh training, right? Let, let, let’s, so let’s talk about the sector, the, the nonprofits and the, and the individuals a little more, just a little bit more formally, a little more structured. What do, what do you see as the the sector responsibilities?

[00:45:35.31] spk_2:
I think. Um So the first thing to do is to acknowledge that this is an issue. So it’s like having a policy statement and, and nothing will change unless people acknowledge that there is an issue that needs to be changed and we need to change it. So I understand now I wasn’t quite so prepared, but I understand why people will be pushing back against this. But I think some of the pushback against it is a straw man argument. Some of it I think is misunderstanding what it’s supposed to be and likely picking up on things that could be knocked back because it didn’t sit well with the way that in a way um you know, we lionize donors are probably a little bit too much and philanthropists, you know, by, by treating them as the heroes of their own story. And because of you and you know, we’ve gone with this donor centric approach, I understand why people from that position may have pushed back against this. So first of all the sector bodies and so a FP charter initi of fundraising in the UK, they can take a stand on this, they can more, more than they’ve been doing just by, for example, running the. Um so FP has done loads of great work in running the surveys and having, you know, toolkits for women um to be uh to protect themselves to negotiate salaries or that leaning approach is still valid, but we need to lean out approach to complement it and change the structure. So the sector has to have, secondly, it needs to recognize as an issue and develop the will amongst fundraisers to say we want to change things and

[00:46:00.00] spk_0:
that applies. Let, let me just add uh here in the states that applies to all the state organizations too. Every state has a, has AAA uh an organization of nonprofits, uh North Carolina Council on nonprofits, for instance, where I am. Um So it’s not only at the national level, just make that point, there’s also state uh state work to state organizations that uh need to buy in. So

[00:48:24.67] spk_2:
it’s got to be so for, for the organizations, they’ve got to make it easy for fundraisers to report issues. They’ve got to have proper complaints and whistleblowing procedures in place. They’ve got to have hr policies, they’re gonna let fundraisers know that they will be protected. So, not just if a fundraiser makes a complaint about a donor, they’ll just be kicked sideways. Um, and then, you know, and the sexual bodies can actually support the individual organizations to do that by producing, um, policies and proform codes of conduct and hr policies that they can take off the shelf and adapt just in the same way that now lots of those organizations produce guidance on gifting ethical gift acceptance and refusal policies. But you can just take the 10 point thing, we will not accept a if this, if this, you know, and adapt it to your, they can do all the things like that, that are gonna just make it easy and normalize the idea that for some donors in some circumstances, this is a really serious issue in the abuse of the relationship that result and we’re not going to tolerate it and we will, we will do something about it. And so those three levels that we worked out sex, organizational and individual, it’s not like you do one and then progress to the other. So it’s not like a hierarchy. It’s, it’s more like uh for any doctor who fans out there doctor who once said in a famous episode, it’s time is not linear. It’s more wily wobbly, timey wy. And this is a wily wobbly timey wy thing. Some individual does something at the individual level and they may be affecting something that, you know, a big campaign done by the A FP because the A FP is run by individuals after all. And so everybody that does something in affects these interactions and change in the structure at all of these different levels. But this is, I will stress, this is a structural issue, not, not just a donor dominance thing and the, and the, and the power and potential power abuses, but the patriarchal issues as well. And I, and I’m not conflating one to the other because I know of many female donors um cases where it’s been female donors that have been abusing the power dynamics and have been mission creeping and putting demands on who they would want to work with. So it’s not to conflate those um those two issues, but both of them are structural problems. And so we need to change the structure of the profession and the organizations are the best place to change the entire structure of the profession, other other sector bodies. So that’s where I think this starts.

[00:48:51.16] spk_0:
Know what’s interesting the just the, the, the relative proportions, you know, we we we’re talking about 25% of fundraisers. Let’s just use that 25% number. I

[00:48:57.05] spk_2:
really wish I check that figure before I came on here. Now somebody is screaming at the radio saying you’ve got it wrong. So I’m sorry if I’ve got it wrong. But as we agreed to the start, it’s a significant number and it’s too much and any number is too much.

[00:49:43.06] spk_0:
And yet the percentage of donors who are engaging in this, these negative behaviors is probably much, much lower. But that’s just a reflection of, um, maybe 5% of donors may maybe even lower. But that, that’s just a reflection of the fact that there are so many more donors than there are than there are charities and fundraisers. There are tens of millions of donors and only a million and a half or so organizations and a uh uh and, and I don’t know how many fundraisers, but uh there are a lot more donors out there. So just a small percentage of bad, bad acting donors. I don’t think

[00:49:46.09] spk_2:
it is a small, you

[00:49:47.19] spk_0:
think you don’t think it’s small? And the

[00:51:56.80] spk_2:
reason is, is that when we did our survey, we found forms of donor dominance at all levels. So community fundraising, corporate fundraising, direct marketing, all of it was, there was some kind and it’s so we’re not just talking about large scale um discrimination by a major philanthropist. There are, there are, there are, you know, far fewer major philanthropists than there are charities that want their money. So I’ll give you, I’ll just give you an example. Um, an anecdote from my wife’s uh one of my wife, my wife is a fundraiser and she’s worked on a number of charity charities in the UK, now, author of development. And when she was working at a medical research charity, they were doing some going round and dropping clothes bags in letter boxes and saying, you know, we’ll have a collection, fill it up with second with your unwanted clothes. And somebody rang up, um, the charity and one of Sarah’s team took the call and this angry abusive person said next time one of your people comes through and puts this through the letterbox. I’m gonna slam the letterbox down on them and break their fingers and spoke in a way that the, the, the, the woman who took the call was very, very upset about it. Um And there are those little, you know, I don’t want to call that a microaggression that was more than a microaggression. There are, there are, there are behaviors like that. It’s not just about discriminating against a protected characteristic. It’s the way people abuse charity staff in some ways, the way they exert power, the way they have an expectation. Like I was reading out about the undue in the unit benefits. A lot of those examples I read out earlier were from major philanthropist and board members, but there was also examples of friends groups wanting. So one was a friends group wanting to run uh a campaign um using the charity’s resources but not having any oversight or accountability from the charity and refusing to run the appeal if the charity had any oversight over them. So, I think there, it’s, I don’t know how there’s never been any research plans. This because most of the research that academic researchers do into donors and philanthropists is all about the good stuff they do. No one really wants to research the bad stuff they do. And why would they, because he’s gonna pay them to, to do that research. But I don’t know. I, I don’t, I don’t, I think it’s probably, uh, a bit more widespread than we give credit for. Yeah. All

[00:52:19.02] spk_0:
right. All right. Fair enough. Right. What would you like to leave us with Ian? What, what, what, what thoughts do you want? Uh, our CEO S executive directors and, and fundraisers to hear? Well, I would

[00:54:47.87] spk_2:
like to reach out to some of the people that push back against the code and say we’re not anti donor. We’re not anti philanthropist. Um, please read what we said again and we only think we only ever said this is the first iteration. It’s the type of thing that we can do. Each charity will come up with. The one that it, that, that it thinks is appropriate. We’re not trying to impose this on people. We are saying that we need to look at how we find a structural solution for this problem that we know is there. And this is one of the ways that we can do it. So embrace it, think about it, critique it. Give us your considered thoughts on it rather than I’m not doing that because it’s not the way I like to do things. Um And, and there are, there are, there are some other responses to that that um you know, that I would wouldn’t go into now. But when I read them, I thought you seriously cannot, that can’t be what you really think. You cannot be thinking what you’ve just written down is ok. But I digress. So I would like to say to some of those people who think this is an imposition. It’s, it’s not, we’re trying to solve a problem and we need to do it together, we need to do it with your help for CEO S for senior fundraisers. Um, directors of development. I’d say if you think this is not an issue, this is fine. It’s all right. But those poor charities, it happens to you. It doesn’t happen with us calls and maybe critically reflect on how certain and comfortable you are with that statement because it’s very likely that it is an issue and or not very likely. But it is, it’s a strong possibility that it’s an issue and it’s also a strong possibility that you have some fundraising staff whose lives are being made miserable and it might be affecting their mental health and your duty of care is not protecting them. You you’re not protecting them. So I, I would, I would say I know especially American fundraising is very donor centric. It’s all about lionizing donors showing them how great they are. But just because the majority of donors are great, doesn’t mean a minority are behaving very, very badly. And that needs to be addressed. And if it’s not this way, it still needs to be addressed in a way that presents a sex structural approach where we’re all standing together to combat this and not just kicking it down the line to the next poor charity that ending with it,

[00:55:06.82] spk_0:
Ian mcquillan, he’s director of the fundraising think tank, Rore all these resources, the donor conduct uh code and lots of uh other blog posts about um not only gender issues but just donor dominance in general and power structures. It’s all at uh Rore dot net and Ian is at Ian mcquillan. Thank you very much, Ian. Thank you for sharing your, your thinking.

[00:55:32.20] spk_2:
Thank you

[00:55:43.38] spk_1:
next week, Jean Takagi with possible implications of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision. If you missed any part of this week’s show,

[00:55:46.29] spk_0:
I’d be sea. You find it at tony-martignetti dot com

[00:55:58.14] spk_1:
were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms, blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor Boxx dot org.

[00:56:06.92] spk_0:
Fast, flexible, friendly. You, you sure you don’t mean flexible and friendly or flexible and

[00:56:31.91] spk_1:
friendly. And by Kila, she ignores me and by Kila grow revenue, engage donors and increase efficiency with Kila. The fundraisers crm visit Kila dot co to join the thousands of fundraisers using Kila to exceed their goals. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate martignetti. The show’s social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein.

[00:56:59.38] spk_0:
Thank you for that affirmation. Scottie. You’re with us next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for November 10, 2017: Relationship Fundraising

I love our sponsors!

Do you want to find more prospects & raise more money? Pursuant is a full-service fundraising agency, leveraging data & technology.

WegnerCPAs. Guiding you. Beyond the numbers.

Credit & debit card processing by telos. Payment processing is now passive revenue for your org.

You’re not a business. You’re a nonprofit! Aplos Accounting: software designed for nonprofits.

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!

Listen Live or Archive:


My Guest:

Adrian Sargeant: Relationship Fundraising

There’s a lot of conventional wisdom about how to be donor centric and build strong relationships. But what does social psychology research tell us about how to achieve these and what your donors expect from you at each relationship stage? Adrian Sargeant is a professor at Plymouth University and directs its Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. (Originally aired March 18, 2016)



Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.

Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!

Sponsored by:

View Full Transcript

Transcript for 365_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20171110.mp3

Processed on: 2018-11-11T23:44:42.593Z
S3 bucket containing transcription results: transcript.results
Link to bucket: s3.console.aws.amazon.com/s3/buckets/transcript.results
Path to JSON: 2017…11…365_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20171110.mp3.233652916.json
Path to text: transcripts/2017/11/365_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20171110.txt

Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into larrin, jim frak, sis, if you obstructed me with the idea that you missed today’s show relationship fund-raising there’s a lot of conventional wisdom about how to be donor-centric and build strong relationships. But what does social psychology research tell us about how to achieve these and what your donor’s expect from you at each relationship stage? Adrian sergeant is a professor at plymouth university and directs its center for sustainable philanthropy. This originally aired march eighteenth. Twenty sixteen on tony’s steak, too, promote the rollover, responsive by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuant and by wagner cpas guiding you beyond the numbers regular sepa is dot com you’re not a business, you’re non-profit stoploss accounting software designed for non-profits non-profit wizard dot com tell us they’re turning payment processing into passive revenue streams. Tony dot, m a slash tony tell us here is adrian, sergeant with relationship fund-raising it’s. My pleasure to welcome professor adrian, sergeant to the show he’s. Professor of fund-raising at plymouth university and director of the center for sustainable philanthropy. There. He used to hold the hartsook chair in fund-raising at the lily family school of philanthropy at indiana university. Fact he’s calling today from bloomington he’s, a prolific author, researcher and presenter. If you go to the center for sustainable philanthropy website, you will get bored scrolling down his list of books, papers, articles and presentations. Center, by the way, is c e n t r e we have ah so snooty english university there. Plymouth he’s at adrian sergeant and his last name is spelled like the military rank. Welcome, doctor. Professor. Agent sergeant. Well, thanks. Pleasure. Welcome from from bloomington, indiana. How is it there? It’s worth a lovely spring day here. And i’m looking at into blue skies in some time which and it’s not not always the case in the u k either. No, certainly not. In my part of the uk, everything you hear about british rain and british weather is pretty much true of my region. I see. What reason? Where is plymouth? Thomas is right down in the southwest tip of the country on dit came to say my pose for your audience is that it’s where the pilgrim fathers set sail from years ago? The mayflower left from the steps of the barbeque in the area in the city of plymouth. Oh, excellent. Okay. That’s. Interesting. No, and then plymouth. Then we have plymouth rock on the us side, so yeah. So that was a very symmetric trip. I never knew that total symmetry ever visit. You could actually see the steps that the pilgrim fathers used teo to board the mayflower before they set bail on that. Well, that point. Very epic journey. Yeah, of course. I i guess they called it plymouth rock teo to make it symmetric. So it’s. Not like it was named. It wasn’t named plymouth rock when they landed on it. I don’t want people to think that that’s what? I was assuming that it was named plymouth rock when they landed. I don’t believe it was okay. Very cool. Interesting. Thank you. Um all right. Relationship fund-raising adrian it’s. Okay, if i call you adrian, right? Yeah. Okay. I don’t get doctor. You know, you’re not calling on me for questions or anything. So doctor, a professor. Okay. Adrian what’s. The current state of this, i gather it’s not what it ought to be. No, sadly, the quality of relationship fund-raising what not ugly in the states but around the world is not in a particularly happy space right now onda reason i say that is because you’ve now got quite a lot of data on, um, the pattern that dahna retention and loyalty that we’re able to generate, and obviously the whole, the whole thrust of relationship fund-raising is that you want to build a longer term, mutually satisfying relationships and supported yes, and all the evidence that the moment is that it’s going in entirely opposite direction we lose. Typically in the states, we lose around seventy percent of our supporters between the first and the second donation and then probably around two, thirty percent of them year on year thereafter. Well, you try running a business with that. Yeah, i’ve had other guests on, quote, that exact same statistic, and i don’t understand how this khun b because there is so much talk about donor-centric donor-centric ism, and we have to listen to our donors and pay attention to their needs and put them in the center. Why? Why, why? Why is this not working there’s so much talk about it, why are we not doing it? I think they’re pulling two two reasons for that one is that often when i talk about dahna lorts him attention in the sense that kind of preaching to acquire a lot of fundraisers know what they should be doing or could be doing, but they don’t always necessarily get the stain level of investment from the board that they’re looking for on it could be oftentimes quite able to push that level of change through the second reason i think is on. We might talk more about this, but i think one of the problems we have in fund-raising is that it’s, one of the few professions it’s probably the only profession you’ve been join without actually meeting to know anything. Good luck, you know you’re going to see adventures to have studied or doctor that had studied or even employing a plumber who hasn’t studied it’s important? I think that fund-raising they’re exposed when they come into the profession to a body of knowledge. Then it’s agreed that this is what you need to know if you’re going to be a successful, competent fund-raising on that, then organizations would employ people who had demonstrably, you know, got that body of knowledge because we don’t have that right now because we don’t value it. Oftentimes people end up in fund-raising roles where they’re really having to discover things that we already know for the first time. Yeah. Now, are we getting better? I mean, there are programs. There are degree programs and including at plymouth university and the ones i can think of in the us at new york university and columbia. I think fordham and those are only new york’s. You know, those ones? The ads that i get new york city, those only new york city. So there are more programs, are we? Are we starting to recognize the value of a professional pressure? Especially trained fund-raising force? I think for now that you know we’re not some of the some of the programs are burying quality. I mean, there are some good ones. Always see that there’s one come on by you and there’s, one of seminaries in minnesota. And, you know, i could go on. But the sweet spot for fund-raising education is what you got a blend of delivery by practitioners and academics so that you get some of the emerging science of dona behavior that impacts on what people know as well. Sadly, i think some programs are run entirely by practitioners, so you only get one half of the equation there on what you’ll get, obviously their, you know, their background in their experience, which obviously has a place but that’s not the same as being exposed to the modern research findings that, for example, on social psychology we’ll talk about that could be informing what they do. Yeah, yeah, you know, you end up with more of the conventional wisdom. Yeah, we’ve got a you know, i’ve mentioned we’ve got a problem with attention right now what i didn’t say is there’s actually getting worse? I’ve just completed a very large scale study in england of six million dahna records on, we’ve looked at people recruited way back in two thousand and compared them with people recruited in two thousand ten on their substantially less loyal now, so no only we’ve got very leaky bucket, but that bucket is getting weaker by the day. Okay, uh, that’s ah, that’s pretty positive. Motivation and enthusiastic motivation let’s, let’s, go out for a break. Adrian and i are going to continue talking. Of course we’ve got what? What drives donorsearch multi and how do you measure it? And the stages of the fund-raising relationship? Stay with us, it’s time for a break pursuant, they’ll help you bring new donors to your work. They’ve got a new content paper on donor acquisition it’s the art and science of acquisition i hope you watched their webinar on finding the hidden gems looking among your existing donors, so you covered that now, it’s getting new donors this paper covers strategies that work from successful acquisition campaigns, and really, this is a campaign you want to think about acquisition as a campaign for new donors, plus the numbers pursuing his data driven, you know that. So what metrics should you be paying attention to? How do you know whether your campaign is succeeding? If you need to pivot pursuing has a landing page exclusively for non-profit radio listeners, you know this and that’s where you’ll find this content paper, it is the art and science of acquisition and that landing pages at tony dot m a slash pursuant capital p now back to adrian, sergeant talking relationship fund-raising adrian let’s jump in and explore what what it is that we know we’ll drive the donor loyalty that we’re trying to reverse the trend of, well, the fact of ah, really quite similar to any relationship that somebody might have with an organization so there’s a lot of learning that we can take from the commercial world that we find it equally relevant the non-profit space, andi, my guess is that many of your listeners will have had the car service recently, or they stayed in a hotel or they used the service online that probably they’ve been asked at some point tell us what you think of the service has satisfied were you with the quality of that experience on these kind of satisfaction that is, in a sense, kind of quite ubiquitous? I think the’s day on re homeless ubiquitous is because there’s a huge link between her status side somebody with the court in service they receive on their level of loyalty on people who are very status by are six times more likely to come back and purchase again on average than people who just satisfied so there’s um, active behavioral, different on the extreme of the scale, right? So the goal needs to be for our organizations to get people to the point where they’re very satisfied, actually with the way that they’re treated as a donor. Now the last one i make here is that the multiple in our world isn’t as big as it is in the trading context. Duitz and trading world, very satisfied equates to six times more likely to come back again in our world don’t say they’re very satisfied, but the cause your service provided by the fund-raising to you are twice as likely to be giving a year, then thin people who say they’re just satisfied. So it’s been a massive factor, but the multiple isn’t quite as big as it might be in other contexts. Okay, um, any any thoughts? Why? That is why i don’t? How come we only get one third of the the likelihood of returning that compared to the corporate world? Well, i think there’s a range of other factors that player in our space that also have an impact on loyalty and retention satisfactions an important one on one of the things i like to do is focus unconference isn’t easy, and then right in the satisfaction is this is a major driver of dahna loyalty, which in terms of which in turn, is a major driver of the value of fund-raising database. So how many people actually measure it then on, if you’re lucky in a room of two hundred people, you might get one hand god, and then you are people well out of those folks, you know, who’s actually remunerated how good they make their donuts real. Andi, you won’t find any hands that go with that point, so we don’t take that factor seriously enough. But then there are other things that creeping in our world, the trust in the organization some of your listeners might be thinking got agents talking about satisfaction with across your service provided by the fund-raising team. But what about all that really great stuff we do with beneficiaries? You know, surely that’s gotta count for something incense of retention and loyalty writhe difference that we make it on dh that’s, true, but for most donors, unless they’re major donors, the mechanism for that it’s trust if i’m a major donor and i’ve given you five million to put up a building in a sense, i don’t need to trust you because i can see the building up, right? But if i’ve given you fifty dollars to help starving child that i really have to trust that you say that you do exactly what you’ve told me you’re going to do with that resource. S o trust for the vast majority of our donors is a big driving factor in terms of lorts potential. Okay, okay. Um, and, you know, these sound very much like not only, you know, relationship factors in a commercial sense, but also in a personal sense, they are our friends and our parents, no loved ones. Yeah, a lot of these relationship variables are just as relevant toe all human relationships. I mean, originally this study of things like satisfaction, trust and commitment all came out in something called relationship marketing. What that was trying to do is to take ideas from human relationships on apply in that case, teo relationships, that businesses have customers. And at the core of all the relationships that we have of these notions of satisfaction, commitment and trust, no anything. You want to tease out about commitment? We spent little time with satisfaction. Trust anything more you want to say about commitment? Yeah, it is that one of the really big tribal loyalty on beauty that comes out stronger than thin. The others i’ve mentioned on what that is is a really burning passion to see the mission of the organization achieved. And you can imagine that, you know, people who are committed to finding a cure for breast cancer, you know, tend to support charities that do that on dh for extended periods of time. But that really passion to see the mission achieved eyes one of the really big drivers of lorts in retention, andi. So the question, i suppose then, is well, i had you build commitment then and again, we know from research quite a few things help build commitment that one is at risk. So if you’re running a shelter for homeless folk and i’m a donut, the organization and i believe that by canceling my gift today, somebody somewhere is going to be without bed tonight. I am a bunch more likely to continue to support that shelter. S o that element that i see, a risk in canceling will help drive commitment. So too will a personal connection. You know, if my life has been touched by breast cancer because i had lost a loved one to it, you can imagine that i’d be pretty fired-up about finding a cure for that being committed to those sorts of organizations andan also it worthy of note, is some thing i called multiple engagements and there’s a micro on a macro level. To that, the macro level is that people who are donors and campaigners and service users and volunteers, and and wait till we get there and you get a whopping more loyalty. And then the micro level is every time you have a two way interaction where there’s a little bit of cognition that takes place, maybe the organizations asking your question, what would you like to receive? What do you think about this? How many times do you want to hear from us here? Do you want to get news? Whatever it might be. Every time you have to weigh interaction with a quarter, you get a little teeny tiny bit more loyalty. And, of course, in the digital space it’s now by easy toe have those little, many interactions with people and it’s really worthwhile because it drives behave excellent now there’s research supporting all this, right? Yeah, absolutely. I’ve bean doing work in the non-profit space for the best part of twenty years now on dh we’ve done in a large scale survey work with probably a couple hundred thousand donors here in the states now getting on for two million donors in europe, tracking the relationship between satisfaction, commitment, trust and then behaviors of interest like like who e-giving next year with assembly of upgrade on even actually leaving a bequest to the organization? What about that that’s a significant how is that a significant factor? Well, one of the big drivers off, in fact, the single biggest driver i’d say really the likelihood that somebody will leave a big quest for nonprofit organization is how long they’ve been supporting it. Yes, on and typically, if i’m working with clients, i’ll say, you know, we’re gonna have a request program that is you forget all the complicated plan giving vehicles, but just right asking somebody to remember a charity with a gift in their will or a state document. Then the single beget indicators of willingness to do that is how long people have been giving onda anytime we were three years actually is a pretty good indicator that that person cares about you is committed to the cause and therefore will at least give some consideration to that request. So surprise, surprise, you know, commitment is a pretty big indication of the likelihood of doing that, okay? Yeah, i don’t know if you know that, but i know this, but i do plan to giving fund-raising consulting, um and that’s, where we’re always looking for the best potential bequest donors is who are the most committed, loyal donors, and i didn’t know that a ce feu is three years can be can be a positive factor, but i’m always looking for some organizations are easily, you know, decades older sometimes sometimes even one hundred years old couple of the university’s i’ve worked, so you know, if people have been giving twenty, thirty years or twenty five of the past thirty years, they’re enormously good potential donor for ah for bequest or some of the other plan gives to know, yeah, i i’d agree wholeheartedly with at it and it’s amazing how very few organizations even bothered to ask for a request on if they do, how many organizations think that somehow people will be inspired by the mechanics of death and dying? Some of the communications we generate trying it’s just how you make a will and you may change your will. And then the mechanics of the plan giving vehicles well, actually, you want somebody to give you you want to inspire them with a vision of what the future could look like, that people are inherently more positive about the future on so good, positive messages about what the world might look like that evoke a little bit of emotion are actually a lot more useful in that quest. Space non-technical brochures about you know how you die. I mean that’s. Just miserable. Okay, thank you for that little digression. But it’s it’s what? I spend my time doing when i’m not when i’m not done non-profit radio. Very interesting to going back to the little micro engagements you get. You get a little uptick you said of of ah commitment when with just these small engagement. Yeah, if you if you would follow my knife. On dh, you would’ve measure let’s, say, satisfaction and commitment, and you sent out a little survey to a sample of your darkness, our guarantee. If you tracked that sample of people over time, you’ll find that they’re a little teeny tiny bit more loyal than the balance of the database on that administration of this little bit of cognition, you’ve got a communication from the red cross, let’s say, and you think, oh, yeah, that’s right? I got a relationship with the red cross. I’ll go back to them and all. Well, that’s kind of a relationship with the american cancer society all that’s, right? Every time you get that little bit of interaction, you get a little bit more loyalty questionnaire getting people to take other actions on your behalf that aren’t related to fund-raising getting them to participate in an event that you’re doing online are tuning in to a podcast or tell us what you think. You know, all of those things are really smart in terms of loyalty because every time we have that interaction punch up just a little bit how loyal these individuals are outstanding love this. Okay, um, we need to be able to measure dahna loyalty how, how? What are what are the metrics? Uh, well, one of the one of the big issues we’ve got in our sector right now is the metrics are, well, frankly wrong aunt to be even more blunt about it. I think a lot of our non-profit boards need to be taken out in space eyes that a bare bottom spanking or they keep the pants, they keep their pants up. Isn’t this america bare bottoms bank with a paddle? Or is this a bare handed? Yeah, i think it probably depends on the degree of a degree of redness you want to achieve. Okay, yeah, i mean, why did i say that? Well, because oftentimes people who serve on non-profit boards are actually quite bright. Oftentimes they had very successful business careers and that’s one of the reasons that they’re there because they’re plugging in their advice as well. Andi it’s, almost as if they part their brains outside the boardroom before they go through and into the meeting. Because in the commercial space, they know very well the measure customer, lifetime value and they understand what that is, and i understand why it’s important, they understand to the merits of measuring the things that dry customer lifetime value so that’s, why you get the satisfaction so that even people measuring commitment and so on we’ll walk through into the non-profit boardroom and suddenly somehow all of that knowledge and understanding they had get forgot on the only metrics we’re interested in is how much raised with part year or month having you don’t do it attracts andi, you know, don’t start the metric that short term thinking it doesn’t help you think about the lifetime value of your database and you, and that was fund-raising suboptimal what you end up with this fund-raising that its content to recruiting donors on then lose seventy percent of them between that first and the second donation, but that complete kind of focus on short term measures get people to the point where all they do is chase their short term asian. So we’re going to continue trying to find you don’t no, you don’t we’re gonna continue to try and maximize damage money we get out of the spokes. Actually, what we need to do is to take a step back and say, you know, affection. Maybe we should be measuring the things with dr longer term or lifetime. Dahlia and beginning to reward our fund-raising with the quality of the relationships that they build. Ron avam, you know, the dollars and cents that they raised today, okay? And immediately you do that. You get a huge changing culture because suddenly what people are interested in doing is building relationships. No, um, just having that sort of burn and turn, waseem, have another to write. Now. Now, all right, you must have a lot of examples of what we should specifically be measuring in our fundraisers. Uh, well, i would if it were me, i would be using some of the same things that the commercial world have been using for twenty years. So i would measure satisfaction. Commitment on trust on dh. You know, there are measurements girl to doing that. It’s a little survey. You track how how people feel on dh if you do that, it’s the it’s, the margin of those measures that makes the difference. Remember, i talked earlier about the percentage of people who were very satisfied, very satisfied business. That’s the important thing latto it’s the extremes of those scales and changes in that that make the difference on the good news. Is that even small improvements in loyalty in the here and now translate a whopping improvements in the lifetime value with fund-raising database? So if i can improve the level of retention by little, ten percent in the here and now, i can increase the last time value of fund-raising database by over fifty percent. Why? Because they affect compounds overtime. So if you’ve got more donors left at the end of this year, you’re gonna have even more the following year and even more than you know, the year after that, you know, for many organizations that’s not the end of the story either because most organisations lose money on bonem acquisition it’s tio keep finding lots of donors to replace the one we lost. Of course, that he knew a lot of money on if you cracked that into my equation, my little improvement in loyalty in the here and now of ten percent would improve the lifetime value but fund-raising database for anything up to one hundred percent. You can make a huge just by having little improvements and loyalty and hearing that. All right, um, i wonder if weaken drill down to ah, amore micro level. In terms of the the measurement of the performance of our our fund-raising staff. Are there? Are there individual metrics? I mean, in terms of how, how they have moved donors from one stage to the other or, you know, in terms of the the actual performance of the fund raisers themselves or their metrics there? I think i think the answer to that question depends on the form of fund-raising that you’re looking at, okay, um, and so the metrics will be different depending on what it was dark, dark now dot response or someone that made you get andi, you make you give officers a remunerated too, for the amount of money that they raised, but they’re also remunerated for the amount of time they spend in front of clients remember proposals they made the number of recognition events there, kendall, all of those good things, but one of the things i think you know, it can be shared a causal the forms of fund-raising is good. Do we make our donors feel today on dh measuring that that quality of the relationship and that does come back again? The satisfaction, commitment on trust in the darkness of space? I would also be saying, you know, we should be taking decisions about investments on the basis ofthe donor lifetime value, andi what that means in your complaining that issues that if we’re going to invest in an acquisition campaign, we’re no goingto assess that campaign is a success simply because we bought in two hundred, donors are not one hundred donorsearch because it may be that most people were recruited won’t come back and give again, right? We’ve gone with the other alternative campaign we could have run, you know, we only recruited in one hundred donors, but actually most of those people stayed giving for the next five years, so taking longer term decisions based on that lifetime value, i think, is really smart and even in small organizations that made behind a little difficult to do some of that math, maybe because they’re working on even like a simple excel database or something, they could still be looking at things like retention lee on beginning to shift the focus of the way in which the team is remunerated to the level of loyalty that in general now, if you can also measure the things that drive loyalty that’s great, but if you can’t, then the starting point for me is at least to get a sense of the health of that program and the health of relationships that just by, you know, the numbers of people who were still actively engaged. Portal no, agent, i love the idea of measuring how donors feel of, um alright were going to come back. I need you to hang out for a couple minutes while i do a little business. Don’t go anywhere he drink just just dahna just keep listening. Um mohr with adrian, sergeant coming up first. Wagner, c p a’s they really do go way beyond the numbers. All these resource is that they have the webinars. They’re all archived so you can watch ah blawg seminars. If you happen to be near milwaukee, where wagner is based, you go the life seminars, but of course they’re outstanding wherever you are in the country, on the guides, the guides? Yes, the guides that’s where all the templates and the sample policies are there’s a couple of dozen of them, each one specifically for non-profits they’ve got basic accounting procedures manual. Now again, basics is not going to get you through the c p a exam. But if you want to know some basics of what you should be doing around accounting you can check that ethical conduct for your board members. Jean takagi is often talking about boardmember responsibilities, you know, that they need to act ethically, ethically toward your organization, what they’re doing in their private lives. We don’t even don’t want to think about it, it doesn’t matter, but in their dealings with you, you want to lay out what ethical conduct means and define it for them in writing, so they’re wagner has a sample policy statement on that for you, they go way beyond the numbers. The epa is very generous. You can browse the collection at wagner cps dot com just click resource is apolo software? You’re a non-profit you’ve heard rumors to this effect, but you’re using accounting software made for a business. I never really did think about this until hapless became a sponsor was never in my ken. Now it is. You need accounting software made for non-profits because you are one, so don’t waste your time using business accounting software. It’s not designed for you in managing your books your non-profit appaloosa counting is designed for non-profits easy, affordable non-profit wizard. Dot com and you know why i’m not sending you to apple owes because they’re checking their tracking the clicks at non-profit wizard dot com so go there, please check it out now. Tony steak too. My latest video is promote the ira rollover this’s, an outstanding gift for end of year. It only applies for people who are seventeen and a half and over. The marketing is easy, though, because it’s it’s becoming popular because it’s been around for over a year. Now, the charitable ira roll over, it helps donors because it counts toward their required minimum distribution, and a lot of people who are older over seventy and a half have ah hyre required minimum distribution than they want, but they have to take it. Otherwise you get penalized if they don’t take it, they get penalized. Think it’s fifty percent uh, maybe ten percent, but anyway, there’s a penalty. So this counts toward their required minimum distribution this gift to you, but they don’t get taxed on it for federal income tax purposes. So instead of it coming to them and them being taxed and accounting toward the distribution, it goes to you, it’s not taxed. For federal income tax, and it counts toward their minimum distribution. Okay, the video is at tony martignetti dot com. Check out this. This this really can’t help you the ira roll over for end of year. And that is tony. Take two. And here is adrian, sergeant continuing with relationship fund-raising i gotta send live listener love. I want to shout you out by city and state, but sam here is having board back end problems, something more talk about spanking or in the back end again. Um, we can’t see you by city and state, so i know that you’re out there. New york, new york st louis, missouri, boston, massachusetts, new bern, north carolina, california. I know there’s, somebody in california listening, probably san francisco. But i know there’s a california listener. Those are the live lister love people, the loyal, live look that loyal, live listener loved that i know are out there. Love, of course toe all the current live listeners and going abroad. I know there are listeners right now in tokyo monisha while i know we have listeners in china and taiwan because we always do ni hao and i know that south korea is checking in because it does week after week, anya haserot now, in case we are ah, in in mexico, we’ve had listeners in mexico with no star days. The czech republic occasionally does check in dobre den, germany, we can’t get germany guten tag, okay, i think that covers the most frequent live listeners. Sorry, we can’t do you no city and state as usual, we will get this back end problem slapped and slapped ah and fixed by next week. I gotta send podcast pleasantries never forget the podcast listeners, whatever it is you’re doing painting your house, washing your dishes at whatever time you’re listening. Whatever activity whatever device over ten thousand of you so grateful pleasantries to the many podcast listeners and affiliate affections to our multiple multiple am and fm stations throughout the country. Listeners from the finger lakes in new york. Two salome, oregon and lots of states in between affiliate affections to our many affiliate listeners. Ok, adrian, sergeant, thank you so much for for holding on. I have tio have to acknowledge all of all our listeners of whatever ilk in variety they come, they all get a special shout out. So thank you for your for your patients. Um, we have ah, i love these measures, but we gotta move on. Let’s, let’s talk about the different stages. You’ve identified stages of the donor relationship, and there were different strategies appropriate for each first. Just please just lay out the but what the the stages are, and then we’ll come back and revisit. Well, there’s a unawareness say’s where people become aware of the organization for the first time on exploration plays people begin to kind of extraordinary. That relationship might might mean for them on then you’re kind of deeper into the relationship where there begins to be an element of commitment. And then eventually, over time, you know, some relationships will come to an end. Of course not. Everybody’s going to continue giving for forever. But what we do know is how you treat those different points in that journey can make a very big difference. Unsurprisingly, how loyal folks turn yes. And especially knowing that these micro engagements make a difference in loyalty. I going back to that because i admire it so much. I love it. Okay, we have a few minutes. We can spend you. Know, on each of the stages, we’ll help us with awareness what’s going on and what should we be doing to give our donors what they’re seeking at that stage? Well, at this point, i suppose we’re talking about people who haven’t given to the organization before, so we’re talking about individuals that you’re trying to solicit, too get them to make a contribution for the first time on dh one of things i care about fund-raising in general is that some of what we generate is is really bland. Um, on dh if you want to get people to give and you want them to give reasonable sums of money has to make you feel something. Logic, leap to conclusions, emotion leads the action on dh fund-raising don’t want conclusions provoc greatest buy-in large one people take action, yes, and you’ve gotta get latto feel something if you’re going to stimulate them to give to your organization on dh, too many particular kind of somebody’s letters in this country, you know, a bland three or four paragraphs in-kind all of my fire, somebody was on the cusp of making again could you know, that’s not gonna happen? You’ve gotta generate materials that tellem emotional story and telling a lie like that. All important first. Okay. Okay. Emotion. It’s. Very intuitive. But we still see a lot of bad practice out there. Yeah, way. Still see a lot of those sort of very bland one page letters signed by the chief executive. Maybe even the picture of the chief executive. When actually there’s a lot to say around the nature of the cause. That could be compelling. I give you one example of a pact. That’s doing the reins again has been around for years, but amnesty international, they sense that a flat pain, um, catch a piece of card with a picture of somebody whose eyes have been gouged. Eight on the strap line effectively says what you hold in your hand is an instrument of torture when you read to your horror that actually why this person’s eyes against that is because some somebody somewhere in the world used the pen on this youngster. Teo, get guy just either and it’s horrible. And you knew when you read it and you’re outraged. And of course, the pen can also be a mechanism for doing something about it on immediately, i get youto feel the anger or feel the compassion for that child. I talked you into the cause. You understand why what i do is important at that point. And are you more likely to respond and make a gift? Of course you are on. You know, there are lots of other examples we could talk about that solution if absolutely critical to getting people to get for the first time. That’s a brilliant one. Well, well done. The amnesty, brother. I give you one other from kidney research in the uk. Um, there was a senator pack that told the story of a little girl who has kidney disease on very likely won’t won’t live for many years on the letter that was contained with the picture of this little girl was actually a letter from her kidney. Two little katie apologizing for the fact that, uh, you know, the kidney is not able to do its job and rending little story, but, you know, when you read it, you have given a really strong connection to that little girl, and you feel the heartbreak that her parents must be going through, and immediately you do that. If you’ve got kids yourself, you know, you get that lump in your throat when you think, well, goodness, you know, i have to do something about that because that’s horrible. I don’t want little girls like katie to not be heard. I will be able to have the operation the care they need. My okay, uh, look, very touching. Let’s. Go to aa exploration what’s happening there? Well, at that point in the relationship that they’re kind of getting to know you stage that was taking place. Andi, i notice now that there are a number of chances playing very creatively with three d communications. So you see people less in the us, but in other parts of the world, out on shopping malls and high streets with three d headset so that people can experience what it’s like to be in a school in botswana. What it’s like to be in a hospital in northern nigeria or wherever it might be in the world. So you can sort of transport people away for a few moments to be able to see the work that’s being done on the ground. And i think those things are quite powerful. I’m here in st pete’s, one international aid organization that does that very powerfully with trailers and it’ll take a trailer to a community, then you can go inside that trailer and you can walk around a school in the developing world, and you can see the kind of experiences of those kids for having so thinking in a very creative way back, taking people inside the cause. I think it is really important don’t necessarily need to involve the latest technology. They certainly video pictures that take you into that world, i think, very important on the other thing i would say at this point is that you might begin to creep some choice in to the kind of relationship that you’re having with individuals i i used to when i was teaching this twenty years ago, i’d say, well, it’s, awful people choice from day one so you you allow people to choose whether they want a hardcopy newsletter. Oh, our digital newsletter or no newsletter, but just appeals or whatever since realized that it’s smarter to wait just a little bit until people get into the relationship so that they could take smarter decisions about actually what they want? Because if you ask me from day one, adrian, do you want a newsletter, then? Adrian is almost certainly going to say no, right? Because newsletters sound boring, and i’m probably not gonna want that, but if you wait, you know, for five months into the relationship, i’ve read your newsletter and actually i realized that this is really quite moving or, you know, the information that there is compelling and i’m interested, then i’m all like it say, no, actually, i’ll continue to receive that. So giving people a little bit of choice of the communications is a smart thing to do in relationship fund-raising but i would begin to create that image. The relationship begins to develop over time, and i don’t like people toe, you know, identify the times of things they want in the frequency, okay, we’re going to go out for a break. I have to mention then that so the people who attended your early programs, i did not get the they got screwed. It better be better to come to a later adrian sergeant presentation or webinar if you were doing webinars back then probably not know. Twenty years ago there was no, there was no web, but but you get checked the guy out now because he’s learned from his own his own research. All right, probably, but probably by the time i know exactly what i’m talking. Yes, that’ll be brilliant. Okay, there’s going to be oh, it’s gonna be a nursing home. It’s going to get great. Great probono advice from you. Ok, let’s, go out for a break. Adri and i will talk about the next stage commitment. And then we also going to talk about next steps for you and for adrian’s research. Stay with us. You got to take a break. Tell us credit card and payment processing. How about a passive residual revenue stream that pays you each month? For that? You need to check out, tell us payment processing, because as one of their partner non-profits, you get fifty percent of every dollar that tello’s gets, so half of what they earn from the businesses you refer goes back to you and they’re doing you and more than that, just for non-profit radio listeners this is only for listeners. If you refer a business and tell us looks over their processing fees and cannot save them any money, tell us we’ll pay you two hundred fifty dollars so you can’t lose on dh, presumably if tellers can save them processing dollars in their fees, then the person the company would sign up with tello’s and you’ll be getting fifty percent of every dollar tell us earns from them. So really either way, you’re going to win and odds are tell us can bring those fees down for them and these people going to sign up. So what kind of businesses are we talking about? You want? Think about boardmember owned businesses? Local merchants could be large or small doesn’t matter if they’re supporting your work. They love your work. Restaurants, dealerships, storefronts of any kind, independent artist, your family members check this all out. Think about all those businesses. Go to tony dot m a slash tony tell us the residual income is yours now. Back to adrian, sergeant. Too close relationship fund-raising i won’t let you know that you can get this research at pursuant. Dot com slash relationship fund-raising pursuing dot com slash relationship fund-raising pursuing is one of the funders of this research, and thankfully, through their sponsorship, i met adrian. And we’re getting this enormously wonderful value on today’s show, so thank you pursuing thank you, adrian. Uh, welcome pleasure. All right, let’s go to aa now, we just have, like, five or six minutes left, so we need to be a little efficient without time. The next stage commitment what’s what’s happening there? Well, in commitment you’re really beginning then, teo buildup, that strong relationship bond with supporter one of the things i would be doing much earlier on at the point of acquisition, actually, to gather information about the sorts of things that the individual is interested in if you’ve got a non-profit that has four or five different kinds of program or things that are going on, i’d be asking them early on in the relationship which of those things they’re particularly interested in because if i do nothing else, but i’m going to make sure that when i’ve got something going on in one of those spaces that they’re interested in, that they know about it and have the opportunity to report it, they’re being respectful of people’s interests, i think, is a particularly kind of key thing in building that commitment, okay? And that on bat comes back to some of what you were saying about giving people a choice. Yeah, if you understand why people are supporting the organization that you know that that’s, that’s, a powerful thing, you can then use to shake the communication going. Okay, by the way, i created a false sense of urgency, but not deliberately. When i said five or six minutes, i was alone. We have more like nine minutes left, so don’t yeah, extra three minutes. So take a nap, and, uh, and then we’ll pick up after a three minute nap. No. What else we got? You can laugh openly, so i should hope you would please way need somebody to be laughing thinking that my students would probably appreciate that. Thank you. Pass that on to them, but do it at the end of the class doing it’s a very end of the class, okay? I mean, any more, you’re not good if i pick up on on the notion of commitment, i think one of the other things that the people possibly don’t realize and that came through from from our report is the the value that don’t get from the relationship shifts. A bit of the relationship deepens. So initially, when you’ve got that really powerful, emotional, packed communication that you’re not going to use, people are really interested in the impact on the beneficiary write all about did you do what you said you were going to do and have the impact on that child’s life? Well, as the relationship deepens, the donor becomes at least as much concerned about water impact on the child. I mean, from my sense of who i am on, and i think you know what we’re talking about them is something psychologists. Call identity and i think that’s going to be the next big thing in fund-raising because it’s a little different from understanding the motives that people have for supporting you, you know, the motives for supporting little katie and her kidney operation, for example, identity is a bit different instead of what motivated used to support the organization that stays you’re asking, what are people saying about themselves when they give? So what kind of person are they saying they are when they support my non-profit adrian, new york let me understand that we can begin to shape our communication to make them feel good about that being that kind of person. Gen shang, your colleague at the center for sustainable philanthropy cnt ari was on was on non-profit radio talking about something that this makes me think of she had research from public radio when people would call in to public radio to make a gift, they were greeted with something along the lines of thank you for being a kind supporter or a loyal supporter or a generous supporter, and she had different adjectives and tested different adjectives against outcomes and eyes, particularly among women. The right adjectives. Would increase the the women’s giving through the through these phone calls. Does that sound familiar to you? Yeah, absolutely. And what you’re talking about there, of course, is one kind of identity you’re talking about moral identity. Okay, so, you know, a lot of giving might be because i’m saying adrian is a moral person. I might also be saying i’m a father, i’m a parent, i’m a cancer survivor, i’m a patriot, i’m a liberal i’ma environmentalist, i’ma, i’ma, i’ma and when you understand the identity that’s being articulated, then you make people feel good about that, right? Because if they’re going to give one that that kind of person let’s, tell him it’s, good to be that kind of person and give him the kind of content that really reinforces that i don’t see it makes them feel good. Remember we said earlier in this conversation, i think you know, one of the things we need to do moving forward if latto worry about hitting the meat of our beneficiary, so sure, but we could be at least this concerned with how good we made our donors feel today on one of the keys to unlocking that. Is to understand what they’re saying about themselves when they give to our organization and what that report of us ruling means to the sense of who they are. And i was saying that the relationship deepens people away, so what that really means for them and who they are on dh, we start to be looking for relationships over time to meet some of our hyre orr durney and by that i mean, connectedness personal growth fulfillment, yes, but what is my support? My five years support your non-profit organization say about my personal growth and how connected i am with people that are important to me and where i am, incomes of myself fulfill it, andi, if we start to think about right that there are longer term supporters are maybe we can help them make some of those reflection on feeling better about their support of our organization because actually, when we communicate across more than any other sex er we should really be concerned with maximizing how good we can make our supporters feel ok, adrian, i i have to stop our our substance because we’ve got to move to next steps, and we just have a couple of minutes left, and i want to get to both parts of this. So what can a non-profit do with this wealth of information? Well, if you visit if they visit the pursuing website, there we are, download a copy ofthe there really two key volumes to the research? One is lessons from relationship marketing. One is less in some social psychology, andi, they could trial some of those ideas for themselves and their fund-raising so that’s the most obvious thing that might be able to do it the end of the call go to the website, haven’t reports and see if there’s anything there that they’re interested. Okay? And again, that it’s pursuing dot com slash relationship fund-raising that’s where you’ll find the four volumes. But, adrian, you’re recommending the first two as being most valuable. Sounds like that they’ve suddenly covered most of material we talked about today, okay? And there’s a lot of other ideas from social psychology on the other thing that’s so might like to do if they’re in an organization of of a reasonable size. We’re planning on doing a serious of field experiments over the next two years. Yes, well worked. With a number of non-profit partners, andi blitz there don’t know find it too. One half would continue to get the communications that they get now the other half would get communications that being tweaked in some way to help build up foster that sense dahna relations okay, very quickly. What type of organization are you looking for? We’re looking for organizations that have, um, groups have donors that are above six hundred people, so we’re not looking for organizations that are necessarily massive, but we’re looking for organizations that have a reasonable number of donors in each of the segments they want to study. I will be willing to work with us bearing the cost of doing those experiments. Okay, we’ll get the impact of that relationship approach on money raised, but also on how good people feel, okay? Oh, excellent. Getting to the feelings what’s your email address if people would like to submit their organization or talk to you more about being on you in the research. It’s adrian dot, sergeant a d r i n dot es a rg e a n t at plymouth a y m o u t h dahna a si dot. Uk. Excellent, adrien, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much, so much valuable information. Thank you, thank you. Cheers next week, your little brand that can and the future of email. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuant wagner, cps, guiding you beyond the numbers. Wagner, cps dot com stoploss accounting software, designed for non-profits non-profit wizard dot com and tell us credit card and payment processors. Passive revenue streams for non-profits tony dahna, slash tony tello’s, our creative producers, claire meyerhoff family boots is the line producer show social media is by susan chavez, and this very cool music is by scots diner brooklyn. You with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark insights orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a, m or p m so that’s, when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing. So you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to do if they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones. Me dar is the founder of idealist took two or three years for foundation staff, sort of dane toe add an email address their card. It was like it was phone. This email thing is fired-up that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dno, two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony talked to him. Yeah, you know, i just i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze, you know, tell you make people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just do it. You put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expect it to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sabiston. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.