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Nonprofit Radio for August 5, 2016: Multichannel Fundraising Survey & Smart Email Marketing

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Peter Panepento: Multichannel Fundraising Survey

Which channels are earning nonprofits the best returns on their fundraising dollars and where will investment expand in 2017? Consultant Peter Panepento authored The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s report, “Fundraising In A Multichannel World.”



Tiffany Neill & Ann Crowley: Smart Email Marketing

Tiffany Neill & Ann Crowley at 16NTC

It’s one of the successful channels and it takes more than good copy. Our panel from the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference takes on the full process of a successful email campaign. They are Tiffany Neill, partner at Lautman Maska Neill & Company, and Ann Crowley, vice president of membership and online strategy for Human Rights Campaign.



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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. We have a listener of the week pulawski joshy. She messaged me that non-profit radio was one of her first shows when she started working in the sector and she loves my solitude video more about that in tony’s, take two so pulawski thank you, olivia joshy, thank you for being with us and congratulations on being our listener of the week. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I get hit with a bad case of mathos thomas iesus if i merely smelled the fishy idea that you missed today’s show multi-channel fund-raising survey, which channels are earning non-profits the best returns on their fund-raising dollars and where we’ll investment expand in twenty seventeen. Consultant peter panepento authored the chronicle of philanthropy is report fund-raising in a multi channel world and smart email marketing it’s one of the successful channels and it takes more than good copy. Our panel from the twenty sixteen non-profit technology conference takes on the full process of a successful email campaign. They are tiffany neil, partner at lautman, maska, neil and company, and and crowley, vice president of membership in online strategy for human rights campaign between the guests on tony’s take two solitude and major announcements that i should’ve made last week. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuant dot com and by we be spelling not your seventh grade spelling bees for charities, we be spelling dot com glad to welcome back peter panepento he’s, a freelance writer and principle for panepento strategies, a communications consultancy working with non-profits foundations and companies that serve the sector. He’s, a former managing former assistant managing editor with the chronicle of philanthropy, you’ll find him at panepento dot com and at p panepento peter panepento welcome back. Great to talk to you, tony. And glad teo. Glad to be back on the show. A pleasure. Pleasure. I love your name. Because it’s so musical and a literate ivo i just love it. Peter panepento i like saying very, very fortunate with monica. I didn’t like it growing up, but i love it. Oh, yeah. Now the obliteration. Of course. I love liberations. But you know it’s, just it’s. Very musical. I love it. And ah, little italian pun, eh? Bread pento is repent. So did you know you have? Surely i’m sure that you’ve surely you’ve translated your name before having you. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So repentant bread. I don’t know. Have you sinned? And you’re baking bread in independence or what? I don’t know what that means. But i think that for another podcast completely, i think so. You don’t talk about well, okay, then. That was in that. In that case, we talk about this for twenty minutes, then on multi-channel fund-raising gets about three. Okay. Um, you know, i love move your name. Okay. Oh, yeah. Go ahead. You know, i mean, it’s always great when we get martignetti together. It’s a great combination of names that’s true and don’t i love the way you pronounce martignetti thank you. Thank you. Um, so, multi-channel fund-raising this, uh, this report based on a survey tell us about this. Yeah. So i started working with the chronicle late last year to take a real close. Look at how non-profits and specifically fund-raising departments are making, uh, making sense and investing in the explosion and the number of channels that they have at their disposal for fund-raising aziz. You know, and i’m sure a lot of listeners know we’ve we’ve really seen ah, really expansion of a number of options that fund-raising shops have to talk, teo acquire and solicit donors, you know, from everything from email, social media, online’s mobile. I’m all of these new channels are giving folks a lot of options, and there were also rendering a lot of other channels are absolute, so we wait really set out to try tio talked to non-profits and survey them and find out how they’re shifting their reese is and which which of these channels are more most successful to them? And what we did was we ended up working with a survey firm, campbell rinker, out of california, and we got responses from nearly five hundred non-profits of all sizes. Hoo hoo provided some really interesting insights on how these spring and what they might be in the fundraisers. Did you do cement? Irv uses part of this too? Yes, once we got the results back, i i reached out and spoke teo quite a few fundraisers across the country, from both local small organizations to some really big national charities to okay, cool now, um the headline is that the the old school one toe, one solicitation, my voice just cracked like i’m fourteen again hyre is ruling in in terms of effectiveness, yes, and i would imagine it doesn’t surprise a lot of folks to know that even with all of these different channels that we have that the most effective and the most popular form of fund-raising still is the one on one half, and when we we spoke to fundraisers about you know which channels they used the most and which ones were most effective, we found that personal solicitations were not only the most still the most popular and more than nine out of ten charity say that personal solicitations are are a part of their fund-raising mix now, but that also that they are still the most effective in terms of r a y and in fact, seven out of ten organizations in the survey said they’re becoming more effective than in the past. So with all of these different channels that we have to communicate with each other now, and maybe even because of that, all of these channels exists. Um, one on one the you know, the art. Of a person asking another person directly that they, you know, presumably built a relationship with remains the most effective form of fund-raising now, this does this include online one toe, one like i’m we’re doing a, you know, a peer-to-peer campaign does that does that include this? Or is this familiar? Peer-to-peer separately and okay here was actually did very well as well. In fact, half of the organizations in the survey said that peer-to-peer fund-raising is becoming a more effective form of fund-raising for them than it has been in the past, you know, it it doesn’t quite have the same level of popularity that personal solicitations do, but you know, those peer-to-peer campaigns and and, you know, the act of having, you know, one donor askanase other donor for for support for their favorite charity is is has been and is continuing to be very effective, okay? All right, i got you. All right. So the so the personal solicitation we’re talking about is the old school calling on the phone or meeting and and making an ask right that we’re talking about personal, so okay, okay, alright. Cool. That’s the headline, but there’s a lot more. To cover s o, peter and i were gonna go out for a break. When we come back, we’ll cover all the rest of this multi-channel fund-raising survey. Stay with us, you’re tuned to non-profit radio. Tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy. Fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights, published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really, all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website, philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals the better way. Dahna welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I feel like doing live listener love right this minute, and there are a lot from texas, so i wanted very much thank j c and joan, the hosts of the previous show. Twenty first century entrepreneur forgiving non-profit radio, a shout out that was very gracious of them and it looks like a lot of their texas listeners hung in there. Houston, austin, sugarland live listener loved to you, let’s. Bring it right here to new york, new york, new york, bronx, new york, queens, new york live listener love to all five boroughs, even though staten island and and who’s, who we missing staten island in brooklyn, are not not with us this minute. They certainly have been in the past. So extend the live love even to the to borrow is not represented and focus on the three that are bronx, manhattan and queens gillette newjersey live listener loved to new jersey that’s ah that’s fairly new i think charlotte, north carolina love north carolina live listen loved head they headed there and lincoln tonight oh, lincoln’s in north carolina also. Thank you. Cool love. North carolina, you know, i’m on emerald isle ah, three weeks out of each month, let’s, go let’s, go abroad. Mexico, mexico, monterrey, mexico live listener loved to you. That would be a good afternoon. So we would say, argast artis, when a star dies precisely romania, iran, cambodia live. Listen, her love to you, love, ah, cambodia, don’t think we’ve seen you before in southeast of asia. Welcome on biron and romania. Also korea, you know, always so, so gracious, south korea, always with us on your haserot comes a ham nida and china always always at least one from japan, although i mean china, although we’ve got multiple today, ni hao and multiple from japan as well, so grateful for that live listen love to japan, konnichi wa. Peter panepento we’re going to get to the rest, i mean, don’t forget the affiliate affections and podcast pleasantries, of course, but peter panepento is waiting patiently, their hearing, breathing heavily science coming durney live listeners does this clown has give it a rest already in romania, they know you were a man of so many languages well, so many listeners, yes, only a few languages, but but there’s, this this show cut across states, counties, continents, we’re everywhere. All right, um, okay, anything else you want to say about the personal solicitation being the most way we covered that you think, well, i think i think one one point i thought of during the break there was that, you know, as i spoke to some fundraisers about this, i think one of the takeaways on this is just the fact that with people being so tied to their, you know, mobile devices and so connected online that they actually really appreciate the personal connection mohr when they can get it, and that is actually, you know, working in the favor of organizations who are investing in, uh, more on the ground face-to-face fund-raising there, you know, donors really appreciate that x for personal touch probably now more than ever before, and that applies also to millennials. I’m finding that, um, the misconception there is a misconception that millennials don’t want to meet anybody, they just want to do all their giving and shopping online and, you know, they love events they love coming out now, i’m not sure about the personal solicitation meeting, i’m not i’m not going quite that far, but in terms of gathering’s face-to-face meetings, events, you know, as long as the thing is fun, they love getting out absolutely and a big thing for millennials to is authenticity and there’s nothing more authentic than you know, shaking somebody’s, hand and looking him in the eye and talking teo and that’s that’s a really i value that the millennial generation is bringing to the table on dh articulating quite a bed. And i think as that generation matures and they actually become more likely to be ableto give it higher levels, i think those personal solicitations air going toe going to continue to be really important for those dahna relationships i get so many invitations for just usually une male coffee or lunch coffee line you know from people from millennials twenty thirties on, and i’m happy to do it, you know? I mean, if they want to sit with fifty four year old that’s their life, you know? So what am i going? No, but there’s a misconception that we need to beat that down. And the last thing about personal solicitation, i see you have this outstanding graphic about future investment. And ninety nine percent of charities that answered are goingto either spend the same or invest more in personal solicitations next year. That’s absolutely right. And, you know, that is really on an important stand, i think. It’s it’s, um, almost, you know, almost surprising just how overwhelming that is and help those two thirds of them are actually planning to increase their investment. And in personal solicitations, nominally, they’re investing in that they’re going to be increasing their investment in it, which is which is really powerful. Yeah. Agree. All right. Excellent. Um, direct mail doing very well. Yes. Direct mail. One of the really interesting things that came out of this survey. Wass the shift in attitude toward direct mail. I remember. And we had some discussions about this. A few. Years ago to tonia, i remember that, you know, direct mail is is, you know, in danger getting phased out of some organization. Were you really wondering whether or not they should just kill the of the the direct mail letter in investing all digital? And what we’re finding is that direct mail is not only remaining the third most popular channels for multi for multi-channel investment, but that it’s also ah channel, in which organizations are starting to step up their investment again after years of scaling back in it. Um, we found that almost a third of organizations that they’re planning to invest more resource is and direct mail over the next year by-laws than they have in the previous year and and that’s actually at a faster rate than things like email in social media in terms of increased investment over the next year. Yeah, you have a quote in the in the study that its still a world where people were thinking print first and digital second in planning campaigns. Yeah, i mean, even with all of the increased investment that we found in digital channels, latto you know, direct mail remains really, really popular and builders still respond to what a particularly the more mature donors, too, you know, are used to giving that way and remain a very important audience for non-profits so important to recognize our our top two channels, our traditional what might have been called dinosaurs, you know, years ago as social media emerged, but they’re not dinosaurs, they’re not. If they’re dinosaurs are not extinct yet because they’re talking about we’re talking about face-to-face and direct mail? Absolutely. And and and not only are they not going extinct, they’re they’re making a bit of a comeback. So what does that make them? Uh, i don’t know what we have. Ah, was i mean, i know that maybe they were the share of ah share. Tio that’s. Very good. I just picked up one of her dvds a couple months ago with this she’s got his flamboyant pink outfit and the cover the dvd is, is it called a hologram? Or you you turn it, you know, you you turn in the light and you get different images of her. I think i picked up for a light. Well, sorry share. I picked it up for like, a book, but i had to i had to just have it for the cover. I loved it. I loved. Um okay, so maybe the share. Yeah. Um all right, so don’t abandon traditional methods. Ok? So let’s move into the more current and social media also strong also strong. Not always this strong, but organizations are really continuing. Teo double down on their investment in social media. Um, we sell that sixty percent of organizations over the last two years have put more resources into social media, and they’re reporting that they’re planning to continue to to to invest more in it. More than half of the groups in the survey said they plan to invest maurin social media over the next year. And this really comes despite the fact that for a lot of organizations, they’re they’re having a hard time really articulating what the return on that investment is. Yes. So they’re not necessarily seeing direct dollars coming in the door through social media. But they are still thing enough value and where they want to continue to invest more in it as a as a donor acquisition tool and dahna communication stole. I see ninety seven percent are going to spend the same or mohr you said, as you said, over half spending mohr and, like forty four percent spending the same why why is it still getting increased investment? Um and so much attention so much the share of resources if we are having so much trouble identifying r a y well, it’s interesting, i spoke to a number of organizations, including some really sophisticated groups like make a wish and and the less association who say that even if they can’t put a direct dollar figure on what’s coming in, they’re they’re noting that social media is a great channel of bringing new people on their websites and getting them to sign up for e mails and other things like that. So that’s one thing and other is that it’s becoming increasingly necessary for organizations, particularly on facebook, to get noticed, you actually have to invest in promoting their posts and, you know, actually, you know e-giving facebook and lincoln and twitter um essentially at you no at investment, tio have their post get noticed by doing that, not only are they getting more clicks and like, they’re also getting some better, some better metrics back from those platforms, in terms of how people are engaging with their posts to sow some of that, i think is out of necessity, you know, you can’t keep the same level of investment and get the same results on facebook if your charity anymore. So, you know, some groups are putting ad money against it, where in the past they weren’t doing that right? I hear a lot of frustration about facebook because the organic reaches so small now and so much smaller than it used to be, and and you do have to put ad money against it if if you want to keep that reach high. Yeah, it’s purely i hear a lot of frustration, okay? And another part of your message is that there are other ways of measuring success besides strict return on investment. So if you’re getting more people signing up your email list, if that’s an action that you’re asking for, you’re seeing more unique visitors to your sight may be to the donation page on your site, even if they’re not translating to donations there are there are other methods of measuring return on social media other than strict dollars absolutely, and that’s i think the really interesting point that and and way of expressing it, tony, is that, um, you know, it may not lead to a direct donation, but those those folks that you’re engaging with on social networks are, you know, that that might be their first weigh in the organisation for them to be communicating with you in other ways, and you may actually be getting success through some of the other fund-raising channels as a result of you making that initial contact with a potential donor on a social network. You have you have a graphic in the survey that that covers the different methods of measuring success besides the ones we’ve talked about growth over previous efforts, long term donorsearch al you net yield per donor. So those are some other method, good, right? Right? And, you know, in on top of things, just like revenue raised and donors acquired, which are, um, kind of the obvious wants some of these other ones are metrics that organizations are starting to use mohr regularly to try tio to figure out how these different channels are performing and how they can make better decisions about where to invest later, yeah. You know, it’s, just yeah, you have to be able to say more than, you know, you just got to be there, but i mean, intuitively you do because there are just so many billions of people on facebook on four billion or five billion or something twitter, i think is over a billion users, um, you gotta be able to say more than that, it’s just it’s a lot of people, and so i like that the survey got moves like seven different six different methods of measuring return, not just yet. I think that, you know, what we’re starting to see is that organizations are becoming more sophisticated and how they’re measuring how they’re measuring these different things, and they’re putting mohr effort into actually trying tio better understand, you know, dahna behavior and their own in their own efforts at acquiring and, you know, building relationships with donors, how would you characterize non-profits as a group, we’re generalizing in terms of technology, adoption, do you feel like they’re slow to adopt? They wait for the corporate side to do it? Or do you feel like they jump in a little quicker, but not fully understanding and maybe that’s ah, maybe that’s to their detriment. That’s an interesting question, and i think, you know, if if you when you asked that question five or ten years ago, i think the consensus in the non-profit community was that, you know, that we were slow to adopt and that we were really reticent to to invest in new things and trying new things with technology, i think that’s starting to shift, i don’t necessarily think that we’re, you know, as a zone industry, we’re going to be rivaling silicon valley in front of of our willingness. Tio tio, jump in feet first, things that we don’t really know online, but, you know, there’s been enough success out there, and there have been enough for thinking organizations that have in front runners on some of these technologies that that it’s, you know, that the case can be more easily made toe boards and too, and the top leadership in organizations that it’s worth experimenting a little bit with new things and trying them out, but seeing where they go and you know, the digital capacity is still probably not where it needs to be with a lot of organizations but it’s a lot deeper now than it was even a few years ago. Andi, you only have to look at things like the growth of of interest in the non-profit technology conference every year and just the amount of social media and online activity that’s happening across the sector now. Let’s, talk about mobile, you call mobile a conundrum. Yes, um, and this was an area where a number of groups actually dove in and tried to invest in mobile and text to give early on and found out that they weren’t really getting the results they wanted to. So they’re starting to scale back a little bit in in their investment and mobile. Now. So, you know, of the groups that are actually using mobile, only forty percent say that their efforts were more effective in the past year than they were yeah, in the past year than they were the previous year they’re started there’s a really, um, there’s a real struggle out there for organizations to really figure out how to best use mobile other than using it as a you know, kind of, i know of ah, you know, a modified way of looking at their websites. There, there aren’t a whole lot of really successful mobile e-giving campaigns that that organizations air finding to be useful, important to point out that only thirteen percent of the respondents are actually using mobile and of those of those platform, you know, you know, in talking to organizations for the reporting on this, we’re finding that groups are finding some pretty creative ways to use mobile, even if they’re not using it as a standalone channel. Um, i spoke tio, the top fundraiser at the quietness institute in rochester, new york, which is a which is a private high school there, and they have actually done away with their traditional phone, a phones where a woman i would gather and do a night of calling teo their classmates and i have kind of replaced it with almost like a texting and facebook base kind of outreach for using the same idea everybody gets together with their mobile phones that starts texting classmates that they knew and hitting those short donations or or messaging them through facebook on their mobile phones. Hill yes, she didn’t count that as mobile fund-raising but it’s still using mobile devices for for, you know in-kind of using the unique powers of mobile devices fund-raising and hybrid ing that with the peer-to-peer za peer-to-peer ask itjust happened, happens by text exactly exactly so in some cases, we’re seeing these channels, you know, maybe falling in one bucket, but but they actually utilize technology that might be included in another bucket of in terms of how they’re measured. Peter, we have just a little less than a minute left, and i want to wrap up with the management of all these multi-channel methods is now multi department that’s, right? That’s one of the other interesting storylines coming from the surveys we asked, you know which department is in charge of all of these different all of these different channels? And in which cases is that more than one? And you know, by and large, you know, the development shop is still very engaged with with all of these different channels, but, you know, depending on the channel, usually between a quarter to assist of them are being managed by multiple departments means that there’s some, you know, they’re both being held accountable for the results of of those campaigns and it’s becoming a much more collaborative. Environment now where the development of the development department really needs to be working a lot more closely with you, with communications, with marketing, with technology to make sure they’re being success. Peter panepento follow this guy on twitter for pizza because you’re gonna learn a lot at at p panepento and he’s at panepento. Dot com peter, thank you so much. Thank you. And the surveys also free and for download that philanthropy dot com slash multi-channel fund-raising for anybody who wants to check it out in more detail philanthropy dot com slash multi-channel fund-raising cool. Thank you again. Thanks a lot, tony. Smart email marketing is coming up first. Pursuant, they’ve got free research for you. Also another free research report. It’s their report optimize your donor pipeline. You need to raise more money. You need a fat pipeline of pipeline that’s a pipeline of potential donors coming in that’s a piece today. This report is going to help you do that. It’s going, build, retain optimize your daughter pipeline it’s free optimize your donor pipeline it’s at pursuing dot com and then click resource is we’ll be spelling again. You need to raise more money host we’d be spelling spelling bee. This is not your mother’s spelling bee this’s, not even your seventh grade spelling bee. We’ll be spelling bees have live music and dance, stand up comedy prizes in lots of categories, not just best speller. That would be so mundane and there’s, a spelling bee wrapped up in all this. The ceo alex career. I hope you were with me last week for the three hundred show he was on the line, called in. Check them out, we be spelling dot com and b is b e. For tony steak, too. Solitude. You are doing very giving work day in, day out, saving lives, changing the world. You need to take time for yourself. And i encourage this. Nearly every summer, i think my effort, my campaign. This summer is encapsulated in ah, in my video encouraging you to take time alone, my solitude video and it happens to be the first video with a full cast. You could figure out that that is at tony martignetti dot com. I’ve got major announcements announcements that i was so excited last week that i forgot to make first pursuing continuing their sponsorship, pursuing to staying with us so grateful to ceo trent ryker and all the people i work with that pursuing holly snell and and down hillary, etcetera, grateful for their continued sponsorship at pursuing thank you so much. Also brand new. You may have heard of the stanford social innovation review you may know that ssr has a podcast page getting hundreds of thousands of your tickets and downloads each month. Well, guess what, the newest entrant there’s going to be non-profit radio, thank you very much. Stanford social innovation review you’re going to start to be ableto here non-profit radio on the ssr podcast page that’s going to be starting shortly. Very excited with that that’s. A big name. Stanford, california. Come on. I mean, come on. And that is tony’s. Take two podcast pleasantries. I disassociated the podcast pleasantries from the live listener love and that’s okay to do. I think they can stand independent of each other, but the pleasantries go out to the people listening in the time shift, whatever you’re doing, whatever device, whatever time you are listening pleasantries to you are over ten thousand and the affiliate affections they could stand with the podcast pleasantries or the live listen love, or they could stand alone because the affections air strong, they could stand independent if they needed to, and maybe they will. But for now, they’re associated with the podcast pleasantries because i am sending affections to our am and fm affiliate stations and listeners throughout the country. So glad that you’re with me on the traditional the old but still critical, just like the face-to-face solicitations system solicitations, the am and fm media still important affections to those listeners. Here is my interview on smart email marketing, a very important channel from the non-profit technology conference. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of sixteen ntcdinosaur twenty sixteen non-profit technology conference at the convention center in san jose, california second session of the of the conference and i’m with tiffany, neil, and and crowley tiffany city closest to me is a partner at lautman, maska, neil and company and and crowley is vice president of membership and online strategy for human rights campaign. Ladies welcome. Thank you. Thank you. Your session topic is what you mean. There’s more to email, more to mail than just writing copy for a fund-raising email so we’re gonna go way beyond just good copy out let’s see, tiffany, what you believe is the dahna shortcoming that a lot of non-profit or shortcomings latto non-profits have around email marketing. I think a lot of organizations spent a lot of time thinking about that first message that people are going to receive, and they don’t take a lot of time thinking about the total experience that that person is going to have once they choose to engage with that email so they don’t think about it in terms of the supporter, the donor who’s receiving that message, they just say, i am sending this wonderful email and they will just do exactly what i want there’s a whole process, there’s a whole process begins within gay exactly through your well written email. Exactly talk a little about subject line, etcetera, but yeah, we want the whole lot the whole process. Exactly. I mean, i can ignore every email in my inbox if i want to that’s my prerogative, and i think a lot of times non-profits just assumed because human rights campaign, which is a wonderful organization, is sending a message that everyone’s going to open it and respond. And did you feel that you needed some help around your email channel? I think we’ve been very fortunate in our ability, tio send out e mails and get people to respond, but that’s, mostly because our issue has really been on the front lines of of the, you know, what’s happening in the last few years, but i do believe it is getting harder to get folks to open our emails and engage once we’ve gotten past marriage equality, the response rates were starting to see a slight decline, okay? And you do have i mean, it seems like human rights campaign would have headlines nearly every day, if not way have refugee crises around the world, and i’m just scratching the surface you work there, but now there’s a lot to talk about. Yes. Although hrc only works on lgbt issues in the u s o okay, all right, so then refugee crisis worldwide is appropriately okay, very good. Still all right? So after marriage equality, okay, so then you didn’t have so many headlines drop correct? Yeah, just got a little bit more of a challenge, although right now we’re experienced experiencing a lot of states, trying to revoke a lot of the rights that have been voted in so it’s, still very pertinent and happening and that’s, our job is to get people toe, stay with us and engage in the same level that they had been. Okay, let’s, stay with you. And i’m sure we first approach are thinking about une mail campaign that were you want? Yeah, i mean, i think it depends, is it is it fund-raising or is it sit advocacy? And if it’s advocacy is that because something is currently going on right now that you need to engage your list in? And if the answer to the advocacy question is yes, then we always ask ourselves, what is the theory of change if we send out this e mail and we ask arlis to do something? What is going to come out of their action? So for instance, we are in the middle of trying to get congress, in particular the judiciary committee, to hold a hearing for the vacancy of the supreme court, and we’ve been asking our list too directly email mitch mcconnell and hold a hearing so there’s a clear theory of change there. So if it’s fund-raising and you guys, you know, organizations feel like they need to send out e mails to raise money is which we all do then really think about what the messages and his tiffany alluded to earlier, not only what the message is initially, but what the visuals are, what comes after they send in money? Is there a proper thank you, there’s? Just various steps to the process. Okay, again, a long process, but sounds like starting with what is your goal exactly? Call ultimately there’s some call to action that’s, right? Is it? Fund-raising isn’t volunteering write a letter. Writing is calling. Raise it. Signing a petition? Yeah. Calling the governor. Yeah, that that’s exactly right. I mean, we really stop and think about every situation and if something is needed and we feel like we can make a difference in particular in a state, for instance, then then we’re going to do it. Okay, okay. All right. So, tiffany, after we’ve got our goal set, where do we go? Where we go from there? Well, i think where i mean, really where it starts from us. Who is that message going to be from? And i think that that sender is something that, especially with hrc, we spend a lot of time thinking about in testing different senders to make sure that when someone’s looking at a bunch of emails in their inbox, they want to open this it’s it’s from somebody that they feel has something to tell them that they need to respond to sew that it’s that’s the first part is to figure out who’s this message going to be from okay, who it’s from and i guess maybe this is subsumed in what you were saying and but who’s it going to? Yeah, we’re subset of our constituency is going to get get this. All right? We’ve got we’ve got our center. We’ve we’ve tested and testing of course, important throughout this process. How does that work if you’re trying to listeners tryingto inaugurate a campaign. How do you test them and kick off at the same time? Well, it’s, i mean, these work together it’s great with a sender. Because we can send ten percent of the message out and send half of that ten percent one centre and half of that ten percent another center in whichever sender gets more opens. Then we send that out to the rest of the constituencies. So those kind of things we contest really in real time so that we know we can get the immediate response subject line forward, subject lying falls in that for the preview text. The thing that people see in their inbox before they actually opened the message. Those first few words, all of those things we test on the outbound message, especially with things that are time sensitive. We want to get those test results back quickly so that we can implement it. And if people need to act quickly, we get we get to them right away. We spent a minute on something that’s. A little bit of a peeve. Which is seeing in that preview to view this message better, right? If it’s not rendering right in your mobile version. Click here. Right? Is that a terrible waste of landscape? Yes, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. I know what it’s called. What? The preview pain. Okay, and actually we in our presentation today, we actually touch on that because i don’t think it’s one of those things that organizations are moving so quickly, maybe they haven’t thought about that the experience, but for us, hrc our list is younger than a lot of other organizations and therefore there’s ah hyre usage of their mobile when they’re reading our emails. So we do everything mobile optimized, figuring that our folks are reading it on the phone. They’re moving quickly. We’re going to say it in the preview text what we want them to do or what the issue is, and at that point, they’re going to decide to open it and go take the next step or not, when you have your session, would you please tell the audience that this ticks me off? Well known, everyone will say, tony is very annoyed by that. Come back with one thirty four and render your your support for a proper preview checks but it’s one of the things that hrc does well is there’s an army of testers, and every tester has a different mobile device. So what may work on apple may not work on android, so, tony, if you have a different phone, yours may break up in someone else’s won’t. So we do all of that testing before the message ever goes out to consider, you know, even at work, someone was workout of outlook and some of us work out of google and things were under differently and while maybe annoying, i’m always the outlook girl, so i’m always like, it looks funny on that look and, you know, so for the seven other outlook, users were going toe we’re going to see it, right? Okay. All right. What? What else? So let’s, stay with this a couple seconds. What else can we easily test? Got sender subject line preview text? What else? Simple detect. The other thing that we test is in the call to action the words that appear on the button. We’re asking people to do something and really wants to test. Click here. We’re calling it the nineteen nineties tests, but we’ve found that saying, tony, you know, act now versus just act now versus, you know, change, change this do their job. And then i see more organizations using chip in exact and contribute exactly, and those air easy things, the test and you can test it on small number and then see how many people take the action that you intended them to and then roll that out said earlier, we’re testing to maybe just ten percent of the way debate test quantities frequently, but yes, i mean, in general it’s, about ten percent of the total, okay, seems like a good relationship. You’re going back and forth? Yeah, frequently on. Okay. Absolutely. Yes. Next to each other. It’s civil. Yeah. No, no, no. Tiffany and her team at law men are terrific. And we really view them as extensions of the human rights campaign staff well and to the point about subject lines and is frequently a sender of the hrc emails. And one saturday, there was an e mail from an and it was an official hrc email. But the subject line was i know it’s saturday, but and we all open it very quickly because we assumed it was work related and something? Yeah, it worked. It worked. It really was an accident. You know, it was everyone just forgot that that was going out that day at ten a m on saturday and that that was the subject line. All right, the best stuff comes from improvisation, it’s straight, solid improvisation. All right, so we’ve done some simple testing and what’s our next what’s our next step in this campaign? Well, i’m a big believer in the visuals, so if you can have a picture in the call out box, i’m also big believer, frankly, in the call out box, i feel like the call out box is the next step. After the preview text, you get somebody to open it because the preview texas either intriguing enough or important enough, it feels to me that most people then go to the call out box, and so if you’re looking at the email, the call out box can be in the center for us, it’s often to the right and it’s literally a boxed section and it’s it’s in my mind. It’s the headline it’s the action in a nutshell we want you to do x because of why and it’s it’s a shortened version if you want to read more there’s the whole email text that you can read and learn more about what the issue is. But the call out box is going to tell you what we want you to do. Why? And it’s gonna have ah, click it’s going to have a button to or link to click and immediately do the action or send in the money. So this is for somebody who’s, maybe just previewing. They read this cold outbox, but ultimately it’s the same action as if you got to the middle of the full tech that’s a bottom of a check that’s, right. Same action. And you sew for us too. We have a link or button often throughout the email throughout the call out box. I mean, we really make it easy for people to immediately we take action versus going through the entire thing. Do we have statistics on how popular the call out boxes versus going by showing further into the text? We would be able to know the amount of klicks from the call outbox versus the other clicks. Yeah, we could measure it. I don’t think we have. Just you found the flaw in the progress. You’ve done some consulting work this morning that we shouldn’t tell that it is a new toast way. Not like that. We’ll put that on the testing list meeting to the session. Exactly. Your audience would not have heard. You know, if you had not been here before. Yeah, before this, before the session. All right. No charge. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Through with no it’s. True it’s. Good point, actually. Very gratifying. Doesn’t happen often. Melkis. Okay, let’s. See, uh, all right. So we get past our email were also obviously testing different body of the text right now that this is more that’s. More elaborate. Yeah. It’s. More elaborate. And we it’s funny. We’ve tested some copy things, but often what will test is copy heavy versus image heavy things that are are more substantial. That are gonna move the needle a bit more. We try not teo. I mean, there’s tests that are interesting. And then there’s tests that we want to do that are really trying to get people tio to move the issues forward. And so we haven’t tested a lot within the copy itself. Unless it’s specifically the call to action that’s interesting now, because this is what i think people focus on the boat they dio so their focus is misplaced. It’s okay to say, well, i want i want people to approve we want people to improve, i’ll just speak for us. I mean, for hrc, i don’t think that is where our focus should be, which is why it’s not there for other organizations. It may be different, and we have tested for other organizations that may have a cause or a mission where they’re trying to figure out their messaging and in that case, figuring out how they want to state their case for support that’s a critically important tests to do and then something that should probably be done over several email messages where you have control groups getting a similar theme, or if you have a mission that has several different components. You spoke earlier about international work trying to figure out what part of the world people care about that’s, something that is worth text testing heavily with hrc there’s really don’t appreciate you bring up my one thing i said wrong well, see and overly latto that, with my brilliant way, gave you the brilliant oil pockets. No, no, you gotta remind people that i begin. What it does not get the i was right hat. So yeah, but that i mean, for some groups that’s, critically important for hrc that’s. We have so many other things past, so, yeah, okay, yeah, i would say that’s. True, all right. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger, do something that worked neo-sage levine from new york universities heimans center on philantech tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guests directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. If you have big dreams in a small budget tune into tony martignetti non-profit radio i d’oh, i’m adam bron, founder of pencils of promise. So now let’s move next stages. We’ve we’ve refined our email as best we can. Nextstep is in a landing page. Yeah, yeah. Okay. I want to speak to what retested test every landing pages. You know, it’s interesting. I mean there’s, different landing pages. So for hrc, if it’s asking for a donation, they’re landing on a donation page and we spend a lot a lot a lot, a lot of time and energy and testing and thinking through exactly what they’re going to see when they get to that landing page. One of the air, the donation page. Because one of the things that hrc does very effectively is trying to get people to make monthly gifts. So we try to look at the donor experience of saying what’s going to encourage me to sign oppa’s a monthly donor. So we test what the text is. We test what numbers, aaron, the different donation options. We test it and there’s a brand new donation page for hrc. So that whole process, if it’s an action, then it’s a landing page where you’re asking people to take that action, and in the that case, we just try to go for clarity, making sure that it’s very clear what you’re being has to dio and as an said, making sure that theory of changes prominent so that people understand when they take that action there, having a positive impact on the issues they care about landing yeah, i mean, listen, first off, it’s tough to get people to open your e mails that’s number one so now you’ve gotten them to open it. You’ve gotten them to read it, you’ve gotten him to click to the landing page or to the action page or to the asian page, you have them so you don’t want to lose him at that point, so it in our minds, if they’ve gotten through to that point and let’s, say, it’s a fund-raising email make it as simple and as quick as possible to just have them, you know, hit the button and charge the credit card don’t spend a lot of times reiterating everything you’ve just said in the email and if it’s an action page, same kind. Of thing clear concise we’ve laid out the case for you. This petition is going to go to the governor for x, y and z reason click here so, you know, if you already got him where you want him, you’ve gotten them to take out the wall don’t oversell it basically, yeah, well, i make it consistent with the experience. I think one place where some organizations fall down is they’ll have that go to just a generic landing page or a generic donation page that doesn’t in any way reflect the experience they were having, so it won’t have i mean, we worked to make sure that the headlines are the same as in the emails they received in that sort of thing. So that’s, one of the reasons that we put the session together is because we were looking at the industry of things that people could be doing better than hrc does really well and go from there, i feel so strongly about consistent, consistent conversation with the reader that if we offer, say, a premium in the email for certain amount let’s say it’s, thirty five dollars and then they land on the contribution page. And it doesn’t mention it again, or we don’t start the thirty five dollars, unlike guys, we’ve just said this is going to cost thirty five dollars, then they land on the donation page, and we don’t make that reference again. So for me, it really is about the user having authentic conversation with your reader with your list and having a consistent, authentic conversation reassuring, yeah, i read this on the last page, but now it doesn’t say it anymore. Exactly five dollars like today and up in the wrong painting. Am i going to get what i wanted? It’s it’s, very it’s really important. Okay, okay, consistency, conversation. Um, after landing page, we have ah share page or some kind of post post post action post action and that’s, especially one of the other opportunities that hrc takes advantage of is if if the main action is to get people to sign a petition or call their congress person or something like that, there’s always a follow-up action where they’re given the opportunity to give because, as an said, if you’ve captured someone so deeply around this issue that they took the time to read the email to click it to fill out the petition they are most likely to want to embrace you even more and make a gift so that’s a really opportunity to encourage people to give that a lot of organizations miss out on and if it’s a donation, once people have donated, we want them to feel good about it. So we give him the chance to share the issue or to sign a petition or take take another step so that the experience continues. You always say, thank you, obviously, andi. So if this is tiffany said if they’ve taken an action, you know, get an email that said, okay, great, your actions been sent to the governor or whatever it is now, would you like to do more? You know, here’s an opportunity to give a donation. It’s not heavy handed, it’s just they’re given the opportunity many people don’t, but we’re often surprised at the amount of money that comes in from a post action shopped donation page. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Pleased, very pleased. Yeah, and it doesn’t cost anything extra to add that step. Really? So so i never i never thought they were that successful. I guess i’m not obviously, don’t go by me. Yeah, and it depends on the issue. I mean, for some people, certain issues, they’re goingto be more important in the argon and not only take the action, but then donate for others. They’re just they’re comfortable with just taking the action, but but always give them the opportunity because you never know. Okay, you you’re spending some time in your session to talk about on order responder? Yeah, what are we talking about? First, i’m gonna keep you out of jargon jail, but i’m the one who said it. I don’t get you let you get me out of jail. Is that message that people automatically get through email once they’ve taken an action or made a contribution? And ah lot of email providers are set up to kind of send those auto respond messages and some organizations. All that auto respond message says is, thank you for taking an action with the human rights campaign. We think through what that says so that it is, as an says, consistent with e action, they just took it follows the experience they just had and a lot of times that will also give people another chance to act they’ll get a chance to do something else when they get that latto responder that that message that they get right away and his and said it always says thank you, yeah, usually so the order responded immediate, this is the immediate follow-up yes, right, right, okay, we didn’t talk about including video mentioned all about images. What about use of video in the email? Are you doing that more often as it isn’t working? Not in not in the email directly because it affects the affects rendering? I believe right now can it hurt delivery box is going to show up what people say on mobile, it doesn’t, because the hrc has found that they have when they actually embed the video within the email, the all of the open rates click through rates that sort of thing fall just because of potential rendering issues on different people’s individual technologies. So what we do instead is yes, so we’ll have an image of a video and with a narrow so it looks like you’re hitting the play button, but it actually takes you two in our case youtube, which is where we’ll and embed the video and that all that way they can see it and it’s a quick transition transact transition from that email to the video. Okay, and then within that video, we way try toe have words so that if people are viewing it without sound, they can still get the essence of what the piece wass eso last year, for example, at the end of the year, hrc had a very successful year. Last year, marriage equality was it was done by the supreme court. There were a lot of good activities, so to give their members the chance to participate, members were encouraged to send in their photos of the year and to make a urine video. So we thought, i don’t know, i thought maybe a couple thousand people. I don’t know how much you thought would do it. I thought maybe two. Three thousand. Yeah, i didn’t. I didn’t expect much, but we got seventeen thousand pictures. I mean, people were so excited to be a part of this. It was really i got phone calls from members saying i sent in my pictures. Could you please include them? I got permission from the photographer to include them. We got an ambassador calling, we got boardmember is calling. I mean, this ended up being so important, it really surprised me. So then when we put that video together, we had words throughout it sort of highlighting what the different groups of photos were, but we really let the photos speak for themselves. But the overall campaign, we had to really think of three because there were so many more pictures than we thought there would be. We created a siri’s of photo albums on facebook and then had other emails wherein post actions or things like that people were encouraged to then go to social media sites see the rest of the pictures because clearly we couldn’t put seventeen thousand pictures on a video or it would just be like a michael bay movie, and you were able to make it very, very inclusive. Yeah, yeah, it was clear to us that to not include i mean, everyone took it so so seriously that we wanted to honor that that feeling for them and include him wherever we could. All right, we’re gonna we’re gonna leave it there. Great. We’re gonna leave it with inclusiveness, okay? Like for human rights campaign? Yes, perfect. Now that twenty martignetti learned what human rights campaign does. I don’t mind it’s. Okay, if i do it different. But that xero durney neil isa, partner lautman, mascot neil and company and crowley, vice president membership in online strategy at human rights campaign again, ladies. Thank you very much. Thank you. Think, stoney. Sharon. Thanks, tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of twenty sixteen non-profit technology conference. Thank you so much for being with us. And thanks to everybody at and ten the non-profit technology network next week, master google adwords and master your decision making. 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 pursuant dot com and by we be spelling not your seventh grade spelling bees for charities, we be spelling dot com our creative producers claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. Gavin dollars are am and fm outreach director. The show’s social media is by susan chavez. And this music is by scott stein of brooklyn. Scotty, how come you weren’t listening today be 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 eight pm 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 idealised took two or three years for foundation staff to 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 and and no 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.

BOOst Your Major Gift Asks With Planned Gifts

Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons license
Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons license

A strategy to improve your major gift solicitations: include planned gifts.

When you ask a prospect for a major gift, include a planned gift. It can be as simple as a bequest in the will; as middle-of-the-road as a charitable gift annuity; or as high-end complex as a charitable lead trust.

You’ll have to beat off the gifts with your broomstick!

The Planned Giving addition adds a dimension to your solicitation. Now you have more to talk about if your prospect balks at the outright ask. You can reduce the outright ask and add more to the planned gift.

It’s best if you don’t add dollar-for-dollar because the planned gift won’t mean cash to you until the donor’s death. The exception is a lead trust, but those are quite rare. Instead, add to the planned gift the future value of what you’re not getting outright. Here’s a future value calculator.

You’ll have more to negotiate around. The negotiation dance is one witch is critical after your ask.

The added planned gift can also act as a straw man. It’s harder for your prospect to turn down both the major gift and the planned gift. Gutting the planned gift out of the solicitation–like a pumpkin becomes a jack-o-lantern–makes it more likely the major gift remains intact.

The greatest success I’ve seen with this arises because you’ll have more variables in your solicitations. There’s more to talk about and listen to.

Talk half as much as you listen and you’ll have bewitching successes with your major gift solicitations.

P.S. This is part of October’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival, Major Gifts Tricks and Treats, hosted by Claire Axelrad.

“Planned Giving Saved Our Ass”


Image courtesy of Myxi, Creative Commons license
Image courtesy of Myxi, Creative Commons license

“Planned Giving Saved Our Ass.”

That’s what a client reminded me last week. I’ve been helping the college capture planned gifts since 2004, and Planned Giving saved them four times in the last six years.

Saved them from what? Shortages in unrestricted cash. Lots of planned gifts are unrestricted—especially bequests.

We’ve been promoting long-term planned gifts together for nine years. After several years the long-term arrives, and it comes in the form of immediate-term cash.

You see, people die irrespective of recession, unemployment and stock market values. When your charity is part of hundreds or thousands of estates, some of those donors will die each year. I guarantee it.

That’s the double-edged sword of Planned Giving. We don’t want our donors to die, but when they do there’s a gift for our important work.

How many will die in a year and how much cash will result, that’s uncertain. After you’ve got unrestricted Planned Giving income for three to four years, you can look to that history for your average and median, which isn’t skewed by very large gifts. Those numbers will give you an estimate of what you can look forward to each year.

Caveat: It’s enormously unwise—reckless even—to budget for planned gift revenue, unless you’ve got many years of history and fancy finance and actuarial pros looking over your data. It’s too speculative.

All you have is a rough estimate, which is some comfort. Not for accounting, but there are other forms of comfort than spreadsheets.

I’m only talking about unrestricted planned gift income. There’s restricted money too.

If you’re not promoting planned gifts, get started. The sooner you start, the sooner your long-term will arrive.