Panning for gold

Identifying those crucial supporter insights that underpin all great new fundraising products In preparing for our Innovation Masterclass at the IFC, Andrew Bathgate of Good Innovation, Rob Cummins of ActionAid UK and myself were clear Read more…

Are you really ready for TV fundraising?

This is just one of the questions I’ll be helping Master Class delegates to answer at the International Fundraising Congress.

If you’ve ever considered raising money through direct response television, you really need to make sure your organisation is ready for it. This was really brought home to me earlier this year, when Lucy Caldicott from CLIC Sargent explained to me the issues she’d had to think about before embarking on drtv fundraising with her cause.

So, with thanks to Lucy for the inspiration, here are some key issues for you to consider.

1. Are you televisual?

Sounds obvious really. But to work on TV you need to be able to tell your story in a way that is highly emotionally engaging. It’s not so much an appeal to the heart, head and spirit. It’s more an appeal that grabs you by the guts. Hmm, nice image.

Given the above, it’s no surprise that causes working with children and animals have a head start when it comes to drtv.


Protect one of your greatest fundraising assets

It’s not a killer creative proposition. Or your favourite go-to copywriter. I’m talking about your database.

paper database

The predecessor to the modern CRM (© adesigna)

Databases are often seen as a necessary means to an end, but time and time again I have seen this major asset overlooked even by experienced fundraising teams. Here are just four tips I’ve used in the past to protect this asset and make it work even harder for fundraising.

Tip #1: Standardise your database rules
Having a single CRM software system in place is not the same as breaking down silos. If three different teams use the same database – but use it very differently from each other – then it’s not really one database. You may interpret one field to mean one thing, but for another fundraiser it can mean something entirely different. That could mean they get irrelevant letters from the charity, or that two very distinct donor groups end up getting treated the same way through a misunderstanding.

Create a glossary to define each term or flag on your database so if someone wants to know what something means, there is an organisation-wide definition. That means there is a single, consistent interpretation of the non-transactional data.

Tip #2: Beware static segmentation and ring-fencing (more…)

Who are the best fundraisers in The Netherlands?

Last week the Central Bureau Fundraising (CBF) in The Netherlands released their 2010 overview of fundraising (read it in Dutch or the English Google translation). Most news about these figures is about general market trends, or growth compared to last year, but never ever really gives you an insight you can work with as a fundraiser. But it’s always interesting to have a closer look, because we can learn more from these figures.

I’m always particularly interested in the organizations that are showing growth figures over a longer period of time, because it shows consistent good performance.

I focused my little analysis on the top 50 fundraising organizations in 2010. In 2006 they raised €760M and in 2010 the same group of organizations raised €936M. This group consists of charities that all raise more than €5M. (more…)

The (almost) magic formula of Lifetime Value estimation

In a previous blog post, Reinier wrote about the importance of assessing LTV. He brings as an example a corporate case study, and says “It’s not the calculation that is so interesting […]What is most interesting is that this infograpic underlines the importance of using Lifetime Value (LTV) in your acquisition strategy.”

And he is right for 2 reasons:

First of all because every organization has his own needs, and an approach based on a “one size fits all” formula wouldn’t last long;
But also because the calculations used in that particular case study are not reliable! (I will not go into details here, I explained the reasons of my perplexity in the comments.)

The truth is that, sooner or later, we need to look at the math of LTV as well. (more…)

Crystal ball fundraising: Lifetime Value

Some time ago on the KISSmetrics blog a case study was shown on how to calculate the Lifetime Value of your customer (let’s say donors in our case). You might have seen below infographic already, but it’s such a great and clear example I want to make sure as much fundraisers as possible have seen it.

It’s not the calculation that is so interesting, because with some common sense (and a skilled data analyst) you can put something similar together yourself. What is most interesting is that this infograpic underlines the importance of using Lifetime Value (LTV) in your acquisition strategy.

In fundraising we’re always struggling with acquisition. I yet have to meet the fundraiser who says that it’s going easy and smooth year after year… It’s always difficult for everyone! Having said that, most of us are still recruiting new donors and even growing income. How come? Because we invest in the future.


Google Analytics for Dummies (or Fundraisers!)

This blog is meant for those who use Google Analytics. You can read this if you would like to polish up on your basic Analytics skills. It’s not meant for freaks. Just some basic tips and tricks for those who want to learn about the visitors on their website or use their site to generate leads or donations.

Today I will just discuss the very basics of Google Analytics, like how to install it and what do the terms mean. In my next blog, more advanced options of Analytics will be discussed like setting goals, creating funnels or using Analytics for A/B testing.

So for now, the basics: (more…)

Samenwerken gaat de waarde van donateursadressen sterk verhogen

We mogen niet langer zomaar nieuwe donateurs en collectanten benaderen. We krijgen niet zomaar meer donateurs die bereid zijn ons doel te steunen. We kunnen er niet van uit gaan dat onze bestaande donateurs ons blijven steunen zoals we gewend zijn. Klinkt dat negatief? Ja, natuurlijk, maar we kunnen door samen te werken heel veel positiefs bereiken.

Op 1 januari 2011 is de nieuwe gedragscode van Stichting Infofilter ingevoerd. Met die wettelijke verplichtingen kunnen we niet langer zonder meer doorgaan met het benaderen van mensen en hen te vragen ons doel te steunen. Een uitstekende gedragscode natuurlijk waar we allemaal achter staan. De consument moet hoog in zijn en haar waarde gelaten worden. We hebben immers zelf ook geprobeerd met zelfregulering zaken te regelen en te voorkomen dat het Bel-me-niet Register wettelijk verplicht werd, dus met dat besef zit het wel goed.

We beseffen ons ook dat het verkrijgen van nieuwe donateurs (en collectanten) ingewikkelder wordt. (more…)