Want to make more money, thanks to your insanely great donor communications? Here is my short list of surefire "secrets for success".....
Donor-centricity. You have just one thing to give your donors in exchange for their hard-earned cash: your organization's blazing love.
"Donor-centric" comms are different. They loudly trumpet how wonderful donors are ... how important donors are ... how desperately needed, how compassionate, how kind, how blessed and critical donors are.
But most nonprofits do not talk this way. Most nonprofits talk about themselves ... which means their communications are doomed to raise a tiny fraction of what they could.
Understand "tribe." Super-guru Seth Godin wrote the book on Tribes, published in 2008. And in his massively popular blog, he continues to expand on this essential sales idea.
"How much jargon did I kill today?" Ask yourself that question a lot.
Don't explain your mission this way. Does anyone seriously think this kind of language will persuade people to join your merry band of social revolutionaries?
I've said it many times: I blame the environmental movement for global warming. They used science to sell a horror story. People are still scratching their heads.
The late, sweet, caustic, religiously innovative, and hugely successful UK copywriter, George Smith, instructed, "All fundraising copy should sound like someone talking." Like a conversation. Not like a book report.
Measure retention. That's the metric that matters.
If it steadily climbs and stabilizes at a high average, then your donor communications are working.
If it falls or never reaches a high average, then your donor communications are NOT working.
How do you measure retention? Here's a simple formula from Roger Craver's brilliant about-to-be published book,Retention Fundraising:
Step 1: Count the total number of donors who gave in your most recent calendar or fiscal year.
Step 2: Divide the number of donors who made a donation in year 2 by the total in Step 1.
Step 3: Multiply the result from Step 2 by 100 to obtain your retention rate as a percentage.