Over this past spring Facebook has been expanding its Gifts service as a way to offer presents to family and friends. The service can be activated by clicking on the bowed gift box that appears on your organization’s News Feed or on the page of the person or nonprofit you want to give the gift to. Though the service is being touted as a way to connect to individuals and help them celebrate birthdays, milestones, promotions, etc., Facebook Gifts also offers opportunities to make donations to a small but growing number of nonprofits. How far will the service expand?
Just this past week Idealware published its 2013 Field Guide to Software for nonprofits and charities. The staff at Idealware demarcate a number of areas that nonprofits and software developers have been collaborating, such as social-networking management, and gives reviews and how-tos on some of the solutions in the market. The book can be had via Amazon ($25) or directly from Idealware’s site ($20).
As you know, though, MKCREATIVEmedia has been tracking software developments for our clients for a number of years now, and we want to share some recent developments in the field of Customer Relations Management software (CRM). In particular, we have found some open-source and free platforms well worth considering to manage your donors and volunteers.
Ken Sterns has served as CEO of National Public Radio, arguably one of the best-known nonprofits in the country. He supports The American Red Cross, and has served on the boards of a number of charities. So when his book, And Charity for All argues that the nonprofit sector is a huge part of the American economy, yet the least productive sector as well, people listen. And they should.
Mr. Sterns was recently interviewed at The Huffington Post, as he joined a roundtable (‘multiscreen’) discussion that included Alexander Berger at GiveWell; Dr. John Brothers, founder of Quidoo Consulting; and Rigo Sabarino, President and CEO of St. Barnabas Senior Services. The interview begins with him throwing down the gauntlet, wondering if the nonprofit community is even worth preserving.
This past December, Paul Jolly, President of Jump Start Growth, Inc., talked about the spiritual side of fundraising, and how he works with nonprofits to help them appreciate the motives and desires of big donors. Paul’s company has many years of experience to bring to organizations that are trying to improve their success rates with big donors.
Today we are excited to bring you part two of our interview with Paul. We shift directions just a bit in this conversation to talk about the near future of fundraising. What seems to be the lay-of-the-land for 2013? What technological/communications developments should we keep our eye on? What is developing on the Jump Start Growth website for the new year?
The fundraising statistics are bleak. A new study from the Association of Fundraising Professionals finds that:
- For every $100 nonprofits raise, $100 is lost through attrition.
- For every 100 new donors, 107 donors drop off.
- Only 31% of 2009 donors gave again in 2010.
But help may be on the way. Jay Love, founder of eTapestry, has launched a new constituent relationship management (CRM) software product, Bloomerang, that is designed to be low-cost, easy to use, and aimed at both acquisition and retention. It won favorable reviews from two prominent fundraising consultants, Marc Pitman and Roger Craven.
First it was CNN’s investigative reports on a veterans organization that paid its direct mail fundraiser $60 million in fees to raise $56 million. That got the attention of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. In June CNN found that the same fundraising firm kept most of the $25 million it raised for the SPCA. Last month Bloomberg News ran an expose on telemarketing fundraisers for major national charities who keep 85% or more of what they raise. When prospective donors asked telemarketers what percentage went to the charity, the scripted answer was 70% or more.
Now you’ve got a problem. Even if you don’t use outside telemarketing or direct mail services, you could pay the price for donors’ diminished trust in nonprofit causes. Prospective donors have more reasons to hang up on all telemarketers – even when volunteers do the calling – and to toss out all direct mail, unopened – even if you produce it in-house.
You need to shore up donor confidence in your organization, and that takes transparency. Explain how much of their money goes directly into your programs. Share stories that show how their dollars make a difference.Give them reasons to believe, and remember to keep it donor-centered. It’s about them, not you.
Here’s help: Guidestar has produced More Money for More Good, a free guide to communicating your impact and performance to donors.
An article on yesterday’s E-Jewish Philanthropy caught our eye because the authors did a really interesting bit of research into the top givers in US in this calendar year. The study by Robert I. Evans and Avrum D. Lapin demonstrates how useful a careful parsing of statistics can be for fundraisers, and how that parsing can uncover shifting trends in the philanthropic world.
The ostensible foundation of their work was to try to explain why some 130 of the wealthiest Americans on the famed Forbes 400 list are Jewish, yet only about thirty of them have given gifts that break into the list of top donors as compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. They have discovered not so much a shift in the habits of giving among Jewish donors but demographic and economic shifts that are opening what they call ‘emerging charitable markets.’ Who is participating in these markets?
We welcome back Paul Jolly, Director of Jump Start Growth, Inc., a nonprofit fundraising and consulting firm in Washington DC. Today, Paul tells about the importance of breaking the sound barrier.
Many good therapists will tell you your achievements are limited only by your attitude. Organizations, as well as individuals, may have a mindset that limits what they can accomplish. Which means they work harder for less.