How to Make Sure Your Non-Profit is Always Prepared
October 26, 2018
Always be prepared…it’s not just a tired phase. If you are responsible for managing an annual program, the stewardship of thousands of donors and a substantial revenue line, it’s a phrase you live with every working day.
If you are faced with a pending postal strike or external event that impacts your organization’s brand, you will need a plan B.
This is where email, digital media and telemarketing can be your best friends. If you have done the correct level of preparation, you should be ready to pivot into an alternative strategy at a moment’s notice. Here are some of the required basics:
Email and Digital
- Email capture strategies
- Make the case for email on your reply forms or in your appeal P.S. that when donors supply their email, they reduce administration costs by reducing the number of mailings and through using e-tax receipts.
- Link email asks to hard copy donor surveys or an offer (though your website and other donor communications) to stay informed through an e-newsletter subscription.
- Script and train donor service teams to take every opportunity to ask for email addresses.
- Donation forms should:
- Linked to the donation ask through a unique and simple URL,
- Be mobile friendly, easy to navigate and encourages a clear action.
- Pre-populate donor contact info through your data base file,
- A simple layout that encourages action,
- Have price points for donation amounts e.g. “$50 will…”,
- Only use essential form fields.
- Digital appeals
- Google Analytics should be set up to track your digital outreach efforts.
- Use donation pixels attached to Google AdWords, Facebook and Instagram appeals to better track solicitations.
- Create Facebook personas for affinity (donors who are likely to give to organizations in your vertical) and lookalike (individuals resemble people who have liked your Facebook page).
- Ensure your Google Grant account is active and meets Google’s requirements.
- A phone number capture strategy is essential to being prepared. Phone appends generally have a 50% success rate. Call penetration rates on a file are now 50% to 55%, so the more valid numbers you have, the better.
- Easy phone capture strategies
- Mandatory phone fields on all online donation and e-news sign-up forms. Place a ‘Why we need this’ option on the form to state it is an alternative contact method.
- Phone field capture on all hard copy reply forms.
- Train donor services teams to take every opportunity to ask for a phone number, especially when confirming a donor’s address.
- Keep your database up-to-date with donor address and comments from your telephone, direct mail and returned mail drop-offs and files.
The objective of being prepared is not to anticipate every possible emergency. It is to ensure that your program, and by extension the organization, has flexibility and is nimble enough to effectively respond when required. These procedures only support and ensure your capacity to use email, digital and telemarketing to develop an integrated omni-channel annual program.
About the Author
With over twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector, Dave brings a wealth of knowledge,skills and industry best practices to your program orproject. Through his work as both a client and a vendor, he has gained a unique perspective, knowledge and set of skills. Dave has managed multimillion dollar portfolios for organizations such as the National Ballet of Canada, Oxfam, TVO, and Save the Children, and for the service providers, Univision and Strategic Communications. He brings a deep level of sector expertise in donor stewardship, program strategy, development, budgeting, implementation and staff management. All of which will apply to take your annual giving department or program (direct mail, face-to-face, telemarketing, digital integration, and DRTV) to the next level.