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Charity auctions are amazing opportunities to engage with donors while raising money for your cause. As you know, the key to successful fundraising lies in positive donor experiences. While there’s a lot to plan when hosting a charity auction event, you’ll need to make sure donor engagement is a top priority.
Donor management software, the program of multiple functions, has an overarching, primary goal: to better, deepen, and strengthen donor relationships. With both the centralization and organization of your donors’ data, you’ll be able to create the most complete image and understanding of each of your donors. (Because of your donor management software, you might even end up knowing your donors better than they know themselves!)
Whether your fundraising event is in one week, one month or one year, chances are your charity auction could benefit from a few more unique, valuable items. Are you getting items that will "wow" donors, sell tickets and ultimately generate the bids needed to meet your revenue goals? If not - how can you equip your procurement committee with the necessary tools for success?
In the business world, you may have heard that attracting new talent costs much more than retaining employees. Did you know the same principle is true for donors? A recent study by the Association of Fundraising Professional's Fundraising Effectiveness Project concluded donor retention reached a 9-year low of 46 percent in 2016 - despite an increase in revenue and donors overall. What does this mean for your organization?
Are your donors suffering from "event fatigue"? As experts in charity auction fundraising, we know events are an important part of many nonprofits' donor development strategy. When done right, they generate much-needed return and improved engagement with your supporters. However, it's important to know when an event has run its course, and change is needed.
With daylight savings time, longer days and (slightly) warmer weather on the horizon, we are officially in the thick of spring fundraising season. You're likely sending a flurry of emails promoting ticket sales, new auction items, save the dates, you name it. And as we recently reported on Winspire News, promotion is the #1 challenge event planners face. However, email isn't just for promoting one-time events - it's key to raising support year-round.
Building relationships is not only a cornerstone of continual donor development - it's key to hosting successful fundraising events, too. Why? With high event chair turnover and staff spread thin, many organizations end up trying to reinvent the annual gala, auction or tournament from from the ground up, year after year. Investing more time in developing relationships now lightens the burden considerably for next year, asserts Noah McMahon, philanthropist, founder and CEO of Anonymous LLC (specializing in event production and philanthropic consulting). "Relationships are like a web," McMahon says. "If you treat everybody with respect and don't expect anything in return, you end up getting so much in return." In today's post, learn McMahon's 3 building blocks to lasting relationships with donors, event sponsors and more to multiply the impact of every dollar raised. Then listen to the latest episode of our event fundraising podcast Events with Benefits (audio player embedded at the bottom of the post). Building Block 1: Start with the end in mind. "I've been involved in thousands of events over the past years, from events that raise over $10 million to events that simply raise awareness. But I probably spend more time talking people out of events than into them," explains McMahon. The first indicator of a potentially successful event is whether or not you have a goal. Events with no goals have no rudder. When planning your event, is everyone on the same page about what it is you're trying to achieve?
For many nonprofits, sponsorship is considered a dirty word. Soliciting sponsorships from local businesses and individuals is a vital part of many organizations' development strategy. Unfortunately, you're stuck competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of other nonprofits making the very same proposals every year. It's little wonder the vast majority of sponsorship solicitations are rejected or, more commonly, ignored.
When it's noon, your tummy's growing and you're looking to try something new...do you turn to Yelp, Google, Foursquare or more? If so, you're in good company: Some 90 percent of people make decisions based on online reviews, while 74 percent of people say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. While brands have always had to manage their reputation, the first impression many customers have with a product these days is their reviews on Amazon, Facebook and more. As consumer dollars increasingly hinge upon online reviews, the same is true for philanthropic dollars. People want to know about your cause, mission and impact before donating. As a result, testimonials and ratings from an objective third party can be more influential than the impressive stats you might post on your own site. Positive reviews can change visitors into lifelong donors. Negative reviews can turn them into missed opportunities. Have you looked at your online reviews lately? If so, do those reviews improve your credibility...or raise red flags? In today's post we'll look at 6 strategies for nonprofits to attract online reviews that leave a great first impression. We'll also provide a handy "Guide to Online Reviews" graphic to share with supporters that makes reviewing a breeze. Step 1. Do work that merits positive reviews. Don't worry: This is the easy part! The rest of this post is based on the assumption your organization is already doing work worthy of outstanding reviews. Here at Winspire, we have the pleasure of working with thousands of nonprofit clients, auctioneers, vendors and more to help raise more money for good causes. As a Winspire News reader, I'm confident your impact deserves to be shared on social media. Step 2: Create and claim profiles on multiple review sites Reviews are a numbers game. The more positive reviews you get, the less weight a negative review holds. It used to be that nonprofit rating sites like Charity Navigator led the way for these objective reviews. Organizations were evaluated based on criteria like financial health, transparency and overhead. While the process wasn't necessarily comprehensive, it gave donors some reassurance before deciding to give. Today the first search results that pop up for your organization are social media pages (like Facebook and Google) and directory sites (like Yelp, Glassdoor, Yellow Pages, and GreatNonprofits.org).
Congratulations to all our nonprofits that participated in last week's fifth annual #GivingTuesday! Nationwide it was a rousing success: According to Blackbaud, online giving revenue was up 20% compared to Giving Tuesday 2015, fueled by a 33% increase in the number of nonprofits receiving online donations. With December campaigns well underway, you've probably noticed year-end giving pulls in a wider range of gift sizes than the rest of the year. This means plenty of new donors...and with that, an influx of new donor data.
How well do you know your donors? Perhaps you're pretty familiar with those that support your cause. Your organization is well established. You've been hosting fundraising events, meeting with major donors and recruiting board members for decades. Maybe you've just joined, or the organization itself is new. There's a lot to learn. Whether you're a long-time staff member or recent recruit, your donor database is changing (and hopefully growing) every day. If you're not carefully tracking your donors, you might be surprised at the characteristics of your "average donor". The more you know about your audience, the more you can plan programs, giving campaigns and fundraising events with personal impact. Today we are going to look at one great way to get to know your supporters: conducting online surveys. We'll cover: Choose an Online Survey Tool Create Your Survey Great Questions for Donor Feedback Great Questions for Planning Events Great Questions for Post-event Feedback Surveys in Action: Help Improve Winspire News! Want to improve your marketing and social media efforts, improve volunteer opportunities, choose a new theme for the next giving campaign or all of the above? Read on for a beginner's guide to nonprofit surveying. Choose an Online Survey Tool According to the May/June issue of Nonprofit Hub Magazine, one of the most common reasons nonprofits do not survey donors is the time commitment of tracking and interpreting data. So you might be surprised at the wealth of user-friendly, convenient and affordable online survey tools at your disposal.