The holiday season is upon us, which means individuals may feel encouraged to give more freely to their favorite charities. We love this generous end-of-year spirit, but we’re also committed to giving back to our local communities throughout the rest of the year. Which is one reason why we are continuing our 12 Months of Giving program in 2018.
Each month next year we will provide a Northeast Ohio nonprofit with:
- Three (3) hours of free strategic consulting on a current challenge
- Promotion through Prosper for Purpose’s website, social media accounts and various other channels
During our 2017 program, we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing organizations such as the May Dugan Center, Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Would you like to add your name to this list and prosper with us next year?
Just complete and submit this entry form to be considered for our 2018 12 Months of Giving program. Or, tell your favorite Northeast Ohio charity to apply!
It’s important to us to work with purpose-driven clients in both the business and nonprofit sectors. When our clients do well, their communities prosper. So, join us as we do well by doing good together in 2018.
Every year, Prosper for Purpose receives dozens of requests for free consulting and services. Our 12 Months of Giving campaign is our way of being able to respond to more of these organizations to help them share their stories and achieve their goals. In this blog post I will introduce the organizations that we were honored to work with in the first quarter.
Our January pro bono client, May Dugan Center, was named as a tribute to May Dugan and her lifetime work as a one-person counselor and advocate for her neighbors in need. The mission of the Center is to help people enrich and advance their lives and communities. The May Dugan Center does this by providing in-house education and resources, as well as health care and food bank opportunities, to people of all ages. During our consult, we helped members of the board and staff review their key stakeholders and messaging.
Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, our February organization, just recently launched a three-year initiative to fully rehab 100 Cleveland homes with a ten-house initiative in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood. Habitat for Humanity doesn’t just build or rehab homes, they fortify communities and revitalize local neighborhoods, something Prosper was really excited to get behind. Our time focused on creative ideation of strategies and tactics to grow awareness and support.
In March, our focus was on Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County, which serves underage children who are abused. The nonprofit has wonderful attorney volunteers who make sure kids are receiving the best legal assistance they can get. The Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County provide training for the guardians assigned to the children, and have volunteer coordinators who make sure the children are appearing at court while also maintaining contact with the child and family. They advocate for the kids—the volunteer and guardian’s sole duty is to support the child’s best interest. We made recommendations on how this program could grow and serve more children.
Although our time was brief with each of these organizations, we were so impressed by the work they are doing and enjoyed our time with each of them.
Did you know that approximately 71% of new donors only give once?
In order to ensure you retain those hard-earned new donors, effective donor communication is key. Here are four easy first steps:
1. Give donors the information they want
Keep it simple. According to the Camber Collective’s Money for Good report, donors want clearer communication citing that 49% of donors don’t know how nonprofits use their money, 34% feel hassled, and 20% are unsure who benefits from the work they’re funding.
You can increase donor retention by simply and clearly communicating how your donors’ money is being utilized, and what impact their donations are making. While donors report they don’t know how their money is being used, what they’re really saying is they don’t know if or how they are making a difference.
Creating communications that are clear, accurate, and impact-oriented are simple ways to demonstrate your ability to understand and provide the information your donors need. These type of regular communications will build trust with your donors and set the stage for larger gifts.
2. Segment donors and tailor your communications
No two donors are the same. Some make one gift per year; others give each month. Some prefer electronic communications, while others prefer mail. This is where segmentation comes in. Knowing and responding to your donors based on their preferences makes them feel understood and appreciated.
Different ways to segment your donors include their giving level, giving frequency, and communication preferences. Personalizing these communications can result in an increase in their effectiveness.
3. Connect with donors on an emotional level
Once you tell your donors what you’re doing, tell them WHY you’re doing it. Communicating both the what and the why results in messaging that appeals to both ‘heads and hearts.’
Creating an emotional connection feels less pushy in solicitations and allows donors to see how their gifts are contributing to the organization’s cause.
Remember, your donors chose your organization because they relate to your mission. Let them know how their donations are helping you fulfill that mission.
4. Say thank you
Did you know that 13 percent of donors stop donating because they were never thanked? Donors want to know they’re appreciated. It’s important to always send a personalized thank you to communicate to your donors that they are valued.
You must send a personalized thank you to every donor promptly. And you should do it every time you receive a donation. If the donation is larger than normal, or otherwise out of the ordinary, make your thank you exceptional as well. Pick up the phone and call the donor. Send a handwritten note instead of the usual customized template. Invite the donor to coffee.
But it’s not enough to thank them. You must incorporate points one through three above: give them the information they need (clearly communicate how their donation is being used and the impact it will have), be sure the message is tailored (reflecting your understanding of them), and make an emotional connection.
In the end, it’s important to remember that you are building relationships with your donors. Invest time in crafting your communications. From the first thank you, through your newsletters, solicitations, website, social media, and more, apply these tactics and retain and grow your donor support.
This post originally appeared on the Bloomerang blog. As part of their Content Donation Program, $100 was donated to Camp Arcadia.
It was a night to celebrate movies. But if there was a lesson for organizations, it was this: good storytelling gives you a platform to call attention to what truly matters to you. And at the 2015 Academy Awards, what mattered was causes.
We counted seven causes highlighted by winners during their acceptance speeches. Here’s a breakdown of the causes, advocates and quotes.
Advocate: Patricia Arquette, best supporting actress for “Boyhood.”
“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It is our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for all women in America!”
Advocate: Graham Moore, best adapted screenplay for “The Imitation Game.”
“When I was 16, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. I would like this moment to be for the kid out there who feels like she’s weird and different and feels like she doesn’t belong. Yes, you do.”
Right to Privacy
Advocate: Laura Poitras, best documentary for “Citizenfour.”
“The disclosures that Edward Snowden reveals don’t only expose threats to our privacy but to our democracy.”
Advocate: Alejandro González Iñárritu, accepting the best picture award for “Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).”
His hope that immigrants “can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.”
Advocate: Julianne Moore, best actress for “Still Alice.”
“People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen.”
Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Advocate: Eddie Redmayne, best actor for “The Theory of Everything.”
“Please know this — that I am fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man. This belongs to all of the people around the world battling ALS.”
Advocates: John Legend, who accepted with the rapper Common for best original song, “Glory,” from “Selma.”
“We say that ‘Selma’ is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justices where we live in the most incarcerated country in the world.”
What’s your story?