Open Enrollment | Subscribe to FundRaising Success HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Vice President, Strategy & Development, Eleventy Marketing Group

Navigating Off the Napkin

By Angie Moore

About Angie

Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group


Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
 
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.
 

Pay It Forward

F. Duke Haddad
Consistent Performance Is Key
Nov 21, 2014

Think about your work performance, and strive to give it your best each day. You will drive home with a...



ProSpeak

Who's Up Next?
Sustaining Your Sustainers: Taking Your Monthly Giving Program to the Next Level
Nov 21, 2014

The key to success with monthly giving programs is stewardship. Building and maintaining strong relationships with monthly donors are essential....



Get What You Give

Joe Boland
St. Joseph's Indian School Responds to CNN's 'Fictitious Kids' Claims
Nov 19, 2014

St. Joseph's Indian School responds to CNN's claims that the school used fundraising letters "signed by fictitious kids." It's a...



Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden
A Pre-Holiday Gift for Fundraisers: More Time
Nov 20, 2014

If you are hoping for a personal copy of Hermione's time turner, I can't help you (sorry, non-Harry Potter fans),...



It's Your Turn

Larry C Johnson
Blasting Off With Social Media
Nov 20, 2014

Change is coming to philanthropy. Big change. Hoping it will "blow over" is not a workable response. Doing what you've...



Ruthlessly Practical Fundraising

Gail Perry
Should You Adopt a 'Give or Get' Policy for Your Board?
Nov 19, 2014

Don't abandon your board members when it comes to their fundraising responsibilities. Help them get there. Show them what to...



Bedrocks & Beacons

Jeff Jowdy
That Fancy Brochure Isn't Going to Raise a Dime
Nov 19, 2014

Don't let the journey for "impressive" materials take the focus away from the right strategy and making inspiring visits with...



Outrageous Hope

Margaret Battistelli
Our Virtual Show Is Fast Approaching
Nov 18, 2014

The FundRaising Success Virtual Conference and Expo is free, and it's only a few weeks away, so be sure to...



Connections

Richard Perry
8 Steps to Take During Difficult Times
Nov 17, 2014

Tough times require a far greater amount of vigilance and discipline on your part and on the part of your...



Outside Counsel

Willis Turner
4 Things I Hate About Social-Media Fundraising
Nov 17, 2014

True, you can use the handle of a screwdriver as a hammer, but it is harder and does a less...



Donor Trippin'

Nick Allen
Is There an App for Us?
Jul 1, 2014

Got an idea for an app that could connect a charity or nonprofit with its supporters and beneficiaries in an...



Raising the Possibilities

Thaddeus B. Kubis
Recurring Themes: The Case for Integrated Marketing Communications, Part 2
Dec 27, 2013

Recent discussions focus on a myriad of topics, but in the past two months, the recurring targeted topics seem to...



Hump Day Hullabaloo

Jo Sullivan
Hump Day Hullaballoo: Sometimes It's Hell in the Hallway
May 22, 2013

This week, as I transition into my new position as interim executive director at Save the Chimps, we're talking about...



'Are We Mailing Too Much?' Is the Wrong Question

2
 

I promise this blog will be about much more than direct mail, but I just can't resist the urge to talk about the question I hear more than any other — from marketers, fundraisers and the C-suite: "Are we mailing too much?"

I'm not saying that your program of 38 touches is or is not a good thing. What I'm saying is the question about frequency is the least important question you should be asking right now. And if you saw the DMA Nonprofit Federation presentation by Chuck Longfield, chief scientist at Blackbaud, at the Washington Nonprofit Conference two weeks ago, I would say everyone should be asking some very serious questions.

Here are the questions you should be asking ...

  • What do my donors expect from their relationship with my brand?
  • How satisfied and committed are my donors to the brand? And, what's driving satisfaction and commitment to my brand?
  • What's the "story" I'm telling my donors across all of my touches? And, what messages truly resonate with what my donors need to hear?

And yes, you are right — donor input is required to answer most of these. We have long built our strategies, segmentation and messaging based on what has worked in the past. Looking in the rearview mirror has worked very well and is not necessarily the wrong approach — but it is a partial approach. Not having donor input to inform your strategies is a crippling element to future success.

Let's break this down …
For many years, there has been a feeling that being a direct-mail donor is like being an anonymous donor — at arm's length and not very personal. There have been enough studies in the industry (Russ Reid, DonorVoice, Merkle, etc.) that have shown us this is not true. Not only do direct-mail donors want a relationship with the organizations they support, but they also have expectations. If you think they simply want you to use their gifts well, you are very under-informed. Today's donors want to provide you their preferences, they want to receive information that is specific to their interests, they want to be asked for feedback, and yes, some of them even want to broaden their relationship and do other things with the organization. There's no way to actually know what to do to meet their expectations if you don't ever talk to them about their expectations.

Going deeper into the conversation with our donors, it seems like there is a lot of focus on "scores" these days. As someone who has worked with the C-suite quite a bit, I understand that there is a place and time for a "score" — be it a satisfaction score, a loyalty score, referral score, etc. As an overall indicator of where your donors stand and for an executive report, it can be very powerful. 

But, the score is only the tip of the iceberg. To further cloud the issue of scores, we have a tendency to focus on the "positive" score (i.e., "68 percent of my donors are somewhat or very satisfied") — but what about the 32 percent that are somewhat or very dissatisfied? Hands down, the most important part of this type of constituent input is learning what is driving a great experience and what is not working and creating a negative experience. You have to get underneath the scores (both good and bad) to understand why people feel the way they do and what is improving or degrading their experience with your brand.

Lastly, do you really know the "story" that's being told throughout the year to your donors? Whether you use an online tool or prefer the "old timer" method of having a clothesline across a conference room or taping things to the walls, taking the time to put your touches "up" in the order donors receive them is a critical step to truly walk in the donors' shoes. If you have never walked the donor path and read the "story" they get from one appeal to the next, you are missing a critical element of your strategy.

And for all of you out there saying, "Well, they don't read every communication they get" — yes, you are right. But so what? The key is for you as the marketer to experience the "communication story" in order to see if it is consistent and relevant. But, let me warn you … if you don't know what your donors want and expect and what messages truly motivate them, you will only be able to scratch the surface when reviewing your communication story.

Now you know why I believe the question of, "Are we mailing too much?" is the least of your worries. And to further put your mind at ease, a recent industry study in 2011 found that "too much" was only a problem if the messaging wasn't relevant. Hence, the questions we should be asking ourselves are what our donors expect, how they feel and what we're doing to drive a great communication experience with our brands.

Companies Mentioned:

2

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: