Thursday, April 17, 2014

On-line Upgrades - The Easiest Way To Boost Your Donations?

When we set up we added a little tick box to "Cover The Charity's Fees". When donors tick the box it increases their donation to cover all credit card, admin fees, etc. so that the charity walks away with the full original amount the donor was trying to give.

Essentially it's an upgrade - on it increases a donation by about 4%. (Sales pitch: doesn't charge any monthly, annual or registration fees. No risk)

We shamelessly stole it from a small Irish competitor, and I'm delighted to see more and more of the big fundraising sites rolling this out now.

On between 10% - 20% of people tick the box. It's not huge but it's an easy boost of income to charities for the sake of a tiny tick box. It should be on every charity's website.

A different on-line giving platform came out with their results this week and have managed to get about 95% of donors ticking the box...amazing! How did they do it? By having the box ticked as a default. The donation is rounded up unless the donor specifically unticks the box.

Personally I think that's a bit cheeky...but brilliant. And having seen the 95% figure I'm seriously considering rolling this out on

The next logical question is: How far can we take this?

Through testing different wording and different layouts I've no doubt we can boost the number of donors that want to cover the donation fees. But more than that, what if the tick box wasn't just about covering the fees?

What about a tick box to increase donations by 10%, 50% or 100%? "If you tick this box we'll double your donation and double the impact you have."

Or what about adding a small fixed fee. "If you tick this box we'll add €5 to your donation to save one more child's life."

Let's test it...

Monday, April 14, 2014

"The Casement Quotient" vs. Working In Centra

Just back from the Fundraising Ireland conference and I'm trying to get everything clear in my head - you're probably the same.

One of the ideas that stood out was one I'd heard Denisa Casement mention before: her very own Casement Quotient. She asks what is the value of your fundraising team's time?

The Casement Quotient
Income ÷ Individual Hours = Team Value/hr

In her case, 4.5 fundraisers are bringing in €2.4m per year, which breaks down to about €1,100 per hour for the team. Each individual's time is worth about €240 an hour.

Now that's not a target, it's a value she puts on her team which allows her to be brutally careful about how they spend their time each day. She argues that it makes it easier to say No to low value ideas and really question whether the short- and long-term results are going to justify the time spent on them. And it helps answer the question outsource or not?

I like it because it's no longer looking at your fundraisers as a cost, but as income (which all good fundraisers already knew). If someone is worth €240 an hour rather than costing €15 an hour then does it change how you approach their happiness...and their training.

There's crossover with an idea I've been peddling lately when charities are looking at fundraising ideas, in particular events and social media: Would you raise more if you got a job in Centra?

In other words, would you raise more money for your charity by spending a day a week updating, engaging and cruising Facebook...or by working one day a week in Centra and donating your pay to the charity?

At your next event, look round at all of your volunteers and staff and ask yourself If these people were all stacking shelves for minimum wage right now (or working in a eye-wateringly high-paying job), and donating their pay, would I be raising more money?

But it would be a brave person that responds to a potential volunteer by asking them to go and get a job.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The 20-Day Fundraising Challenge

We're running the first 20-Day Fundraising Challenge. It's for fundraisers or anyone responsible for the fundraising in their charity or non-profit.

I was inspired by a 10-day meditation challenge and a 30-day yoga challenge. Each of these give you a little bite size chunk of information and help each day and then send you on your merry way.

The 20-Day Fundraising Challenge will be similar: everyday we'll talk a little bit about a different form of fundraising, give you a few tips and tricks, and then give you a little task to go and do for your charity.

These challenges won't answer all your problems. But they'll help build fundraising knowledge and perhaps give you a chance to try something you've never tried before.

I'm excited-ish.

Are you?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Is Donor Retention THAT Bad?

I read another article about how bad donor retention is: this one. Not only is rentention's also a crisis.

"Donor retention is at 40% or less". You've seen similar stats - I presented Irish stats myself that saw 40-50% of monthly donors say goodbye in the first year. I'd be the first to say we're not doing enough to keep donors happy.

It's true, there are huge amounts you could be doing to improve your own donor retention right now...but let's stop for a second and ask, "Is donor retention that bad?"

Well, how is everyone else faring?

  • About 45% of gym members quit in the first 6 months.
  • 25% of people give up on New Year's resolutions in the first week. 88% of people eventually give up.
  • Ninety-one percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years.
  • The average worker today stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years.
  • Remember The Cranberries? When they released the album 'No Need To Argue' they sold about 1 million copies in the UK alone. 5 years later about 7% of that number were still buying their new stuff.

We are flaky...we are fickle. The banjo, surfboard, pond pump and juggling equipment I have in storage are proof of that. And those are physical objects: I got something in return for my money. The majority of charities aren't showing donors what their money is doing, and yet we're still beating so many industries.

My first ever monthly donation - to UNHCR about 10 years ago - only ended because I maxed out my credit card trying to get to Adelaide to meet a ginger-haired Danish girl who claimed to be a witch in her previous life.

Yes, let's keep scolding each other for our poor retention. Let's work together to improve it through care, love and technical wizardry. Let's not get complacent - We have so much to do.

But let's allow ourselves one blog post a year to say, hey, donor retention isn't that bad.