Category Archives: Fundraising Insights

3 Data Points Your Nonprofit Should Collect from Donors

Your nonprofit relies on your donors’ support in order to meet its daily operations. However, if your nonprofit doesn’t fully understand its audience, it’ll be more difficult to engage your donors and motivate them to give. 

Collecting donor data can help your organization create comprehensive donor personas for each of your supporters, whether you have hundreds or thousands of people giving to your cause. While this may seem overwhelming, a strong data collection strategy backed by a solid tech foundation can streamline the entire process. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential data points your nonprofit should collect in its constituent relationship management (CRM) platform: 

Comprehensive data can help your organization steward strong donor relationships and tap into your donors’ unique motivations for giving to your nonprofit. As a result, your donors will feel more passionate about your cause, leading to a boost in online fundraising. Let’s begin. 

Demographic information

Your donors’ demographics will give you a baseline overview of the type of donors that are likely to give to your nonprofit. This will inform your outreach strategies so you can better target your ideal audience or even work towards reaching new audiences. 

Specifically, you’ll want to use your donation page or data appends to collect data points such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Contact information
  • Employment Status
  • Employer

For example, let’s say you collect these data points and discover that most of your donors are Gen Z or Millennials. Younger generations tend to prefer digital communications, so your nonprofit can amp up its social media marketing efforts to encourage donor retention. 

Employer data can also have a huge impact on your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts. If your donors work at companies that offer matching gifts, your organization can receive double (and sometimes triple) the amount of the original donation. In fact, according to Double the Donation, over 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs. If your donors are eligible for matching gifts, they can easily increase their impact and play a more rewarding role in your organization’s journey. 

Nonprofit involvement

By taking a closer look at your donors’ history, you can better understand their giving capacity and interest in your cause. This information will help you tailor your donation appeals, volunteer outreach, and other communications to their needs and preferences. 

Collect the following data points about your donors’ involvement:

  • How frequently they give
  • Their average donation amount
  • The last time they gave
  • The events they’ve attended
  • Whether they’ve volunteered and how often they volunteer

With these data points, you can then segment your communications to better target certain types of donors. For example, you can create an email segment for donors that used to give frequently but haven’t given in the last year to reengage them with your mission. If you have a fundraising deadline quickly approaching and you haven’t hit your goal yet, you can create an email segment for major donors to ask them to help push you over the finish line. 

You can also segment your communications to promote monthly giving. According to Donately, monthly giving can help your organization establish a reliable donation pipeline that you can access year round. Create a segment for donors that give frequently and have the potential to be monthly givers. In your outreach, highlight the various benefits of monthly giving, including the ability to play a more active role in your nonprofit and the convenience of only having to fill out your donation page once. 

Supporter interests 

These are often answers to questions like: What are your supporters’ hobbies? Why are they passionate about your cause? Are they interested in finding new ways to get involved with your organization? 

This information will help you build stronger relationships with donors and find relevant ways to keep them engaged. For example, a donor with graphic design experience may express that they want to play a larger role in your organization. You can then open up a new volunteering opportunity to them, such as improving your fundraising website or your marketing materials. 

Understanding your supporters’ passions can also help you craft personalized donation appeals that are more likely to inspire action. For instance, if you’re an environmental organization, you may have several donors that give because they care deeply about saving endangered species. In your donation appeals to these donors, you can then emphasize the different ways your nonprofit’s work is helping to protect endangered animals. 

By taking the time to get to know your donors, they’ll feel more valued and appreciated by your organization. At your next in-person event, ensure that members of your nonprofit board or staff are present to engage with donors one-on-one and ask them about their interests. If you have a large donor base, you can create online get-to-know-you surveys that take just a few moments to complete. 

To steward strong donor relationships, you need a comprehensive understanding of each of your supporters. The accessibility of data has made it easier than ever to create donor personas and use this information for better engagement and outreach. Use donor data research tools, like your donation page and data appends, to collect essential data points and learn the best ways to drive donor retention. Good luck! 

About the Author

Jacob Spencer | Customer Success / Account Manager at Donately
I strive to make every step of our customer journey as enjoyable as possible. My goal is to turn everyone that trusts Donately into a raving fan! Raising funds can be daunting, but we know that with the right tools, it can and should be easy. 

Throughout my career, I’ve been able to help sales and success teams tackle new markets, grow and expand. Leading with empathy, listening to actually solve problems, and remembering that we are all human are the key elements to growing any business in a meaningful way.

When I’m not working you can find me spending time with my wife, 2 boys and our Border Collie, Abbie. Family>Everything.

Taking email marketing a step further: 4 tips for nonprofits

A multi-racial group look at a computer screen together.

Whether you have an upcoming fundraiser you’re trying to promote to donors or if you’re preparing for the end of the year, your nonprofit needs a focused and impactful marketing strategy. 

Email marketing has traditionally been the backbone of nonprofit marketing strategies for years. And not without reason! Nonprofit email marketing is a powerful tool that allows your organization to reach individual donors with specific messages that engage them with your organization. 

However, this only works if your organization keeps up with the latest trends and strategies for email outreach. If you fail to do this, your organization might fall behind and spend more and more time on an inefficient strategy. Make sure you’re using the most effective email marketing tactics to reach your supporters by leveraging the following tips: 

The average email open rate for nonprofits is much higher than other industries. This rate rests around 26% compared to the national average email opening rate of 6%. Take advantage of this opportunity and make sure you’re making the most of your outreach by ensuring your email strategy is up to date.

1. Identify and segment your audience

Sometimes it seems like the most time-efficient way to get a message across to your audience is to send a mass email. That means if you have an upcoming fundraiser, you would add all of your donors’ and supporters’ email addresses to the recipient box. While this might seem time-efficient, it’s actually not effective at all. 

People are much more likely to read and engage with messages that are personalized. In fact, according to one source, 74% of Gen Zers, 67% of Millennials, 61% of Gen Xers, and 57% of Baby Boomers all prefer personalized messages in the marketing messages they receive. That’s over half of your audience (no matter their age) that prefers a more personal touch to your emails. 

The best way to make sure you personalize each email you send is to segment your audience and craft messages per segment. It might take slightly longer than a mass message, but it’s a much better strategy. 

Doubleknot’s segmentation guide explains that there are three primary types of data that nonprofits can use to group their audience into segments for marketing purposes: 

  • Sociological. These data points include the social, cultural, economic, and lifestyle traits of your target audience. For example, you might use gender or age as data points for some segments. 
  • Preferential. When donors provide you with information about their communication preferences, you can also use this to make specific segments. For instance, if a donor prefers to only receive emails twice a month, you can limit the number of messages you send them. 
  • Psychological. These are the traits that you might collect via survey or in notes after a one-on-one conversation with a supporter. Psychological data comprises an individual’s values, passions, interests, etc. For example, if you know a donor’s motivations to give, you can mention those aspects of your mission in your outreach to them. 

Save relevant details regarding this type of data in your nonprofit’s CRM. Then, use that information to create segments and better personalize your outreach strategy. Be sure to regularly clean up this data in your database so that you are always working with the latest information. 

2. Set a purpose for each message

Each email that you send to your audience should have a concrete purpose. The last thing you want to do is to send mindless emails that don’t call your supporters to do anything — these types of messages simply waste both you and your supporters’ time. 

Strategize what the most important thing you want to promote at your organization is. Ask yourself, “Why are we sending this email?” Then, you can use that information to structure your messages and encourage supporters to help you accomplish your goals. For example, consider promoting opportunities for: 

  • Online fundraising. Use your messaging to explain how the funds will be used and to share stories of previous fundraising campaigns that impacted the community. Then, be sure to include a link to your donation page so that people can give directly after reading your message. 
  • Event registration. Use these messages to highlight key aspects of the event like the auction items for lower-level audiences and your VIP tables for major donors. 
  • Volunteer events. Send specific outreach emails to talented supporters for specific volunteer opportunities (like graphic design skills). Or, send a more general message to past volunteers asking for help at your next event. 

Appreciation messages need to have a purpose too, even if you’re not immediately promoting an upcoming campaign. You should explain the impact supporters had, thank them for getting involved, then offer a next step, like filling out a feedback survey. 

You should always include an opportunity for your supporters to get involved after reading your message. These calls to action should link your readers to proper landing pages directly from your email. For example, link to your online donation page as a part of your fundraising outreach and to event registration pages when inviting people to attend your next big auction. 

3. Conduct A/B testing for various strategies

A/B testing allows your nonprofit to test aspects of your email outreach on your audience to see what strategies are most effective. Essentially, it helps you gain insight into what your audience responds best to so you can use that data for future campaigns

You should only ever test one variable at a time. Send one message using one strategy to half of your audience and use the other strategy for the other half. For example, you might send a message to half of your audience using a graphic style image and another message with a stock photo to the other half. Whichever gets more click throughs is the more effective image strategy. 

Some of the factors you might choose to test in your emails using A/B testing include: 

  • Subject lines
  • Calls to action
  • Images
  • Videos

Make sure you have relevant metrics you can measure to see which option performs better during tests. For example, you might measure the email open rate when testing two different subject lines or the click-through rate when testing different calls to action. 

Save this information and update it when necessary. A/B testing is an important aspect of donor data because it describes those preferences specific to your audienceIt’s much more precise than simply reviewing statistics for general audiences from other market testers and will be useful in future campaigns. 

4. Use email addresses to target ads

You can take your email strategy a step further by leveraging your email addresses to create ads that will help drive more traffic to your organization. This process is called email mapping. It allows your nonprofit to send targeted ads to a list of specific email addresses.

Although many organizations are often hesitant to leverage ads, whether due to financial strain or a lack of understanding of their impact, Feathr’s nonprofit advertising guide explains that there are a great number of benefits that accompany this strategy: 

  • Increased reach, providing more opportunities for supporters to get involved with your mission. 
  • Major returns and campaign conversions for a low-cost outreach strategy. 
  • Automation options, saving your team’s time for working on other aspects of your mission.

When you use email mapping to display ads to your supporters, these messages will show up in the margins of web articles, on their Facebook feeds, and elsewhere across the internet. Be sure the message you display relates back to your email campaign. This repeat exposure reminds your supporters about the opportunities you offer to get involved and increases the chances that they will do so. 

Now that you know email outreach strategies, create goals based on what you want to pursue. Be sure each goal is tied to a specific measurable metric so that you can define what success looks like for your organization. The key performance indicators (KPIs) you might choose to track could include your email open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. 

Consider which KPIs will be more impactful for your particular mission. This tracking of metrics will also help you identify improvement opportunities for future campaigns. Good luck!

About the Author

Aidan Augustin | Co-founder & President, Feathr |
Aidan Augustin is the co-founder and president of Feathr, an industry-leading software company making digital marketing more accessible to nonprofits and event organizers. Feathr has helped over 800 nonprofits and thousands of events know, grow, and engage their audiences. When he’s not steering the ship at Feathr, he’s playing strategy games, singing karaoke, or reading books about people who changed the world.

Reviewing the World Ultra Wealth Report 2022

What is this Report?

Reviewing the World Ultra Wealth Report 2022

The report is the first World Ultra Wealth Report that is published by Altrata. It’s the tenth such report using Wealth-X data. The report looks at the global ultra-high net worth (UNHW) population in the first half of 2022.

UHNW individuals are defined as individuals who have a net worth over $30 million. High net worth population is defined as individuals with net worth over $1M.

What are key findings from the article?

  • The Ultra High Net Worth population fell by 6% and the combined value of wealth dropped 11% in the first half of 2022. The report points to the war in the Ukraine and global economic volatility (including inflation) as causes of the drop.The population of UHNW individuals totals 392K and they have combined net worth of $41.8trn. “The ultra-wealthy account for just 1.2% of the global HNW population, yet hold over 31% of this group’s total wealth.”
  • North America reported the biggest drop in total UHNW individuals at 10%. China was the only major wealth market that saw a rise of 2.3% in total number of UHNW. In the US, the report believes the drop is due to policy changes at the Federal Reserve, rising interest rates, “slump in capital markets.”However, the US is still number one with 121,465 UHNW individuals, followed by China with 51,145 individuals. Germany, Japan, and Hong Kong are the next three respectively. Hong Kong is the #1 city of UHNW individuals followed by New York and Los Angeles.
  • While women are only 11% of UHNW population, their numbers are rising. The average age of UHNW women is 64 and more than half inherited some or all of their wealth.
  • However, the number of UHNW women who are self-made is not evenly distributed in all regions. US is close to the average at 51.1% whereas China has a whopping 81% of UHNW women who made their wealth. Other countries like Germany are lower, at 16.5%.
  • The majority of UHNW women work in the non-profit and social organizations sector. In comparison, the majority of UHNW men work in banking and finance. The report ascribes the higher percentage of women in nonprofits due to greater amounts of inherited wealth.
  • Asset distribution is similar for both UHNW women and men except with real estate. UHNW women tend to invest a higher percentage of their wealth in real estate and luxury assets compared to men. UHNW women tend to prefer jewelry and art as luxury assets compared to men. Notably the report found, “Women account for 70 of every 100 UHNW owners of luxury watches and jewelry, assuming an equal number across genders. In contrast, UHNW men prefer jets and yachts.
  • Given that nonprofits are the number one industry for UNHW women, it’s not surprising that philanthropy is the biggest hobby of the population. For UHNW men, sports are first, then followed by philanthropy. Both UHNW men and women prioritize giving to education, followed by arts & culture, then social services.
  • In the US, UHNW women make larger political gifts on average: $134K compared to $125K. They donate more frequently, but men tend to give bigger donations from companies.

Additional Resources

Boston Consulting Group Global Wealth 2022

What is this Report?

The Boston Consulting Group’s 22nd annual report looks at global wealth as well as the field of wealth management. Ultra-high net worth individuals are those individuals with assets over $100M.

What are key findings from the article?

  • Global wealth expanded by 10.6% in 2021. It’s the fastest rate in a decade with $26 trillion in new wealth. BCG credits gains were made in corporate profits and real assets. The company noted the resiliency of wealth growth despite the pandemic and the Great Recession.
  • However, BCG warns of destabilizing factors of global inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Their models suggest that there would be a short-term decrease in wealth but then an average rate of growth at 5.3% through 2026. The company also expects inflation to stay high in 2022 but decrease in 2023.
  • Asia-Pacific and Oceania (but not Japan) is projected to have the largest growth of 8.4% through 2026. Middle East and Africa would be next with 5.4% and then North America at 4.1%. Western Europe would drop to 4%.
  • Sustainable investing is growing fast. Investors are keen on net-zero, which means that the amount of greenhouse gases produced, and gasses taken from the atmosphere are zero. Companies have a goal of becoming net zero by 2050 but investors want changes now. BCG believes that by 2026 the asset class of sustainable investing will rise be 8%-17%, a rise from 4%-11% today. Wealth managers will have to consider climate data when making recommendations for investments.
  • The report noted: “Responsible investing—which loosely considers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors—is not the same as sustainable investing.”  The report defines sustainable investing as including investing in companies with top sustainable sectors. Broader sustainable investing excludes investments that fail to sustain measures like net zero by 2050. It excludes things detrimental to the world such as weapons and war manufacturing.
  • Cryptocurrency will grow 4 to 5 times bigger before 2030. BCG makes this prediction despite the recent turmoil in the sector. Although cryptocurrencies are 90% of the space, there is a growing interest in NFTs, crypto custody and insurance, mutual funds, crypto options and futures and more. BCG thinks there will be regulations in the future. Blockchain-based decentralized finance, known as DeFi, attracted more than $200 billion in assets since April 2022. Major financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase have hired people in crypto-related jobs since 2018.
  • Digital wealth management (WM) companies have grown significantly, attracting $14.5 billion in 2021. Digital WM uses financial technology, sometimes automation, to provide wealth management services to its customers, usually completely remotely. These are younger companies, many formed in the past 15 years. Examples include Marstone, Yield Stone, and StashAway.

What can I do as a result?

  • While investors are becoming more interested in sustainability and net-zero, prospective donors might become interested in how your organization is implementing/considering these areas. Even if you aren’t a nonprofit with an environmental focus, these concerns about environmental impact are going to expand in future areas, not just the world of wealth management.
  • While extremely volatile, crypto is likely here to stay. While many think we are seeing the final hemorrhaging of the cryptocurrency, it’s significant that BCG thinks it will continue. How prepared is your organization to accept it? Or has your organization made a choice not to accept it due to ethical concerns, such as environmental cost, etc.? As noted in previous blog posts, the industry is new and there will be startups that will fail and others succeed, just as we have seen with other industries.
  • But cryptocurrencies and NFTs are not all there is to crypto. Decentralized finance is likely to grow, and a new class of prospects may come out of that industry with money to donate.
  • With the increase in digital wealth management, more people have access to invest in private equity, private debt and pre-Initial Public Offering (IPO) participation that was originally limited to top investors. Digital WM can bundle these investments with multiple individuals. This means that more prospects may have investments, but may be using digital services instead of traditional wealth management firms.

Additional Resources

Go Virtual With These 5 Online-Friendly Fundraisers

Virtual fundraisers have grown in popularity over the last few years for both nonprofits and donors alike. These low-cost fundraisers save you money, increase your ROI, and expand your donor base. Your supporters will be excited for more opportunities to participate in events and contribute to your cause. 

Whether you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid event, online-friendly fundraisers are a lucrative, creative way to raise more for your organization. Here are a few fundraising ideas to get you started: 

  1. Read-a-Thon 
  2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising 
  3. Social Media Challenges
  4. Matching Gifts 
  5. Text-to-Give 

Before embarking on an extensive online fundraising campaign, set goals for your nonprofit. Consider what your target fundraising amount is, what your audience will learn about your organization through the campaign, and how you can create a positive, memorable experience. Let’s dive into five online fundraisers for your nonprofit!

1. Read-a-Thon 

Read-a-thons are an excellent avenue for an online educational fundraiser. If your organization is education based or partners with a school, a read-a-thon can help increase literacy among your students while also raising money for your cause. 

Read-a-thons are fully online, and raise funds by having students reach out to friends and family for a flat-rate donation. Then, students will read as much as they can over a specific period of time. 

To take your read-a-thon online, you can use an online platform, such as Read-a-thons web-based software, to help students, parents, and teachers stay organized. Students will use the platform to log their reading time after every, so family and friends can see updates on their progress, which can inspire secondary donations. 

Students, parents, teachers, or supervisors can all access Read-a-thon’s school fundraising software to update student reading times, making this online fundraiser suitable for all ages of students. 

To encourage students to participate, you can also offer select prizes based on how much students read or raised. Select the top readers and top fundraisers from each class for special prizes, and offer something smaller for other students to encourage full participation. 

2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising 

Peer-to-peer fundraising, also referred to as P2P fundraising by industry experts, is a classic way to encourage your supporters to help with fundraising and expand your reach to new donors. Get in touch with your supporters and offer them the opportunity to raise money for your nonprofit as volunteer fundraisers. 

Your ideal volunteers are heavily engaged supporters who would be excited to share their involvement with your nonprofit online and can easily speak to the strengths of your organization. Once you’ve recruited your volunteers, host training sessions to support your volunteers with talking points about your peer-to-peer fundraising goal, mission, and campaign message. 

Help your volunteers create their own fundraising pages to share with their friends, family, and personal networks. Encourage them to set a personal fundraising goal for themselves and to reach out to their networks for donations. Some peer-to-peer campaigns even set deadlines for when funds have to be collected to inspire potential donors to act quickly to join the cause.

Here are some channels your volunteers can use to share their fundraising pages: 

  • Social media 
  • Email
  • Personal Text Messages
  • Personal blogs

Your supporters are foundational to your nonprofit, so peer-to-peer fundraising is the perfect way to use their personal experiences to help inform and inspire new donors. 

3. Social Media Challenges 

Social media challenges are a simple way to get a variety of donors involved in your fundraising, spread your message widely, and build your organization’s community. Everyone knows the viral ALS ice bucket challenge because it was memorable and raised awareness for the cause for everyone who completed or watched someone else complete the challenge. 

Take to your nonprofit’s social media profiles and encourage your supporters to create videos, images, and messages about your challenge to share with their networks. Here are some details to include in your social media challenges: 

  • Your organization’s mission 
  • Your goal for the fundraiser 
  • How the challenge works 
  • How to donate 

After posting your social media challenges, be sure to ask your staff, board members, volunteers, and followers to engage with the post and complete the challenge to help start building momentum. Use the challenge as an opportunity to build a stronger community by inspiring your followers to participate. 

4. Matching Gifts

A matching gifts campaign can help supplement other fundraisers and provide continued support long after its initial launch. With a matching gifts campaign, you can increase the revenue from donations already being made without asking your donors to give more! 

Many companies offer matching gifts opportunities for their employees. If their employees make a charitable contribution to a registered nonprofit, and submits an application to the company, the company may match a certain percentage of the gift made. Some companies match up to 100% or even double the amount of an employee’s donation. 

Encourage your donors to check their matching gift eligibility on your website’s donation page. You can also promote your matching gifts campaign through social media and newsletters to inspire donors to check their eligibility and company policies. Some companies will match a gift months to a year after it’s been made, meaning if you start promoting now, you might start earning extra donations immediately. 

5. Text-to-Give 

Text-to-give fundraisers utilizes one of the best ways to reach donors on-the-go, mobile messaging. Like other online fundraisers, you can promote it on your social media pages, website, and newsletter to get supporters excited about your cause. 

For a smooth campaign, you can use a text-to-give software that allows you to customize your campaign. Snowball’s text-to-give fundraising guide outlines how to optimize the experience for your nonprofit and your supporters: 

  • Use memorable keywords. Have donors text a short keyword related to your mission to your organization’s number. Long keywords are easy to misenter and can be difficult to remember. For example, READ is far easier to type than, SUPPORTOURSCHOOLREADATHON.
  • Use a peer-to-peer campaign. As part of your peer-to-peer campaign, have your volunteers share your donation number with their friends and family to give them another way to donate and spread the reach of your campaign. 
  • Use simple messaging. People who prefer texts likely also prefer brevity when it comes to messages. Be clear and concise in your text message response and on your donation page

Texting is a way to casually connect with donors who may be overwhelmed by your volunteer programs or website. Start a text-to-give campaign to offer donors a simple way to contribute to your cause. 

Fundraising is all about earning the revenue you need to keep your cause going while spreading the word about your organization, your mission, and your ongoing work. Whether it’s online or in-person, fundraisers are an opportunity to educate your supporters and inspire them to join your cause. Use your branding, powerful language, and online marketing materials to ensure your online fundraising success.

About the Author

Howard Gottlieb

Howard Gottlieb has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 35 years. His latest venture, Read-a-thon, is a novel school fundraising concept that truly shifts the paradigm when it matters most. Read-a-thon replaces in-person bake sales, magazine drives and the like with a contactless method of raising much needed cash, one that can be used both in real classrooms and virtual learning spaces. The real bonus? It promotes literacy and gets kids excited about picking up a book.

The Trend That Keeps Trending: Cryptocurrency

The Trend That Keeps Trending: Cryptocurrency

The funny thing about trends is that they can take quite a long time to become boring and traditional. If you are living through a major trend – the way we are living through the birth and widespread adoption of cryptocurrency – it can begin to look tawdry.

It’s as if we went from a neon-lit, live music infused dive bar blowout and instead of letting sleeping dogs happily lie, we went back in the bright light of the afternoon to witness just how grimy and gross that dive bar really is.

Cryptocurrency had its debut glamour party – but has hung around and tried to keep up the hype, leaving many people like me feeling ambivalent about it.

That is, until Aspire Research Group researcher and writer extraordinaire, Elisa Shoenberger, pointed me to the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, What Skeptics Get Wrong About Crypto’s Volatility.

Elisa has been known to quote John Taylor, a fundraising operations consultant, who can talk about how he had to coax reluctant nonprofits that credit cards were safe and that they really needed to accept credit card donations. Now we are coaxing reluctant nonprofits to accept cryptocurrency. Given the volatility, is that wise?

The HBR article talks about how cryptocurrency is a young industry and how its liquidity and transparency act as bright sunlight does in that dark and grimy dive bar. It also describes investor mentality in startup ventures. Most early investors recognize that usually a small percentage of those startup investments will yield a return, although hopefully there will be at least one with a BIG return.

When we begin to view cryptocurrency through the lens of a startup investor, all that volatility and wild west behavior begins to feel less chaotic and more like a toddler tantrum. It’s unpleasant and can cause some damage but is easy to put into a box (or a playpen) to control the damage.

As Elisa likes to say, don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. (It’s gambling folks!)

And don’t forget why and how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was created. There was a time when the industry of publicly company trading had extreme volatility and fraud. The SEC was created to regulate and protect the public.

Public company trading is definitely boring and traditional compared to cryptocurrency!

Is Cryptocurrency property, a security, or a commodity?

Will there be a new agency created to regulate cryptocurrency and protect the public? I doubt it. The scuffle for regulatory control is likely to happen between the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has already ruled that it considers cryptocurrency to be property. This matters when a cryptocurrency is gifted, for example.

But what about whether it is a security or a commodity?

A security produces a return from an entity or company. A commodity is a “basic good” that you can buy, trade, or exchange – like food or electricity.

People have certainly been trading cryptocurrency for return, but is it really a security? Currency might be considered a commodity, but does cryptocurrency qualify as a “basic good”?

The scuffle has indeed begun! And that’s just part and parcel of a young industry.

This constant tussling over definitions, uses, and abuses is also what makes it difficult to keep up with what is trending in cryptocurrency and philanthropy.

Lucky for you, Elisa Shoenberger has compiled and kept current a well-curated list of resources related to cryptocurrency and fundraising!

Aspire Research Bookmark Page

Bookmark the webpage and you instantly have a library of relevant cryptocurrency resources at your mouse click:

Find out if the “crypto winter” forecasts the end of cryptocurrency for philanthropy.

8 Critical Questions to Ask During a Nonprofit Re-Brand

Reflect – Rethink – Rebrand on wooden blocks. Business and inspiration concept

When you think of branding, you might envision corporations branding their products with a logo or a catchy slogan at the end of a commercial. Yes, these are all examples of branding, but they’re only half of the picture. The concept of brand recognition isn’t exclusive to for-profit entities. In fact, your nonprofit should have its own brand identity that shapes your community-building interactions. 

If you’re new to branding, you might have some questions about how to go through the process, from shaping your story to personalizing your social media profiles. Don’t worry, this is a good thing! Here are some questions to ask and answer throughout the nonprofit branding process so you can ensure you have all your bases covered. Let’s get started!

1. What is nonprofit branding?

Nonprofit branding is what distinctly sets you apart from other nonprofits in the space, attracting supporters that resonate with your specific identity. The branding process entails creating a strong public-facing persona for your nonprofit through design and messaging. It’s far more than just your website design or your marketing materials. Essentially, it’s the who, what, and why your nonprofit presents to your community. 

2. What’s our current branding strategy?

Every rebranding strategy needs a baseline to build off of. Take some time to assess your current nonprofit branding strategy, focusing on elements such as your mission statement, messaging, online presence, and visual elements (logo, colors, and font). Then, decide which elements you want to keep and which ones aren’t working as well for your organization so you know where to begin. 

3. Why are we rebranding?

Once you’ve thoroughly analyzed your current brand status, it’s time to tackle a different question: why will a rebrand benefit our organization? Here are some common reasons nonprofits decide to rebrand that might resonate with your organization:

  • To add cohesion to your identity
  • To appeal to a new audience
  • To level up to industry standards
  • To compete with the opposition
  • To accommodate new products or mission
  • To make your brand complement your advertising or outreach strategy

Your rebranding is a large undertaking, so understanding exactly what your goals are is essential for staying focused.

4. What’s our new brand vision?

If you don’t know exactly what you want your new brand to look like, never fear! There are many ways to be inspired by the world around you. Here are some ways to come up with a few ideas:

  • Take inspiration from many organizations in the space, both for- and nonprofit. 
  • Ask your nonprofit colleagues for advice.
  • Consider which tactics have worked for you in the past that you want to keep.
  • Ask your current supporters and board members what they’d like to see change.

The sheer amount of branding possibilities can make the process feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Use the resources around you to jumpstart your creative process!

5. When do we want our rollout finished?

Once you set your goals based on who you’re trying to reach with your brand, you should pick a target completion date for your rebrand. Setting a completion date for your rebrand from the very beginning is crucial to prioritize only your most important updates. Be sure to set reasonable goals based on your timeframe. For example, a simple logo rebrand won’t take as long as a comprehensive website rebrand. 

Your timeframe also determines the scope of your campaign. If you only have a month, it probably isn’t feasible to undertake a holistic campaign that would normally take six months to execute. Understand that a comprehensive, high-quality strategy can’t be rolled out overnight, so you should prioritize the work that needs to be done.

6. How does my story fit in?

You can shape your brand identity in many ways, but the most important is by strategically telling your story. 

Every nonprofit is built on a good story. If you present yours compellingly, people will naturally gravitate toward you to learn more about it. So, figuring out your storytelling strategy is a crucial part of your branding process. Keep in mind are Getting Attention’s elements to consider while crafting your story:

  • Understand your audience. The very first step might seem obvious to you, but its importance can’t be overstated. Start your storytelling process off on the right foot by firmly grasping your audience’s characteristics and what they respond best to. For example, if your supporters are mostly older, saturating your story with new slang that they don’t know isn’t the best idea. To learn more about your unique audience members, examine your performance analytics, such as content performance and engagement by demographic, and adapt your ideas from there. 
  • Activate empathy in your audience. Humans are emotional beings! You should leverage this trait by including emotionally compelling media in your story. For instance, if you’re creating a tab on your website dedicated to storytelling, include photos and videos. This media transcends language, conveying emotion to an even broader audience than your written segments can. 
  • Highlight specific goals. Broadly, you should show a connection between your mission statement, vision statement, and your story. You can also use your story to emphasize a wide range of performance indicators, such as money raised or membership growth rate. 

At the end of the day, you know your story better than anyone else, so brainstorm with your team to determine the most effective storytelling method. It’ll introduce you to many new audiences that care about your mission.

7. How will we plan our rebranding campaign?

You should spend ample time preparing in advance so that your rebranding journey is as smooth as possible. Moreover, you should use several materials to center your thinking, such as:

  • A brand style guide. This is where you can let your creativity take control to determine your artistic branding. Include your logo, colors, and fonts for all of your materials. Be as detailed as possible by including your brand color hex codes and examples of your graphics. Keep it consistent across all of your platforms and deliverables so your viewers correctly associate you with your brand.
  • A digital strategy plan. The new normal for making your organization visible is by promoting it over the internet. So, if you haven’t invested in your digital presence yet, it’s time to get started! In this guide, you’ll lay out your trajectory for all things digital outreach. For example, you might discuss redesigning your website or launching new social media profiles to reach new audiences. 
  • A language and tone guide. Your language choices and tone throughout your written materials should be consistent. Your tone determines the feeling you want your audience to associate with your brand. To help define your tone and brand personality, brainstorm a list of tone adjectives to characterize your organization and brand.  
  • A data collection method. As with any significant change, you want to monitor your progress over time so you know what you need to change. You should plan how you’ll measure success throughout the rebranding process. How will your key performance indicators (KPIs) change with your new brand? You might keep track of metrics such as your social media engagement and share of voice, blog post engagement, and other awareness-related KPIs to monitor the response to your rebrand. 
  • A call-to-action plan. Throughout your written materials, you should include calls-to-action (CTAs) to prompt your audience to complete certain activities. These should be structured around achieving your predetermined goals. For example, you might include specific guidelines for your website call-to-action buttons or how you’ll draw email recipients to your website using CTAs. 

Keeping organized is the key to a successful rebranding campaign, so stay on top of the planning process!

8. Who will help us with our nonprofit rebrand?

There’s no doubt that refreshing your brand can be a daunting task. If you want further support, consider working with a nonprofit branding agency. According to Fifty & Fifty, they’ll provide numerous services such as: 

  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Online ad campaign design
  • Social media content production
  • Search engine optimization

Experts in branding know what makes donors tick and new visitors click. They’ll be able to guide you and transform your brand into one that donors and prospects love. Plus, they provide in-depth KPI analysis and insights so you know what’s working and what should change. Working with a nonprofit branding agency is a great way to kick off your rebranding efforts to impress your community.

Keeping your brand up to date is a large undertaking, but is incredibly important for your nonprofit to appear fresh and in touch with your community. You don’t have to go through it alone, either; nonprofit branding agencies and your connections in the field will help motivate you throughout the process. Ultimately, your prospective supporters might know who you are, but your new branding will center your why for all to see.

About the Author

Javan Van Gronigen
Creative Director | Founder

As Founder and Creative Director of Fifty & Fifty, Javan is the tip of the proverbial spear. Javan started his digital design career 20 years ago as Art Director for what is now one of the world’s largest digital agencies (Mirum, a JWT Company). He then moved on to Invisible Children where he was responsible for managing the team and all digital assets through the entire historic Kony 2012 campaign. At Fifty & Fifty, Javan has participated in and led every project, including 300+ websites, campaigns, and brands.

Get Personal and Deliver Impact: Reviewing Capgemini 2022 World Wealth Report

By Elisa Shoenberger

What is this report?

Get Personal and Deliver Impact: Reviewing Capgemini 2022 World Wealth Report

The World Wealth Report is an annual report about the wealth of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and the economic conditions in the Wealth Management industry. This year’s report is based on responses from over 2,973 HNWIs in 24 wealth markets, administered in January 2022.

Capgemini defines HNWI as those who have “investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables.”

What are key findings from the article?

  • Wealth increased with a rise in global High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) of 7.8% and global wealth totals of 8.0%.
  • Following the trend in 2020, North America leads the world on HNWI individuals with 13.2% growth and 13.8% wealth in 2021. Europe comes second, then Asia-Pacific. The report credits the strong performance of the technology sector, specifically Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple, Tesla and Nvidia. US real estate also grew 11%.
  • However, with rising inflation and interest rate hikes, Capgemini estimates that global HNWI wealth declined by 4% from 12/31/2021 to 4/30/2022. North America would be the most impacted followed by Europe.
  • Globally, 55% of HNWI want to make more investments with ESGs (environmental, social, and government). Interestingly, HNWIs in Asia-Pacific (except Japan), Latin America and Europe are most interested in sustainable investments, followed by North America. But millennials are the most interested age group in these types of investments.
  • Cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are still popular. The report noted: “71% of HNWIs globally have invested in digital assets and 91% of HNWIs younger than 40 have investments in digital assets.” Cryptocurrency is their first digital asset, then exchanged-traded funds and the metaverse are next. Morgan Stanley has three funds that allow investors with at least $2M into bitcoin. (Of course, the report was written before the recent extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies and NFTs).
  • Family offices are popular for HNWI. The 10,000 or so family offices manage 8% of the global HNWI wealth, which is about $7 trillion. That is up from $5.9 trillion with 7,300 family offices in the prior year. Even more striking is that HNWIs prefer them to large banks or wealth management firms – by 63%! They prefer them due to “one-stop-shop convenience and personalized services” as well as “reduced service costs.” Emotional connection is also key, something hard to build with banks and wealth management firms.
  • Demographics keep changing. Women, millennials, tech-wealth HNWIs are emerging. The reported noted, “Women across all wealth brackets will inherit 70% of global wealth over the next two generations and will likely manage two-thirds of household wealth by 2030.” But there’s a disconnect with women and wealth management firms.

What can I do as a result?

  • Pay attention to prospects who have family offices or participate in multi-family offices. Family offices are a huge wealth indicator. Family offices deliver investment and wealth management for the family, generally where the family has over $100 million in investable assets. Families with $25M+ in assets are more likely to participate in multi-family offices.
  • Keep in mind rising demographics of wealth. The report noted: ““Women want firms to earn their trust and confidence and support their unique needs,” including returns on their investments and purpose.” The same could be said about women and philanthropy. Women may not want to have transactional relationship with a nonprofit.
  • With the rise in popularity of ESGs, people may see impact investing as a means of giving back. For some prospects, your organization may have to approach them with the general framework of ESGs to “meet them where they are.”
  • Cryptocurrency has had some rough months but there may still be opportunity for philanthropy. Fidelity Charitable reported that in 2021, $331 million in cryptocurrencies was donated to donor advised funds. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months. As with stock gifts, it is prudent to convert cryptocurrencies into cash as well as be more mindful of what donations your organization will take. Also, it may be worth looking at other digital assets including digital currencies, exchanged-traded funds and the metaverse.

Additional Resources

8 Dos and Don’ts of Building a Nonprofit Volunteer Program

Three volunteers help clean up the beach

To build a volunteer program that supporters want to get involved with, you need to focus on each part of the program, from your recruitment strategy to your branding approach

Looking for tips on how to make your program as effective as possible? Good news: There are tried-and-true best practices you can follow. Let’s take a look at what to do and what not to do when creating your nonprofit’s volunteer program. 

Do: Create a targeted recruitment strategy. 

A targeted recruitment strategy increases your marketing team’s return on investment (ROI) because you’ll connect with audience members who are most likely to be interested in your volunteer program rather than casting a wide net and hoping to engage one or two volunteers. 

Reach out to people who have already expressed interest in your organization and may be the right fit for your volunteer program. These individuals may include: 

  • Lapsed volunteers
  • Social media followers
  • Email subscribers
  • Past event attendees
  • Donors

After you identify these individuals, send them messages that resonate with their interests. For instance, you might send your lapsed volunteers a message saying “We miss you! Want to get involved in the work we’re doing today? Here are a few upcoming activities that we think are the right fit for you.” You can also create social media posts highlighting your program’s opportunities and benefits to give followers a sense of how they can and why they should participate. 

Finding new volunteers is similar to reaching out to new donors. Both processes require connecting with your prospective supporters and highlighting the aspects of your organization that will appeal to them the most. 

You can even use the same tools, such as your donor management software, to engage volunteers. Your donor management software or donor database should contain information about not only your donors, but also your past event attendees, lapsed volunteers, and other individuals who have engaged with your nonprofit over the years. This tool will help you collect contact information for prospective volunteers and create communication strategies to reach out to them. 

Don’t: Neglect volunteer safety. 

Safety should be your number one priority when planning your volunteer opportunities. Consider things like this when choosing how your volunteers can help you carry out your mission: 

  • Physical safety: Although it may seem obvious, it’s worth the reminder: The activities you plan should be safe to do. If there is a risk of injury—like when building a house for a family in need—provide a thorough training process so all volunteers feel comfortable using your equipment or carrying out specific responsibilities. You should also have them read, agree to, and sign waivers to highlight the potential risks of volunteer activities and protect your organization from liability. 
  • Cybersecurity: If you offer online registration tools and/or virtual volunteer opportunities, keep volunteers’ personal information safe through airtight cybersecurity practices. These practices include requiring complex passwords for your online registration system, such as using a mix of character types and requiring that the password have a minimum number of characters. If you accept credit card information from volunteers, your payment system should be PCI compliant. That means it should align with established security standards. 

Poor security practices, whether in-person or virtual, can leave a lasting negative impression on your volunteers and expose them to unnecessary risk. On the other hand, emphasizing safety measures will provide volunteers with an experience that builds their trust in your nonprofit. 

Do: Consider volunteers’ interests and preferences.

Your volunteers likely have a wide range of life experiences and skills. That’s why you should offer a variety of volunteer opportunities. 

According to Double the Donation’s volunteer management guide, volunteering can take many forms, including:

  • Event volunteering
  • Skilled volunteering (including providing specific services like PR assistance, legal guidance, or accounting support) 
  • Administrative work
  • Advocacy

Conduct surveys to gather information about the types of volunteer opportunities that supporters are most interested in, whether it’s the ones listed above or opportunities unique to your organization’s work. Then, assign the volunteers to the opportunities you know they would be best suited to do. 

Don’t: Bore your volunteers. 

Your volunteer opportunities should be closely tied to and help make an impact on your organization’s overall mission. By involving volunteers in hands-on projects that directly support your goals, they’ll be more engaged and fulfilled. 

For example, if your nonprofit runs a community kitchen for people in need, assign your volunteers different prep tasks so they know they’ve helped put food on the proverbial table. If your organization is an animal shelter, allow volunteers to walk and bathe pets and introduce people to them at adoption events. 

Even when you’re completing routine tasks like stapling pamphlets or sorting canned foods, make your volunteer opportunities more engaging by adding a fun twist. You might play upbeat music or challenge volunteers to sort as many cans as possible, then give a prize to the winning team or individual. 

Do: Brand your volunteer program. 

Your nonprofit’s brand gives audience members an idea of your mission, purpose, and message. Branding your volunteer program can play a similar role in introducing these new opportunities to supporters. 

Your volunteer program’s brand should be a variation of your organization’s primary brand, using some of the same elements so supporters understand that the two are related. As you design the program’s brand, you might use the secondary colors in your brand color palette or a variation of your main logo. 

Make the program distinct from your nonprofit’s other activities by giving it a unique name. For instance, if your volunteer program is focused on local tree conversation, you might call volunteers “Tree Defenders” or “The Tree Team.” 

Branding your nonprofit’s volunteer program helps you increase program awareness. It can also give your volunteers a sense of community, especially when you offer them branded merchandise like matching t-shirts.  

Don’t: Pigeonhole volunteers.

You may find yourself only sending information about upcoming volunteer opportunities to your growing volunteer pool. However, volunteers might be interested in supporting your nonprofit in other ways as well.

Promoting those other opportunities will help your volunteers become even more invested in your mission and inspire them to have a greater impact. Volunteers may also be interested in:

By sending your volunteers information about different ways to engage with your organization, you can appeal to their desire to get more involved. Highlight these opportunities using your social media posts and emails.

Do: Ask volunteers for feedback. 

Build your volunteer program with volunteers’ preferences in mind every step of the way. If you’re uncertain about what your volunteers think, just ask!

Show volunteers that you care about listening to and implementing their feedback by sending them a post-volunteer event survey. Ask questions such as:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the volunteer experience? 
  • Did you feel the training process adequately prepared you for the experience? 
  • Would you participate in our program again? Why or why not?
  • Would you recommend our volunteer program to a family member or friend? 

Use volunteers’ responses to adjust your program strategy and let volunteers know how you’re incorporating their feedback. For example, send an email summarizing three to four key trends that emerged from a recent batch of surveys and how your organization plans to adjust your upcoming opportunities accordingly.

Don’t: Forget to show appreciation.

Just as you steward your donors, you must also actively build relationships with volunteers to retain them for the long haul. An effective volunteer stewardship strategy starts with showing your appreciation for your volunteers. 

Here are a few volunteer appreciation ideas to incorporate into your program: 

  • Send thank you emails after each opportunity summarizing what your volunteers accomplished and how they helped your mission.
  • Highlight volunteers’ accomplishments on social media and via your email newsletters. 
  • Send volunteers thank you gifts, such as free merchandise or gift cards. 

Expressing gratitude for volunteers is crucial for improving your volunteer retention rate. This will help you increase your ROI when it comes to finding new long-term volunteers and expanding the program in the future.  

By following these tips, you should be able to build a strong, sustainable volunteer program that engages supporters and helps your organization work more efficiently toward its mission. 

About the Author

Jay Love
Co-Founder and current Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang

He has served this sector for 33 years and is considered the most well-known senior statesman whose advice is sought constantly.

Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth.

He is a graduate of Butler University with a B.S. in Business Administration. Over the years, he has given more than 2,500 speeches around the world for the charity sector and is often the voice of new technology for fundraisers.

Connecting Mission-Driven Boards to Donors: Why It Matters

Your donors and your board members might seem like completely disconnected groups in your organization. While your board is a small but powerful team that steers the direction of your organization, your donors are a vast collection of individuals that pitch in to empower your fundraising campaigns and keep your organization afloat.

However, your board members and your donors are actually two sides of the same coin. In particular, both groups help propel your mission forward, represent your values, and raise awareness for your cause. But if that’s the case, then why do these groups tend to rarely work together? 

Encouraging a sustainable relationship between your board members and your donors is an excellent way to boost engagement and improve your public image. Donors want to feel more involved with your organization, and a connection with your board members offers them a glimpse into the inner workings of your organization. Similarly, it’s helpful for board members to get to know your donor base and understand how to work together. 

Overall, establishing some familiarity between your board members and your donors has several key benefits, including: 

Fortunately for many causes, the framework to make these relationships possible is already in place. All you need to do is to extend the invitation. You might be surprised to learn that your board members and donors are eager to get to know one another. 

Plus, connecting your board members with your donors might help to increase overall board engagement and could raise more donations, which will benefit your organization as a whole.

Establishing a strong community. 

No matter the size of your nonprofit, building a community within your organization is important. A strong community means that your supporters are more likely to spread the word about your mission, keep one another informed about updates, and attend upcoming events. 

Establishing a sense of community among your board and then a separate community among your donors has its own benefits. A united board is more productive and more comfortable sharing new ideas, while effectively engaging donors and creating meaningful donor relationships increases the chance of these supporters becoming major contributors. 

If a strong community already brings several assets to your board and your donors, a connection between the two groups would bring even greater advantages to your organization. Here are some ways to establish a better relationship between your board members and your donors: 

  • Dinner parties: If your board members and some donors have briefly met before, consider inviting them to a dinner party at your facility. They can get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. 
  • Mixers: Want to get lots of donors to interact with your board members? A mixer can be an effective way to kickstart the relationship between interested donors and your board members. 
  • Outdoor activities: Especially if your organization is nature-focused, an outdoor activity or event, such as hiking or a picnic, is a cost-effective and fun way to engage your board members and your donors. 
  • Volunteer events: Several of your donors or board members might already volunteer with your organization, but hosting a specific volunteer day or weekend for donors and board members will give both groups the chance to meet and chat, all while furthering your cause.
  • Team building exercises: Organizing a team-building activity is a great way to reinforce the idea that your board members and your donors are working toward the same goal. Try an escape room, an obstacle course, or a scavenger hunt to encourage your board members and your donors to work together. 

Creating a community among your board members and your donors requires time and effort, but with so many long-term benefits for fundraising, donor retention, and board engagement, the extra work is well worth it. 

Encouraging deeper involvement. 

Stronger bonds across different sections of your organization can encourage your supporters to attend a wider variety of events. For example, if your donors have had positive experiences with your board members and with your volunteers, they will likely want to attend events with both groups. 

By building a stronger community between your board members and your donors, you can simultaneously encourage both groups to get more involved. For this reason, connecting these two groups is crucial for sustainable participation. 

Additionally, you could design programs specifically aimed at creating opportunities for donors and board members to work together. Some collaboration ideas include: 

  • Partner programs between donors and board members: For your local donors, design a partner program where you pair a donor and a board member together. The partners could brainstorm ideas for an upcoming event or lead a volunteer training program. 
  • Donor input at board meetings: Create an online feedback form where donors can contribute ideas for your organization to further its cause, and then set aside some time at each board meeting to discuss donors’ ideas. Record your discussion in your board’s minutes and make them publicly available to show donors that you’re acting on their ideas. 
  • Matching gift program: According to 360MatchPro’s matching gift statistics page, more than 18 million people work for companies with matching gift programs. This is a great opportunity for your donors and board members to collaborate and research potential match opportunities, especially if many of your board members and donors happen to work for the same company. 

Maintaining board and donor engagement is one of the most challenging aspects of running a mission-driven organization. But by facilitating a working relationship between your board members and your donors with plenty of involvement opportunities, you can effectively engage both groups at once. 

Building an open line of communication. 

Connecting your board members with your donors also opens an essential line of communication between the individuals who steer your organization and the individuals who make those strategic plans possible.

As your board works on your organization’s long-term goals, they should be interested in your donors’ preferred direction for the future of your organization. Similarly, your donors want to know how their contributions are being used to forward your mission, and sharing this impact can play an important role in enhancing your donor communications

There are several ways that you could open the line of communication between your board members and your donors. You can: 

  • Publish your board meeting minutes: Most often, your board members will discuss how to allocate donations, and donors have a right to know this information. Consider publishing a public-facing version of your minutes for your donors to review. This Boardable guide to board meeting minutes can help you record efficient and comprehensive notes that cover all the necessary details your supporters need to know. 
  • Host Q&A sessions: Invested donors would be delighted to have an evening to ask board members all of their questions about how your organization works and how you’re achieving your mission. 
  • Involve donors in the board member selection process: It can be hard to determine if a prospective board member is the right person for your organization. Getting some input from donors can help you decide who to involve while simultaneously allowing your donors to play a bigger role in your organization.

Bridging the communication gap between donors and board members can clear up any points of confusion and make it easier to plan for big-picture changes that appeal to all parties. That way, everyone will be on the same page about how to move forward and will appreciate knowing their opinions matter.

Increasing transparency.

Fraud and corruption risk don’t only impact for-profit organizations — they’re a threat to the mission-driven world as well. With this in mind, it’s understandable that your donors will want to know how their money is being spent. 

Donors might feel more trusting of your organization if they feel connected to your board members. If you’re transparent about your onboarding process for new members, how your board meetings are run, and what tasks your board handles, your donors will have a better sense of your board’s purpose and your organization’s goals. 

Another way to increase transparency between your board and your donors is to publish the results of all voting items after a meeting. This way, your donors can understand what decisions were made and how this will impact your strategy moving forward. 

Overall, the more transparency you can offer your donors, the better. Not only does increasing your board’s transparency reduce the distance between board members and donors, but it also ensures that you’re managing your organization honestly and ethically.

Adding a more personal touch. 

Because donors naturally outnumber your board members, your donors might feel as though their voices aren’t being heard by your organization’s leaders. When it comes to building lasting relationships with your supporters, you want to show your donors that they are invaluable to your organization. 

For this reason, connecting your donors with board members can add a personal touch to the way that you conduct your supporter relations. As you probably know, personalizing your outreach materials and segmenting your donors often leads to higher response, conversion, and retention rates. 

So, if personalization can enhance your fundraising and outreach efforts so significantly, why not apply the same personal approach to relationship-building? With these strategies, you can potentially create lasting connections for years to come. 

To take a personalized approach to the donor experience, designate a point of contact or two for donors to reach out to with feedback or suggestions. Donors will feel as though they have a direct line for sharing their suggestions. For larger donor bases, you might consider only sharing the contact information with major donors, because an influx of emails or calls can easily overwhelm your board members. 

Your board members can also get involved with other aspects of interacting with donors. For instance, they might personally reach out to request donations or say thank you to those who have recently given to deepen those connections even further. No matter your approach, connecting your donors with your board members will naturally personalize each donor’s experience.

Connecting your board members with your donors is a great way to grow your organization’s community, encourage more people to get involved, and give your donors insight into the inner workings of your organization. Although it might take some extra effort to forge these connections, they can propel your organization’s work forward. 

Author: Jeb Banner is the founder and CEO of Boardable, a board management software provider for mission-driven boards. He is also the founder of two nonprofits, The Speak Easy and Musical Family Tree, as well as a board member of United Way of Central Indiana and ProAct. Jeb is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.