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Presenting: NFT Sponsorships

This program has been discontinued. Information below kept for historical purposes.

The “Name My Desk” NFT confers upon you the exclusive naming rights to my desk for up to two full weeks (14 consecutive days). During this period, my desk will be known as the “{{Recognition Name}} Desk” in all official publications. As a bonus, I may feature the recognition name of the current NFT holder in the DPP LinkedIn Live series as well as in other social media posts. Here is what the recognition plaque looks like:

I will make every effort to display a daily photo of my desk at this URL.

The main innovation over a regular sponsorship is that after you’ve used your sponsorship, you can resell the NFT to pass on the rights to another person! A portion of every sale will benefit the Donor Participation Project.

How the NFT Sponsorship Works

  1. When you buy the NFT on OpenSea.io, a secret passcode will unlock. Email me with the passcode and the recognition name that you want displayed.
  2. If I am unable to verify that you are the owner of the NFT, I may ask that you jump on a screen share with me so you can show me the NFT in your wallet.
  3. You can then provide a {{Recognition Name}}, which I will print and will be displayed on my desk for up to 14 consecutive days, or until you sell the NFT.
  4. I reserve all rights to determine whether your {{Recognition Name}} is appropriate and may decline to add the one you suggest or ask that you suggest another one. Typically, recognition names should be a company or a person’s name.
  5. If at any time and for any reason I am unable to continue to display your name on my desk, your desk will still be known as the “{{Recognition Name}} Desk” for the agreed-upon time period. If the program is ever discontinued, I will post the news on this web page. I strongly suggest that you visit this web page to view the current status of the program.
  6. After you’ve benefitred from your sponsorship, you can resell the NFT to pass on the rights to another person. A portion of every sale will benefit the Donor Participation Project.

Value proposition

This naming opportunity may be especially valuable to you right now if you:

  • Believe strongly in the mission of the Donor Participation Project and want to support it. Every NFT purchase supports the Donor Participation Project.
  • Believe that the increasing awareness and reach of the Donor Participation Project (0 to 1,000+ DPP members and doubled number of LinkedIn followers in year 1; accepted in LinkedIn Creator Accelerator; planning first conference in the Spring of 2022) will make these sponsorship rights more valuable in the future. In this case, the rational behavior is to purchase the NFT right now, at any price.
  • Operate a business that would benefit from reaching the Donor Participation Project’s audience of thought leaders in nonprofit fundraising.
  • Have some cryptocurrency, already own too many make-believe sneakers or gorillas, and want some recognition of your accomplishments in the real world.

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Resources

DPP Linkedin Live Series

Check out our roughly weekly series of interviews with fundraising leaders!

To get notified of the next one, sign up to the Donor Participation Project or follow us on Linkedin.

Live Q&A: State of Direct Response with Dan Sonners

Interview with Larry Johnson

Live Q&A with Jim Langley

Donor Growth in the Arts with Stephen Beaudoin

What is a Donor Innovation Officer with Dan Lombardi

Ask an Expert About Donor Experience Mapping with Emily Taylor

Fundraising Analytics with Kirk Schmidt

Digital Fundraising Q&A with James Barnard

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Donor Participation Project Resources

Lessons from the Donor Participation Project

August of 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of launching the Donor Participation Project. From those initial sessions with just a handful of participants to over 1,000 fundraisers today, the amount of learning has been incredible.

What is the Donor Participation Project?

The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Lessons Learned from the DPP

All of our sessions are recorded and available in the donor participation project resource library.

Community

Our very first speaker, Angie Thurston presented on the importance of “deep community” for organizations that want to attract and keep millennials.

I believe her findings apply to all age groups. People seek community. Activities that create community have these characteristics:

  • They are recurring and happen with some frequency
  • They are participatory
  • They have a clear purpose. Ideally, that purpose is aligned with your organization’s.
  • And, because you can’t do it all, they often require volunteer leaders

These types of activities are also a great environment to create vulnerability loops, which is the fastest way to create trust. Trust is a requirement for any type of significant giving. So strengthening your nonprofit’s communities makes business sense.

Nonprofit Communications

Dr. Bill Donohue from Michigan State shared how poorly nonprofits are communicating in the new world of social media. Nonprofits should communicate in ways that generate feelings of trust and authenticity. They often achieve the opposite effect.

Here were his recommendations. Nonprofit communications must be:

  • Frequent. As in weekly or even daily depending on the channel. The annual report is a thing of the past.
  • Mission-focused. Every single piece of communication must breathe your nonprofit’s purpose.
  • Authentic. Forget highly produced fluff pieces. Think of something you could record on your camera.
  • Responsive. People will comment and have thoughts. Some of them will be negative! Modern nonprofits will be able to constructively engage with everyone.

Adam Platzer’s presentation on the path that leads from engagement to major gifts also emphasized how important it is that you respond in a timely manner. Timely as in within 24 hours! His motto?

Shock Them with Your Follow-up!

Adam Platzer

Another way to ensure timely communication and stewardship is through marketing automation. We organized a study group to explore this topic over several weeks.

To build trust, your nonprofit must be perceived as:

  • Competent. This is why timely responses are so important. Timeliness signals competency.
  • Honest. Are you telling the truth?
  • Benevolent. Do you have my best interests in mind? Or are you self-serving?
  • Open to feedback. Do you respond well to suggestions for improvement and other ideas?

Case Studies

Part of our group’s mandate is to learn from those who are successfully moving the donor participation needle. We were honored to have a chance to chat and learn from leaders at these institutions:

New Ways of Giving

The DPP also brought leading experts in these emerging areas:

Nicole Stern generously shared her game plan for automatically recurring gifts AKA monthly gifts.

Donors that give this way have much higher retention and give more lifetime. What is not to love?

Well, successfully building a monthly giving program involves reworking your business to make it “monthly giving-first.” It won’t work as a simple add-on to existing giving methods.

Leading with Engagement

Sustainable philanthropic success requires looking holistically at your fundraising operations.

We were fortunate to have a conversation with one of the leading proponents of an integrated, human approach to transformative philanthropy: Live Q&A with Jim Langley, Langley Innovations

Design thinking is a discipline that is especially good at helping us reenvision existing problems and find new solutions. In Donor Experience Mapping with Emily Taylor, teenyBIG, we actually got to collaboratively build a donor engagement map for a fictitious organization: teenyBIG University!

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Donor Participation Project Resources

How to ask for more fundraising resources

How would you advocate to your leadership for increased resources in donor participation-adjacent areas?

In all organizations, somebody above you will need to be convinced about the value of investing time and effort in areas like donor relations, stewardship, annual giving, or constituent engagement.

The Donor Participation Project got together in one of our Small Group Discussions to share ideas and strategies. Here is a summary:

Just as with a donor, you have to learn the language of your decision makers. Find out what information they feel they need in order to make their decisions and make your case there.

Design/share metrics with leaderships that reflect the impact of these areas. Not just “why is this number up, why is this number down.” Try to pull boards into looking at the operation holistically.

Analytics pay off! And you have to invest in analytics….it takes time and money to do it right.

Continual building of the pipeline is a requirement, albeit a low ROI process, but we still have to find those new prospective middle and major donors.  And ample time MUST be spent on stewarding existing donors in the way THEY wish to be stewarded…

Is development just about dollars or is it about relationships? The funny thing is that if you build relationships, it becomes a lot easier to get the dollars.

Try to focus on one or two headline items to prove that a relationship-based strategy works. For example, “retention rate of 2020 pandemic donors.” There is a lot of research that indicates that the second gift is pivotal to retaining donors. Most boards and VPs will understand the premise that it is much easier and more cost-effective to keep existing donors.

Also take into account that most people will not respond to your stewardship touches. That’s OK! You’re still reaching them. You will see their effect in their behavior (which means you should be measuring it as part of your efforts to prove your value).

Present your findings as a story. Yes, even organizational leaders are anecdotal and are oftentimes influenced by stories. A DPP member shared how she had made an effort to add personal notes from the CEO on monthly gift receipts, organized webinar roundtables to share what was on the horizon, and sent several notes to a particular couple with no response. Out of the blue, they reached out to her to “discuss their gift.” “Oh no, they’re cancelling their monthly gift!” she thought. Alas, that wasn’t the case. They wanted to send in a $100,000 stock transfer and mentioned all the communications they had been receiving.

Another way to approach the “people are lurkers” issue is to start small with your increased donor relations experiments. Start with your loyal and monthly donors so that you’re guaranteed early feedback before rolling an initiative out to everyone.

You can also increase your chances of a response with extreme timeliness. A DPP member shared good success with thank you emails from gift officers sent immediately after a gift (with the help of some marketing automation, of course).

With regard to endowment reports, another contributor was “shocked” when she pulled Lynne Wester‘s suggested endowment reporting value data:

The value of the work you do. Reporting is a vital component of our work, yet our time spent preparing reports doesn’t always resonate with leadership. You prepared reports for XXX funds, valued at XXX amount, sent to XXX donors, whose cumulative giving totals XXX amount. Share this with your leadership to show the worth of the reports and the time invested in them.” 

Other suggestions were more tactical: create remote job opportunities to fill staffing gaps and shortages. Recruiting from around the country will also diversify the staff.

In essence, more closes means more support staff needed on the back end (engagement/stewardship/donor relations). Show them verbally, visually, and then follow-up!

Contributors:

Deborah Best
Mindy Danovaro
Louis Diez
Jane Gulley
Dan Lombardi
Heather Thompson
Rob Zuback

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Donor Participation Project Resources

What to Ask When Buying Tech (9/15/2021)

This session has passed. DPP members can access a video recording, slides, and other materials shared by the presenter. We also hold a small group discussion the week after every presentation for further discussion and networking! Make sure to sign up here to get access.

Buying fundraising technology can be confusing. Yet, we all know that the right technology can help you achieve more with fewer resources.

How to approach vendors without getting drowned in neverending demos? How do you compare different products that all seem to be intended for slightly different goals? How can you make sure that you are enabling yourself and your institution to succeed?

For the first time, the Donor Participation Project is convening both sides of the equation, buyers and sellers, for an honest conversation and sharing of best practices that will help all parties do what we’re best at: move the donor participation needle toward a more inclusive and representative donor base.

We’ll be kicking off with a presentation by Julie Knight, Executive Director of Annual Giving at Carnegie Mellon University, followed by an open conversation with the CEOs of the major nonprofit technology providers.

About: The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with Your Colleagues During our September 15 Lunch Analysis

  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.
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Donor Participation Project Resources

Gaming and eSports Fundraising: A New Frontier (7/14/2021)

This session has passed. DPP members can access a video recording, slides, and other materials shared by the presenter. We also hold a small group discussion the week after every presentation for further discussion and networking! Make sure to sign up here to get access.

For this Donor Participation Project session, we’re excited to welcome DPP member Diego Scharifker from USO.

Diego is the Gaming Partnership Manager – Corporate Alliances at USO. There, he has spearheaded their engagement with the online gaming and live streaming community to obtain tremendous fundraising results in support of the USO’s mission.

In this session, Diego will be sharing the nuts and bolts of how he built the gaming and eSports program as well as the fundraising opportunities that his organization capitalized on in corporate and individual philanthropy.

There will be a brief presentation followed by Q&A.

About: The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with Diego Scharifker During our July 14 Lunch Analysis

  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

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Ask the Pros: #GivingTuesday social media tips?

“We want to get more out of our Facebook and Instagram fundraising efforts for #GivingTuesday. Any tactical tips for standing out in those channels?”

– Head of marketing / comms at a medium-sized Museum in the Northeast

Louis Diez, Principal at marktlab.com

Fundraising on Facebook/Instagram has fantastic potential but also a couple of issues that you and your development shop will need to look into. For some of them, you may need more time than between now (end of November) and Giving Tuesday. 

The ideal way to go about it (which Facebook also prefers) is to set up an in-app fundraiser. Check out the instructions here. This lets people donate to your museum directly inside of Facebook. Facebook has insanely high engagement and people make donations through this medium. In addition, the platform prefers that you keep people inside of their ecosystem so the algorithm prioritizes these posts over posts that, for example, link people out to your giving form on your website. 

Another benefit? Facebook covers the processing fees. 

However, these are the issues I’ve come across in attempting to get set up to accept donations from Facebook fundraisers:  

  • Your page needs to be set up as a nonprofit. Among other requirements, someone from your organization (CEO/CFO) will have to provide their date of birth and social security number. 
  • There are different ways to receive the payments (read about them here). The only one that really works for a professional development operation is to accept Facebook Payments. You need to be able to identify, acknowledge, and build relationships with the people that give to you through Facebook.  

In addition, here are some ideas that I’ve used successfully to fundraise through social media: 

  • Set up an email listserv/chat group (GroupMe/WhatsApp/Google Chat) of Social Media Amplifiers. This is a group of volunteers that is committed to supporting your posts on social by commenting/liking/tagging others during the big day. Throughout the day, staff or volunteers can go into this group and post the links of posts that the volunteers should engage with. 
  • Focus on engagement. Prioritize content that asks questions, gets people to tag each other, or is in video form (i.e. do several Facebook Live broadcasts with live fundraising updates). Also, be aware that Facebook Groups tend to have much higher engagement than Facebook Pages. I.e. create a closed group for museum donors. 
  • Do not always link out to your giving page. Posts that link out of the platform tend to not do as well.
  • Do come up with a hashtag for your Giving Tuesday effort.
  • Post much more content than you think is necessary. Further advice on this topic from Gary V here. There is no such thing as content fatigue on social media.
  • If your website has significant traffic, you could benefit from remarketing on Facebook. Also, if you have a sizable email list you can create a custom audience to advertise to. Stay away from Boosts, they are easy to do (and spend $$ on) but seldom have great fundraising results.
  • Finally, consider that email results–especially among your loyal donors–will still be much higher. You simply do not have enough control over who Facebook chooses to show your content to. 

Originally posted at: https://www.mpowerus.org/blog-category/questions/ask-the-pros-giving-tuesday-social-media-tips

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Donor Participation Project Resources

Monthly Giving: All or Nothing

This session has passed. Join the Donor Participation Project to get access to our resource library with session recordings, member chat, and other benefits.

Nicole Stern, membership director at WDSE WRPT Public Television joined the Donor Participation Project to share her knowledge of monthly giving fundraising.

Monthly Giving with Nicole Stern, membership director at WDSE WRPT Public Television

What is monthly giving?

Monthly giving, also called sustainer giving or recurring giving, consists of setting up an automatically renewing monthly gift to a nonprofit. It is the equivalent of a subscription.

What are the benefits of monthly giving for nonprofits?

Monthly donors have both a higher retention rate as well as a higher lifetime value. Over time, these two facts compound to create important positive effects on the revenue available to fulfill your mission as well as your donor engagement efforts.

How can I start a monthly giving program?

You must embrace monthly giving as a new of doing business for your annual fund.

Simply adding a checkbox under an existing online form is not enough. You must make it clear in all your outreach efforts (digital, mail, phone) that monthly giving is the default and best way to make a gift to your organization.

Won’t monthly giving preclude me from requesting higher gifts from loyal donors?

On the contrary, monthly donors are especially receptive to upgrade asks as well as to planned giving conversations. An established monthly giving program also frees up resources that you can invest in improved stewardship and more donor engagement.

How hard is it to start a monthly giving program?

These are the areas you need to pay attention to if you want to start a monthly giving program:

  • Executive buy-in. Use the data in the presentation above to make your case. A full re-orientation of your annual fund to monthly giving will require changes in all your operations and in your cash flow.
  • Gift processing. Monthly gifts turn one gift processing transaction into twelve. Fields may need to be added to code the gifts. For example, storing the credit card expiration date in your CRM can help you get ahead of credit card renewals.
  • Digital communications. Your main gift form will need to make it clear that monthly giving is the default and most convenient way to give.
  • Branding the program. Many organizations give a name to their monthly giving program (Sustainer Circle, Evergreen, etc.) to make it clear that this is something special.

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Donor Participation Project Resources

Growing Donor Engagement Among Underrepresented Groups

This session has passed. Join the Donor Participation Project to get access to our resource library with session recordings, member chat, and other benefits.

Our second Donor Participation Project meeting was about increasing representation and diversity in our donor populations.

Guided by Patrick Powell, CFRE, MBA, we had a lively conversation and learned a lot.

You can read and contribute to the session notes in this Google Doc.

Additional insights:

There was a common preconception in the industry: “It is going to take you so much longer to get a gift from a non-white donor.”

As soon as I made it my intention to build relationships with Black donors, in that same year I raised close to $250k from 2-3 donors.

It was about: 1) Getting in front of them to let them know that they were important to the institution, regardless of race or color, and that we recognize that they are making an impact and are making a difference as graduates; 2) Letting them know that we want to connect them and get them involved in whatever way is important to them; and 3) Asking them how do they want to put their stamp on an institution where, if they didn’t feel connected, we have a whole group of students who we don’t want to go through the same experience. Tell them, “You have the ability to change that.”

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    Resources

    Dealing with Conflict

    Situations of conflict with our donors and community members can lead to positive outcomes as long as appropriate conflict resolution skills are utilized. And yet, fundraisers and nonprofit organizations tend to avoid them.

    As an experienced fundraiser once told me:

    I’ll take a strong reaction, even if it is negative, over apathy any day.

    Major Gifts Fundraiser

    Lead with Active Listening and Empathy

    Who are the experts in de-escalating highly agitated situations and lead them to constructive and safe outcomes? Even if your community members are probably not going to be physically violent, the techniques and research generated by the FBI can be helpful.

    The Behavior Change Stairway Model was developed by the FBI’s hostage negotiation unit. This model offers five steps to get other people to see your point of view and change their behavior.

    You can read the full paper here:

    From Stanford’s Game Design Thinking blog

    Behavioral Change Stairway Model

    1. Active Listening: Truly listen and make the other party aware that you’re listening.
    2. Empathy: Understand their position not only intellectually, but also emotionally. What are they feeling?
    3. Rapport: One the other party starts to feel that you understand them. Trust starts to build here.
    4. Influence: At this point, you can start to work on problem-solving with them. They may listen to your recommended course of action.
    5. Behavioral Change: They act.

    Common Errors

    Typically, people try to start directly with #4 (Influence) and expect #5 (Behavioral Change) to happen. This often leads to failure.

    Going into a conflict-laden conversation saying “these are the reasons why your position is wrong” is unlikely to cause any behavioral change because human beings are primarily emotional.

    Pretending that most people are completely rational will, more often than not, make your conversation fail.

    Active Listening Techniques

    General tips from Eric Barker’s blog:

    1. Listen to what they say. Don’t interrupt, disagree or “evaluate.”
    2. Nod your head, and make brief acknowledging comments like “yes” and “uh-huh.”
    3. Without being awkward, repeat back the gist of what they just said, from their frame of reference.
    4. Inquire. Ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention and that move the discussion forward.

    Additional techniques used by FBI negotiators:

    1. Ask open-ended questions
      You don’t want yes-no answers, you want them to open up.
    1. Effective pauses
      Pausing is powerful. Use it for emphasis, to encourage someone to keep talking or to defuse things when people get emotional.
    1. Minimal encouragers
      Brief statements to let the person know you’re listening and to keep them talking.
    1. Mirroring
      Repeating the last word or phrase the person said to show you’re listening and engaged. Yes, it’s that simple — just repeat the last word or two:
    1. Paraphrasing
      Repeating what the other person is saying back to them in your own words. This powerfully shows you really do understand and aren’t merely parroting.
    1. Emotional labeling
      Give their feelings a name. It shows you’re identifying with how they feel. Don’t comment on the validity of the feelings — they could be totally crazy — but show them you understand.

    Donor Conflict Resources

    Never Split the Difference, book by Chris Voss

    Vecchi, Gregory M. “Conflict & crisis communication: a methodology for influencing and persuading behavioral change.” Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, vol. 12, no. 1, Spring 2009, p. 34+. Accessed 12 Sept. 2020.

    Vecchi, G.M., Van Hasselt, V.B. and Romano, S.J., 2005. Crisis (hostage) negotiation: Current strategies and issues in high-risk conflict resolution. Aggression and Violent Behavior10(5), pp.533-551.