NPT: 5 Fundraising Predictions for 2015

nonprofit times

5 Fundraising Predictions for 2015

By The NonProfit Times – January 6, 2015
Conversion optimization, or improving donation flow to raise more money; the ability to engage with Millennials; donor retention and treating all donors as if they are major donors; online fundraising and mobile; and, the ability to share stories in a very visual way will be the top fundraising trends for 2015.

That’s what Rich Dietz, senior product manager for digital fundraising for Abila Software in Austin, Texas predicts. “2015 will be a big year and a transitional year for the nonprofit sector as business-minded tactics slowly gain ground and organizations think about increased growth versus simply being sustainable,” said Dietz. “Engagement strategies will reach new levels as Millennials continue to emerge in importance and nonprofits think about the best way to interact with their supporters.”

His predictions for 2015 fundraising include:

Conversion Optimization: Organizations will begin to think about how to better convert existing website visitors versus simply attracting new visitors. This is a business practice that many small businesses have adopted recently and will work well for nonprofits. Conversion optimization revolves around measuring, testing and optimizing the donation flow to raise more money.

Millennial Engagement: According to The Brookings Institute, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. As Millennials enter the workforce and have money to spend, organizations will need to put strategies in place to best engage this demographic. Many follow a different path to becoming a donor than is traditionally done and nonprofits will need to adapt to these differences.

Donor Loyalty and Lifetime Value: Tracking donor engagement will be crucial. Organizations will spend more time analyzing characteristics and behaviors of all of their constituents — not just major donors — to better understand what drives their giving behavior. By tracking donor engagement, organizations will be able to further segment their appeals, personalize their outreach to donors, significantly increase donor loyalty, improve lifetime value, and treat all donors like major donors.

Online and Mobile: Online and mobile have played an increasingly key role for organizations the past few years, and that will continue in 2015. Social will play a key role in the “attention economy,” and responsive design will be necessary to allow supporters to access an organization’s website at any time from any device. 2014 was the tipping point for more web traffic coming from mobile devices than desktop computers. According to Pew Research Center, more than 90 percent of all Americans own a cell phone.

Storytelling Becomes Visual: Creating a narrative and sharing a story has always been important for nonprofits to successfully engage donors, but doing so in a visual way is becoming essential. Organizations will have to find creative and innovative ways to engage supporters in a world full of distractions, and visual components are key. Web posts with visuals drive up to 180 percent more engagement and research indicates people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

“The nonprofit sector must continue to evolve and keep pace with behavioral changes we see in society,” said Dietz. “Organizations that embrace new ways of thinking, streamline their databases, create visual stories, and adjust their engagement approaches will be successful.”

#tbt The Hawthorne effect



The Hawthorne Effect refers to a 1950’s study where factory workers produced the best results during testing beyond what they achieved during non testing periods. This study received a lot of criticism over the years for the way it was conducted and what it really means but there is still an opportunity for today’s managers to learn from it.

You may not be able to run a test study on your team every day but you can supply them with metrics to let them know how they are doing.  People perform the best when there is something to shoot for. Tie a number to a performance goal and challenge your employees to hit in order to maximize what they can accomplish.

CEOTOTD: The way to see the best results from people is to give them something to aim for.


Can Failure Be An Option?

You may have seen the ad for Domino’s new specialty chicken where they use the tagline “Failure Is An Option”. This is an obvious play on the popular Gene Kranz quote that “failure is not an option”. So as a manager, the question is, which is it? 

Of course, the answer is both. The time, people and place dictate the right approach. When dealing with your team, it is vital that they feel empowered to take a chance. If they take enough chances, sooner or later someone will make a mistake that will result in “failure”.

Here are some ways you can empower your employees without running the company off the rails:

1 – Is this person a future leader? 
If you see this person as someone moving up in the company one day, give them some more leeway as they will need the experience to fall back on one day.

2 – Check the results bank account
Some people are by the book and others are more unconventional. Either way, take a look back at how they have done. The ones who have delivered in the past for you should be given more latitude regardless of how they got there.

3 – Put a number on it
Freedom to plan, think and act is great and can produce some tremendous results. It also can bankrupt the entire company if one is not careful. Put a dollar or time amount on the project and let it go until it reaches its limit. Domino’s is happy to let its’ employees try a new idea but if it does not sell, they will scrap this one and move to the next one.

CEOTOTD: Give your team the ability to take chances but know when it is time to move on




#tbt Is your Mission Statement on Target

After a disappointing quarter for Target, many are calling for a variety of changes to be made. Sure, the data breach that occurred over the holiday shopping season hurt, but the true factor impacting the store is a lack of an identity.

What is Target? Lately its been a lot of things. Including, a high fashion budget pricing retailer, a low cost mass merchandiser, and nicer shopping experience than Walmart.

In the very competitive retailer industry, being all things to all people water downs the brand to be mean nothing to anybody.

Take a look at the Mission Statement you probably have on your corporate office wall. Does it still apply? If yes, are you business decisions in line with your mission?

Target got away from its mission and will have to find their way home before customers will truly embraces them again.

CEOTOTD: Creating the Mission Statement is only half of the battle; using it daily to shape your vision will keep your company on target.




Getting New Customers?

For nearly every business, the quest for new customers is a very important one. Obviously, the more consumers buying from a company, the easier it is to grow the business.

It is because new customers are so vital to a company’s health, that often times those customers are wooed through a special promotion. These deals mark down prices to a level that it is designed to serve as the tipping point to cause customers to leave their current provider and make the switch. Because these deals are so good, many times they are only available to first time consumers.

Using this sales approach can have many downsides.

1-  Existing customers feel left out: Since the deal does not allow current customers to take advantage of it, they are left with no choice but to go elsewhere; where they are considered a new customer.

2 – Chasing your own tail: When the promotion has successfully added customers but cost others, the company feels that by continuing the promotion they can recoup some of their lost customers. However, so does the competition. And the cycle continues, with reduced revenues because of the promotion, increased costs in marketing the promotion and most likely less happy customers than when the promotion began.

3 – Expectation of lower prices: By getting new customers used to a lower price structure when joining the company, it creates an perceived value for the service. Then, when the promo pricing goes away and the regular prices are in effect, the customer feels they are overpaying and are more likely to look elsewhere for their next item.

CEOTOTD: Everyone wants new customers; don’t lose the ones you have in the pursuit of new business.