Gear up for Gratitude Camp!

Ready for some adventure?!

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If you’ve been a long-time follower on my blog, you know that once or twice a year my BFF and I host Gratitude Camp. I hope you’ll join us April 4!

It sounds like a bunch of fun – and it is! – but more importantly it is about focusing on donors, and showing them the #donorlove.

Here are the facts, according to the 2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Project:

  • Donor retention in North America in 2015 was still rather bleak – 46%.
  • For every $100 raised in 2015, $91 was lost through gift attrition.
  • For every 100 donors gained in 2015, 96 were lost through attrition.
  • We know that a simple 10% increase in retention can lead to a 200% increase in lifetime donor value.

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Let’s resolve … to lead with gratitude in 2016

Welcome to 2016!

In the lead up to the New Year, did you see your inbox piling up with end-of-year asks? I sure did.

IMG_3030In those last days of the year, there was quite a bit of chatter on Twitter about that. But this tweet from The Whiny Donor struck my heart… “Sometimes we give in spite of the stewardship.”

Wow. So many fundraisers – or their colleagues – spent lots of time crafting “don’t-forget-us” or “please-give-right-now” year-end emails. Somehow, the same diligence doesn’t seem to apply to thanking quickly or with heart. Why?

As fundraisers, we all know that better thanking – prompt, heartfelt, sharing impact – leads to a stronger connection between a donor and the charity.

So why are there still so many courses and books and blog posts and conference sessions about thanking donors, crafting better donor stewardship, and reporting back to donors? Because thank yous still aren’t happening. (Check out this post by Lynne Wester about her Giving Tuesday experiences with gifts, thanks, and resolicitations.)

Don’t expect your donors to give in spite of the stewardship your nonprofit offers.

Thank you letter creation can end up being a process. Don’t let it.Instead, make 2016 the year you lead with gratitude… and here’s how. Continue reading

Appreciation, Gratitude and Thanks

CanoesShanon Doolittle and I are having so much fun leading the Gratitude Camp!

For those campers hanging with us, I’ve brought together my previous posts about appreciation, gratitude and thanks.

Other readers might be interested too. Because, really, you cannot over thank a donor. You can over-communicate with a donor, you can be a bit “stalker-ish” with a donor but I firmly believe that heartfelt, genuine thanks will always be appreciated greatly and deeply.

Here’s a dozen – read one or two and see if they hit the mark for you.

To meditate about our work: Continue reading

Exercise your Gratitude Muscle

In my recent Movie Mondays vid I talk about showing donors appreciation.

Donors put so much hope and their dreams into the gifts they give… shouldn’t we reflect that gratitude back?

Exercising Your Gratitude Muscle

You can see my other Movie Monday videos here and here.

And sign up to get a weekly update from Chris Davenport with great advice from a variety of fundraising professionals!

At the Khatsahlano Festival!

At the Khatsahlano Festival!

Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

My AFP International Conference Round Up

BeTheCauseI was fortunate to be able to attend the recent Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) conference for fundraisers in San Antonio. I enjoy the inspiration, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Many of my positions during my career have been in small nonprofits, which usually have not allowed the professional development budget to attend – maybe yours is like that – or there are other ways you get professional development (PD).

Mostly, I wanted to share with you what I learned, because that is the great thing about fundraisers – they are always willing to share their successes and learnings (sometimes you fail, and when you do, fail fast, take a failure bow, learn and move on).

Sunday.

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