10 Monumental Ideas from the DMA Nonprofit Conference

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 2.44.24 PMI was thrilled to participate in this year’s DMA Nonprofit Conference as a presenter and as an attendee. Here are 10 cool ideas I plan to steal (you can too!)

10.  Four pages is better than eight for your donor newsletter. The Rhode Island Food Bank increased its response rate by decreasing its content and expense.

9.  Send a pre-lapsed anniversary card to your first time donors. A “Happy Anniversary” card opens with, “Can you believe it’s been a whole year?”

  1. Angry, fighting words win. In copy tests by the Environmental Defense Fund and Animal Legal Defense Fund, combative and angry copy won out over collaboration and compassion. No surprise there.

  1. Cooperate. The Ocean Conservancy has fully integrated planned giving into their membership marketing program resulting in a record number of new Legacy Society members PLUS improved retention rates and average gifts for those donors
  1. Bisons rule on the plains, but not on your OE. A Nature Conservancy test found the plain outer envelope won out, even over a very handsome bison.
  1. Ascending vs. descending gift strings online? For Defenders of Wildlife, multiple tests have made descending the new control.
  1. Personalize the p.s. in your email to create a bandwagon effect: “108 donors from Florida have already donated. Will you be 109?”
  1. Stake a claim for year end as “giving season” in your organization. Share Our Strength’s internal lobbying efforts paid off with a home page banner dedicated to giving for a full 60 days, from November 1 to December 31st!
  1. Try quizzes and voting contests for email file growth. The Smithsonian’s Summer Showdown urged people to vote for their favorite Smithsonian treasure and generated 90,000 votes and 28,000 new emails. And the winner is: Bao Bao the panda!

And the #1 takeaway from DMA Nonprofit Conference?

There are lots of smart people at these conferences. You should go!

– Posted by Kathy Swayze, CFRE

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