A real highlight of the Bridge Conference was a session on Transforming Your Organization Through High Impact Strategies by Janine Scolpino. She is in charge of mass-market fundraising (donations under $10k) for Save the Children and has been leading the organization through a strategic plan to grow unrestricted revenue. And it’s working . . . with improvements in response rates, average gifts, and long-term donor value.
So, what’s the secret? Here are 10 tips you can take away from Janine’s session and the Save the Children success story:
- Inspire your team to believe change is possible and then clear any obstacle that gets in their way.
- In your acquisition program, shift from a “Cost to raise a dollar” mindset to a “Long term value” mindset.
- Recognize that other departments are critical to your growth plan. Janine set aside 10% of her investment to fund the things teams would need to support her team’s growth.
- Invest in mid-level first to generate revenue that you can use to invest in new channels that will take longer to pay off.
- Try lots of things. Save the Children tested DRTV, radio, canvass, DIY fundraising, and more.
- Improve data quality – spend money on this! Save’s audit found that more than 20% of their records had data quality issues.
- Consider a plan to acquire mid-level donors online – and offer them a very warm welcome series by email.
- Create shared revenue goals with closely allied teams such as marketing, communications and major gifts.
- Establish a concierge program for your midlevel donors to ensure higher touch stewardship. Save the Children outsourced this, but other organizations are adding mid level gift officers to the staff.
- Finally, the most important thing you can do to grow revenue from your individual donors? Think about how you can “surprise and delight your donors.”
Thanks Janine for a great session. We learned a lot and came away inspired!