Communication

Educating about Protection

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Educating about Protection

Last week, I wrote about how two words – “educate” and “protect” – are used by land trusts in describing what they do but that serve to further distance themselves from the some of the same people they wish to serve – or at least partner with. (See Othering.) In response to the post, Carol asked, “Great article but what’s the solution?” This week’s post will help answer that question. One alternative to the word “educate” was offered by Lisa in another comment, “We use the term ‘engagement.’ How do you engage with your members, with your volunteers, with the public? It’s a two-way street. It...

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Pick Them Up – Change Your Donor’s Perspective

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured | 2 comments

Pick Them Up – Change Your Donor’s Perspective

Quick – you’re off to meet with a donor and you can take one and only one prop with you. What do you take? Answer: A map. People love maps, and they love them because maps help place conservation projects in a landscape context. “Here’s where we are right now. Here’s where you live. And here’s the project we’ve been talking about. See? It connects this protected land to that protected area. That means that the [fill in the blank: moose, ocelots, brown bears, or whatever] have a “migratory corridor” to move in between protected areas.” So, what’s even better than a map? A flyover. When I...

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Is Your Acknowledgement Process like a Torn Seat Cover?

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Acknowledgement Process like a Torn Seat Cover?

Is Your Acknowledgement Process like a Torn Seat Cover?

Picture this: Small land trust organization, but large enough to have staff. Executive Director is terrific but does everything and lives some miles away. Sometimes works from home and is often out of the office. Part-time Administrative Assistant (AA) – 15 hours a week. No other staff. AA picks up the mail twice a week from the post office and separates out the envelopes that obviously contain checks. Those envelopes will need to be opened in the presence of a second individual. They go into a locked file drawer. Most weeks, on Friday, the AA is joined by a volunteer. Any checks not...

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The Trouble with Transactional Giving

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Membership | Comments Off on The Trouble with Transactional Giving

The Trouble with Transactional Giving

A core part of my major gift training session is that there are three different kinds of giving decisions: Annual (or more often) gift decisions based on loyalty and belief in mission, Major gift decisions based on supporting a singular and limited program or project, and Planned gift decisions based on longevity, commitment, and desire to leave a legacy. The point in the training sessions is that these gifts are differentiated by how the donor makes the decision – NOT by the denomination of the gift. For example a planned gift can be $5,000 (or even less). A major gift can be $1,000, while...

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Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot: Three Common Practices that Undermine Fundraising

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Communication, Development Audit, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot: Three Common Practices that Undermine Fundraising

This weeks’ post is about shooting yourself in the foot. And in each case, the cause is related to an overreaction to a complaint. Worse, sometimes the person complaining is someone internal to the organization and who therefore should know better.   Life Memberships (and other forms of “discount” memberships) When I first started working for The Nature Conservancy, the organization offered Life Membership to people who contributed $1,000 or more. The logic was that membership came with a minimum gift of $15 and $1,000 therefore represented nearly 70 years’ worth. That same logic...

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Knowing When to Cut Bait

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Communication, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Knowing When to Cut Bait

We talk sometimes in solicitation training about “No” not necessarily meaning “Not Ever.” It might mean not now. It might mean I don’t have enough information, or I don’t yet have the level of trust I would need to have to make that kind of giving decision. It might even mean I like the organization but not that particular project. But sometimes, deferral and procrastination can signal that the donor is really saying No, also. One day, in the middle of our capital campaign, it was time to talk with one of our wealthiest prospects. Net worth and income off the charts, this man had made $5,000...

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