Google PlusFacebookTwitter

DIY: Calculating Donor LTV and Annual Retention Rates

on Jan 22, 2016

I’ve got a job for you, if you haven’t done it already. By the end of January, calculate your donor LTV (Life Time Value or Long Term Value, I prefer the latter) and annual retention rates of your donor file over the past 4 years.

It doesn’t have to be as hard as it might sound.

Here is my to my Excel LTV worksheet. It includes a general query criteria that should give you a sense of how to start pulling the data yourself. I first saw this particular layout in a Cornerstone Global File Audit, and decided to replicate it with my own data.

Dan Harmon’s Story Structure Guide – Free eBook

on Jan 18, 2016

Storytelling continues to be a popular topic amongst fundraisers, but I find that practical advice for beginners is difficult to find. Many of us know why storytelling is important by now, whereas how to tell a great story remains unclear for many.

Agreed? If so, then this (free) eBook is for you…

DIY: Donor Thank-a-Thon

on Jan 13, 2014

I recently tested a telephone thank-a-thon with the help of Julia Silvestri-Wong, to say thank you to as many donors as possible by phone prior to the holiday season. Thank-a-thons are not a new idea. Here is a textbook description of how to execute a thank-a-thon by Gail Perry:

Put together your core team of three to five callers, made up of people of some stature within your organization. Ideally, these will be board members and volunteers who enjoy talking with people and are well organized. If you put staff members on the team, there should be no more than one staff caller for every three volunteer callers. One of the staff callers should be the executive director. Do not “require” that anyone be a caller; rather, you want to have callers who choose to participate and will enjoy doing it.

This is what we strove for, but it’s far from what was realized…

DIY: Google Adwords for Nonprofits 1.0 ($10,000 a month of free advertising)

on Jan 1, 2014

Google has a grants program in which it offers charities free or heavily discounted access to some of it’s tools like Adwords, Earth, etc. The Google Adwords Grant is especially exciting. Put simply, it offers $10,000 every month in advertising for every charity that applies.

There is absolutely no reason to not have applied for this grant, besides being lazy, stubborn or both. Adwords can be complex, but because there are limitations on the Grants program you don’t have to be an expert on everything, just on the handful of tools that are available to you.

The purpose of this DIY is just to get your charity approved, teach you the basics of how Adwords works, and getting at least one effective ad live on the web.

DIY Prospect Research: No Leads? No Problem.

on Jul 22, 2013

Prospect research is an area of fundraising that makes anyone BUT fundraisers squirm just a bit. Why? Because it is misunderstood! Prospect research is simply the process of finding who might be a good fit to support your cause, and ensuring that the fundraiser is well prepared for a meeting with that donor.

If you need to start building a major gift pipeline from scratch and have no budget for any outside resources, this blog’s for you.

DIY Direct Mail: A Novice Guide to Direct Mail Fundraising

on Jul 16, 2013

If you’re in a big charity, your direct mail fundraising is outsourced. If your small, you do it all by hand. This DIY guide is for anyone in the middle.