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Leap Into Leadership


Patrick Kirby 0:02
I love it. Well, hey, everybody, welcome to leaping into leadership. Listen, you came in the right day, it happens every what was it four years. This is the this is the most unique training event of all time. Happy leap your day. Welcome. We got a lot to go through today. And we want to save a lot of question, time for questions that you might have. So we’ll get started relatively quickly here. For those that we have not met up personally. Welcome to bootcamp, this is going to be amazing. So my name is Patrick Kirby. I’m the founder of do good better. We’re a consulting firm out of Fargo that helps nonprofits suck less at fundraising. And with my co host here, Sammy. Oh, tell them about yourself. Yeah.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 0:53
Sorry, I was letting people in. Yeah, I am CME. I’m based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I do digital marketing support for nonprofits. And I love hanging out Patrick and love hanging out with all of you in the bootcamp so excited to kind of

Patrick Kirby 1:13
love it. So today, we’re gonna go through a couple of things. Number one, we’re gonna give a state of the state on fundraising, we’re gonna give some really best practices, and some really interesting tips and tricks on both your digital and sort of old school marketing. We’re gonna wrap them all together in a nice little GamePlan for you that you’ve got some takeaways that either you can do today, tomorrow or the next day, and sort of activate your nonprofit awesomeness going forward, this will be recorded. So everybody who is a bootcamp member will have access to this relatively immediately after this presentation. We’re gonna spend about 1520 minutes talking about fundraising, 15 minutes, 1520 minutes talking about digital marketing. And then we’re going to open it up to questions. So the most important thing and the best thing that people get out of some of these things are a roadblock. I’ve got a question that I can’t get to all these cool ideas, unless I get this answered. So we’re going to have almost like a mini ask us anything towards the end. So come with your questions, type them into the chat as we go along. We’ll address them at the end. And we are so excited for you to join us, Sammy, any last words before we kind of kick things off?

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 2:27
Nope. You got it.

Patrick Kirby 2:29
I love it. Perfect. All right, love it. Alright, so let’s talk a little bit about the state of the state of fundraising and the nonprofit realms as we leap into 2024. Okay, so 23

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 2:40
Though say that while we are geniuses that what we do? Anna is the one who came up with the name leap into leadership, we shouldn’t give her the credit for that, even though she’s not here.

Patrick Kirby 2:49
We should, yeah, let’s give everybody a virtual round of applause for Anna for the genius of that, again, we come up with some ideas for ideas for titles of webinars, she came up with that one. And then I think Sammy and I were both green with envy over us not being able to come up with it, too. So that’s wonderful as well. All right. Okay, so let’s get started. So, um, let’s do a wrap up of what happened in 23. And what we’re thinking and seeing for 24. And I’ve got three things, I’d love you as a nonprofit to consider for your best practices, or how we’re going to really rock and roll into the 2024 fundraising season. So what we have seen as we have witnessed over the last decade or decade and a half is we are seeing a number of donors, individual donors fall off, they are just not coming back. So if you are an organization that looked at your into your numbers and say, God, we had less donors than we had the year prior, and we’re just not knowing where they go, you are in the thick of it. This is a an epidemic that’s across the board. When it comes to nonprofits. We’re just seeing a decline in individuals giving to organizations, it’s not just you. But thing we’re also seeing is that people are raising still money, and they’re raising money from fewer and fewer individuals who have a lot of money that they still want to give. However, the caveat to that is, those large donors who typically have given to five, six or seven organizations across the year, are reducing the number of organizations they’re giving to. So they are now giving two to three or four organizations. Not a ton of them. They’re still giving money they still want to give but they’re giving to fewer organizations. So the first thing that we want to concentrate on if you get anything out of this, this is the number one thing. We have to concentrate on retaining our donors. That’s the number one priority of organizations in 2024 and beyond. Now, how do we do this? The theme of the day, hyper personalization, it’s what we’re going to talk about Sam is going to address this in some of the marketing pieces I’m going to talk about it ad nauseam today in my segment here, hyper personalization. The reason I say that Amazon and Netflix know your donors better than you do. And that’s a problem. Amazon knows when your donors need more toilet paper, can you stay the same? Now? That’s creepy. We don’t want to, you know, we don’t want to know that much information about our donors. But they know more about your supporters and your cheerleaders than you do. And when you are competing against Amazon, and McDonald’s, and the show love is blind and everything else that’s inundating our brains with attention. How are you supposed to rise to the top to have somebody who goes, Oh, yeah, your organization is important. And I would like to pay attention to the things you do. So we need to be hyper personalized, which means we have to talk with our donors a little bit more. And that requires us to and I’m, I’m this is going to shock you. Did you know that this is a phone? I know it’s a supercomputer. And I know you can watch tiktoks on it. But did you know that you can actually call people on this old school communication is going to be the difference maker between a lot of organizations, if you pick up the phone, and you talk to them, and you say thank you, and hey, this is what your gift has done for our organization over the last number of months. And let me ask you some specific questions on why you give why you continue to give what do you love most about our organization and get to know them? By asking really interesting questions, you’re going to become a more relatable and more human person rather than blasting everybody out in general, sort of platitudes of like Hello, donor. Thanks for your gift. know, hey, Kristy, thank you so much for your gift this year, I want you to know that your $50 that you gave has already been put into action. And here’s why. And here’s how we couldn’t do the things that we do without you. And I wanted to let you know that this happened. This happened in this habit. Does that take a little bit of extra time? Yes. Is it more important than ever? Absolutely. And so you have to be hyper personalized in your communications, you have to be interested genuinely, in those that donate to you. And you have to be curious that curiosity is going to cure your ills and your organization. Because you’re going to get to know your donors a little bit better. And long game relationship building is the key to making sure that your donors come back all the time. A mentor said to me a number of years ago, and it’s more apropos now than it ever has been. And he said, never asked for a major gift unless you know the name of your donors dog. And I’ve loved that convert. I’ve loved that as a piece of information more than anything else in my fundraising. 20 years in fundraising, is because you’re more curious about the person and the size of their checkbook. And that is so unbelievably important. Now more than ever. So when you ask, and you have conversations with your donors, yes, you have to say thank you. Yes, it pays to write a personal thank you note. Yes, it pays to follow up to phone calls. But more importantly, it is. Why did they give? And why did they stay as a donor through your organization and being curious and knowing that allows you to create content and to invite them to things and to have conversations that are very specific to what they love. If, for example, I am running a cat rescue, and I call Sammy out of the blue and say, Sammy, I’d like you to give it to Cat Rescue. And Sammy says, Here’s Fun fact, I hate cats. Load them. I wish all cats would go away off the earth. That’s a bad match. And if we’re wasting our time trying to do everything for everybody, we’re really nothing to anyone. So we have to know our donors. We have to know what programs our donors really like if we’ve got two or three programs and they like one of them. Why waste the time trying to convince them that this program is better than any other lean into the ones that do the most good? For the most payoff? Because people’s brains are like, Oh, I love everything that we’re doing about this. So be hyper personalized when you communicate with your donors across the board. Okay, that’s number one. Number two. I would like some reactions in the chat to the next statement, which is your board of directors is sometimes challenging, because you want them to go out and raise a bunch of money for you but they may not do that. Or does your board go I don’t know what to do or I’m confused what I’m supposed to do. It happens. It happens a lot. And it’s okay seems to be a mass chaos when it comes to board development nowadays and they need direction. They need clarity and they They also need specifics. Okay, so your board is there to help your board is part of your organization because they love what you do if they don’t love what they do, right? And they’re still there, ma’am confused? So they want to help, but they need help themselves. So instead of saying, hey, board, we need to raise some money.

And then you just leave it at that every everyone on the board is gonna go, Yeah, that makes sense. Yep. Great. And they’re going to do nothing with it. Because you’ve asked them for nothing. You’ve asked them for help. But you’ve asked them for nothing specific, in 2024 People are so busy, they’ve got they’ve got kids in school, they’ve got work to do. Everybody has their own crap, they are trying their best to help you because they love your organization. The problem is, is that they just need a little bit more hand holding, and you’re the right person for the job. So specifically asked, Hey, Jonathan, as a board member, we can appreciate you enough for being part of our organization in the next month. What we need from you is introductions to two people who would love our mission just as much as you love our mission. Not 20 people, not 100 people, Jonathan, I just need you to introduce us to two people. That’s number one. Number two, it’s okay to give your board of directors an occasional phone call. It’s okay to talk to them. It’s okay to ask Jonathan, who is on your board very specific questions about who he knows and ask them to introduce us, it’s okay to do that. You’re hyper personalizing your relationship with your board. And you are getting very specific with the things that you need from your board. And that clarifies what they have for expectations. And it also clarifies the joy that they get from getting their task done. Magic, Jonathan gives us our two names in the first two weeks, and I send out an email, Hey, I want to give kudos to Jonathan who stepped up to the plate rocked it out, we’ve got two new people who are going to be influential donors or helpers in our community because of him. Let’s give him a virtual high five for being awesome. Jonathan feels great, our organization grows, and all of a sudden, we’ve got tasks and to dues that everybody else wants to accomplish as well. Okay, so be hyper specific with your hyper personalized asks of your board members. And then that’s the second thing that we want to talk about, right? So we want to be hyper specific and hyper personalized with our donors because they are getting attacked, every which way from, you know, everybody trying to get information into their brains. And they’re being distracted by a bunch of different commercialized everything. But we want to be known as friends. We want to be hyper specific with our ask for our board, because we won’t be frustrated by our general platitudes that we need help. Because you are you they know exactly what you need. You were very specific about what you wanted to do. We’re feeling great about our things in 2020. For your events, this is the third thing that we want to concentrate on your events are going to be more important than ever, but we have to re establish what our ROI is on our events, how many of you? And you can just say yes, in the comments, or just raise your hand if you’re in a room. How many of you are have done an event for a very long time, and you’ve just sighed and said, Oh, it is what it is. And it’s a little boring, but we keep doing it. And it’s going to be fine. This is the year to refresh. And it’s and you have to refresh by asking the question, is this worth our time, energy and effort? And if it is, what is it? Okay? If you’re doing a golf tournament, for example, what do you need to do to refresh it? Do you need to come up with different games? Do you need to come up with different reasons why you’re having a golf tournament? Do you need to have a different program? Do you have it whatever that is? Let’s refresh and refresh it by asking those who participate in it what they like to tweak with you. And I’m going to concentrate specifically on sponsorships because everybody has a sponsorship to everybody has an event everybody’s got those things. I know that you go through this where you go through the phonebook, or you go through your past sponsors, and say, Lindsey, thank you for joining us again, at this sponsorship, would you be willing to do our $250 sponsor or at a minimum, you’re just sending them a letter like, Hey, would you do a $250 sponsorship again, and that gets you a ticket to the event and a whole sponsorship on number 16? And a mentioned in the program? Yep, it is. And everyone else is doing the same thing. If I’m a business, and I’m putting my business logo on the 16th hole of a golf tournament, by the time I get to that golf hole, I’m already 14 Coors lights deep and I don’t remember what that sign was right and everybody else is too. There’s not a lot of value for me as a business owner. Okay, so here’s what I’d love to challenge you on. hyper personalize the sponsorships. By doing this, I’m gonna give you the script to have a conversation with the biggest potential donors that you have for sponsors is, hey, Kent, what’s the best sponsorship experience that you’ve had as a business? Like, when you look back at the number of times that you have sponsored an event or participate in the event, what’s the best experience that you’ve ever had? Talk to me about that. I’d love to know. Ken’s gonna give me the entire roadmap of what he loved best about that sponsorship experience. And you can immediately turn around and say, can’t, that’s awesome. If we put together something along those lines? Would you be interested in that for our event coming up this summer? Because gonna go like hell yeah. Because that was awesome. And I did this, and this great, this happened, right. And what you have done is elevated your value of your sponsorship, you’ve elevated the ability to charge more, because you are customizing it. And it took you know, energy or effort because Ted just told you exactly what he wanted. You’ve given that experience, and he loves you for it, because it’s customized. And again, sponsorships, we just make them up, right. There’s no rulebook that says we have to do X, Y, and Z for sponsorships that doesn’t exist. We’re just making it up all the time. Like add two tickets. That sounds good. sign on the wall. Yeah, that sounds great. Things that you get to be mentioned on stage, great. We’re just making it up. So why make it up and give them a list of boring, regular old, hey, here’s customer like, here’s the thing that we just aren’t going to give you. Rather than asking your donors, especially your high capacity, really good influencers in the community, why would you not go to them and say, Hey, listen, how would you like to be promoted? And it’s not going to cost you more write a mention on social media, or a quick video of, hey, we’re really excited to have Pam on board as one of our sponsors again, this year, she’s a rock star, she’s been with us for 14 years, she’s been a stalwart in the community, we’re excited to have her give her a round of applause post that on Facebook, you don’t even have to edit very heavy, because it’s very authentic. It’s very real. It’s this is, those are the ones that get the most reactions on social media anyway, right? You know what your tick tock and you just lean in, you’re like somebody’s telling you, they’re, they’re under the covers, right? Of a vendor like they, they just talked about this. And that’s like the Tick Tock itself. It’s not edited, it’s very much authentic. It’s very real, very even grainy. And that’s what people want to interact with. Because they know it’s authentic. They know it’s real. And they know, it’s awesome. And that type of interaction you have with your sponsors, is unbelievably important, especially when you’re trying to hyper personalize everything, when it comes to your donors. So quick recap on the fundraising side,

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 17:58
on this really fast is, this just happened to me yesterday with the client, and it’s kind of a unique thing that we’re adding into their event sponsorship. So they have an event coming up in May, they’re having a hard time getting sponsors, we started looking at the levels, and we’re like, some of these things just don’t make sense. Again, like, the only difference in levels was like two tickets, and the Tickets are free. So it’s like you’re really giving them no value. So what we decided to do to kind of encourage them to reach out to new people and get more people was they have and not everybody’s going to have this but they have a digital course that they provide to their community so that they can come in and get the resources that they need. They’re in the foster care space, so that they can get the resources that they need. So now what we’re doing is reaching out to everybody who’s already sponsored and just saying, hey, like, because you’ve already sponsored, we want to let you know about this new perk, you get to gift one year into this membership to anybody that you want. Or if it’s a tool that you could use, you can use it yourself. And now they have something armed with to go back out to people that had a conversation with that have said know that they can say well, we’ve added this new feature that you can use or gift so they get to be the hero in somebody’s story. And for new other people, they can do the same thing. So just kind of thinking about how you can personalize it on there. And they get more connected to your programming right away. But then also get to kind of do something exciting in the people’s lives that they’re engaged with. So just wanted to throw that out there. I

Patrick Kirby 19:32
want to give you a chef’s kiss for that a lot. That’s right, that’s awesome. And again, that sort of unique perspective and neat and unique, different approach to a lot of the conversations you’re having with potential donors, sponsors and influencers within your community is super important, because it means you’re paying attention to them at a level that nobody else is. And again, I understand that it’s a lot of work, or a little bit more work, but the payoff is getting them back and elevating their gifts and the only way and you’re going to do that is that they feel a value or they’re connected more deeply to your mission. And they understand where your gifts are actually activated in the community. And that’s where you’re going to win. So quick recap, we’re seeing less donors, the few donors that we have that are major donors are still giving, and they’re giving a lot, but they’re giving to fewer organizations. And so we want to make sure that they stay around, which means we have to go reach out, we’ve got to talk to them, we have to ask them questions we have to get them engaged with to share with them regularly, the impact in which we’re making, that’s going to keep them coming back over and over for your board, activate them, but be very specific on the things you ask them for. Because they’re going to feel better about being able to check it off their list. And they know exactly what you want, because you set exactly what you need. Very important when you’re activating your board. And third, let’s refresh our events specifically with our sponsorships. And ask those sponsors and big donors, how they would like to be and show up and be and be showed gratitude and whatever their whatever the bit is, let’s customize things for them at those higher levels. So they feel the value. They’re feeling seen. They’re being heard. They’re being engaged in a different way than everybody else. And those are your three things that you’re going to do to make your awesome fundraising and 24. Even better. That was 24 minutes of just pure chaos and caffeine. And I freaking love it. And now, how do we do all the marketing pieces? Because that’s the most that I got? How do you do those things? And how do you apply those in the marketing sector? And again, if you have any questions, pop them into the chat because we’ll answer them at the end or get ready to raise your hand and engage with us. Because I think it’s going to be awesome, Sammy the floor is yours.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 21:46
I have not had as much caffeine as you’ve had. So my energy will be not quite as exciting, but hopefully, still good. Oh, Pam says this is so relatable, so love it. Okay, so when we think about the digital marketing landscape, the online space, I just want to preface this by the online things that you’re doing are in conjunction with the with the in person things that Patrick talking about picking up the phone, handwriting cards, it is they work in tandem with each other to stay top of mind to stay in front of their faces so that when you do pick up the phone and call them they’re like, Oh yeah, I saw that post that you shared, I thought that was really cool. Or yeah, I’ve been reading your emails, I’m loving, you know what’s happening and the impact that’s that that you’re doing? I’d love to learn more, right? It’s just helping to keep up and make those conversations easier. That’s just kind of one of the side effects of online marketing, right? There’s a whole bunch more with it. But we really want to set this up so that it is really just complementing the outbound stuff that you’re doing one on one. So the first thing that I want to talk about is everybody feels like we have to be all over social media. I have a love hate relationship with social media, you don’t control it, you don’t know how people are going to be engaging with it. If they’re not, you don’t know who’s engaging with it, if they’re seeing it, and you have no control over your reach, and it changes all the time, right? On average, on a good day, if you post something on Facebook, five to 10% of your followers might see it and those are people that already are choosing to follow you. So you’re not really getting in front of new people. So instead, what I like in 2024, with social media is yes, you can still post you know, on a regular basis, but don’t make that your priority. Instead, really focus on direct messaging, the DMS, really Who are you connecting with on LinkedIn and not just connecting with them, but even your donors on LinkedIn being like, hey, we just posted this thought it might be something you’d really like to see, and sharing it with somebody that you know, might be interested, right, you’re sharing on a platform, you know, that they’re already engaged in, it takes you two seconds to kind of do that you can kind of make that part of your, like, 10 minutes a day, it’s like, okay, every 10 minutes, three times a week, I’m gonna pop into LinkedIn, I’m gonna make five connections, and I’m gonna send five direct messages about something relevant that’s happening. Now, I want to make sure that they see, again, staying top of mind and opening up the doors to communication, because a lot of times and you know, we can talk, this is the same, that’s true and email, maybe you’ve experienced where you send out a communication or you send out a message and what comes back is not even necessarily related to what you sent out. But it’s like, Oh, I’ve been thinking about you guys. I want to connect, right? Just that you reaching out and doing that outreach reminds them that they’ve been thinking about you for a while. They just haven’t taken that action because we’re busy. And we’re being bombarded with messages all the time. So I love social media in 2024 as an opportunity to connect with other people and have conversations and you can do this with potential donors as well or even on LinkedIn with potential companies, as you’re reaching out for sponsorship, sharing content that you’re posting, or even just saying, you know, asking the questions that Patrick shared on one on one, like, you can start those conversations in so many different places. Um, my second thing for 2024 is all things email marketing. I love email marketing, because you have so much more information, it’s so much more personal. It’s a really easy way to hyper personalized conversations. So but what what I want to say is up leveling your email. So it’s not just one general newsletter that goes out to everybody that has everything, but the kitchen sink in it. And it’s just like, you just kind of blast them with information, and they don’t even know what to do. They don’t know what action to take, right? It’s instead, paying attention to those conversations that you’re having, and making sure your CRM is set up in a way to help you segment. So Patrick, use the example of calling somebody and saying, Hey, would you like to give to our cat fund? Well, let’s say you are a pet adoption facility, and you have cats, dogs and other small animals, right, making sure that your list is segmented. So you might send the same email, you might create the same email, but you’re putting a cat photo in the ones that the cat people, like you’re putting the dog photo and the ones that you don’t like, you’re making sure that people are getting the information that they care about, so that they could take action, we want to make it easy for them to make a decision. And if we give them too much information, they’re gonna do absolutely nothing. So one or two calls to action that is personalized to their interests, you might send some broad things out about event registration, or like, hey, this event is happening. But instead, you could send a very specific exclusive earlybird invite to the people that have attended in the last year or two. And then you send a more general one out to everyone else on your list that’s maybe introducing them to what that event is like maybe you have a video from last year’s event and in the people that have already attended the messaging is like, hey, remember how much fun we had last year, can you spot yourself in this video. And then in the other one, it’s oh my gosh, you don’t want to miss out look at how much fun we have at this event every single year you need to attend. So you can see how it’s very similar. So you’re not really having to create brand new, but just tweaking a couple of message points in those emails. And making sure they’re segmented is just going to help you connect more to the people that are getting that and encourage people to open your emails moving forward, because they know that they care that you care enough to give them the information that they care about, and not everything else. And it sounds

Patrick Kirby 27:47
to me. Can I ask you a quick question too, because you I, you mentioned it, but I don’t want to gloss over it because it’s so important. Because I see a lot of emails coming from nonprofits that have 900 things in their email. How many calls to action? Would you suggest that each email have because that I think is one of the biggest wins that you can have as an organization is what?

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 28:12
Yeah, um, I great question. So let’s define what a call to action is first. So a call to action would be Hey, read this blog post or sign up for this event or click Like anything that’s kind of applicable thing. So if you have the same link to your event in multiple places on your email, which is great, that’s still one call to action. So that whatever the end result is, is a call to action, what you put in your footer of your email, like your donation link in your social media stuff, like those are not considered calls to action, especially if they’re like, in the footer, I would say like two to three Max, is what you want to hang in there. And at the top of your email, Bing, where you have the most important one because people typically are going to see they’re going to look at the top and then they’re going to scroll all the way down to see what’s kind of going on and decide if they want to come back up. So whatever’s in the middle should be your kind of least important one, which I know sounds weird. People love a good link and a PS, it’s a great way to get people to kind of, hey, you scrolled all the way to the bottom. Don’t forget you want to you don’t want to miss this. But I would say two to three Max, because otherwise, again, you’re giving people too many choices. And they’re not. I mean, you want to guarantee that they’re taking the choice you want them to take right. So read your blog, great, buy ticket even better, or click on our sponsorship information even better, so just be thoughtful of that. Yes. And then I think also using email automations as thank yous for your donors is even more increasingly important. So that you know that you have a little bit of time to get that thank you out because you know they’re automatically They’re going to get a series of three to five emails that talk about the impact their gift is giving that talk about, you know, what’s on the horizon for your organization and the amazing things you’re going to be doing that talks about how they’re going to be connecting with you in the future, setting that expectation for what your communication looks like. So they know I’m going to get a monthly email that’s going to share impact stories. Having those automations in place gives you and your team a little bit of time to do what Patrick saying, like to make those one on one phone calls, they don’t have to happen within the first day, because you know, within the first week there they’re getting a series of emails are the first couple of weeks. So you can kind of plan out your stewardship program. From there. I could talk about email for three hours. So we’re going to kind of move on from that, because I just love it so much. But the last thing is, as we think about how we are making our events more exciting and more fun, I want you to think about all of the content that you create for your Gala, like the big videos and the programs and you write all these messages and you have these big asks right or even at a golf tournament, like you put all of this work into these events. And then that content just kind of sits there and goes nowhere. Right now you’ve got all this great stuff that you’ve haven’t utilized. So repurposing your event materials. Before and after your event is huge. Take your long video, pull out one really exciting part of it, and slap it up as a real or tick tock or wherever you live YouTube’s YouTube shorts, and have a teaser at the end that’s like want to know what happens like or what comes next, like sign up like come to the event. That’s when you’ll get to see everything like use snippets of those things as teasers to entice people to be like, oh, man, that was such a cool story, I have to know how that ends, I’m going to look into what this event is. And see if that kind of makes sense. And then post event, share them everywhere, like use them, put them on YouTube, put them on your website, put them on your website with a transcript and information about the event and the impact of the event. Use that as a blog post. Take snippets out of those. And in your follow up with the donors that maybe didn’t give or you know, or were new and, or newer to your organization, send them a personal email that says, hey, we know there was a lot going on on the event last night. But I wanted to make sure you saw this in case you wanted to watch it again. Because I know that this was something that you were really this program was something you were really interested in. Or, hey, we know you’re really interested in this program. Here’s like three other places on our website where you can learn more, here’s links here social media posts, like sharing all of that content, again, in a personal way to maybe say can we get on the phone, and we have another in person conversation, love to share more like all of that good stuff. repurposing content is going to be critical, because you’ve already done the work. Why not make it easy for yourself to share that work, and people don’t see stuff or they don’t take it in, right? We don’t take things in until we need that piece of advice, you guys are going to come back and watch this video at another time or the replay. And you’re gonna say, Oh, I totally missed that thing that Patrick said. But that’s gold, because you didn’t need it today. But you might need it in six months. And your donors are exactly the same way. They’re picking up pieces of what you do slowly over time. And that’s where the online space is great at allowing you to kind of really push all of that out. And the same is true at an event you might be 14 Coors lights in by the time they ask is happening at your Gala, right? They’re not remembering everything that happened. So we want to make sure that we we give them that information over and over and over again. So being social on social media, get into the direct messages and make connections up level your email marketing game for sure. And repurpose your event materials that you’re creating. They do not need to be exclusive to the people that attended that event.

Patrick Kirby 34:15
I just thought of another one to add on to the event piece, that bowl, repurpose is but also hyper personalizes the event experience. So one of the things that I am so excited to talk about on a regular basis. It’s how do you welcome your guests, especially new people who’ve never experienced your organization before, right? So you know, based on who comes to your events, like you’ve never heard of this person. You’ve never heard of this business. You’ve never like who the hell are these people, right? Imagine the difference between two things right one Brooke comes in And to a wine events or, or a gala or whatever, and go to the registration show that I’m, I’m Brooke here for an event. And then you’re like, Oh, thanks for coming. And then you’re like, Okay, here’s your here’s your stuff. And here’s your packet, here’s your paddle. Here’s the things, have fun. And then Brooke goes in and meanders into a room. She doesn’t know anything about the organization, or she doesn’t really have any idea of the magnitude of sub, she might just be there as an a guest of a bank, who just put butts in seats. We know how this goes, right? What if you spent a little bit more time prepping Brooke through either email excitement leading up to the event, engaging her into saying, Hey, we’re really excited to have you, Brooke, thanks for so much. And again, it requires you to knew nothing more than know her name. And then if the event registration, and this is something that I think a lot of organizations can do specifically for brand new attendees, right, we want to keep them coming back. So how do you do that you hyper personalize the experience? So what if the difference is, is that you have your board members, volunteers are people who are on check in who have a list of the brand new participants of your event. And when someone shows up who’s on that brand new list that triggers something that either a board member or leader or someone in your C suite or someone who’s addicted, be you that triggers the moment in which you say, hey, Brooke. I’m Patrick. I’m the Executive Director here at the organization. I have been looking forward to meeting you. For weeks since I saw you signed up. Thank you so much for coming to your event to this event of ours I’m ecstatic to to have you here. Hey, let me tour you around. Is that okay? And then you take her by the arm or the hand or lead her into the event and say, Hey, listen, thanks so much for coming here. Your table is up here. Hey, just want to give you a walkthrough. Here’s a silent auction. Here’s this. Here’s kind of the the scale of the business. I wanted to see if you have any questions, how can I help you be more comfortable? Let me get you to your table, here’s all your friends and whatever that you’re hanging out with. Now, what’s the difference between that interaction that does not take a lot of takes zero money, but it takes all the heart of why they’re at the event? What’s the reaction? Holy crap, I’ve never been treated like a VIP. Because I’m just attending because I’m a poor, I’m just a regular old, you know, teller at a bank, and I didn’t expect this kind of thing, you’re going to tell all your friends that you’re going to remember that experience. And then you get to say goodbye, you now know who Brooke is. Brooke now knows who you are. And you’ve taken it and you’ve elevated this appreciation and gratitude for coming to your event game more than anyone else has done. That takes zero effort. But just a little bit of time. And you have this wonderful donor dossier of all the new people who have coming to your event and you personally welcome them to it. Or a handful of people that you might not know or a handful of people that you really want to know, influencers, big names, people that have never really experienced what you’re, you’re about to show, that thing can go along with you can do the golf tournaments, open houses, whatever, wherever you get names, hyper personalizing, you’re welcome. Your experience, your engagement out of the gate is going to make the difference between a regular old event that they attend everywhere else. And someone who’s like, I didn’t know they cared so much about their attendees event. And that’s going to be the difference maker and 24. It’s going to be the hyper personalization. And then going back to what Sammy said, which is brilliant, which is you get to follow up with the email Berceuse. So nice meeting you. It was so nice. Finally meeting you. When you attended our event, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. I’d love to follow up with a quick call or a coffee if there seems to be a coffee drinker or whatever, that interaction will keep them on the line. And you get to know whether they want to come back and you get to know the details. You get to have somebody who’s experienced your organization for the first time tell you what they thought that’s invaluable information and data that you get to use now for the rest of eternity. And that’s brilliant. Make sense? Sounds good. Everyone’s sitting in tables in the back there. Yeah, sound Yes. Yeah. Okay. I like yeah, you got you got some interaction. Yes, I got a double fist bump. That’s amazing. Okay, so So again, Sammy Brilliant stuff is always the hyper personalized segmented emails is so important. And again, the the amount of time it takes to create something like this. Yeah, it seems overwhelming. But once you get it, and once you train yourself and your organization, your nonprofit and your leadership to say this person Christie loves dogs, she comes to a dog event. And you now know you can talk about dogs with Christie because she’s already told you and she’s already opened up all of these kinds of emails specific to that. You, you are so far above and beyond every other organization that’s trying to get Christy’s money and time and talent, because you did a little bit of due diligence. And that’s amazing.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 40:14
To say it’s all about building over time. So like, don’t like start with your foundation, start somewhere, start with a newsletter. Um, and then you build it actually just did a podcast episode on this that’s coming live on Tuesday. But it’s like you start with your general newsletter, and then you’re like, Okay, we’re ready for the next step. Now we’re going to segment to like donors in community, and then we’re ready. So now we’re going to segment like out people in our community that care about different types of things. And then we’re going to like, so it doesn’t have to happen all the time. And then when you have an event, pay attention to how you’re tagging them in your CRM so that you can pull them into your event, like, you just take it step by step, and eventually they’ll grow. And as your capacity grows for that it will it will change an adult. So it’s not something that has to be like, immediately done.

Patrick Kirby 40:59
No. Again, back to your back to your comment about social media. You know, it feels really good to get a bunch of likes. That’s that’s those are vanity metrics of the highest order a make you feel great for a for a second, where you’re going to capture the attention and the hearts of your donors is everything other than that, yeah, then my grab their attention. But what are you doing afterwards? What are you doing before the event? What are you doing after the event? What are you doing? After they open up an email? What are you doing after you close the conversation or have over coffee? What do you do after you hang up the phone, what you do next dictates how they, they feel about you. Because you’re reminding them of the great conversation, you’re reminding them of the impact they’ve made, you’re reminding them about how awesome they are. And that when people have the attention span of NATs, which we all do now, right? Everybody’s distracted with everything all the time. In fact, I think I’m gonna go with fruit flies, fruit flies, everybody has the attention of fruit flies, you have to remind them over and over and over again, why they matter why you matter as an organization and what impact that you make, because we’re distracted by a billion other things. So the the old adage and marketing and Tammy remind me if this is still accurate, which is by the time you get sick and tired of your message, everyone else is just beginning to hear it. Right? So keep hammering them, but they’re only they’re hearing a fraction of what you’re saying. So you don’t need to change your marketing all the time. Just keep on going on. It’s a long game, Sammy is totally right. And you’re amazing. And that’s awesome.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 42:35
Well, we’ve got about 15 minutes left. So if anybody has questions that you want to ask, or if you want to unmute yourselves and ask we’re totally down for that. We want to make sure I mean, we’ve thrown a lot at you. And we want to make sure that we can answer any questions about some of the specifics, since it’s been really a high level.

Patrick Kirby 42:57
And again, anything that’s a roadblock in your brain, like what is just what’s, what’s the thing that you can’t get over to implement any one of the things that we talked about today? What’s the thing? How do we help? How do we make your life a lot easier as a nonprofit leader or community influencer? What is it we can do for you today?

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 43:19
And it just takes one person,

Patrick Kirby 43:20
I’m really I’m not going to Yeah, I’m not going to awkward silences. It takes one person

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 43:24
to not be Oh, is somebody coming up to a microphone up there? Well, it takes one person and then the conversation happens then all of a sudden we’re like,

Patrick Kirby 43:33
there. Yes. Yes.

Speaker 1 43:37
Okay, I have a question regarding email. So right now, I work for a private school. And we’re all about saving money and cost. So we just hammer out emails like by hand and what like mass email format Do you like, like Constant Contact MailChimp. I know like sometimes it’s hard to you have to like spend money sometimes to make my hand some of these, but they you know, make your life easier. And then along with that, being a school so some of our parents are also donor so they get school emails they get now they’re gonna get my email. So what is too many emails too often? So like, what is it good emailing platform to use? And then how much is too much? Oh,

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 44:28
good questions. Okay, I’m gonna tackle this first by saying do not send individual emails, especially if they’re all the same, and you’re sending a ton of them, that’s going to be a quick path to get you in their spam or junk folder. Not a good practice in general, especially as more lot like loss more like Google and Yahoo just changed their requirements for bulk sending. So I would say in general, that’s a that’s a no no practice. It’s not Gonna not help your you reach your overall goals. Number two, the stat that is out there that has been consistent for the last five years at least, is that for every dollar you invest in email marketing, tends to turn return $41 and ROI. So for every dollar, you’re getting $41 in revenue, it is the most profitable thing you can do in the digital space period. It’s like 230%, better something than social media, right? So it’s worth it, it’s worth the investment. And it’s not usually that expensive. As the nonprofit, anytime you are looking into a new software or platform, please, please, please reach out to them and ask them for a nonprofit discount and negotiate. So whatever price you see on their screen, still reach out to them and see what they can do for you and your organization. With regards to what platform to use, I’m not going to give you a specific recommendation, because they all do different things. So I would recommend starting with your CRM, and seeing what capabilities they have already built in to see if that’s going to provide the solution that you need, because likely you won’t have to pay for it. Some of them are better than others. So you would just want to start there. And then I would recommend creating a checklist of what you’re using email for so you know what you’re looking for in a platform. So do you need automations? Does it need to connect to an E commerce platform? Which one? Do you want to have text messaging capabilities? You know, all of those, like, what is it you actually need, and then you start to do your research, you start to look at cost the and don’t give yourself a ton of time, give yourself an hour, and say I’m going to just spend an hour and I’m going to research all the email marketing platforms that are out there, I’m gonna make my checklist, I’m going to check off all of the features and benefits that are on in alignment with what we’re looking for. And then you’ll clearly see which platform makes the most sense for your organization. So I know what I use, Patrick uses something different than I do. I mean, everybody’s gonna give you a different answer. So to me, that’s, that’s the best way to get started.

Patrick Kirby 47:17
On the question of how much is too much? Oh, yeah. Which is another good question to think of yourself as a parent. And then use that as your benchmark usually is a what am I getting inundated with. And then again, because you are segmenting specific donors and against like, parents who are just like getting started with the school or whatever, you’ll know, what is a value, or how much is too much by just gut instinct and sort of that kind of thing. But again, if you have specific asks and specific needs for specific people for specific things, that’s different than just bulking out, like, Hey, everybody, I need 20 bucks to buy a pizza, and then we’re all going to buy pizzas. And then I know the other school down the road is going to do butter braids, and then we’re all going to buy butter braids, and we’re gonna just trade 20 He’s not like we get that email all the time. So just just kind of think about how you work in your email how your self awareness is of how much is too much. And again, they understand that you have an event coming up, it’s going to ramp up the amount of communications in between build relationships with your parents anyway, because hey, here’s what your money has done. Here’s what our school is going to do. Keep all the emails as short as possible because nobody wants to read the giant school newsletter with a 900 things. They just want a thing?

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 48:41
Well, yeah, and I would say to that, I recommend just as a generality, a weekly newsletter, because the more often that you’re communicating on value add not asks then when you do go into a promotional period, it’s much more easier to take and they’ve been seeing everything that you’ve been doing. And you shut those newsletters off when you’re in a promotional period. So you’re not sending event emails and like school registration emails, and it like at that point, then you’re like, Okay, well, our biggest priority is getting people registered for classes. So we’re only going to talk about that we’re going to drop everything else. I also think my kids school does a very good job with their communication. And, I mean, it’s a public school, but I get like one parent, principle email every week that just is longer, but it’s like, this is everything you need to know. So it’s one shot, one email, I have that expectation that it’s coming. I know that’s where I go if I want the information, versus like sending a bunch of random things like okay, well, we don’t have school this day, or here’s the fundraiser that’s happening, like it’s kind of all in one spot with clickable links to go to the category. So if you have the opportunity to do like anchor links in your email that can be really helpful for a school for a parent Email. So I think just think, like Patrick said, think about how they’re using that email. And as a school, it might be a little bit different than what we would recommend across the board. But I wouldn’t worry about parents getting both the parent and donor email because they signed up for that. That’s how they engage with you. And they need both of those. And as a parent, I’d rather have them separate than try to have to like weed through what do I need to know about how to get my kid to school, all the activities, spirit week, whatever, versus like, what’s happening as a fundraiser. I don’t want to have to process both of those at the same time.

Patrick Kirby 50:33
Yep. Makes sense? Good. Yes.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 50:38
She’s writing notes. With Yes, the coat. Yes. We have a question in the chat from Jonathan. He says, How do you deal with one or two people? Sorry about the dog? How do you deal with one or two people that always have negative vibe and always have something bad to say, no matter how good the event goes?

Patrick Kirby 50:57
No, yeah, the negative Nancy person, that’s always the best one, too. I like them. They’re the ones that are the real life to the party, we really like them to be involved in everything, right. So I’ve got two approaches with this specially if they’re part of the leadership team, one is kill them with kindness. And so you make it obnoxiously positive, so that they either they have no self awareness that they’re being negative, or they’re going to be the one that is just the giant sad trombone in the room, right? Like, like, everything was great, we’d raise this much money, it’s great look, but didn’t get a sandwich and the people, and everybody just stared at them awkwardly, like, they’re the ones that they’ll get. And they’ll like Homer Simpson out of the room eventually, or address them first. So go to them and actually engage them prior to whatever group setting that they’re in. So let’s just say Christie is a Debbie Downer. And we all know, Christy is like the least positive human being in the world, right. So I would address a Christie, we had this event, this event, this event, I wanted to come to you first, and actually gonna get your feedback. As we sort of promote XY and Z, we cross off all of the objections that she has prior to going to a public meeting going to, to a committee, xy and z. So we’ve already addressed all of those things. And then in the meeting, if they bring if Christie brings it up, like what Christie like we, you and I talked about in private before the meeting happened, you you said this, this and this, you got him by that. So they either have to come out as everything sucks, and everybody knows that they think everything sucks, but you’re proactive enough to go after them beforehand. And then you do take them out of the equation. And then they’ll eventually just not talk or give their negative feedback, and you just get it out of the way.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 52:55
And also,

Patrick Kirby 52:57
if people see you’re delightful, and that you’re you’re smiling, and I you are the best. Sorry for picking on you. But

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 53:04
you can’t please everybody always has a bad vibe about your stuff, then also just like let it go. Yeah.

Patrick Kirby 53:12
They’ll get a nickname for him behind, you know, they know it was just negative negative fill, or they’re always negative. And everybody knows that too. And again, you can’t take it personally. It’s just something that they’re always going to do. And it’s gonna be fine. So great question, though. I liked that. And everybody has it. By the way, if you think you’re the only organization that has like, Nick, like, like downer, Phil, we all do. Every one of them has them.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 53:37
Any other last questions? We can probably take one more.

Patrick Kirby 53:46
We answered everything. This is amazing. We have covered all questions about all fundraising and marketing in less than an hour. I love it. Okay, you are amazing. That’s right. Well,

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 53:57
um, we as we kind of wrap this up. If you are because I know we’ve got people that are here that are part of the chamber that are part of the Community Foundation, we welcome you all, this replay will be available in the student dashboard inside of the nonprofit boot camp. So if you’re new to what the boot camp is, or you have had a login, but hadn’t logged in for a while, this is our invitation to kind of encourage you to come back come back to us. Inside of that dashboard are tons of on demand videos that are just sitting there waiting for you on the topics like deep dives on the topics that we’ve talked about today. So marketing, there’s fundraising, there’s board management, there’s organizational stuff, there’s tons of videos in there that you can access to kind of as some questions pop up for you. After you go back and kind of start to process all of this. All of that is there. There’s also tons of other live guest expert trainings that we’ve done with time topics like mindset in sales and grant writing, like all sorts of different things from people in our world that we love and trust, who we lean on for things that we’re not best at. So all of that is available to you, if you don’t have access, just reach out to the chamber team, they can get in touch with us and help get you on boarded. But we would love to see you in there. We have live workshops. Every month, we have one coming up in on March 20. That’s all about how to kind of like taking on Leap into leadership, but it’s make your own luck, how to really support your your own self in your career growth and support your team for better retention and, and kind of everybody getting what they need. So we’d love to see you inside of the boot camp. This is not a cost to you. So this is not a sales pitch. This is something you get as a benefit for being part of the chamber, which is which is amazing. Anything you want to add about that, Patrick?

Patrick Kirby 55:57
No, it’s a great resource. And again, most of the questions that you that you have can be answered in there. We dropped our emails in the chat as well. So feel free to email us if you’ve got any questions or wanting to follow up with us on the Hangout. I wanted to ask this but I wanted I didn’t know what to ask or you wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, I need to ask this particular question. Feel free to reach out to us as well. We’d love to see you at our webinars we’d love the feedback on things that you would love to see, are there trainings that you’d love to, to sort of see or hear or learn about? Let us know. We’re always sort of adding eventually to our either guest expert training lists or as we create new trainings and new programs and actually new information within the bootcamp. We’re always looking for that as well. So we did it. Enjoy your Leap Year. Enjoy your extra day. Today. What a great day to call a donor, email them and remind them that it’s Leap Day and it doesn’t count your donation doesn’t count today, right? It’s it’s a year it’s an extra day. Don’t tell him that it’s not true, but it’s totally enjoy the day. Christy, thanks so much for hanging out with us. Great, great work there. Thanks for for all your support. Hey, thanks to the Wilson chamber for for setting this up as well. Thanks for all of you. Coming to us today. We’ll see you in the replay. We’ll see you when we see you in bootcamp. Sammy, great job as always. We’ll be launching this and having this recording up very soon. Have an awesome rest of your day. Bye gang.


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