Live Q&A – January 2024


Sami Bedell-Mulhern 0:03
You want to kick us off? Patrick?

Patrick Kirby 0:04
I do. Hey, gang, welcome to our monthly ask us anything. New Year New you do your new information for, for all of you participating in boot camp. So we’re going to do a couple of things. We’re gonna talk a little bit about email management, some schools are cool things that you should probably pay attention to first. We’ve got some questions that have been emailed, and we’ll take them as additional folks. Hop on here today. Sandy, how on earth are you?

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 0:34
I’m good. I’m cold winter has decided to arrive.

Patrick Kirby 0:39
We’ve been lucky so far. I feel like especially those of us who are in the Midwest, we have had a mild enough. Now it’s time for us to pay the piper and I don’t like it at all. He’s agreed. It’s real life.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 0:52
It’s real life.

Patrick Kirby 0:52
So, so let’s, so let’s talk a couple of things. It’s nice to kind of start out with a strategy that everybody can kind of use, kind of get the brain working a little bit. Talking about often, often on occasion changes. Yeah, or Google and Yahoo email. So that sounds super nerdy. And it is. But it’s super important. And you asked me a question earlier about like, hey, we want to talk about authentication or whatever. Have you done that? And I go, No. So even I’m going to learn something brand new today. And I’m very excited about it. Yeah, I get to pay attention, extra, extra attention to you today.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 1:33
Awesome. Yeah. So Apple has already kind of rolled this out previously. But now Google finally turned my space heater off. Google and Yahoo have now also changed their requirements for sending email. And this is relevant to anybody, regardless of if you use Gmail and Yahoo as your email service provider, right? Because it’s about deliverability, into their inboxes. So anybody you’re sending email to, if they have a Google or Yahoo email address, it could affect your deliverability to them. So this is super nerdy. And I can’t give you specifics, because everybody uses different ways of checking their email and sending their email. But I’m going to give you an overview of what this is, and then tell you what to Google to find the right things that you need to make this happen. Basically, what they’re saying is they want your domain to be authenticated. So it proves to Google that you are or Yahoo, that you are a trustworthy sender that you are not, it’s just kind of another spam filter, right? So I know that I have authenticated, I have access to this domain, I am sending this is a real domain. This is a real business, this exists, that kind of thing. And it’s going to exist for however you send your email. So if you send personally like, I hope, I’m assuming most of you use Google workspace, because you get it for free as nonprofits. If you’re not, then definitely look into that. But it’s how you so whatever you send it from, so you want to think about, okay, I send personal email from Google, I also send emails out through an email service provider like ConvertKit, or MailChimp, or Active Campaign or through your CRM. So anything that’s sending things out on your behalf, write those things down. And then you might be getting emails from them already saying, Hey, this is the steps we’re taking, because they also have to take steps to authenticate on their platforms as well. And then think about the different ways that people access your email. So are you logging into Google to check your email? Are you logging in through your web hosting? Are you logging in through Microsoft? I don’t know what other ways to people, right. That’s it? Aren’t those the main ones? Yeah.

Patrick Kirby 3:58
I wouldn’t be I’d be very curious if anyone’s still using MySpace email. But so yeah, I think you’re good.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 4:06
Somebody probably is, okay. So you want to kind of list all of those things where your email is happening. And then what you need to do is have access to your domain. So where your domain is where you purchased your URL, which is the WWW dot, you know, the website that people use, that’s your domain. So you want to be you have to have access to your domain. And then access to the admin portal for where you check where your email is hosted. So that’s Google. That’s your hosting company. That’s Microsoft, that’s Yahoo, where whoever is hosting all of your emails wherever you go to set up new email addresses when you have employees come and go, that you need both of those things. And then what you’re going to need this is where it’s going to get super nerdy. You need to set up your D Kim D ki M. You need to set up your D Mark D M A RC and you need to set up your SPF records. So your SPF records are saying these are all of the places that are allowed to send email on my behalf. So that’s your MailChimp, that’s your website. That’s your, your CRM, right, those types of things. Then your demark and your D. Kim are what are setting up your deliverability and authenticating your emails for Google and Yahoo to say, okay, yeah, this is a legit email that’s being sent. Okay, have I lost you by now? Are you? You follow me?

Patrick Kirby 5:40
Okay. Yep. I’m way off, though. I again, it’s just another added step into this whole piece, you’ve probably done this before, probably clicked on a bunch of things. I am sure as you’re setting up parameters, right. But this is probably another thing. So the question that I have to is alright, so if you use a third party site like GoDaddy to host your website, is that something that you have to sort of put into this at all? Yeah,

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 6:07
so what you’re going to do is you’re going to Google set up decat, Deakin records, DK I M Records, set that up in Google, like, however, in Google workspace, you’ll just Google that then or like, set it up in microsoft 365. If you Google that, you’ll get a help thing that will pop up that will walk you through it, I’m going to say what you’re going to do, but it’s going to make no sense, you’re going to it’s going to give you DNS and txt settings that you’re going to need to put on your domain that are going to create that authentication, then you’ll go into your email and clean it up on that site. So though, that’s why I’m sending you all the step by step because you just Google what your specific setting is. But Deacon mark and SPF are the three acronyms, you’re gonna want to Google that for to walk you through step by step.

Patrick Kirby 6:52
But I love that again, that’s, that’s why you’re gonna have to have that GoDaddy thing up because in your settings, and GoDaddy, because if you bought a website through them, you got to take all the information you’ve got there that plops it into that Google search, why kind of do that, and now, there’s probably something else that’s you, you’ve got, as maybe you have the site, but you build it on Wix. So now you’ve gotten probably just the Wix open, just just have everything open at the ready. And really what I love most about this is the two part. Great thing to think about as a nonprofit and one, writing down every you were that you are communicating with your donors, or supporters or community itself, a great way to start off the new year. That’s, I mean, that’s just something like, where are we sending stuff from, you’re almost doing an internal audit on how you’re communicating when you’re communicating and why. So I think really, this is kind of a wonderful, crucial step that they’re making us do to authenticate things. But it’s also a great step for you as a nonprofit to kind of organize where on earth you are sending stuff out. So this is almost like a nice, too good to be true forcible pause upon you to think then get your marketing brain out, or your communication brain out on where stuff is being sent into the internet ether. Yep. 1,000%.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 8:08
Um, there’s two other critical elements here that I want to make sure that we touch base on, a lot of you have emails that end, right, like it will say, my nonprofit, that’s going to be detrimental to your deliverability into any inbox. So now they want businesses to have business name. So again, we’re trying to eliminate the spam. And to your point, Patrick, what we’re trying to do is just be more real and authentic. Right. So Google’s not trying to penalize us, they’re just trying to be like, we want people to know what’s coming into their inbox. And we want to make sure that we’re giving our users the best experience, you want that too. So again, as a nonprofit, go to Google for Nonprofits. Sign up for your free account. You can get Google workspace for free. So now you already own your domain. It’s super easy. Now you can have emails that are Patrick at do good, better. Right. That’s it’s really just that easy. And it’s not an added expense, it just takes a little bit of time to set up now is we’ve always said this is important, because it just makes you look more professional. But now this is a crucial piece, emails that are coming out that are business related are going to see their deliberate deliverability go down. So make sure you do that. The second piece is we have to keep your spam complaints low. I think it’s like point 5% of spam complaints. So that’s when somebody clicks, not unsubscribe, but marks your email as spam through their service provider. Okay, that’s critical difference. If your spam rates are over point 5% Anyway, then you’re doing a terrible job. I’m just gonna say that like it’s not they’re not giving that number sounds really low. But if you’re saying Emery is over point 5%, then you’re not sending either to the right people, you’ve bought a list, that’s not the right people, or you’re not sending content that makes any sense to the people that are on their list. So I don’t want you to worry about that spam number so much, just again, send out real communication that is about who you are, and connect with people, and you’ll be fine. Depending on where you’re gonna get,

Patrick Kirby 10:26
ya know, and again, this is a, this is a wonderful opportunity to not only look at some data and look at some numbers, that’s not, it’s going to help you clarify your messaging, it’s going to help you clarify to the board how you are communicating, it’s going to give you a real good framework on what you should be talking about, really looking at something that you’ve probably just been dismissive of, or haven’t paid attention to an entire year, right, whatever the what’s the bottom of your, of your of your email, we caught something that was like a third call to action that we didn’t even have a part of our plan for consulting, it’s been there for six months, we just found it. It’s because we were purposefully looking for it, we’re like, What the hell is this link, and we got rid of it. And all of a sudden, now, the click rates are expected because we only have one or two, one call to action, and only two ways to connect. And now those numbers go up. Because, again, vanity numbers are going to be opens, the real, the real task at hand is to get them to click on something, right. And once they click on something is the content that they’re going to keep coming back to. So they continue to open up and click through over and over again, this is all part of your master plan to just assess what on earth you’re doing, and how well you’re doing it. Or you’re just being forced by Google and Yahoo to do it. So maybe a thank you note is fine. Although, again, the Gmail pieces I think is really interesting. That gives you that professional and official. Look, people are more likely to open it up anyway. So they’re helping you really try to hone in on your marketing pieces, for sure. So

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 12:07
the urgency here is that this goes into effect February 1. So time is of the essence also. Because when you start to go into your domain, and you start to make some of these changes, it takes 48 to 72 hours, depending on the platform for those changes to take hold before you can finish the process. So I’m not trying to scare anybody. But we want to make sure we do this as soon as possible. So I know most of you will be watching this in the replay. I will put all of the acronyms and terms and things in the description below this video so that you can kind of pay attention to that, that I just really wanted to bring this to your attention today so that you can get going on that. And of course, reach out if you are needing additional support.

Patrick Kirby 12:54
Right. Love it. That’s excellent hot tips. All right, which we had some email questions come in for our ama today.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 13:00
Yeah, and you don’t even know what it is. Right?

Patrick Kirby 13:03
This is. I love it.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 13:07
Okay, so and this is a great question. And I know you’re going to be excited about this and have lots of things to say. So this is a nonprofit organization, who their current donation form sends people to PayPal. And they’re asking thoughts on using Venmo as an option for supporters. We have several freewill donation events throughout the year and are considering setting up a Venmo option for this purpose.

Patrick Kirby 13:36
So yes, please do now there’s a couple of things here. Number one, pay pals new integration. We’re getting really nerdy today, you’d even know this. Hey, pals, new integration actually allows you to use Venmo that transfers through Pay Pal now. But you have to go into PayPal, and you have to say accept or whatever. So yes, because it’ll go through your PayPal account. You don’t have to have multiple things. You can funnel all this money through your PayPal, so you don’t have to like manage a billion and a half things. But the reason that Venmo works so well is that most people are transferring money in this the generation that you have all wanted to get a hold of and just grasp on to this Gen Z. younger millennial groups that don’t carry cash around and don’t know what a check is. That’s how they pay. And whether it’s Google Wallet or Venmo. Venmo specifically, is something that most people use. They they use it to buy shirts at a concert, they use it to transfer funds to pay for lunch between friends, whatever the case may be, that’s what they’re using. So it’s convenient, number one, number two, it links now with your pay pal. And number three, you can now put a QR code that’s automatically generated through Venmo that you can put on your posters, your emails, your invites, the day of performances, wherever you’re going been out and about. And if somebody just tells you in a coffee shop, I’d love to donate, you take Venmo. And you just take your phone out. And there’s the QR code that links directly to your organization, how convenient of a human being have you become, we’ve talked about this in, in, in trainings and in writing, Sammy all the time is that people are having a shorter and shorter attention span all of the time. And the fact that you’d have to click one more time to get to a donation page is actually turning a lot of people off. Maybe it shouldn’t, maybe that’s not how it should be it is. So when you can make this as convenient as possible, you will get those initial donations of passion, or of heart, or in the moment, I felt really great about that when you’re giving a speech, or you’re giving a talk at a at a seminar or a conference having a QR code, sit there with any questions, or here’s how you donate up there that goes directly to your Venmo account. Now people can just take another account. And again, here’s the here’s the perception, I will give you an example of how I view money, here’s a little in depth for you. If I have extra money in my Venmo account, because somebody paid me, like I’ve got 25 bucks in my Venmo account, in my, in my lizard brain in my dumb lizard brain, I don’t consider the it’s a free money, like checking account. It’s like cash on like, I didn’t have to take it out just sitting there. And you can take advantage of that for your nonprofit that allows people to give, that doesn’t necessarily hurt. And I don’t and I don’t dismiss the idea of it should give you should you should be invested in the organization. But in organizations who are very passionate or have a very passionate aspect to them, whether it’s child trafficking, or, you know, ribbon abuse, or something that like really gets to your heart or child endangerment or, or adoption or whatever. There are moments where you’re like God, I just don’t know how to help I wish I could give you offer them that option and they get to do it. They’re not digging through their wallet, they’re not trying to figure out how they can get a credit card out. It just happens to be and your ability then to follow up and say your passion for us means a lot. Click here to learn more, get on our mailing list, etc. And you allowed to sort of like harness that passion and energy rather than waiting for them to get frustrated with their CVC code that didn’t match the address that they have to put into the gigantic form they’re doing on their phone. This allows you to do one, if not at a maximum two clicks to give you cash in a moment, the long winded way of saying absolutely it matches with your pay pal. And you should be doing that everywhere you go. Yes, I

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 17:53
have a couple of things to add on to that. One is if you offer that now you at least have people’s names. Whereas if it’s just cash donations, you don’t know who they are. The second one is if you have an iPhone, you can create a separate homescreen or a lock screen that has your code on there. So if you’re out in public, you don’t even have to like fumble with trying to find the Venmo app, you just switch to that homescreen and then your QR code is there.

Patrick Kirby 18:15
First of all, that feels like Samsung and Google phone shaming, and I don’t like it. You can also do that here. Just saying, No, I do the iPhone people. I know you get mad that I have a green check or a blue check or whatever the heck it is and phone like text you I get it. But I’m just saying, Well,

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 18:34
it’s an option. Um, I want to make a quick clarification here. Because I think we’re talking about two different things like what I love about this answer to this specific question is you’re talking we’re talking about like freewill donations at an event. So this is an organization that’s in the mental space. So they’re out at a lot of different things. And so if people want to give them money, it I love it for this, when we’re talking about like, at an event or a silent auction, or really like your bigger fundraising campaigns, would you still recommend, you know, having Venmo as the thing? Or is it better to really integrate with a larger software to kind of have that different kind of user experience? Yeah,

Patrick Kirby 19:23
you’re gonna want to Yeah, great clarification. And, and great question. Yeah, if you are at an event and you’ve got an auction, plus a live auction, plus a registration plus maybe a funding need and all that kind of thing. A donor platform that works for all of that way better, because you can pre register and it’s as convenient as Venmo plus you get to know who was at the event you get to see their spending habits, their purchasing habits, etc. That’s great data to have for the next year event. Follow up with donors as gratitude pieces, etc. So yeah, what you’re talking about is Venmo is great. For in the moment, passion projects out and about on town, not a formal formal event. But if you’re a small organization, let’s just say that you this is your first event, you’re not doing a major auction, you’re just, you know, maybe have a cash bar and tips are in Venmo, or to freewill donation for that, and then most totally fine. But if you’re a well established organization that’s got a mailing list in it and an invite, and it’s a formal sit down dinner, etc, get, you know, sort of invest into that donor system. But if you’re a startup, you’re in a church basement, you’re at a community center, you’re out doing a fair or whatever, you’ve got a booth Venmo is perfect. And again, it integrates with everything now, because it’s just taking over the the b2b or person to person transactions. It’s ideal, it’s

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 20:51
yours. And I would I will challenge this organization. I mean, I know this particular nonprofit pretty well. But I would challenge them also to look at removing the PayPal donation from their website and adding an actual donation widget. I know Patrick and I are both super huge fans of donor doc. And they have a great FREE embeddable donation platform that you can put on your website, whether you use them as a CRM, I know there’s other ones that you love as well. But I would say keep keep your pay pal, keep your Venmo, like attach that, but also, maybe upgrade that donation page to include to include an actual embedded donation page. And then the last thing that I want to touch on here is because a lot of people will be like, Well, why can’t I just do text to give. But a lot of the text to give platforms that I’ve seen, and maybe you have one that doesn’t do it this way is they text a number, but it still gives them a link, but they still have to click on which takes them to a forum, which means they still have to put in all their information. So that goes back to kind of all of your clicks. Yeah,

Patrick Kirby 21:54
it does, I there’s a couple of really high end ones that can connect to your Google Wallet or your account that you have there, too. You

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 22:03
could say Apple Pay, it’s okay, Apple

Patrick Kirby 22:05
Pay, I could say Apple Pay, it’s fine. It didn’t burn when it came out of my mouth, that’s fine. You can do those, but most of them do have that form piece, I love the donation form directly on your giving page, again, reduce the amount of clicks and to dues that prevent your donor from getting halfway down the forum and getting frustrated and not giving. That’s a real thing that happens. And if you do, check out your landing page, and check out your website statistics on people getting to your donation page, and visiting and not completing any transaction. That number is probably harrowing for a handful of people. It’s an interesting number, simply solved by having some embedded information that are again, free from donor doc and a handful of other groups. Look at it if you can, and that would be delightful. So

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 22:54
seek out on that, that that thing for a moment since we’ve been techie today. So for organizations that are like overwhelmed by Analytics, Google Analytics gives you so much information, but it’s really hard to digest, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it. I love Microsoft clarity. It is their analytics platform, it will also sync with your Google Analytics. So it will pull in some information from Google Analytics. But here’s what I love about Microsoft clarity. It will do recordings of how people are engaging with your website. So you can look at your donation page. And yes, you can see okay, we had 100 people hit our website. But we only had five donation. So something’s off, right, you know, okay, either our forms in the wrong place, or we don’t have the right messaging. But with Google clarity, you get a heatmap. So you see where people are clicking on your website, you see where people are spending time and you can get some video recordings of how people are scrolling through their page, how far down are they getting? Where are they leaving, so you get a little bit more of that story of how people are engaging in a way that’s easy to process, because it’s just visual, you’re not looking at a ton of numbers. And so the Microsoft clarity analytics piece is great for people. It’s great for a lot of reasons. But it’s especially great for people that are not analytical or don’t know how to read all the analytics, because you can just see it visually and it see exactly, it’s just a quick little embed code that goes on your website. It’s super easy, but I would highly recommend Microsoft clarity.

Patrick Kirby 24:22
Yeah, that’s, that’s super good. I love it. This was kind of a nerdy little episode at the beginning of the season. Now I think we’ve got we got some extra time and I know a ton of questions today. But I think because it’s kind of a January ask us anything, I think maybe even doling out the end of the year chaos is finally over. You’re probably just taking a deep breath and taking some analytics to your What on earth happened at the end of the year brain. I think a lot of organizations as they’re getting ready to launch into the new year are looking at like what can I do to and prove either a process, what can I do as a first step, you’re already going to be integrating all of these authentications for your domains, you’re already good to go there. But I think from maybe donor interactions, people are probably a little burnt out on making solicitations. They probably did their end of year campaign, you’re maybe wondering, What can I do to maybe kick off the year? That doesn’t involve a an ask? I’ve got my thought. But I’d love to start with you. Because you’re the communication mastermind here in the room. What What are you suggesting to clients and nonprofits to get a hold of you on what your first step this year is? As far as communication out? That begins to set the table for 2024?

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 25:52
Yeah, I love that. Um, we Yeah, because obviously, like for most of our clients, we cut off all standard regular communication during your end, because it was all promotional sales, sales driven, driven communication. So really, what you’re doing in January is just getting back to our regular routine. So getting back to our regular newsletters that are going out, making sure that we’re just starting that regular communication, making sure our blog posts are being published, again, on a regular basis. And in those communications, you know, yes, thanking people for where we’ve been, but really just celebrating where we’re going and kind of giving some behind the scenes, some sneak peeks of like, Hey, this is what we’re really excited about, this is what’s coming. This is what we’ve got in the pipeline. And it doesn’t have to be super specific, but just like, kind of being like, you want to keep paying attention to what we’re saying, because we’ve got these really cool things coming. And we’ve got this big project or collaboration, you know, almost don’t give them the information because it’s like, okay, we’re going to be keeping you in the loop in these emails about this kind of fun stuff that we have going on. Ya know, we’d love to just let this one cat out of the bag, like we’ve got this great partnership coming up with an XYZ organization, or we’re excited to be adding arts into our after school program, whatever that might be. So that’s kind of some of the stuff that we’re sharing. Yes, celebrating, but mostly, like, let’s look to where we’re going. So that people continue to get excited about the impact.

Patrick Kirby 27:21
Love that. Yeah. A lot of you probably have your thank you lists out and you’re like, oh, boy, I didn’t get to my thank you notes. And I didn’t get to my thank you calls. You’re okay. Yeah, that’s my advice to you at the beginning. You’re fine. You know, there’s there’s almost a I don’t I don’t add this as a best practice. I get it. But it’s almost like giving you getting out your your thank yous or your Christmas cards before Christmas. Right? You You’re, you’re you’re saving some space that you’re now unique and different than everybody else already got their stuff out. And now you are, yeah, getting to communicate. And there’s an attention that you can get because of it, you don’t get lost in the shuffle, right? How many Christmas cards do you still get and you burn through and you’re like, Wait, who sent me a Christmas card because you can’t.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 28:13
I haven’t even opened

Patrick Kirby 28:16
it because you know that they are so. So if you’re if you’re an organization, and if you’re a nonprofit, and you take the time from now until maybe the end of the month, it’s like, hey, like you, we probably just got done breathing, or holding our breath for the end of the year, we can finally kind of relax. And as we relax, we just want to make sure that you are reminded about how important you are to our organization, we just wanted to say thank you for your interview your gift, we’re already used to doing X, Y and Z, we’d love to grab a cup of coffee and tell you a little bit about where that plan is for 2024 they’re more likely to pick up the phone now because they know that most people aren’t going to be asking them for cash. That’s number one. Number two, you can now take a breath and say look at who didn’t give to you at the end of the year that you may have to unexpected or maybe they didn’t get the mailing or they didn’t get their gift in time or they completely forgot about you. That’s okay, too. People are busy and chaotic. now’s a great time to go to those individuals like hey, we get it. I forgot to turn off the light in my house or the garage door or what got open all last night too. But we’re still rockin and rollin our organization we would still love and consider a gift for you. If that is in the cards. We’d love to talk to you about kind of what that looks like and what your gifts of prior to done prior to it. Either way is a good indication that you can pick up the phone and call and connect with people not necessarily make asks, but to reach out and they’re more willing to pick up the phone because it’s not necessarily expected that you’re going to be making solicitation you’re probably not and it’s totally okay. Yeah,

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 29:55
I love that. And I think too, like that’s the power in the automated welcome or are automatic sequences that happen via email is that you can rest assured that they’ve been thanked that they’ve gotten some amazing messages about the impact that their gift is making already. So even if you get a little behind on the thank yous, it’s not like they haven’t been touched. So now even it’s not as big of a deal to say like, even just to say, you know, we wanted to respect your time with your family over the holidays, we were taking some time with our family. And so but we still want to make sure you’ve heard from us, you know, there’s no, there’s no shame in that game. And I think that that just shows that you’re out there caring about what what they feel and think I would you when you’re thinking about prioritizing the calls that you make and who you call, I’m interested to hear your your answer here. And I don’t think there’s any wrong answer. But do you would you prioritize the people that gave the most money? Would you prioritize the people that have been giving to you the longest? Or would you prioritize the people that this might be the first time they’ve ever given to your organization? As far as like how how, how quickly you call?

Patrick Kirby 31:05
I will add another one is the ones you know, the best that didn’t come through? Okay. Or the ones that you you know, have offhand, right? So the ones you’re like, Oh, I’m curious. I hope they’re okay. Right, the ones that give you pause, when you listen to like, oh, geez, I hope everything’s fine. Call them first, and then go to the ones who have probably given you the most. And I know that sounds probably very money hungry. But they’re the ones that can probably push you over the top from a budget quicker than when he phone calls for $10. Donations, one call for a $2,000 donation is probably a lot better use of your time. And we know that you have a limited amount. So you’ll have to use it to your benefit. And again, if you’re larger donations, donors are falling off. That’s where my alarm bells go. Kind of a little bonkers. It’s like, what did we do not to communicate well? Or do we not make a proper ask? Do we assume they’re going to give me dinner, right. So start with the ones that you go, Holy crap, I haven’t heard from Bill in a while. Oh, he typically gives every year like that I’m worried about Bill. And that becomes very authentic and personal, then go to the highest donors, and then just go to, you know, to work your way backwards to the ones who have given you for the longest organizations or businesses that just never came in at the end of the year. And you’ll know, intuitively, by running that last year, but not this year list on who you should call, the gut instinct is going to take over, I need to make some calls. Or I’m excited to call these people because they gave, I’m excited to have a conversation to see where it goes. And

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 32:37
maybe a great opportunity to split up your list between Executive Director development director, board members. So you don’t have to do it all yourself,

Patrick Kirby 32:49
leverage the heck out of your leadership team leverage the heck out of some volunteers, don’t do it on your own, it’s gonna drive you insane, and you’ll never get to them all. And then you’ll feel guilty about it, and then that’ll ravage your mental health, and then you’re gonna get burned out and you’re gonna quit. It’s a slippery slope,

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 33:06
I have one more option to add to that is separating your list between who do we know we want to call and have that personal connection with because we know, you know, they’re, they’re important to our organization, they have been giving for a long time, but also for the people that maybe are first time donors, and maybe under a certain threshold, whatever you determine for your organization. Another great way to personally communicate with them without feeling like you have to call everybody is do a video message. So just pop open zoom, and record yourself just saying, hey, Patrick, thank you so much for giving your organization this year, you know, your your gift is going to create this impact. And we’re so excited to bring you along and to help, you know, let you get to know more about our organization, you’re gonna be hearing from us every two weeks in our new email newsletter. So you know, if you want to know what we’re up to, and what were going on, make sure you’re checking into those. But otherwise, we can’t wait to get to know you more. And thank you for being a part of organization. It takes you like 10 seconds to record that video. And then you just pop it in an email and just say, hey, thank you so much for your gift, we wanted to send you a personalized video. That’s it, and then you’re done. So that’s another way to also personal touch without getting on the phone, maybe with people that you don’t have a relationship with yet. And then I would challenge you to get like to call them later in the year to start that conversation and build that relationship. But at least they’re getting kind of a personal touch and nobody’s doing that.

Patrick Kirby 34:29
No, nobody’s doing that. They’re very few and the ones that do. I’m always clicking on. Yeah, I go What is this about? And I’m always intrigued, even if I have no idea who they are. They use my first name. Hey, Patrick, this is John. I just wanted to reach out and say hey, we’ve been thinking about this we’re connected here blah blah blah. And that’s a really easy way to conquer your cold call fears or your I don’t know if they know us fears by just saying a couple of things. One Hi Sammy, this is Patrick over at the do good foundation, you and I are connected on LinkedIn and you gave to our organization this year. And I just want to reach out and say thank you. I don’t know a lot about you. But I do know that you love our organization enough to give. And that tells me everything that I need to know about how awesome you are and how much we appreciate you love to grab a cup of coffee with you blah, blah, blah, you’re more likely to call me back or send me a note of like, how sweet of a thing it is that how you type. And that’s all you’re looking for. Yeah, that’s how you type. But that’s, that’s how you that’s how you make yourself different. And then when you’re competing against everything, like every other organization in town, you’re competing against Coke, you’re competing against Amazon and Netflix and attention of every other business in the world. To stand out uniquely, I think is the term for 2024 Is your you’re going to have to be personalized. Hyper personalization, this year is going to be the name of the game, the better the better you do that the more donors you’re going to get, the better retention you’re going to be, the more thoughtful that you are training yourself to become. And it’s just going to help your organization.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 36:11
Yeah, tenfold, especially in smaller communities where the competition is stronger. And I would say if you you, you know, if you have a Vimeo account, if your business is already using Vimeo, or you can do loom for free, using a platform like that, to create these videos is super easy. And the benefit of that over zoom, for example is that when they click on that link, you get notified that somebody viewed it. So you know, then that you can either follow up and just be like, hey, you know, did you have any questions about an organization that I can answer or whatnot. So then you get more of that tracking to see how many people are really opening up a video.

Patrick Kirby 36:55
Right? Yep, makes sense. Makes sense to be actually very excited about this year, because I think we’re gonna have a handful of topics. We’re gonna remind everybody about this hyper personalization all year, and rent some cool Downloadables and some things that we’re prepping this year, that is just going to be for you. And that’s wrapped around this kind of stuff, too. So awesome.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 37:18
Well, I’m Patrick, I want to make sure we highlight one more thing with regards to these phone calls is reminding people to take notes and put them in their CRM. Yeah.

Patrick Kirby 37:30
Yeah, please do, document everything you possibly can. And again, any information that you glean from your end of your reports, anything that isn’t in the system, do it. Again, we think our superpower is remembering things. It’s not we’re terrible at remembering things. Because we’re busy, we got 10,000 things to do every day. So at a moment’s notice, if you think of something if your intuition if your spidey senses are tingling going, I should probably jot that down, do it, pop into your CRM, cocktail napkin, Excel spreadsheet, whatever the case may be, get it down, so that you have a conversation with somebody later. And you can connect the dots on why they’re important to you. What made that interesting, it’s probably a callback that they never expected you to remember. Or maybe they didn’t remember themselves, which makes you a unique individual in the nonprofit realm. So

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 38:18
yeah, well, it makes it easier to call people back and say, Oh, hey, you know, you mentioned that Fido with a little under the weather over the holidays. We just, you know, how’s how’s he doing, like as an entry into the conversation as opposed to just not knowing how to start a conversation?

Patrick Kirby 38:34
Yeah, exactly. Love that. Yeah. We did a good kickoff here. This is good to kick off the year.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern 38:44
Yeah. Well, okay. So this replay is in your dashboard. We’ll put there’s tons of things we talked about in this conversation. So we’ll put all of those down below. If you have questions, reach out. And I just want to remind everybody, you know, even if you can’t attend live, send us your questions, because again, we answered them, and they’ll watch the replay and get their full, full response. You know, Patrick and I individually can answer your questions. But collectively, we always come up with better stuff when we when we go back and forth with each other. So even if you can’t be here live, send us your questions. And we’ll be back here next month.

Patrick Kirby 39:24
Yeah, I love it. But it was run by everybody. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you then.

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