July 13, 2012
Acting without Thinking for Good

Dr. Neale Martin's marketing book, Habit - The 95% of Behavior Marketers Ignore, explains how most of human behavior is the result of unconscious habits.

What if hundreds of people had the unconscious habit of giving to your organization every month?

Wouldn't that be fabulous?

Monthly Engaged Giving, MEG, is the fundraising approach that inspires acting without thinking for good.

July 12, 2012
Doritos Locos Tacos

100 million sold in the first ten weeks.

Crazy-fun, utterly brilliant, wildly successful, and, they taste pretty good too.

Glen Bell, the Taco Bell founder, is often recognized for his ‘Recipes for Success.’ Appropriately, his number one recipe is “the best ideas often are the most simple.”

June 22, 2012
Lapsed and Found

They used to be with you. Something happened or didn’t happen.

They stopped giving in the last few years.

You’re not alone. One 2009-2010 survey by the Association of Donor Relations Professionals reported a 57% year over year donor attrition rate.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous to bring them back? Better yet, to engage them as long-term supporters?

Meet MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving. She’s the fundraising approach that brings them home.

With MEG, the lapsed are found…and engaged.

June 21, 2012
Chief Engagement Officer

You know a word is in vogue when it starts appearing in job titles.

In nonprofit development circles, engagement has become that word. For fundraisers it means connecting with donors in consistent, enduring and meaningful ways.

Development professionals employ storytelling, asking and stewardship, to engage donors. Donors demonstrate engagement through the time, talent and treasure that they share with the organization.

Meet MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving. Some like to call her Chief Engagement Officer. But, she's much more than a tactic or a fancy title.

MEG's a systematic approach to engage small and medium size givers.

June 25, 2012
Reporting for Duty

The Association of Donor Relations Professionals defines donor relations as follows:

Donor relations is the comprehensive effort of any nonprofit that seeks philanthropic support to ensure that donors experience high quality interactions with the organization that foster long-term engagement and investment.

An expanded Association of Donor Relations Professionals definition describes four parts to the donor relations effort:

1) Gift acceptance and management
2) Acknowledgement
3) Donor recognition
4) Reporting

Together, the four elements facilitate the acquisition and retention of donors.

Reporting refers to the process of communicating with donors regarding the impact of their gifts on the mission of the organization.

Donor attrition research suggests a high correlation between communication about how donors’ gifts are put to work and their decision to stop giving. One particular study by Penelope Burke showed 46% of donors would stop giving because of insufficient or poor reporting.

Engaging, systematic, and on-going monthly giver communication comes standard with every Monthly Engaged Giving Program.

Meet MEG.

She’s reporting for duty.

June 25, 2012
Survey Says

According to the 2,377 respondents to the 2009-2010 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey, only 43 percent of their 2009 donors gave to them again in 2010.

The Association of Donor Relations Professionals sponsored research further revealed that an average of 15 percent of donors gave less in 2010. On aggregate, a staggering 72 were gone or in decline from one year to the next.

The same old ways aren’t getting the job done. There has to be a better way.

Survey says…

It’s time to talk MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving.

May 17, 2012
Mrs. Gonsher's Pledge

“Today is a wonderful day!

I am confident because I am a problem solver. I have many options because I choose to be optimistic.

Today, I will learn something new, laugh and make a difference in someone else’s life.”

Mrs. Sandra Gonsher, 2nd Grade Teacher
Sunrise Point Elementary, Overland Park, Kansas

For many years, Mrs. Gonsher has started each year by teaching her class the Pledge. Each morning thereafter her students begin their day by reciting those words.

It becomes an attitude and a self-fulfilling prophecy. Truly, they are words by which to live.

Mrs. Gonsher is widely known and loved for her extraordinary commitment to her students and their families. She was recognized this spring with her 2nd career Kansas state teacher of the year award.

Mrs. Gonsher recently announced her retirement.

Her extraordinary legacy is her students and all the people whose lives she enriched over her teaching career.

MEG was introduced to Mrs. Gonsher by her Dad.

Celebrated for her emphasis on creative thinking, Sandy saw tremendous potential in MEG...calling her revolutionary…an innovative approach to fundraising.

What did MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, learn from Mrs. Gonsher?

Attitude is just about everything.

May 28, 2012
The Golden Tablets

In Roald Dahl’s 1964 classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there were the coveted golden tickets. For hungry families there is the sight of McDonald’s golden arches just off the highway. We often refer to one of the happiest parts of a person’s life as “the golden years”.

For fundraising professionals there is the prospect of making giving significantly easier, more convenient and more immediate.

Until now, securing monthly gifts has meant filling out paper pledge documents or completing online forms. Both are somewhat cumbersome in person or at events. And, both options lack immediacy and urgency if they are to be completed by the donor at a different time, removed from the emotion and enthusiasm of the appeal.

A better way has arrived. Touch screen functionality, customized fundraising apps and wireless connectivity at a modest cost are just part of the package. Couple those capabilities with mainstream web payment methods like PayPal/credit card and emerging payment alternatives such as Google wallet, and you have a quantum leap in fundraising efficiency.

Tablets make signing-up monthly givers easier, more convenient and more immediate than ever before.

No surprise, it’s a profound opportunity for engaging more givers and increasing revenue for nonprofits of all kinds. It’s a golden ticket.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, gets it. The Golden Tablets have arrived.

May 30, 2012
Wisdom in the Pews

According to the GivingUSA Foundation, of the $290 Billion in total U.S. giving in 2010, $211 Billion or 73% came from individuals. And, of that $211 Billion, $100.63 Billion or 35% went to religious organizations. As a point of reference, educational organizations, with $40 billion of individual giving, is the next largest segment of individual giving.

Why would religious organizations receive the lion’s share of individual giving dollars?

It makes sense that the more emotionally engaged one is with a cause i.e. one’s faith, the more likely a person is to give to it generously. Consistency of exposure, however, may be the most unique catalyst. Clearly, there is a unique propensity for those with close affiliations to religious organizations to attend church regularly and to be regularly exposed to “giving” related” sermons and financial appeals.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving is built on the same proven principles of engagement and convenience that characterize individual donor religious organization giving.

It’s no accident.

There’s wisdom in the pews.

May 30, 2012
MEG Has a PayPal

According to a January 2012 article by VentureBeat, PayPal processed $4 Billion in mobile payments in 2011, up dramatically from $750 Million in 2010.

In the same article, PayPal’s mobile vice president David Marcus, attributes the explosive growth to a series of variables including “…an overall increase in mobile commerce, more useful mobile payment apps and a massive uptick in iPad-based e-commerce.”

Specifically relating to nonprofit fundraising, Clam Lorenz, PayPal’s Director of Nonprofit Engagement, points out in his April 12, 2012 blog, “Online donations still account for less than 10 percent of individual giving in the U.S., and a lot of the other 90 percent happens at real-world event: silent auctions, runs and rides, galas, carwashes, bake sales and more.”

Online and mobile, together they are the fastest growing individual giving channels.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, gets it. She understands that quickly, conveniently and digitally setting-up and processing monthly giver payments at events and in person is a key aspect of the future of individual donor fundraising.

That’s why MEG has a PayPal.

April 28, 2012
The Big Show

Ask a gamer or google search "The Show". You’ll learn it’s the name of the best-selling Major League Baseball video game franchise.

So what’s “The Big Show”?

Ok. Yes, it is the ring name of 7 foot, 441 pound Paul Donald Wight, Jr. of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). This blog is about a different “Big Show”.

Each week the Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County in Durango, Colorado produces a 3 to 7 minute video. Their story, it’s all about the kids and their activities. Incorporating music, voice over narratives, pictures, video and slides, it’s wildly popular with the kids, their families and Club supporters.

The Big Show is the brainchild of Jared Wright, the La Plata County Club’s Tech Specialist. He guides the process and mentors the kids. Using resources in their technology lab, kids help produce each video. Club youth get to see the first public showing each week. Then it’s shared by e-mail link with their families and Club donors.

It’s learning and marketing all wrapped into one ȕber-efficient process. Kids develop valuable technology skills and produce content that helps the Club tell its’ story and fundraise. Supporters are reminded of the good their money is doing. Prospective new givers are sold on supporting an impressive cause.

Talk about an engaging process…

MEG’s a fan and a student. Watch for the Big Show in a monthly engaged giving program near you.

April 30, 2012
Plateau Effect Hits College Annual Fund Revenue

Many college annual funds are experiencing flat revenue over multiple years.

It’s a reasonable, although somewhat simplistic hypothesis, that annual fund revenue would grow each year by virtue of an increase in the number of alumni with each graduating class.

So… why the plateau effect?

As with most challenges, there are multiple variables in play. That said, typically there are key factors that get at the core of any problem.

In the business world, assuming one’s products are coveted, they can be produced fast enough, and one’s price points can be held, it is the availability, scalability and efficiency of distribution channels that ensures continued revenue growth.

Logically, the world of university annual fund fundraising should operate by analogous principles:

If current and prospective givers continue to value and believe in the cause

If it’s still possible to solicit comparable dollar value gifts and

If there’s no limit on the supply of giving opportunities

Then, “distribution” i.e. retention of current donors and the ability to efficiently make contact with more and more alumni will ensure continued annual fund revenue growth.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, will tell you that the opportunity lies here. The annual fund distribution process is handicapped. Because of the long-standing process of soliciting one-time gifts, college advancement teams largely start their Annual Fund efforts from scratch each year. With the necessity to re-solicit the fund gifts annually, donor retention is inconsistent and there is less time to win new donors and bring in new giving dollars.

Using traditional distribution methods, every college annual fund hits a plateau. Many are already there.

Meet MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving. Find out how this approach is transforming the university annual fund marketing and distribution process.


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