Blog

April 30, 2012
Great Futures

Boys & Girls Clubs of America has marketed itself with several taglines over the years. From the mid 90’s to 2010 it was “The Positive Place for Kids”. Since 2010 it’s been “Great Futures Start Here”, a memorable slogan, foundational and inspirational, in just four words.

The word “Here” is especially appropriate given the physical Club building presence in each community they serve. Local Club houses are the foundation of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

More and more nonprofits are building their fundraising efforts around monthly giving programs. Why?

Monthly giving, or as MEG likes to call it, Monthly Engaged Giving, yields consistent, forecast-able revenue while efficiently stewarding the small and medium size givers that are often lost in the fundraising process.

Monthly giving programs are a foundation on which to grow.

See Monthly Engaged Giving in action at www.BuildingGreatFutures.org.

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May 01, 2012
Media Maven

Nonprofits know the value of engaging and special communication for all donors.

The challenge is time and resources. Many days, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. And, often, the right tools and methods are lacking.

Traditionally, by virtue of prioritization, it is the largest donors that receive the majority of an organization’s special communication touches. It’s unfortunate, but true. One of the side-effects is missed opportunities to grow a broader base of donors and to better cultivate current givers.

Pictures, video, music and voice over narratives are special, endearing and time efficient ways to share love with all of an organizations donors and prospects.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, is on a mission to efficiently bring love to all supporters, and especially small and medium size givers.

See her work in action at:

http://portal.sliderocket.com/BIEPK/Merry-Christmas-from-the-Valley-of-S...

MEG’s a media maven.

She makes special moments for monthly givers.

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March 28, 2012
MEG's March Madness Mojo

Fundraising insight often comes from unexpected places…
 
Each year, in March, tens of millions of people are captivated by the NCAA Basketball tournament.
 
Some say the tournament, commonly known as “March Madness,” captures the best of sports… compelling personal stories, underdogs, teamwork, etc.
 
That said, few would disagree that the most passionate followers of March Madness are the students and alumni of participating schools. Week after week, they jump, scream and even pray in support of their team. They relive the memories for years. And yes, they’re the same folks who fly their school colors by their front door and have license plate frames and sweatshirts proudly proclaiming their university allegiance.
 
Some refer to college as the formative years. It is a time of discovery and a chance to spread one’s wings.  It’s rich with memories. For many there is a powerful favorable connection with one’s college.
 
That enduring, emotional bond gives MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, confidence that college alumnus, when given convenient and compelling opportunities, will sign-up to become monthly engaged givers in droves.
 
Observing the March Madness passion of college alumni, it's easy to picture alumni getting started as monthly givers and continuing for a lifetime.
 
MEG’s a believer for good reason.
 
Call it MEG’s March Madness Mojo.

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March 18, 2012
Mega Millions

Who hasn't fantasized about winning the lottery?
 

The biggest of them all is Mega Millions, the U.S. multi-state game where the prize often reaches more than $100 Million.
 
It's a whimsical and fun escape to think about what one would do with all that money. After the typical brainstorms about exotic vacations, luxury cars, etc., many of us turn our dreams to how we would use the money to do good for family, friends and the community.
 
Just imagine what a windfall like that would do for your cause. Suddenly your nonprofit, college, church, etc. would be able to serve dramatically more people and in many more ways. That would be amazing, right?
 
The problem is the odds. They're really, really, really... bad.
 
So, back to reality...
 
Think of Monthly Engaged Giving, MEG, as a real world way to make your nonprofit's dreams come true. Ok, it won't be $100 million, but many orgs are already successfully using it to dramatically increase their revenue over time.
 
Just tweak your dream a little bit...call it MEGa Monthly.
 
It grows on you. The revenue keeps coming every month. Your supporters get more and more engaged with the cause.
 

Best of all, your odds are really, really, really...good.

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March 19, 2012
Less Change Equals More Monthly Givers

In their book Switch the Heath brothers describe ways to bring together our rational minds, “the Rider” and our emotional minds, “the Elephant” to change behavior.
 
They cite extensive research including a particularly fascinating study about a car wash loyalty card promotion:
 
“Every time customers bought a car wash, they got a stamp on their cards, and when they filled up their cards with eight stamps, they got a free wash. Another set of customers at the same car wash got a slightly different loyalty card. They needed to collect ten stamps (rather than eight) to get a free car wash – but they were given a “head start.” When they received their cards, two stamps had already been added.
 
The ‘goal’ was the same for both sets of customer: Buy eight additional car washes, get a reward. But the psychology was different: In one case, you’re 20% of the way toward a goal, and in the other case, you’re starting from scratch. A few months later, only 19 percent of the eight-stamp customers had earned a free wash, versus 34 percent of the head-start group. (And the head-start group earned the free wash faster.)”
 
As the car wash loyalty card study showed, providing a psychological “head start” is an effective behavior change technique.
 
MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, is a student of psychology and fundraising. She’s always looking for ways to get better. And, helping nonprofits get more monthly givers faster is one of MEG’s primary goals.
 
That’s why she incorporates “head start for behavior change” wisdom in the custom screenplays and scripts that are included in every MEG program.
 
Remember, less change equals more monthly givers.

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March 19, 2012
Fatigue Times Two

In the fundraising world, fatigue comes in two primary forms.
 
Donor fatigue is the malady effecting givers when they tire of being asked for gifts again and again.
 
Less frequently discussed is what the Fundraising Authority simply calls fundraising fatigue. They describe it as “the feeling of dread fundraising professionals get at the thought of having to make yet another round of asks, the terror of having to pour over prospect lists…”
 
Now…close your eyes. Imagine for a moment…a fundraising world free of donor and fundraising fatigue. Some would call it an answer to prayers.
 
Faithful, hardworking and quietly revolutionary, MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving, prefers not to toot her horn. Her customers are a different story. They rave about her…
 
That MEG, she brings real relief. She’s the fundraising approach that fights fatigue.
 
Fatigue times two.

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February 26, 2012
Fast Forward

You likely remember the transition from cassettes to compact discs and/or from compact discs to MP3s.
 
Both inflection points provided the user benefit of getting to specific segments of music incrementally faster.
 
Speed to the desired result without any loss of quality, it’s what we want.
 
Now, put on your fundraising hat. What if you could rapidly grow your portfolio of individual givers?
 
Better yet, what if the additional revenue was consistent, year after year, because of extraordinarily high giver retention rates?
 
It is. You can.
 

Meet MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving. She’s the transformative fundraising methodology that gets you from the perennial status quo to where you want to go. You’re up and engaging monthly givers in sixty days or less. The return on your investment comes quickly.

 
The inflection point for individual donor fundraising has arrived.
 

It’s MEG. Fast Forward.

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March 03, 2012
What's your face?

Communication.
 
It's much more than what is said or the tone of voice.
 
55% of rapport is established through non verbal communication. Think body language. Think facial expressions.
 
Our daily vernacular is sprinkled with reference to the impressions given by the faces we make. She put on her brave face. That’s his game face. Look at those kids…they have the faces of Angels.
 
The face metaphor extends to the impressions that charities give their donors.
 
Impressions are made by the frequency of solicitations, the consistency and channels of communication and the types of engagement opportunities that are provided.
 
All too often, the feel is tit for tat. Donors make gifts. Nonprofits send thank you's. Organizations make asks in every communication. It's stop, start and there's always something to be done. There's little time left for conversation or to truly understand the cause.
 
The transactional face... it's exhausting for all parties.
 
For nonprofits and for donors, Monthly Engaged Giving, MEG, is a refreshing face...a relationship face.
 
She's effective individual donor fundraising and systematic relationship cultivation wrapped in a single methodology.
 
She's cute, loveable and engaging. MEG gets the job done and she wears well over time.
 
What's your face?

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February 26, 2012
Head in the Clouds

Pick your definition. Being diplomatic, you might say, "not entirely with it."
 
While it’s a not so complimentary phrase in the traditional vernacular, times are changing.
 
Award winning cloud based services like Dropbox, Skype, Google Docs, Evernote, sliderocket and others are making many organizations, including nonprofits, dramatically more productive. More efficiency means more nonprofit resources focused on the cause.
 
Monthly Engaged Giving, MEG, was built from the ground up in the context of this new computing paradigm. The mindset and several of the best of these services are baked into every MEG program.
 
So go ahead and say it…
 
MEG has her head in the clouds.

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February 19, 2012
Everyday Heroes

Humble, consistent, generous.
 

We first think of teachers, firefighters, service men and women, police, nonprofit workers, etc...
 
...but they include parents, business people, construction workers and generous folks of all kinds. They nurture, they build, they manage, they invent, they volunteer and they give to make lives better.
 
Really they are just everyday people. They are your neighbors, your friends and your family.

 
They are not bound by color.
 

A few are more wealthy. Some are of very modest means. Most are somewhere in between.
 
Nonprofits have disproportionately focused their fundraising time on the few, the most wealthy. With finite resources and a dearth of options to efficiently engage small and medium size donors it's been the path of greatest return.
 
Overly dependent on a handful of large donors, many nonprofits live in a precarious balance. Always the loss of a few big donors away from instability and service cutbacks. Increasing competition for grants and declining government funding make the situation ever more precarious.
 
What do they need?
 
They need everyday heroes. Many everyday people giving a little each month.
 

St. Jude's Hospital, Worldvision, Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and many others have made the shift. Their primary form of individual donor fundraising is monthly giving.

 

We call it Monthly Engaged Giving, MEG. It's a transformative fundraising methodology designed to help nonprofits of all types, but especially those with modest resources.
 
See a MEG program in action at www.everydayhero.org.

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January 23, 2012
Fresh Ingredients

Stories.
 
They are the emotional and intellectual hooks that attract and endear monthly givers. First they draw us in and then they remind us of why we are giving to the cause.
 
It's one thing to prepare a few stories that inspire supporters to become monthly donors. But that's where 99% of monthly giving programs stop. They miss the uber valuable ongoing supporter engagement opportunity.
 
Why the disconnect?
 
Post sign-up monthly giver engagement takes careful planning. And, with traditional thinking and the same old resources, it's been time consuming and expensive to substantively touch monthly givers over time.
 
What's been long needed is an efficient system, a discipline, to consistently produce and share new stories. Nonprofits are yearning for easy, repeatable processes to capture the words, pictures and video that tell the stories of how they help people. But, it's not just producing the stories, it's conveniently and efficiently sharing them with monthly givers through the variety of channels that they use.
 
New, inexpensive technology makes story capture and story telling remarkably easy. Digital video devices like Sony's Bloggie and Kodak's Playfull allow story tellers to take HD video and high resolution digital photos on the same camera. These gadgets, available for less than $200, are bundled with editing software and include rapid Web upload features.
 
On the story sharing side, Web site content management systems give the stories a vehicle for virtually instant sharing. Additional tools like automated e-newsletters and smart phone and tablet friendly apps automatically leverage the stories across multiple mediums. Monthly givers access and reaccess the stories according to their own schedules and preferences. Generation Xs and Generation Ys, collectively sometimes called the Digital Generations, have come to expect things that way.
 
The new monthly giving is called Monthly Engaged Giving or MEG. She's all about efficient engagement. And, she includes processes for systematic ongoing collection of words, pictures and video.
 
It's no accident that Monthly Engaged Giving programs grow quickly, and have extraordinarily high retention rates.
 
Why so healthy?
 
They're fueled by fresh stories made from fresh ingredients.

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January 29, 2012
The Square Reader and MEG

It's one of ten innovations recognized by Popular Mechanics in its' 2011 Breakthrough Awards.
 

The Square Reader, a key size attachment for mobile devices, makes accepting credit card payments uber easy. No need for complicated, expensive and bulky 3rd party processing terminals. Square and its' accompanying apps, allow any iPad, iPhone or Android device to process transactions on the spot. Signatures are captured on the touchscreen, and receipts are sent via email.
 
It's already revolutionizing small business by allowing transactions virtually anywhere.
 
It will do the same for nonprofits by making giving easier and faster. MEG, who herself knows a little something about breakthrough innovation, sees the future. New technology tools are transforming longtime inefficient fundraising processes.
 
Welcome to the revolution.
 

MEG's all over it.

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