We surveyed our customer support and professional services teams to get their advice on the must-have New Year’s resolutions. Their best tips have been combined into a Top 10 list. Start fresh in 2019 with these great tips!
1) Resolve to make five thank you calls to donors each and every week. This small investment is proven to have a great impact on future giving, and it is a great reminder about why you do the work you do every day. Tip: Start with your top donors from 2018. According to Adrian Sargeant’s research, “a 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime value of your donor database by 200%.”
2) Look back at 2018 with an eagle eye and analyze your fundraising efforts. What worked? What didn’t work? Resolve to go into this New Year with a well-laid fundraising plan, and stick to it!
3) Add a sentence to every mailing, email, and communication inviting donors to ask for more information about how to include your organization in their estate plans: “I/We would like more information about including [your organization’s name] in my/our estate plans.”
4) Start using meaningful Constituent Codes. The codes “Individual” and “Organization” don’t tell you how the constituents relate to your organization – they’re just taking up space in your RE database. They’re data “noise.” A constituent code should tell you, at a glance, how this person relates to your organization. Are they a Volunteer? Are they a Board Member? Are they a Major Donor? A Current Student? An Alum? A Prospect? An Event Participant?
5) Make sure your donors aren’t being OVER-communicated to in 2019. Reach out to your marketing department, admissions office, and alumni office to make sure you are aware of every communication that goes out.
6) Create Raiser’s Edge® Default Sets to populate new records with all of your “standard” information, in just a couple of clicks! You can populate a Constituent record with Constituent Codes, Attributes, Primary Addressees/Salutations, and so much more. There are Default Sets for Gifts, Participants, and Proposals, to name a few of the options. You can also use Default Sets in ImportOmatic. You will find Default Sets here: Tools on the RE menu bar – Organize/Create Defaults. Detailed instructions on their use, within RE, are in the Help files.
7) Perfect your one-sentence pitch for your organization’s mission, and make sure EVERYONE can recite it. From your interns, to your board members, to your nurses, to your deans, each person should know EXACTLY how your tagline reads.
8) Host a volunteer event that combines orientation and training with stewardship and recognition. This should be a time for volunteers, both green and seasoned, to come together to share ideas and learn how they can impact your organization’s efforts.
9) Document important processes in a policies and procedures handbook. The handbook doesn’t have to be flashy, as it will be an internal document and it will be specific to certain departments. While no one likes to think about a position suddenly being vacant, it does happen, and your organization will be in a much better place if your processes are well documented for the person picking up those duties.
10) Make time for training. Assess gaps in RE skill levels amongst your users and invest in webinars or additional offsite/onsite training to strengthen weak areas. Well-trained users are more efficient, and less frustrated, which means they get more tasks completed – this is nothing but good for your organization!