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The sgENGAGE Podcast

Subscribe to The sgENGAGE Podcast to hear experts from across the social good community share best practices, tips and must-know trends that will help organizations increase their impact. Formerly called the Raise & Engage Podcast.
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Now displaying: May, 2021
May 27, 2021

High donor attrition is a fact of life for fundraisers—even those who excel at donor retention. To grow revenue, social good organizations must attract a steady stream of new donors each year to replace those that will be lost. However, your organization likely has supporters who, despite a lack of giving history, have engaged with you in some way in the past.

In today’s episode, Brooke Hansel, Nonprofit Principal Solutions Marketer at Blackbaud, discusses the challenges associated with acquisition, how to determine which supporters to steward, and the practical steps you can take to establish a more streamlined process for converting your supporters into donors.

 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Donor acquisition growth in 2020
  • The importance of diversifying revenue
  • Multi-year donor retention vs. first-year donor retention
  • Talking about acquisition in the context of retaining the donors
  • Understanding donor acquisition cost
  • How to acquire donors efficiently
  • Wealth screening tools
  • What to consider in a data-driven approach
  • The link between volunteers and donors

 

Resources:

 

Quotes: 

“It’s important, more now than ever, to focus your acquisition efforts close to home.”

“Acquisition is critical given the whole “leaky bucket” idea.”

“The more efficient we can be at doing this work, the more time we have to play.”

May 22, 2021

What’s the difference between fundraising and raising money? Many people may think of successful fundraising as simply getting donations, but that definition leaves out another important element: engaging smaller or future donors. Some may not be able to give large gifts, but they can still become an important source of support for an organization.

Listen in to today’s episode to hear Melissa Rancour, principal instructional designer for Blackbaud University, talk about what social good organizations can do to get others invested and talking about their cause, the effect this has on donor retention, and how it can reduce donor remorse.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • What successful fundraising is
  • The focus on donating money and getting money donations
  • How to think about retention
  • Thinking about the “why”
  • Getting others invested in and talking about your cause
  • Long-term impact on donor retention
  • Reducing donor’s remorse
  • Getting started engaging younger supporters

 

Resources:

Melissa Rancour

Blackbaud University Organizational Best Practices

Quotes: 

“It’s all about time, talents, and treasures.”

“If we’re connecting with people in order to get them to share about our organization, and share with others, you’re connecting with them, so they share about your cause.”

“We need to look beyond just that money piece because we want those long-term donors.”

May 13, 2021

The last year has brought a lot of change and a lot of new learnings. And from healthcare to poverty to racial justice, social good organizations are looking to find new solutions that meaningfully impact these important issues. However, as with any big social impact initiatives, that will require that organizations embrace learning from the inevitable failures along the way. That’s why today we’re bringing back an episode from August 2019 featuring Kate Robinson, executive director of the documentary film Failing Forward: On the Road to Social Impact.

Kate talked to host Steve MacLaughlin about how nonprofits and other social good organizations can use failure to make a bigger impact. Listen to the episode to hear what Kate Robinson has to say about learning culture, the questions that organizations should be asking to improve programs, and what role funders play in the process of failure and learning.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The purpose of Kate’s documentary, Failing Forward: On the Road to Social Impact
  • The characteristics of a learning culture
  • The pressure on nonprofits to appear effective
  • Using data as a tool to learn and drive decision making
  • Questions that organizations should ask to learn and improve programs
  • Overcoming resistance within organizations to “failing fast”
  • The dangers of not having a learning culture open to failure
  • The role of funders in adjusting perspectives to make learning from failure a bigger part of the equation
  • Building trust between funders and grantees to allow for more transparency

Resources:

Kate Robinson

Failing Forward

May 6, 2021

There’s always something that can throw your organization’s budget off track. Some crises are worse than others – the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, for example, brought completely unforeseen challenges – but even if internal or external factors don’t rise to that level, you can count on some type of shift.

Today’s episode covers how to prepare for budget shifts so you are ready when they come. Listen in to hear Mary Aquino and Melissa Rancour from Blackbaud University talk about how to identify potential causes of budget changes, understanding the legal process for budget shifts, and anticipating and handling fundraising impacts.

 

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How COVID-19 impacted budgets and how organizations responded
  • Causes of budget variance
  • The legal obligations that organizations have for using donations
  • Education about restricted and endowment funds
  • Documenting the budget process
  • Questions to ask yourself to get your policy documented

 

Resources:

Mary Aquino

Melissa Rancour

Webinar: Keep Calm & Carry On: Handling Unplanned Budget Changes

Article: Budget Changes? Keep Calm and Carry On with These Tips!

Article: Annual Planning in an Ever-Changing World

 

Quotes: 

“When the economy’s up, most of the time donations tend to go up with it. But when the economy’s down, then donations normally decrease too.”

“Sometimes people don’t realize there’s a domino effect that kind of goes on with these shifts.”

“Word of mouth is not a budget update process.”

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