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Jay Love

Recent Posts by Jay Love:

2 Methods for Justifying Personalized Donor Communications

The issue of personalization arises in virtually every conversation pertaining to donor communications. Personalized communication can result in revenue increases ranging from sublime to off-the-charts.


Relationship Fundraising Comes of Age

In 1992 I had the absolute pleasure of working with numerous nonprofits and their fundraising throughout Europe. During that year, I was handed a copy of a revolutionary new book on fundraising techniques and principles. The book was Relationship Fundraising authored by a Scotsman with the name of Ken Burnett.


Why Are Nonprofits So Terrible At Acknowledging Gifts?

The harsh reality is that most of us in the nonprofit sector are not very good at making donors feel special through the gift acknowledgement process.


5 Resources To Help Build Your 2015 Fundraising Plan

Sure as the sun rises, the end of one calendar year brings the time for planning for the upcoming year. Every fundraiser reading this blog has this prime opportunity to create your 2015 fundraising game plan. But...


5 Insights Into Nonprofit Board Practices You Should Know

Recruiting and managing an effective board of directors is easier said than done. Many nonprofit struggle with engagement, volunteerism, giving and overall health.


Should the Pareto Principle Apply to Fundraising?

In 1906 Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. He also noticed 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the peapods, if that gives you any insight into the kind of man he was. Since then, his "Pareto Principal" has been applied to almost everything under the sun.


Low Donor Retention Takes More Than A Board Meeting To Solve

How involved is your board in the fight against low donor retention?

Business owners, executives and other for-profit professionals are used to customer renewal rates of 90% or more. That's why most board members are shocked when they learn that the charity they serve has a low donor retention rate.

In my last blog post, I told the story of how this shock spurred a strategic discussion that ordinarily would not have occurred had our nonprofit's dismal donor retention rate not been brought to light. While there are many benefits to such discussions, they alone are not enough to fix the retention problem. Action was needed.

Obtaining the second gift is the key to donor retention

Nearly every board member fully understood the vast difference in average first-year retention rates (22.9%) and repeat retention rates (60.8%). Our discussion focused squarely on what could be done to bridge the immense gap between first and the second gift among our donors.

Numerous theories and strategies were explored from top to bottom. The board concluded that it might be best to move many of our resources and activities from donor acquisition activities to donor stewardship and relationship-building activities! This was a eureka moment; one that seldom happens in any board meeting. Most of the board volunteered to help.

What can your board members do?

Board members can make a difference!

They can make thank you phone calls, write handwritten thank you notes, and get involved in face-to-face follow-up meetings for first-time donors who make above-average gifts.

Perhaps the most important part of this type of board involvement is the example it sets for the staff at the nonprofit. Improved donor relationship-building must become a mindset that permeates far beyond just the fundraising team.

It should be firmly entrenched in the mind of every single member of the team!

Strategic discussions lead to strategic actions

It's amazing what can happen when the true power of a board awakens. There are very few strategic items more vital to achieving mission success than improving donor retention.

Hopefully, the discussion outlined above can prompt a similar discussion at one of your future board meetings. If it does, please let us know the result!

Jay Love, Co-Founder and CEO of Bloomerang

The preceding is a guest post by Jay Love, Co-Founder and CEO of Bloomerang, which helps nonprofit organizations to reach, engage, and retain the advocates they depend on to achieve their vision for a better world. A veteran of the nonprofit technology sector, Jay is a founding member of the AFP Business Member Council and chair of the AFP Ethics Committee.


How One Question Changed This Nonprofit Board Meeting

After attending various board meetings from numerous types of nonprofits over the last 20 years, one particular gathering of the board for a local charity stands out as my favorite. Surprisingly, it wasn't a board retreat or a strategic planning session.


4 Reasons To Involve Your Board In Choosing Donor Software

Most nonprofits rarely, if ever, utilize or even think about the role a portion or all of their board should have in selecting this key strategic tool for their organization. Such an important tool should never be an afterthought or merely a budget line item.


5 Reasons Why Every NPO Board Should Have Term Limits


Board governance is often taken for granted in the early stages of creating a nonprofit organization. Everyone involved is so excited about the first steps in achieving the mission of the fledgling NPO or the inevitable early funding issues to discuss board governance.