On August 14th, we presented a webinar entitled “Peer-To-Peer Fundraising and Donor Retention Don’t Have To Be Enemies!” Jay Love of Bloomerang and Dave Boyce of Fundly explained how the immense success of new donor acquisition via peer-to-peer fundraising can also result in repeat donors the following year.

In case you missed it, you can watch a video replay here:

Webinar Transcript:

Steven: Well, Dave and Jay, I have a one o’clock. Do you want to get

Dave: Yes, sir.

Jay: I’m good.

Steven: Okay, great. Well, good afternoon for everyone joining us on
the East Coast, and good morning if you’re on the West Coast.
Thanks for being here for today’s webinar, “Peer to Peer
Fundraising and Donor Retention Don’t Have to Be Enemies.” My
name is Steven Shattuck, and I’m the VP of Marketing here at
Bloomerang, and I’ll be moderating today’s discussion. And today
I’m joined by two leaders here in the nonprofit here in the
nonprofit sector. The first is Dave Boyce. He’s CEO of Fundly.
Hey there, Dave.

Dave: Howdy. Thanks for having me.

Steven: Yeah, great to have you. Thanks for joining us today. And also
here with us is my colleague at Bloomerang, Jay Love. He’s the
cofounder and CEO over here at Bloomerang. Hey there, Jay.

Jay: Hey. Looking forward to it.

Dave: Yeah. It should be a really great conversation.


Steven: So, what we’re going to do today is Dave is actually going to
get us started. He’s going to share his thoughts on peer to peer
fundraising and crowdfunding best practices. And then he’s going
to hand it off to Jay, who’s going to talk about ways to keep
those donors after they’ve contributed to that p2p campaign.

And as always, what we do on our webinars is after both
presenters have finished, we’re going to move to a fun Q&A
session, where you guys listening can send any questions over
and we’ll answer as many as we can. So, if you hear something
during the presentation that maybe you’d like clarified or
explained a little bit more, definitely send those over via the
chat functionality right there on the webinar interface. And
I’ll see those as they come through, and so will Dave and Jay.
And we’ll just get to as many questions as possible, so don’t be
shy about asking anything. And what we’ll do is we’ll also be
sending out slides and the recording of the entire presentation
a little later on this afternoon. So, look for that later this

And without any further ado, I’m going to hand it off to Dave,
who’s going to get us started in talking about peer to peer
fundraising. So, Dave, I’ll let you go ahead.

Dave: Thank you very much. Steve, I think I lost presenter rights. So, I’m
looking at the slides, but I don’t know if you can re-give them
to me. I had to restart.

Steven: Oh, sure. I’ll re-give them to you right now. Okay. You should
have them again.

Dave: I got it. Good.

Steven: Great.

Dave: Hey, thank you everybody for joining. This is exciting. Jay and I
have done a few things together, and we’re excited to do a lot
more things together. We’ve been working with customers on
combining these two concepts of donor acquisition and donor
retention. And I know I can speak for my team – we love working
with the Bloomerang team, and anywhere we can get engaged to
help marry these two concepts on the ground, in real life for
great causes, we’re just super excited to do it. So, I’m going
to do just a quick – ha, ha, Dave.

Jay: I will “xox” Dave with my little heart, too.

Dave: Awesome. Well, I’m going to do just a quick overview of
Fundly for those of you who want to get to know what Fundly is.
It’s going to obviously be hard to cover everything, but I think
I can give you a quick bird’s eye view of what Fundly is. We are
an event fundraising platform. We set out to build software that
was three things, three goals: We wanted to make software
that was the easiest to use in terms of fundraising, the
prettiest to look at, and the most social. And that second one
seems a little funny, but given that we were doing social
fundraising, where we’re relying on the volunteers to do the
fundraising for us, we knew that it had to be easy to use,
because volunteers are not professional fundraisers, and when
you ask them to go do something for you, you have to make it
easy. They also are going to be much more inclined to steer
their friends to pages and experiences that are good-looking and
that they’re proud of, so we had to make it fun and easy.

And then finally, I’ll show you a little bit of the social that
we do. And because we assume that volunteer fundraisers – when
we say event fundraising, think about a 5k run. I launch a 5k
run. The reason I usually do that is so that I can meet more
people, get more people involved with my organization. I get my
participants to go out and raise money from their friends. And
my assumption is that those participants are not professional
fundraisers. They’re doing this because they care about my
organization and they want to be part of this event. So, social,
we add in because that’s where most people spend most of their
time online. And what we think we’ve built is the best platform
for acquiring new donors.

So, why the social piece? Well, it turns out, social is where we
spend most of our time. 90% of US households have one or more
social media profile. And on average, each person with a social
media profile has 130 friends. Actually, on Fundly, the number
is a lot higher. I think that’s because of positive self-
selection, but on average, 130 friends. And people that are
engaged in giving on crowdfunding sites, which is kind of the
word people have used to describe social fundraising, the
average donation is $121, which is average than the average
online gift. And part of this is because of the friend to friend
dynamic. When a friend reaches out to another friend to support
a nonprofit that they care about, the response rate is ten times
higher than if the request had come from the organization. And
of course, as we just saw, the donation is also higher. So, this
friend to friend fundraising really works.

Think about your strategy for acquiring new donors online, and
it probably doesn’t look too much different than this. This is a
customer of ours who used to have an online giving forum that
looks like this. And then they would use email to drive people
to that forum, and they realized that it’s just not inviting.
It’s not stimulating. Try to get people excited about that, and
that’s super hard.

First is, I’ll give you some examples of Fundly campaigns.
Again, these are kind of event fundraising online campaigns,
which have a target, a thermometer. It shows you pictures of
your friends. When you hit this page, if you’re logged into
Fundly, it’ll show you anyone who you’re friends with on
Facebook first. It’ll show you how far we are against a target.
And then there’s a message, and then down here below, I’ll show
you a little bit later blogging functionality. And then ways
that you can support.

You can become a supporter, become a donor, etc. Each of these
is fully (?). And so, depending on – here’s a $18,000 into a
$150,000 campaign for the Breast Cancer Society. Here’s a bike-a-
thon that’s just getting started for the U.S. Bicycling Hall of
Fame. Here’s Buddy Walk. Each of them you can see has
interesting background images and branding. This is all doable,
configurable by using the administrator. You can set your
targets, set your content, upload your pictures, upload your
videos. Each of your events look a little bit different. Each of
your campaigns look a little bit different and take on the
personality of what you’re trying to do. So, as you can see,
this is a lot different than just having a forum and driving
people to it with email. This is a social experience where
people can show up, see who their friends are, engage, comment,
share, and then also become fundraisers.

The key to all of this – let me just back up one and just show
you. This is probably our biggest deployment. We’ve got a lot of
things you saw that were in the $5,000, $10,000, $15,000,
$20,000 range. These guys have raised about four million
dollars. And the way they do it is they set up one of these
campaigns for each of the build sites where they’re going to
send international volunteers. And then each of their volunteers
gets their own personal fundraising page. And that personal
fundraising page is used to go raise money to sponsor them on
their (?) trip. So, that’s similar to a 5k walk, but they’re
using a mission-orientated trip as the event and the reason for
raising the money. Like I said, they’ve raised about four
million dollars so far using social fundraising as their model.

I mentioned easy. What do I mean by “easy”? Well, in terms of
software design, we set out to build something that anyone –
don’t have to have a degree in computer science, don’t have to
be a database administrator, don’t have to call in a consultant
or IT or your DBA from down the hall. No third parties. You can
set these campaigns up. I can set these campaigns up, and all I
am is an MBA. So, if I can do it, I think anybody can do it. You
can access them from anywhere. They’re all hosted in the cloud.
You don’t need special installed software or admin tools. You
literally login from anywhere, including from your phone. We
have a mobile application that as a fundraiser you can use to
keep track of who’s donating, send thank-yous, invite more
people to join, track your progress, etc. So, for the admins,
it’s easy to use.

Here’s some examples of some tools that are admin-facing tools.
This happens to be the email tool, where I’ve got some preset
templates here – one for “Get Donors,” one for “Get supporters,”
one for “Send a thank you,” or I can create my own custom
templates and keep track of emails that I sent and reuse them. I
can edit any of these, and then I can add (?) custom templates.
So, it’s (?) easy email center for updating. I can also from
here access my funds. I can change my settings. I can look at
who my supporters are. I can take this whole campaign and embed
it as a widget on my website or even on my Facebook page. And
again, all of this is doable without IT involvement. When I go
to create a campaign, it’s as simple as just this screen right
here. I set a title. I say why I’m fundraising. I set my goal. I
upload my images. I upload a background image if I want to do,
and then I upload images for that video gallery. Videos are very
compelling, and images are very compelling. And every time I
upload an image onto my campaign, I might do some of this in my
initial configuration, but as I’m running my campaign, I might
also be posting updates. And one type of update would be a new
photo. Every time I do that, the engine in the background pushes
that notification out to all my supporters via email and also to
any Facebook accounts that I’ve connected to it so that everyone
who has liked my organization on Facebook also has a chance to
see each of my new updates. So, as I make updates, posts get
automatically made to social sites. But I can also create my own
custom posts to social sites right from the Fundly interface to
help me market my campaign.

One of the key features on Fundly is that once I set that
campaign up – let’s go back to the example of the 5k walk – then
I can go recruit my supporters to be fundraisers themselves.
When a fundraiser registers for my event, they’re automatically
provisioned. They’ll go through the registration process. If I
have a fee associated with registering for the event, they’ll
pay that fee. I’ll get them to connect their Facebook account,
and I’ll get them to specify small, medium, or large t-shirt or
whatever other custom things that I need so that I can know
they’re participating in my 5k event. But when they’re finished,
I’ve automatically provisioned them with their own personal
event page. And that place is where they can keep track of where
and when the event is, who else is participating, but also it’s
a home base for them to start fundraising. Because I’ve already
grabbed their Facebook information, I’ve already started
announcing to their friends that they’re participating in my
event. And when people come visit their personal page, they can
either register for the event themselves or support their friend
who’s in this 5k run.

This page that I built for them actually they don’t have to do
any work on. It inherits all of the default content. You saw
those gorgeous pages from before – all of that imagery, those
photos, the map, the time, the date of the event, everything. Or
if it’s an online campaign that doesn’t have a map and a time
and a date, and it’s just a campaign, it still inherits all of
the branding and the imagery and the words from its inherent
campaign. So, all they have to do is start reaching out to their
friends and sending them to that page to get them to support the

As we’ve worked with our customers, we’ve collected best
practices. And I stole this from a webinar we did recently with
the Orlando Health System. Our sponsor there, who’s been rolling
out across all of their online fundraising and all of their
events gave these tips for being successful. He says, “You need
to have a compelling story with inspiring content.” I think
that’s the beginning of any successful fundraising campaign. And
then, as they’ve been doing these events, they said, “First
thing you want to do is find a core group of interested
volunteers who will kick off your campaign. It’s sort of like
throwing a party. You wouldn’t print a whole flock of flyers and
then go start pasting them up all over town. The first thing you
would do is make sure that your best friends are coming to your
party. You get them locked in first. You check dates and you
make sure that you’ve got a core group that’s coming. Then you
would reach out to an extended group of friends and make sure
that based on the awesome group of people you have already
attending that they’re interested in coming. And then once you
have your first 25 people committed to the party, now you go out
to the masses and start recruiting.” So, what Mike says is, “Get
a core group of interested volunteers. Build a plan to get them
recruited as volunteer fundraisers, and then start
communicating. Make sure you have a clear goal. Make sure you
have a clear schedule. And then make sure you have somebody
who’s driving the success of this thing.”

Let me show you what they did in their first event. This is,
again, Michael Schmidt at Orlando Health Systems. They did what
had historically been a $10,000 5k walk, and they launched it
with really about 30 days’ notice. They switched over from their
old fundraising platform to this new one as kind of a test. This
is not their biggest event, but they thought, “Let’s try it out
on a $10,000 event.” Well, as you can see, they came out of the
gate on fire, and they ended up raising five times the money
that they thought they would. They got over 1,000 people
supporting it, and they really cited the ease of use as the
reason why people enjoyed sending it out to their friends,
enjoyed the run-up to the event, and really got a pretty steep
uptake in terms of fundraising for those 30 days just prior to
the event.

Just want to show one slide example before we go into a kind of
summary of how to make these things successful. This was also a
race, but this was a bicycle race. It’s a 50-year-old event at
Indiana University called “The Little 500.” It’s always been a
fundraising event, but they’ve always only raised money through
sponsorship and ticket sales. They’ve never raised money through
crowdfunding. They decided, “What if we got our 63 teams each to
have their own fundraising page, and each of the participants to
have their own fundraising page underneath that? What could we
do?” Well, they created about a quarter of a million impressions
on Facebook. They got an audience of almost 75,000 on Facebook.
They raised $13,000. And they did this all in one week. They
launched this campaign one week prior to the event. The event is
50 years old. Of course, they start planning it the day after
the prior year’s event, but they didn’t have this crowdfunding
idea until about a month prior, and they launched it a week
prior. They were excited enough about it that they’re now
rolling it out across other Indiana University campaigns. And
they’re gearing up of course for The Little 500 next year, as

So, just a couple of tips. If you’re using event fundraising and
social campaigning for how to make this succeed. The number one
tip is to make sure that it’s personal. This message right here
from your personal fundraiser is the most important thing. It’s
a friend to friend ask, not an organization ask, not a spam-
based ask, not a mass mailing, direct mail, email, no. it’s this
person who you know who’s asking you, “Will you support me?”
Actually, in a recent study by Hope Consulting, personal ties
were stated as the number one deciding campaign in individuals
who made donations to any nonprofit. Number one before mission,
number one before efficiency of the nonprofit. The number one
decision is, do I have a personal connection? And what we know
is that personal campaign pages convert a lot better than
generic campaign pages.

This personal campaign page can also be used to drive a lot of
updates. There are blog updates that show up down here, as I
mentioned, when photos get uploaded, when milestones are
reached. The campaign sends out automatic reminders, and it
keeps people engaged, and it really keeps them interested and
motivated. Every time somebody makes a donation, they get their
own thank you card that they can post to Facebook. And all of
the return loops and the social engagement that this creates
makes it feel very personal. It’s definitely not one-and-done.

The next tip is to make it social. Now, the platform takes care
of most of that for you, but we know, we saw earlier that 90% of
households have social media profiles. Well, 60% of browsers are
logged into Facebook at any given time. Facebook is where
increasingly people spend most of their online time. So, what
we’ve done with Fundly is we’ve made sure that every action that
happens on Fundly, if you’ve connected your Facebook account, it
gets shared on Facebook, as well. You join the event with a one-
click join using Facebook. You are able to both register and
donate and then share the event in the process of joining the
event. And by the time you’re done, your friends know that
you’re participating. And what that means for us, as nonprofit
organizations, is that we’ve now tapped into an audience that we
did not have access to before. We, of course, know the people in
our database. But we don’t know their friends yet. So, if we can
get the people in our database to participate in our events and
then share with their friends, that opens this up to a hundred
times more people than we would have access to otherwise, and
that’s how we drive new donor acquisition.

As those lists get made, this is a real example of how it shows
up on a Facebook timeline. You can see each of these updates
have as milestones (?), donating, creating a campaign. This
shows up right in context on Facebook where people spend most of
their time.

So, this is my last slide, and I’ll hand it off to Jay. But we
have made this as easy as we can think of to start. You
literally go to Fundly.com, and you start a campaign. That’s it.
You hit “Start” for free. You start the campaign. We have what’s
called a Fundly Guide that walks you through each of the steps
to show you how to build your campaign. And then there’s an
omnipresent button over here to the left-hand side of any Fundly
page that says “Support and Feedback.” Click on that button, and
you are tapped into our support line. If you’re trying to do
something bigger than, say a $25,000 campaign – if you’re trying
to do multiple campaigns or something like I described for
Habitat for Humanity, you just use that “Support and Feedback”
button to say, “Hey, I want to do something a little bigger.”
And then we will talk to you about some of our enterprise-scale
deployments. One of the things you might ask on that “Support
and Feedback” button is, “Hey, how do we get this to connect
directly to Bloomerang? Because not only do we want to acquire
new donors, but we also want to retain them.” And that’s
something that we love to talk about, and we’ll respond to that
support and feedback inquiry as well.

So, I think, Jay, that might be a good tee-up for donor

Jay: Wonderful. Well, thanks, Dave. I so appreciate it. And
please allow me to say right off the bat that what Dave is
saying is so true. Our mutual clients were up and going and
bringing in brand new donors that came into our database in
literally just a few hours of time to make that happen, so what
Dave’s referring to as far as the ease of use and the graphic
visibility and all that’s there, it is truly the case. And as I
looked at all the different opportunities and who we wanted to
partner with, it was obvious that the simplicity really ties
into the simplicity and the way we go about helping people get
databases up and going quickly.

But let’s jump to the next slide here and talk about that. Donor
acquisition tools step two. Well, the effective use of the donor
database makes the new donor retention achievable. Because as
you know, if you’re bringing a lot of people in that front door,
if we don’t do something to build a relationship and thereby
establish some retention levels, you’re going to have to do that
process year after year after year, and there’s an easier way to
make that happen. Because just think – if you continue the
process year after year, but yet you’re still retaining at a
much higher level the ones that came in – wow, you have the best
of both results, and you can really increase the revenue going
into your mission in a much greater way.

So, what do I mean when I talk about an effective use of a
database? What exactly does that question mark that I’m putting
here really mean? Well, that means from my viewpoint, simply
that everyone is using it daily to build relationships. And
that’s been the so-called deep, dark secret of so many donor
databases, is that they were the domain where only the people
that were in an administrative or database administrator role –
those were the only people in the past that used these
databases. So, therefore, a lot of activity, and some of the
things we’re building into Bloomerang would not be able to come
to life if it was not for the fact that all of the people that
are touching donors need to be able to see and know what’s
happening there. Because not only do you get their additional
input and their notes and their information, but you’re putting
that at their fingertips, that every time they’re talking to
somebody in person, on the phone, sending out an email, sending
out a letter, whatever the case may be, they know the full
extent of that relationship and how we’re intending to grow
that. And when you’ve got something like the Fundly seeding in
all these new relationships, and you’ve got the background
information that comes with that feed of where they came from,
how they were involved, who is their connector to your
organization, you can really take advantage of that in several
different ways.

So, let’s talk a little bit about what this new donor commitment
can mean. I like to refer to it as lifetime value. And new donor
commitment is the next logical step after a relationship is
created and nurtured. And as you move over to where people start
using the term “commitment” and “loyalty” and “nurture,” and
people that really, really sort of adopt your mission as one of
their own to do that, then this lifetime value really comes into
play. Unfortunately, the amount of new donor commitment for any
type of new donor coming in is extremely low.

The fundraising effect in this project – this is where this data
is coming from over the last five years – is a joint project by
the Urban Institute and the Association of Fundraising
Professionals. Their information has shown that overall donor
retention has fallen over the last five years. You can see from
50% down to the 41% that’s here right now. But the scary thing
is, if we look here, new donor retention is averaging only 27%.
So, only one out of four approximately new donors stay and give
again in the second year.

And so, let’s talk a little bit about that, because I truly
think that the retention problem relative to new donors or
existing donors is really a donor relationship problem, or a
donor relationship dilemma. And I believe that with the right
amount of expertise and help, we can all address that. And when
we talk about the expertise that’s involved, I refer to two
industry efforts that have been kind enough to team up with us
at Bloomerang and with all of our partners such as Fundly.

The person on the right there some of you may be familiar with.
That’s Dr. Adrian Sargeant. He is the father of donor retention.
He’s been doing research into donor loyalty and donor retention
for over 20 years. He’s the person that’s in the endowed chair
at the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University, and one of
the 10 most influential people in fundraising. And he has coined
many of the phrases, and I’ll talk about some of his tips and
tricks that really come into play to make a huge difference
there. And they’re really not tricks in any way, shape, or form.
They’re really just common sense that’s being applied now to
build relationships. Over on the left is Mr. Tom Ahern, another
member of our team, and he is our donor communications head
coach and one of the top authorities on donor communications.

And especially for people that come to you from the peer to peer
world, they have come in based upon communications from their
friends, their family, people that they know, people that they
work with. And that communication, when it comes in from a tool
like Fundly, is already powerful, very well-done. Dave and his
team there have put together a very graphically pleasing and
visually stunning way to communicate with folks. Well, we’ve got
to keep our game up at that high level as we move into the next
level here and keep that communications going so that the
retention can stay, moving at an upward trend as we make that

So, when we talk about donor retention best practices, it was
Dr. Sargeant who made the phrase that “a 10% improvement in
retention can double the life and value of your donor database.”
And I really think that for new donors, we can make that much,
much more than a 10% retention. I think for many of the
organizations, if the proper tools and proper steps are put in
place there, you can take that 25%, 27% retention rate and
double it so that at least half of your donors are coming back
next year and supporting your organization. Whether or not they
participate in the same event or not makes no difference.

So, let’s talk a little bit about what lifetime value is,
because this concept is one you want to get across so that every
member of your team is really focused in on what the lifetime
value is for any person that’s contained in your database that’s
given to your organization. Lifetime value as I define it is the
total net contribution that a donor generates during his or her
lifetime in your database. So, that’s based upon two key
factors. The first key factor is what is their average gift, and
I’ll make a crude dollar sign here for that. You really need to
know what is the average gift. Dave shows you in one of his
earlier slides what the average gift was for someone coming in
via online and peer to peer, and it’s 25% higher than just a
normal online gift. But the other item is the number of years
that they are with your organization. And I’ve always found this
to be a wonderful strategic topic for a board meeting, because
most board members are not aware of what the average donor’s
gift is to their organization or the average number of years
that someone supports their group there. Many of them are not
aware that we have this. Only one out of four new donors are
staying with us year after year after coming in and becoming a
new donor.

So, one of the things that we do with the Bloomerang application
is make it really obvious what your retention rate is. And as
you can see by this retention wheel that’s here on your screen,
we’re always showing you every time that you come into the
application what your retention rate is for your organization
going back exactly 365 days – going back one year so you can
see, “Have I improved my retention rate from last week to this
week or from last month to this last month? Are we moving
upwards and are we keeping track of that?” So, it’s very, very
important to be able to know how to easily measure that and
bring that up to an upper level. Now, some of the things that
you can do to move that retention level up, and we’re going to
talk about that as it relates to new donors here. So, bear in
mind that this can be used for all types of donors, but I’m
going to use some of the donors that we have here. So what we
want to first of all do is make sure that they’re aware of our
performance data. How well are we achieving our mission? And if
your communication relays to them how well you’re achieving your
mission, that is one aspect of what we’re going to talk about on
number six down below at the bottom, also communicating on where
their specific funding is going to achieve that. But you need to
be able to report and say whether or not your organization is
achieving their mission.

Next one – cannot emphasize enough about this – connect often.
If they have come to you from something like an application
that’s a peer to peer like Fundly, that’s through social media.
People connect, if not daily or weekly on social media, hourly
on that. As Dave alluded to earlier, I think that’s a stunning
statistic. Dave, what was it? Was it 60% of all browsers are on
Facebook at any time – people are logged into their browser?

Dave: It’s crazy. Yeah, they don’t logout. You do shopping or browsing or
whatever, you’re logged into Facebook.

Jay: It is remarkable, the amount of sharing that’s there. So, when you
think about that, people that have been connected, and most
likely, the person that they sponsor that is in your event or
the reason that they gave, they may be connecting though, that
person, once a day, once a week. And I’m sure, at the least,
once a month to do that. And if we go six months to a year
without connecting to them, there’s no way that they’re going to
come back and be in the fold. In fact, one of Adrian Sargeant’s
key points is, if someone has not come back to us and
reconnected in some way or another, in 90 days or less, the
chances of them becoming a donor again have dropped very, very
significantly. It’s very, very important that we have a touch
point and some sort of a way to let them become involved with us
in one way or the other. It doesn’t necessarily have to be
another financial transaction, but that 90-day period is very,
very important to make sure we have in place there. We develop
that relationship with that new donor much like a good personal
friendship for that. So, think about that. A good personal
relationship doesn’t rely on just email, or it doesn’t rely on
the telephone or text messages. It’s usually a combination of
different ways of communicating. When you think about how you
got to know a good friend of yours, my guess is you probably saw
them in person. Then you reconnected by phone, and then you
maybe did a text message, and you maybe did an email, connected
again by phone, maybe met them connected through other people
again. That same way is here is that there’s multiple touch
points, and some people have preferences for which one. So, I’m
always amazed that many nonprofits will take that brand new
donor and just throw them into the direct mail group and expect
that direct mail is going to work for somebody that came to you
via social media and peer to peer. That’s more than likely not
going to be the case.

Now, these last two are real, real key ones here. Let me put a
star here for that with this. Find and use the human connectors.
If you don’t write anything else down from this webinar today,
if they came to you from peer to peer, try to utilize the
individual that was the human connector to connect with them
next time. So, for instance, if I got 19 people to sponsor me
for running in a 5k race – they all sponsored Jay Love – it
would be very nice if sometime in that first 90 days I reached
out to them, and I told them how much I appreciated them
sponsoring me and why this nonprofit is meaningful in my life –
why this mission touches my heart and my soul and why I’m
involved, and asking them if they could get further involved in
some way or shape besides just sponsoring me in that race. That
human connector, in making that happen is such a significant
factor in making sure that they’re retained from one time to the

And then the last one here is people always want to know what
difference their monies are making. Even if it’s that $131, that
average transaction fee that David talked about earlier, let
them know what $131 meant to your mission. If you’re a homeless
shelter or a food bank, how many people $131 feed. If you are an
animal rescue, how many animals did that help rescue? If you are
helping with conservation or doing something in a third world
country or just helping people with scholarships, whatever the
case may be, let them know exactly what the direct tie-in was to
your mission that those dollars helped achieve. And maybe in
those future communications, talk about what an extra $131, or
$262, would be able to bring for you to do that. And that’s all
part of building that relationship with those people.

So, let’s talk about ways that the database can help you with
that relationship. As you can see here, this is a summary screen
for an individual. And what I’m going to focus on over here is
the engagement level. This little box that you see right here.
And you can see right now that James is at a warm level. And
that means to us that we are moving the relationship along, and
we’re almost at the midway point as far as the levels of
engagement that we track for them. And when we talk about the
levels of engagement that we track, here are the factors that
make a difference in those levels of engagement here: their
recency and pattern of giving, whether or not they’re an
outright donor or whether they do it through a recurring
transaction or a multi-year pledge. Those latter two move it up
higher. The number of years of consecutive giving. We know that
each time someone becomes another year giver, whether they go
from the first or the second year, from second to third, third
to fourth year, their engagement level with us is zooming up
that level. Whether or not they’re giving is moving upwards or
downwards in any year. Obviously, a lapse would move something
down quite a bit. These next two areas – I’m going to point out
the social media and event attendance and volunteer activities.
These can all come via your website. So, as people sign up to
attend events, whether they come to you through an engine like
Fundly, whether they’re volunteering and helping, or whether
they have said something about you on social media. Those are
all indicators of engagement, and we bring all those factors to
life and allow them to come open and do that.

Next are the factors that come into play with communication. So,
if someone opens your emails, if they click on them, if they
unsubscribe or forward them to other people, those are all
factors that move the engagement up or down. And then we also
keep track of their stewardship, whether or not they’re using a
matching gift employer to bring in more, whether or not they’re
soliciting people on your behalf. All of these items here, all
of these come together to move that engagement needle up or
down. We can see here – I’ve got Rob Signorelli here. He is on
fire. This is somebody – as you can see, what his level of
giving have done over the last several years. And my guess would
be he’s also engaged with us in our various communication
practices, meeting with people on our team, sending stuff to us,
referring people to us. These are all factors that can make that
engagement needle up, and I guarantee you, anybody that you have
at this midway point here or higher, their retention levels are
going to be much, much greater, and you’re going to see much
bigger differences in the success you have with your retention.

So, all these come together in our database that ties directly
in with the Fundly product to do what we refer to as the next
generation databases herein. And next generation to us means
it’s easy enough for everybody to use, even an MBA or a CEO, as
David was referring to earlier. And it enables the donor best
practices to come to life. So, with that, Steven, let me throw
it back, and let’s see what sort of questions we’ve got for Dave
and myself and see if we can try to answer some of those
directly here.

Steven: Yeah, thanks, Jay. Thanks for that presentation. And, Dave,
thanks for your piece as well. Really interesting stuff. We’ve
probably got about 10 minutes for questions, so for you
listening, if there was something that maybe you wanted
explained or elaborated on further, feel free to send these over
through your chat function. I know a few of you have already,
but we do have some time for questions, and we’ll be able to
take anything. To get started, Dave, I know there were a couple
questions about some of the LinkedIn and Facebook integration.
Touch on that just real briefly for the folks who maybe weren’t
looking in the chat box earlier.

Dave: Sure. Yeah, there was a question about LinkedIn integration. Our
deepest integration is with Facebook, which you probably picked
up, where we literally grab the Facebook social graph for each
of our users and then compare that with what we already have on
file. And then we’re able to literally send off emails and
reminders and notifications based on if a friend of yours is
doing something interesting. We do have a LinkedIn integration
as well, but we’re just getting started. It’s not a deep graph
integration. It’s a “allow me to post updates automatically to
my status update on LinkedIn” type integration. And so we’re
just getting started there. It is the equivalent of what a lot
of social integrations out there are, but it’s not as deep as
what we know it could be. We’ve invited LinkedIn to join our
board of advisors, which they’ve done. And we’re starting to
work more and more closely with them, so watch this space.

Jay: Good news. Can I fire a question at you, Dave?

Dave: Sure.

Jay: How did you and your technical team achieve such an intimate
relationship with Facebook? We’ve never seen any other
application that populates and moves things around and
handshakes with Facebook in nearly the same manner that you did.
Can you fill in the audience a little bit about how you guys

Dave: Yeah, good question. You know, I started this company in Boston,
which is about as far away from West Coast as you can get. And I
realized pretty quickly, if we were going to hang our hat on
social, we were going to have to relocate the company. So, we
moved right here to Mountain View. Facebook’s about 10 miles up
the road. Google is about 2 miles down the road. Same thing with
LinkedIn. And then we invited Facebook to join our advisory
board. We joined their nonprofit advisory board. And a lot of
these tools that are out there and available, you just have to
work with them, and you have to have engineers who have done it
before and who are patient with Facebook APIs, because they’re
changing all the time. And it’s just a labor of love.

Jay: Well, good. I figured it had something to do with some of the
engineering talent and the proximity, so thanks, Dave.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Steven: Hey, Dave. We’ve got a question in the chat room from Scott,
and he was wondering how we measure engagement level. So, he’s
wondering how those touches with an individual get recorded into
the system which increases that meter of ours.

Jay: Okay. The meter is based upon an underlying formula or algorithm.
It’s not that dissimilar from something like Google ranks – when
you type in a search request, how it ranks things on the top
there. That algorithm is based upon all of the research and best
practices by Dr. Adrian Sergeant. So, someone that clicks on an
email, it counts a certain number of points. Somebody that makes
a donation counts a certain number of points. Someone that
upgrades their donation to a higher level counts much more. And
we’ve got various weighing factors there that have been proven
in all the facets of Adrian Sargeant’s research to do that. So,
it’s a sophisticated formula, but it also makes a lot of sense
on what is important to the relationships. And we’re starting to
see that bear out, because our customers are telling us that
people that are in those upper levels have gone on already to be
major gift, individuals, legacy donors, but more importantly,
they almost always renew and retain from one year to the next.
So, does that answer the question, I hope?

Steven: Yeah, I think so. I think it also goes back to those engagement
factors you showed on that other slide. All of those things can
raise or lower someone’s engagement meter, it seems.

Jay: Yup. So, so true.

Steven: Great. Well, Dave, we’ve got a question here from Kimberly. She
says that it’s her second year of using a fundraising page or a
peer to peer program. It sounds like she’s going to switch to
Fundly, so she’s wondering how she can perhaps include last
year’s participants in her new campaign on Fundly – so maybe
migrating those folks over?

Dave: Aha. That’s a good question, Kimberly. I think the best thing to do
would be to launch and get one of our support people engaged.
There are ways to do mass uploads of people into Fundly lists
into Fundly. The other thing you can do is use your existing
email service to let everyone know to join the new one. Of
course, their activity from prior years will have been on a
former platform, not the new platform, but we can get their
contact information into Fundly, and then you can start with a
running start. And then everything they do going forward will be
logged in Fundly. But it’s pretty easy to upload. I think you
will want though to get somebody on the hook from support to
walk you through that process.

Steven: Cool. Great. And, Dave, I know there are a couple of questions
about pricing. I assume they can find that on your website. Is
there a pretty simple pricing scheme or structure for you guys?
How does that work?

Dave: There is. One other thing for Kimberly is, if you’re working with
Bloomerang, that’s another way to cut things over. We’ve got a
two-way integration with Bloomerang. Anytime something gets
created in Fundly, it can get pushed towards Bloomerang and vice
versa. Yeah, pricing is just Fundly.com/pricing. There’s
multiple tiers. There’s just the walk in and get started, which
is no monthly fee whatsoever. And that’s based on credit card
fee plus a Fundly transaction fee. And then, if you want to do
something bigger – if you want to do integrations, if you want
to do a large scale campaign – just let us know. And then there
are packages where there’s a small monthly fee – a few hundred
dollars – and then we bring the (?) percentage fee down when
you’re on one of those.

Steven: Great.

Jay: And I noticed, too, Steven, that someone had asked in the chat how
does Fundly compare, how do you pick Fundly over the others? And
I won’t put Dave in that position, but if you don’t mind, I’ll
take that one, because I looked at all the different peer to
peer applications out there, and as I said when I first started
talking on my part of the webinar, if you really want something
that’s easy for your team to start using and is so visually
appealing that people just love looking and interacting with and
combines with the social media, it’s really those three reasons.
Ease of use, the visual appeal of it, and the stickiness that
that has, and then what it achieves through the social media,
especially Facebook, that just drives donation after donation
and donor after donor and participant after participant to your
site. It truly is the stickiest of the sticky of those types of

And I’ll add one other point there that most people would not know in their
evaluation – their organization was one of the few that had a
true, what we call API – application programming interface – so
that we could exchange data with them in a real-time manner,
rather than having to do sort of a convoluted exchange of data
at certain intervals of time. This really is the way items
should be exchanged and how information should be exchanged
between applications. And hats off to Dave and his engineering
team for how they put that API together.

Dave: Yeah, that’s an easy compliment to return, because there are also not
very many CRMs out there, donor databases who have modern APIs.
It’s crazy in 2013 to have to say that, but boy, was it easy to
integrate with (?) for our technical team because of how
technically literate and modern your architecture is. That’s
been very pleasant.

Jay: Oh, I’m blushing, Dave.

Steven: Well, Jay, we’ve got a follow-up question from Scott. And he
was wondering how we record offline interactions like phone
calls or face-to-face meetings versus just the electronic-type

Jay: Excellent question. As you noticed, and when I was talking, I said it
was very, very important that this be an indispensable tool for
the fundraisers and for your executives themselves. We want it
to be that no one would think of being on the phone or doing
anything without being able to use the application. And those
notes and those emails and stuff that you send yourself can all
be placed into Bloomerang. And one of the things that we do
within the Bloomerang application is we let you mark whether or
not the interaction was initiated by the donor or the
prospective donor or the constituent or whether you initiated
it, because we give literally twice the value in the engagement
meter if it was initiated by the donor. So, if someone picks up
the phone and calls you or stops by your office or invites you
to lunch to do that. And then we hope after that meeting takes
place or that exchange on the telephone takes place that all of
your wonderful notes and follow-up items all are moved into the
database so that they’re not contained in somebody’s head.

And we want something that’s so easy to use, whether you’re on
your computer or whether you’re on a tablet, whether you’re on a
telephone or mobile phone, that you can make use of that.
There’s really no reason why anybody that’s talking or
interacting with donors cannot use the application. It’s that
simple and easy to use.

Steven: Speaking of easy to use, we have a question here about how
Bloomerang would compare to Salesforce. You want to speak to

Dave: Ha, ha, ha. I’ll speak to that.

Jay: Well, there’s some vast differences there. Salesforce is one of the
very best commercial CRM systems out there, but you notice I
said commercial. It’s set for people to manage relationships and
to work with people that are generating invoices and doing
things of that nature from a commercial standpoint. It really
wasn’t meant to record nonprofit donations that have memorials
and tributes and hard and soft credits, and whether or not it’s
tax deductible, whether or not it’s applied to multiple funds.
There is a lot that comes into play there that has to be added
on later, and it adds a lot of stress and a lot of additional
consulting time and dollars to make that happen. The other key
thing is, the version of Salesforce that’s out there for the
nonprofit world really doesn’t have Salesforce behind it as far
as day-to-support. And there is not a customer that we help get
going that doesn’t have a few support questions each of the
weeks that they started with the application and ongoing.
They’ll call us or email us or chat with us on online chat with
questions about, “How do I do this in your application?” Well,
there’s nobody at Salesforce supporting their application in a
nonprofit world. It’s all done by third party individuals, and
most of the third party individuals tend to charge you as you
ask questions. David, is there anything you would add to that?

David: Well, I’ve used both, and I think you characterized it well.
Again, from an MBA perspective, I can use Bloomerang. It’s
really hard for me to use Salesforce, and in fact, I’ve never
been able to use Salesforce out of the box. It’s had to be
highly configured for me to be able to figure my way through it
-too many options, and I think if I had to use it for a
nonprofit, I wouldn’t know where to start.

Jay: It’s sort of hard for an application that’s being used by the federal
government, by large, multinational corporations to be used by a
smaller, medium-sized nonprofit. That’s just a lot that’s in the
box that you have to figure out what to use and do versus
something that was built to be used for nonprofits that are
small- to medium-sized, and that’s exactly what the Bloomerang
product and our partners were built to do.

Steven: Great. Well, we’re just about running out of time, and I want
to give Dave just a couple minutes to let people know how they
can get in touch with him if they had additional questions or
wanted to look at the software further. So, Dave, why don’t you
do that for us?

Dave: Yup. I’m dave@fundly.com. I’d be happy to engage over email. And in
fact, in the chat room, I was just agreeing to see if I have
some slides to help somebody else for presentation. I’m also
“davidjboyce1” as my Twitter handle. And like I said, any time
you want to get Fundly support, just click on “Help and Support”
and any of us would be happy to help out.

Steven: Great. And Jay, why don’t you do the same for folks who want to
learn more about Bloomerang?

Jay: That’s easy. Just go to www.bloomerang.co, and all of our contact
information – Steve and myself – right there. But more
importantly, pricing information, comparisons, videos,
demonstrations, and information about upcoming educational
sessions like you’re about to talk about here.

Steven: Yeah, we have another webinar this week. We have two this week.
We got a little crazy with the webinars, but for those of you
who enjoyed this presentation, there is another webinar
tomorrow. Same time, 1pm Eastern. We’re going to be talking with
a nice agency here in Indianapolis that we’re partnered with.
They’re just experts on branding, and they work with nonprofits,
large and small. So, they’re going to share some strategies
about how to build your brand for your nonprofit. So, that
should be a really interesting conversation. We’re going to
deviate a little bit away from product and just talk about some
branding strategies. So, if that interests you, visit our
website, visit our webinar page. There’s a link there and
register. It’s totally free. We’ll be chatting for about an hour
tomorrow, so check that out.

And since we’ve got just a few seconds left, I want to say a
final thanks to Dave for joining us all the way from the West
Coast. It was really great to have you, David. Thanks a lot for
sharing an hour with us.

Dave: Thank you for setting it up. I really enjoy working with you guys,
and this has been terrific.

Steven: Yeah, it’s been fun. And Jay, thanks again, as always, for
joining us.

Jay: Wouldn’t ever miss it, Steven, as you well know.

Steven: All right. And for those of you listening, thanks for hanging
out with us for an hour out of your day today. And I will be
sending the slides and a recording later this afternoon, so
watch your inbox for that. And with that, I’ll say goodbye, so
thanks again for joining us. Have a great rest of your

Dave: Bye, guys.

Jay: Bye.


Kristen Hay

Kristen Hay

Marketing Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Hay is the Marketing Manager at Bloomerang. From 2018 - 2020, she served as the Director of Communications for the Public Relations Society of America's local Hoosier chapter. Prior to that she served on several different committees and in committee chair roles.