Rachel Muir, CFRE will share easy to use tools and strategies to deepen donor relationships and wow with a personal touch.

Full Transcript:

Steven: All right, Rachel, I got 3:30 Eastern. Okay, if I go ahead and get this party started?

Rachel: Absolutely.

Steven: All right, cool. Well, welcome, everybody. Good afternoon. I guess most of you are probably in the afternoon time zone. But if you’re listening to the recording, no matter what time it is, I hope you’re having a good day. We’re going to have some fun. We’re going to be talking about “How to Steward and Cultivate Major Donors in a Virtual World.” Because it’s a virtual world, in case you haven’t noticed. So we’re going to have some fun.

So thanks for being here. Thanks for taking the time. I’m Steven, I’m over here at Bloomerang in my home office and I’ll be moderating as always. Just a couple of housekeeping items real quick. Just want to let you all know that we are recording this session and I’ll be sending out the slides as well as the recording later on this afternoon. So if you have to leave early or just want to review the content don’t worry, I’ll get all that good stuff in your hands. Anything mentioned in the session, any freebies, any links, I’ll send it to you this afternoon I promise just be on the lookout.

But most importantly, please feel free to chat in your questions and comments, we’re going to save some time at the end for Q&A. So don’t be shy, don’t sit on those hands, we’d love to hear from you.

And if you want to do that on Twitter, I’ll also keep an eye on the Twitter feed. There’s a chat box and a Q&A box in this weird Zoom thing, you can use either or. I’ll keep an eye on them I’ll see it. And we’d love to hear from you in the time we have remaining at the end.

If this is your first Bloomerang webinar, just want to say an extra special welcome to you folks. We do these webinars just about every week, a couple of times a week now actually these days. But if you’ve never heard of Bloomerang in addition to these webinars, we are a provider of donor management software as well. So if you’re interested in that, or just want to learn more . . . I’m just saying this for context in case you’re wondering what the heck Bloomerang is. You can find us online and learn all about the software if you’re interested. But don’t do that right now, at least stick around for the next hour or so, because we got one of my favorites. My buddy Rachel Muir is joining us from beautiful Austin, Texas. Rachel, how’s it going? You’re doing okay?

Rachel: It’s going awesome. I’m so thrilled to be with you today.

Steven: Yeah, I’m excited. This one’s been on my calendar circled for a while. You’re my buddy, what can I say? I think you’re the reigning queen of Bloomerang webinars. I think you’ve done the most out of everyone. Always gets really good reviews. And she’s got a lot of really cool stuff for you. But she’s really been on top of the whole pandemic fundraising kind of thing. She shared a lot of really good stuff on our blog if you read our blog. She’s got lots of cool tips and free tools out there that you can check out. So we’ll send some of that stuff out as well in case you missed it.

But I love Rachel because she’s been in your shoes, right. She’s been an ED. She’s a nonprofit founder. She does this stuff. She doesn’t just kind of, you know, spout a bunch of advice having never been in your shoes, which is something I always look for. And this is one of my favorite people. And I don’t want to take away any time from her. So I’m going to let you bring up your slides, Rachel, let’s see if it works for you.

Rachel: Awesome. We are rocking and rolling and ready to go. And if it sounds bad, we’ll turn off the video again. This is where you can download. I literally made you a handy guide for this webinar with all of the tips I’m going to be sharing today. So that’s where you can grab it, rachelmuir.com/virtual. I also wanted . . . I mentioned to you guys but I’m going to give you . . . at the end of this webinar I’m going to give you a few tips for doing surveys. I’ve got a whole workshop on doing donor surveys, a DIY workshop. So if you want to learn more about surveys, you can check out my program, it’s leagueofextraordinaryfundraisers.com.

I also have a program where I coach you on surveys and do private coaching calls to help you get your survey out the door and to your donors and give you live feedback on your survey. So that link is bit.ly/donorsurveyworkshop. If a donor survey is something that you’re passionate about doing, then that’s worth checking out. And yes, I have oodles of resources around boards and I’m going to share a little bit more of that towards the end. But if you can’t wait for that, you can go to leagueofextraordinaryfundraisers.com.

I’m actually doing a workshop on boards next Thursday. And there’s a bonus group therapy session, a board therapy session for executive directors and development directors who are struggling with boards and how to get your board to fundraise. So that’s where you can . . . And Steven has the links. I’ll let him post those in the chat. And I’ve got them again throughout this. So I also do coaching. This is a program I mentioned next week, I’m doing a workshop on getting boards to fundraise. Every month it’s a live workshop and a workbook. It’s only $49. So if you enjoy today’s session and you want to get some more coaching from me, you can check that out at leagueofextraordinaryfundraisers.com.

So I want to start you guys out right now with the number one thing no matter where you are, no matter how big your organization is, or how small your organization is, or how new you are to fundraising, or anything else. I want you to know your job right now, regardless of the how is these three things. I want you to help your donors’ well-being. I want you to connect with your donors. You have the opportunity to be . . . and the silver lining of this pandemic, is you have an opportunity to reach your donors, they’re much easier to reach than they were before. And you have an opportunity to be there for them and to connect with them, and to deepen your relationship with them. I’m going to show you oodles of eye candy examples to help you do that today.

But this is your job, you have an opportunity to help your donors’ well-being. You have an opportunity to help your donors feel connected, to thank your donors, to show your appreciation for your donors, to let your donors know that they’re not alone. You’ve got an opportunity to show your donors how you’re innovating, how you’re pivoting, how you’re still serving your students, or your clients, and how your donors are valued and appreciated. And all of today is me showing you exactly how to do this.

And just in case, I have any naysayers who are like, “I don’t know, Rachel. You seem like really, really passionate about donor love. And at the end of the day, I’ve got to raise so much money. Is this really, really going to raise any more money?” Well, yes, indeed it will. And I’m here to prove it with some stats from my friends at Bloomerang. This is a study that Bloomerang did. This is the percent change in revenue. This is the lift in revenue from organizations who are making personal calls to donors, making personal emails to donors, texting their donors, and virtually meeting with their donors.

I have one of my favorite clients and students joining me, Jay Scott, on his day off from the Boy Scouts, Blue Mountain Council. I’ll be bragging about you later, Jay. But I want to stress to you that this really does work. Connecting with your donors, you have an opportunity like you’ve never had before, to be relevant to your donors and to deepen your relationship with your donors, and to let your donors know how much they’re making a difference. So I’m going to show you lots . . . Okay, so I’m going to . . . you guys, this is where you can get the slides. rachelmuir.com/handouts is where you can get the slides. And don’t worry, as I go along, you’re going to see lots of URLs where all these goodies are so don’t worry.

So here we go. And yes, we’re going to even be talking about snail mail, Greg. But I’m going to be showing you how to virtually make snail mail happen. So I’m going to kick things off talking about virtual tools that you can use right now to connect with your donors. Because you can’t meet in person and we’re not having happy hours, and we’re not having coffees, and we’re not having galas. But these virtual tools let you cut through the noise and create that personal connection and be there with your donors when you can’t be there in-person.

So one of my all-time favorite tools to do that is BombBomb. It’s a video email tool. Yay. Bridgette just typed in and said, “It pays off to connect. We just got an unexpected donation of $20,000 from a new donor.” It does pay to connect. Video email is a super great way for you to connect. It is so easy to use. You literally shoot videos straight from your inbox or from your phone.

You’re looking at a screenshot of a video email from one of my favorite people Julie Edwards. You can watch this video @bit.ly/Juliepuppy capitalize the J. I literally did test this video just before we went on to make sure it was live. But you can watch this adorable video of Julie holding a rescue Sweet Potato Pie in her arms, thanking a donor for his gift for Giving Tuesday.

I don’t know about you, I’m a really bad typist and shooting video emails saves me so much time. But it’s such a great way to connect with people and have them see your beautiful face and feel the love and feel connected to you. Jay just typed in and said, “BombBomb has changed the way I communicate with donors.” What I like to do is I like to make a little . . . I have this chalkboard and I’ll put like, you know, like Hello, Jay. Or when I have a new student join my program League of Extraordinary Fundraisers I send them a personal welcome message.

When you see your name and this big red play button, you’re like, “What is that?” Video email is super easy to use. It is super affordable. It’s very inexpensive. Don’t worry, I’m going to show you more examples of this. But what’s neat about it is it lets you connect and be there virtually when you can’t be there in-person. And it’s as easy as sending it. You open up Gmail and you literally send it straight from Gmail. So I’m going to show you . . . and by the way, that’s the link down there, rachelmuir.com/virtual. That’s where you can download the ebook that I made just for this webinar packed with all of these examples, as well as links.

Ashley said, “Rachel’s video messages are charming and I love getting them in my inbox.” Yay. This is such a unique way to communicate with your donors and it really cuts through all the noise and makes them feel like you’re there. So before I show you the next screen with some examples . . . And by the way, when you download that rachelmuir.com/virtual, you will get a video email from yours truly. How cool is that? I did that myself. So when you download that, when you enter in your email address on there, you will actually get sent a video email from yours truly, so check it out.

But before we go to the next slide, I just want to say that what you’re looking at is a branded email stationery just like whether you use MailChimp or Constant Contact, they do an email header and footer with your own branding. They will do that when you sign up with BombBomb. But you can also send something directly from your inbox. So right over there, that’s me. Look, same background is it magic? And I was shooting an email and you get this big red play button. It’s like an animated GIF. It’s really irresistible and people want to click on it, and they want to play it. So it’s a really neat tool to be there virtually with your donors.

It’s $470 a year, that’s a nonprofit rate. It is worth it. I mean I guarantee you it’s literally worth it. I have been a paying customer . . . I don’t work for BombBomb, I don’t make any money if you sign up at BombBomb. I want to say that. But I’ve been a paying customer of BombBomb for four years now and I love this tool. And you can even hear from some of the people that have gotten video emails from me saying, “Oh my god, I really love it when Rachel sends me video emails.”

So when you sign up rachelmuir.com/virtual, you will get this email from me and it’s a sample of thanking someone during Coronavirus. It is a really neat tool and this is like my number one favorite tool that you can use right now to communicate with donors and be there virtually cut through the noise when you can. And the coolest thing about this tool, aside from connecting with your donors and the ease of either sending it with a branded stationery or sending it straight from Gmail, you just click a button and send it straight from Gmail.

But the coolest thing about this tool, friends, is you can set it to send you an email when your donor watches your video. I don’t know about you, but this is like mega . . . like, you know, who . . . just type yes into the chat if you would like to know if your donors are reading your emails, but not in that creepy like Microsoft Outlook Read Receipt kind of way. Everyone’s like yes, yes, yes. And someone asks if it works with Outlook too, heck yes it does. Outlook and Gmail, my fundraising friends, it works with both.

But you can set it to send you an email when they open your video when they open the email and play the message you can set it to send you a video. And then you can call your donor and be like, “Oh my gosh, Jay, I was just thinking about you.” And Jay can be like “What I was thinking about, Rachel.” It is a really neat tool. I do training, I do custom training, I do virtual training, I do virtual board retreats. And this was a prospective client who literally opened my email like every single day, she kept opening the same email. So if someone is doing that, I know it’s looking like they’re interested. It’s looking like we’re going to move ahead and they’re going to actually do this.

So if $470 is too much for you I get it that’s for a whole year. That’s the most expensive tool I’m going to be sharing today. Whoa, mind-blowing. You mean everything else can be a lot less expensive? Yes, it is. That is the most expensive tool I’m actually going to be sharing.

And look there’s a zap between Bloomerang and BombBomb. How cool is that? And that’s where you can download the free guide again rachelmuir.com/virtual. Do donors like it? They love it. I spoke at the Girl Scout Philanthropy Conference which was at the Girl Scout National Convention which is the largest girl-led event in the world. I’m pretty passionate about empowering girls. I set a lot of my career empowering girls in STEM. And I’m a mom to a girl scout and a lifetime girl scout member.

So I was doing a training and I got this and this Amber was trying to get her donor to follow through on a sponsorship. She had been, you know, emailing her and calling her. She sent a video email and she wrote me immediately and said, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been trying to connect with her forever. She immediately wrote me back and asked to buy a table. She’s officially already watched this six times, six times. And then this is a lovely tweet, from a donor to my friend Carissa Gump with the National Strength Conditioning Association, one of the Olympic teams, and he said, “I’ve donated to many causes, but only one thanked me with a personal video message.”

And yes, you can have an account with multiple users. And I love the love that I’m getting from Iris, who is a Girl Scout leader and is thanking me. It is my pleasure. It is my pleasure, Iris.

So my next tool that I’m going to introduce to you guys is texting. And look when I say you should be texting your donors and doing stewardship using texting for stewardship, people get really riled up. I mean it’s like . . . you know people get really passionate. Someone asked how much editing can you do in BombBomb. It is not a high production thing. It’s literally like you just shoot something quickly and off the cuff and send it. You know I would encourage you to think about your messages in BombBomb doing like a one-minute message.

I will tell you my friend Jay who’s on this call he and his executive director use BombBomb to notify all of their lists that they were going to be moving their live event to a virtual event, and they used BombBomb to do it. And they did a really great job going back and forth doing that in BombBomb. But there isn’t a lot of editing. This is a really great efficient communication tool.

So I’m going to be talking now about texting. And again, when I start talking about texting, people get really, really riled up about it. And I love what Cody said, he’s from North Texas [inaudible 00:17:14]. He said, “I just started texting donors, thanks to Rachel. I sent a screen record of an Instagram story from our food distribution at Fair Park in Dallas and got responses from people I hadn’t heard from almost immediately.” Way to go.

So once upon a time, many, many years ago, it was Valentine’s Day and I was doing a presentation for a fundraising conference in California. And I said, “Hey, it’s Valentine’s day. If you’ve got your donors mobile number in your phone, I want to invite you to text your donor right now. And just tell your donor that you’re thinking on this day of hearts and flowers, you’re thinking about them, and you want to send them the love that you’re so grateful to them. And people did and the response was overwhelming. People were like, “Oh my God, my donor is like, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever gotten.” Like, don’t be afraid to text donors.

A lot of times when I suggest this people respond, and they act like, “Oh, no, no, no, this will never work with my donors. My donors are older,” and they have this real sense of indignation. Like, how could I suggest such an obscene thing as actually texting a donor?

So what I want you to know here is that 86% of people over 50 connect through texts. My mom texts me, way more than she calls me. I mean, way more. And in 2017, texting surpassed email as the most popular tool among people age 50 to 70. So if you think that texting is only for millennials, you are mistaken. And it is an amazing and powerful tool. And so Anastasia asked a brilliant question. She said, “Hey, are you talking about texting from your personal cell?” I can text from my work line, but I can’t send pictures.

This is what is so cool about the tool that I’m about to show you. This tool is called Textology. I’m going to show you it’s textology.co. And you can actually use this tool to send texts to donors and it’ll give you a number to send this. And you can manage all of it from your email inbox, from your inbox on your desktop. So before I show you this, I just want to say, imagine getting this text message if you gave a donation to The Arc. Imagine getting this message, look at this amazing message. “Your gift is giving Charlie dignity, hope, and a chance to live independently.” How beautiful is that?

Here’s an example of a check-in text message and I made up this example for my friend Richard from Forever Homes for Foster Kids. “Hey Mark, it’s Rachel from Forever Homes for Foster Kids. I’m thinking of you and want to make sure you’re okay. How are you doing?” This is just a nice little COVID check-in text. He’s from Forever Homes for Foster Kids. He can’t be sending images of kids, obviously, but he can use emojis and he can just check-in.

Here’s some more examples. I love this example that . . . I made up this example from Lindsay from Audubon. And I found this . . . I think this is a barn owl, but someone who knows more about birds can chime in and let us know.

“Hey, Mark. It’s Lindsay from Audubon, sending a little bird therapy your way. I’m thinking of you in this difficult time. How are you doing?” And I love this anniversary text, your donorversary the anniversary of when your donor made their gift to you is the best unsung holiday and using Textology that’s a great way to do it. So the company is textology.co. The CEO of the company is named Justin Baer. I literally found out about this awesome tool from my friend Lynne Wester. I picked up the phone I called Textology, I called the number Justin answered the phone. We had this awesome chat. He’s fantastic.

And he said, “Look, I think what you’re doing is really great helping nonprofits, Rachel. I will give them a free 30-day trial. If anyone wants to try this out, I’ll give them a free 30-day trial.” So go tell them hey, Justin, Rachel was bragging about you. She said, I can have a free 30-day trial. It is a really neat tool and it’s individual text. So this is not . . . I want to say something really quickly and then I’m moving on to more tools. I’m moving on to the stewardship tools. And by the way, we might go a little bit over, friends, and I will totally answer all your questions at the end.

But I want to stress to you guys that this is a one-to-one tool, so you can send it all from your email, you can copy and paste just like you would in Gmail and using canned responses. But this isn’t some mass text and your donors aren’t going to get a message back that says, you know, text stop to opt-out. This is as if Steven who knows my cell number just texted me and said, “Hey Rachel, you’re doing so awesome on this webinar. My mind is completely blown.” You know, it’s not a mass text. So you can only send this one on one and it’s a really neat tool so I invite you to check it out. textology.co. Kind of like Bloomerang you guys are co, not com, I think. Anyway textology.co.

Moving right along. Before I talk about awesome stewardship and thinking in the time of Coronavirus. I want to talk about the unsung art of reporting back to donors. And I’m totally about to brag on my friend, Jay Scott here from Boy Scouts. Reporting to donors is so important and it is the one thing that we don’t do well. Yes, I think people are better about thanking donors, but reporting back and telling me how my gift perfectly fit the need and how my gift made a difference that is what really makes my heart sing.

So just like . . . What is reporting back to donors? This is the magic formula, ask, thank, report back. Ask, thank, report back, okay. So it’s kind of like the shampoo bottle, lather, rinse, repeat, although I don’t know anyone who washes their hair twice. But your formula with donors is to ask them, thank them, and then report back. Reporting back tells me how my gift fit the need, and how my gift was used, okay. So this is an example from my friend Julie Edwards, who I adore. And if you want to learn more about Julie Edwards, look her up on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/JulieEdwards.

She is phenomenal and literally one of the best . . . in the top three fundraisers I’ve ever met in my life. She [inaudible 00:23:46] on the fundraising market after having spent 10 years as development director and executive director of an organization. And so if you are looking for the best development director that you could ever have in your life, you should go check her out on LinkedIn. But this is an example I’m not alone in being a mega-fan of Julie Edwards. Tom Ahern is as well. And this is actually from Tom Ahern’s book, this is an actual letter from Julie. And I love what someone just said. This point is so important for relationship building. Absolutely. The point being report back to donors.

So this is an example before Coronavirus that Julie sent just telling her donors how great they are. Had a photo. “Wow, do you know how amazing you are? You care a lot. You make a difference every day. You are loved. That’s right, loved. Without you the lives of homeless, abandoned, neglected animals will look very different.” So it’s giving the donor credit. It’s telling the donor what an amazing impact they’re having.

“I hope as you go about your day, every day that you feel joy in your heart, joy in knowing that you matter.” How uplifting is this? This is amazing. Send your donors something like this. This is a great example of just, I just want to tell you how amazing you are. I just want to tell you what a difference you’re making.

Here’s an example you could start with, you have no idea how much we appreciate you. Tell them what a generous and kind person they are for being a part of your donor family. We just want to check on you, let you know how much we value you. Coronavirus may have changed the last few months of blank, you know, scouting, you know, whatever, enter your organization, the arts community, etc. But it will never change, blank, blank, blank. Thanks to your support we’ve been able to blank. Give the donor credit for something they did, and close by telling the donor what an important part of the organization they are. And reflect on what a generous person they are as well.

So I’m going to give you another example showing off my friends here Jay Scott from the Boy Scouts, Blue Mountain Council. And I want to tell you something brilliant that Jay did. And that I want to urge everyone to do. When you are writing your appeal, at the same time, I also want you to write your thank-you copy, and your reporting back letter. Do it all while you’re writing that appeal because you are genius to include photos in your reporting back letter about how the donors’ gift made a difference. And you’re probably including some of those photos in your appeal.

So here’s an example. You have no idea how much we appreciate your recent gift. Thank you responding so quickly and generously. Thank the donor for responding to your appeal quickly and generously. And this is something you can send out like the week after they make their gift. Reflect on their kindness during this time. This is something I want all of you to do. You have an opportunity right now to say to your donors . . . This is all about just reflecting on what a great person they are. And you can tell them during this worrying time, the fact that you’re thinking about others, says everything there is to know about your kind and generous spirit.

Your communications are a mirror to your donors. How are they going to look in that mirror? Are they going to look like the amazing, kind, compassionate, generous human beings that they are? You need to say it to them. So describe the need and how the donor met the need. There are hundreds of kids hungry for scouting adventures and thanks to you, they were reunited with their peers in a virtual scouting experience. Give a short story. Ideally, you’ve got a photo in there and description of how the need was met. So this is just an example of a reporting back template. Thank you to Boy Scout Blue Mountain Council for letting me brag on you. Telling the donor they’re an important part of the organization.

This is another example from Julie Edwards you can learn more about her on LinkedIn. She did this whole Feel Good Friday where every Friday, she would send an email to her donors with a win that they made possible. Her donors loved it. This is one of them where this dog is watching a video of the mother of his puppies and the puppies. And look, he can’t take his eyes off of the video. So really, really fantastic. The Boy Scouts did a version of this where they did a good turn. And they just sent an email. This is a good turn that we want to share with you.

And Julie started this email out with, “There’s so much bad news in the world today. We just wanted to send you something great. We just wanted to tell you how you’re making a difference.” So be that light, and that beacon, and that hope for your donors.

These are some stewardship of ideas you can use right now. I have more of these in the book that you can download. But great holidays, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, the anniversary of their gift, some good starters for you on one of these letters could be, I thought you’d like to see what your gift is making possible. So those are just a few stewardship ideas that you can use right now and there’s more in your guide, which is rachelmuir.com/virtual.

So I’m going to show you some digital tools to say thanks to donors without ever licking a stamp. And then I’m going to wrap up by talking about donor surveys and showing you some different kinds of examples of donor surveys.

So this is an example of a script that I would love for you to steal thanking donors in the time of Coronavirus. Because with every single time you thank a donor you have an opportunity to reflect back on what a kind and generous person they are. And your communications as I said are my mirror and if you made me feel great about the person I am, those are some really great feelings that are going to make me feel motivated to give again. So I’m especially thankful you chose to make your gift now. The fact that in a time so worrying and stressful for everyone you chose to think about others speaks volumes about who you are.

So someone asked, the link is rachelmuir.com/virtual, and you’ll see this link again. And I’ve got all of these examples in here in that link. So I hope that’s helpful to you.

This is one of my favorite like new things I found and I totally love it. And actually have one of these right here on my desk from my friend Sarah Masterson. So this is punkpost.com and what this is a service where artists will sign your card for you. I couldn’t draw my way out of a paper bag. But I love giving people thoughtful messages that make them feel special and appreciated and loved by me.

So this is punkpost.com. This is the cover. This is an example you’re seeing this example right here from my friend Sarah. Look at this when I opened this up, I was like . . . it made me so happy I permanently keep it up on my wall. And I didn’t realize for months that this was designed by Punkpost. I just thought Sarah had like mad, creative artistic skills, and I just had it up on my wall. And then I realized this is actually . . . artists are actually doing this. So it’s punkpost.com.

I’m the kind of friend . . . this will surprise no one. I’m the kind of friend that encourages you to go out of your comfort zone. And I love doing webinars and during virtual workshops. So naturally, I talked Sarah into doing a workshop on how to write winning email appeals. I got her to do that. You can learn more about that at leagueofextraordinaryfundraisers.com. But I talked her into doing this and she really liked it. She was like that was out of her comfort zone. But she really loved doing it. So she sent me this amazing card back.

So I’m going to show you one more example of Punkpost. And this is one . . . So it costs like $5 to $8 per card. And some of you may be like, “Oh, that’s kind of pricey.” But honestly, I mean, we’re talking about major donors, maybe you’re going to send them a birthday card anyway, or you’re going to go buy a card anyway. You don’t ever have to leave your house to do any of this. You literally pick the card and then you type in the message. You’ve got up to 270 characters and the artist does the rest. And this is pretty cool.

So I got high . . . I did a workshop, I have a . . . AFP Hawaii hired me to do a workshop for their members and I sent them a thank you note to the organizer. And she’s one of my proud members of League of Extraordinary Fundraisers. But I sent her a thank you. This is just the level of like going . . . they email it to you, Marjorie, they actually mail it. All you do is go to punkpost.com, fill out 270 characters or less, you can add confetti if you want, and put the address and they mail it. I sent one of these to my dad and he was like, “This was mailed from New York City.” And I was like, “Okay, dad, you know, I hired an artist.” Anyway, people love this. People absolutely love this. But this is just the level . . . Yay Steven is showing his off.

Steven: I got one. They’re beautiful.

Rachel: They’re really awesome. So, yeah, they’re beautiful. And this is the level of like detail. This woman this artist went . . . You guys know the AFP . . . Yes, you can totally send to Canada. You guys know the AFP logo because you’re fundraisers. This artist is an artist. She obviously looked them up because she mimicked their logo there. So really impressive. And people really like it as you can see from Steven there with his.

This is my last stewardship tool that I’m going to recommend to you guys the Felt App. I found out about these guys watching “Shark Tank” one of my favorite shows to watch with my kids. And this is literally an app that you download. You can do it on an iPad, an iPhone, or an Android, and you send the card. It’s going to be a mail card, it’s going to print on this craft paper with an actual stamp, but you do the whole thing from your phone. They will make you custom stationery. They do have a free trial, but they . . . There’s one option that’s like $6 a month and you send like I think up to three cards, you do get a free one week trial.

There’s also an option where it’s a little bit more and they make your own stationery for you which I really, really like. This is a really amazing tool and think about all those photos that you have on your photostream on your phone. I had one from back before the pandemic, before the pandemic doing an actual live in-person custom training for a board retreat and I sent them this card. It’s a really neat tool. Yay. Laura says she loves the Felt App. She’s used it for years. I think it’s a really neat tool.

So I’m going to change gears here and give you guys a few tips on using surveys to deepen your donor relationships and then I will answer your questions. We might go a few minutes over so bear with me here. I just had to pack so much goodness into this presentation.

So again, I want to say when it comes to surveys, I’ve done like three hour and all-day workshops on surveys and you’re getting like a 10-minute little traipse through surveys. So this isn’t everything but this gives you a little bit of flavor because this is a great time right now. Great time to do donor surveys.

So look at this awesome stat from Bloomerang commercial business customer attention is 94%. Ours hovers around 41%, 44% for the nonprofit world. What’s the difference? What do you guys think the big difference is between for-profit brands and nonprofit brands? Well, let me tell you, for-profit brands ask for our opinions every five seconds. I can’t buy a shirt from the Gap without being invited to take a survey and oftentimes being given an incentive to take a survey. We’re asked all the time to do a survey. We’re asked to do a survey when we unsubscribe from something. We’re asked to do a survey if we’re not interacting enough. We’re asked to do a survey if we have a technical issue.

The great news is that there’s so much commercial inspiration from for-profit brands. It’s literally all around you. I actually got inspired by 1800 Contacts. I love this. “You’re leaving? What about the good times? What about Prague?” I literally made a re-engagement sequence when people don’t open my emails and I use some of these very things as inspiration. A, cute photos of sad pug faces, and B, funny pithy content. Like what about the good times, what about Prague to get people.

So look, Ashley saying, “Hey, they’ve got marketing dollars and budget.” But you know what, you don’t have to have any kind of a budget to send an email like this, you literally don’t. You can do these photos for free. It’s just your own copy. You already have an email service. So you actually don’t need any money to actually do this kind of thing.

So the point is, we as nonprofits, don’t ask for feedback a lot. In fact, we hardly ever ask for feedback. So I’m going to invite you to type into the chat in the past 12 months, how many donor surveys have you done. And if you know what your response rate was, type it in. So type it. So far, we’ve got most everyone’s zero, we’ve got Lindsay’s done one to two. Laurie’s done one. Nancy did one and had a 4% response rate. Mary did one and had a 30% response rate. That’s huge. I just saw someone who flew by and had a massive like 78% response rate. Listen, a 3% response rate is not bad. Oh my goodness, someone had a, okay. 60% response rate.

If you had a 60% response rate or more, feel free to email me and let me show you off. I want to learn more about what you did. 3% don’t be beating yourself up if you had 3% response rate, that’s not that bad. But it’s all about your subject line. It’s all about how many times you send it. There’s many different things that . . . And how it’s designed. And I have some more resources to help you with that. Yes, it helps if your list is targeted, and your list is scrubbed, and clean and all that too.

So I can tell that most of you are not doing donor surveys are only doing one and many of you are not happy with your results during a survey. There are lots of great reasons to do a donor survey. You can find out who your donors are, what programs they care about, what beneficiaries they care about the most, how happy they are, you can learn how to better segment your appeals based on your donor interest, something that makes, you know, Steven, very happy segmentation. You can learn which doors are great upgrade prospects, you can reveal planned giving prospects, major gift prospects, capital campaign prospects. It is a really great opportunity for you. And with everyone stuck at home, you’ve got really good odds that they’ll actually take your survey.

So I’m going to talk a little bit about . . . and I’m going to be quick here, I’m headed towards the end of our time together, but I’ve got some more resources I’m going to share with you to give you some more help around surveys. But there’s different kinds of surveys that you can do, okay. And again, I could do a whole workshop just on donor surveys and actually have a whole workshop just on donor surveys that you can find out about leagueofextraordinaryfundraisers.com. There’s a donor connection survey, there’s a donor satisfaction survey, there’s micro surveys, I’m going to show you some examples of those.

There’s a lapsed donor survey, there’s a brand awareness survey, there’s online surveys, there’s direct mail surveys, there’s even in-person surveys. So there’s lots of different kinds of surveys and there are lots of different formats to do surveys as well. And I’m going to show you just a few and we’re going to start with micro survey.

So micro survey is really short as in like one question, maximum of three questions. This is a survey question that you might ask as a pop up on your site. One question on a landing page after a donor makes a gift. I’m about to show you an example of that. Or a PS in your like thank you email, or new donor welcome email, or your email welcome series a PS it invites them. Hey, we’d love to learn more about you do you have a minute to answer a couple questions? So those are a few different places where you might put a micro survey. And yes, you can do a survey by text. But I’m going to show you examples of micro surveys and some other survey examples as well.

So this is an example from my own giving, I made a donation to the ACLU and this is the thank you landing page. So I only want you to ask a question like this after your donor has made their gift. I don’t want anything to be slowing your donor down before they make their donation. So thanks for your gift, would you take a minute to share why you donated today? Everything’s prefilled for me, and then I have the option to say what inspired me to make my gift. Anyone who fills this out is raising their hand my fundraising friends, that they would like to have a deeper relationship with you. They could be upgraded to make monthly gifts.

Anyone who takes this is literally raising their hand that they would like to have a deeper relationship with you. And who knows what kind of gems you might find out about your donor. The sky is the limit but you don’t know until you ask. This as an optional. What inspired you to make a gift today on the thank you landing page. These are some questions you might ask . . . micro survey questions that you might ask if you were to do a PS, and your welcome series, your email welcome series, what inspired your gift today? Would you be interested in and you can have many different things there. Invites to special events, invites to virtual events, conference calls, telephone town halls. Or what project program or service are you most interested in and you can have a list, make it easy for them, have a list.

Now, maybe you ask one of these. You’re not going to ask more than three. Now, it’s not a micro survey if it’s more. Short and sweet, ideally one but no more than three. Don’t ask them if they’re brand new to your list, you don’t want to be asking them questions about content because you have to first prove the value of your content before they can answer questions about what they want. This is an example. Hey, how are we doing on communicating? Too much, just right, I want more. Again, someone has to be already on your file for a while getting communication from you to make an informed decision like that.

When it comes to literacy . . . this is a literacy organization. Hey, when it comes to literacy, who are you most interested in helping? Kids, adults, families? Where do you want your donation to have impact? Books, teachers, or mentors? So these are great ways to get complex questions answered simple, easy to read, well designed. They’ve got these easy radio buttons. You’re telling me my progress based on what question I am. I need to know that in order to have a sense of like . . . I’m almost done yay. This is going pretty quick and it’s going pretty easy.

Surveys are great, because they help you . . . If you’re about to do a big thing like a name change, or a change in your priorities, or in your mission, surveys let you get a good sense before you take that leap.

So this is an example of a much deeper question. This is asked as a simple survey question, but this is a really deep question. So this is a few years ago, this is the Barbara Bush Foundation for family . . . Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation. And this is the late Barbara Bush, she was alive when this survey was done. And they were trying to understand among their list, were people coming in a part of this list because of her, or was it just the mission. Like what was their connection? Had they come in through her and the power of her identity, and her brand and her name? Or were they really just there for the mission? So this is a way to ask a much, much deeper, more complicated question really, really simply through a survey.

This is an example of an organization. They asked their donors how they would designate $100 donation and most donors wanted it to go to research for a cure. But this organization, most of the organizations’ work was actually around supporting patients, and not around research for a cure, but around providing care for patients with the disease. So this was a really eye-opening aha moment for this organization that led them to make some really deep decisions about the gap between what their donors wanted to fund and who they want it to be.

Surveys also can be amazing for helping you find your hidden gems. So you can ask, and I encourage anyone except for a micro survey, but one of the best things about doing a survey is it’s an opportunity to learn more about your donors, deepen relationships, find out more about them so that you can do that and also find out if you are named in their will. Because many donors may have named you and you may have no idea if they’ve named you in their will, assuming you have a program where people can name you in their will.

So this is an example of that “Bequest left to blank by people of enormous value and benefit to our work. Many people like to leave money in their will these wonderful donors are members of and have the name of their legacy program. Have you included a gift to blank in your will? Yes, I’ve already included it. I intend to. I would consider this and want some more info. I have a will and I’ve mentioned other charities but not you. I don’t have a will. I’ve written a will but not included a charity. It’s not something I’m interested in right now. Thank you.”

Totally respectful, very dignified, no pressure. But this is a great way to get people who have named you to raise their hand or people who might be willing to name you and may not know that they could name you to do so. You can also do this with major gifts, you can also do this with capital gifts as well.

And this is a great question from Nancy. And you guys, go ahead and type in your questions I’m going to be answering those in just a few minutes here. Nancy asked . . . So if you ask questions like this, it cannot be anonymous. But there was a question that I’ll answer really quickly from Nancy, that was, how often should I do a survey? So you can do surveys . . . you can do multiple surveys frequently, you could be doing . . . Obviously, if you’re asking this, it can be anonymous. You could be doing surveys several times a year. You could have a micro survey permanently up on the thank you landing page. You can do . . . the only time I would say don’t do a survey is don’t have a survey compete with your appeal.

Don’t try to combine your appeal and a survey. Like as in give to this, we’re raising money for this it’s really important and oh, also PS we take the survey. The appeal should just be the appeal. So that’s my advice there. Is like don’t do a survey right when you’re doing end of year it’s going to compete with end of year that’s the only advice. But you can do surveys anytime all the time. And you may have several surveys going on.

And one tip before you ask them about their will naming you in their will or major gifts or other questions like that is to ask some questions before that question to magnify their positive feelings of connectedness to you. Just a pro tip here. This is an example from National Audubon Society, where does your love of birds come from? What do you do at home . . . describe a time when you introduce others to the wonderful world of birds. So you could ask a question that makes them think about their connection and magnifies their positive feelings of connectedness to you.

I have a workshop, it’s only $49. You actually get access to lots of workshops, at leagueofextraordinaryfundraisers.com. So if you want to learn more about surveys and have a guide for how to do that, I recommend surveys are a lot more complicated than they seem. And if you don’t do your homework around your . . . for those of you who weren’t happy with your survey results, if you don’t do your homework and have it well designed, ask the right questions, have a great subject line, test your survey. You know, there’s a lot of strategy and thought that goes into doing a great survey.

Micro survey yeah, you can ask like, that’s just like one question, or a couple of questions. But the deeper donor surveys where you’re going to find out more about their connection to you, or deeper donor surveys, those take some time and some thought.

So if you want some help, this is a one workshop. It’s like a 90-minute workshop. I also have an opportunity, if you are interested where it’s that workshop plus the workbook, plus two coaching calls. I did this workshop and I had a lot of people contact me afterwards and say, “I want some help with the survey.” So I literally just put this together to help those people. It’s two hour-long private coaching calls.

So you have an opportunity to look at all the different kinds of surveys, learn about surveys, learn about the do’s, the don’ts, the gotchas, how to craft a survey, the different types of surveys, the formats. You can think through . . . has a whole workbook to think through what you want to do in a survey, what is your goal, what do you want to accomplish? And then you get two hour-long coaching calls with me working on your survey and reviewing your survey. So that’s bit.ly/donorsurveyworkshop. So I got time to answer some of your questions. I can’t believe that we did all of that and we still have four minutes.

Steven: Wow, there’s a lot of good stuff there. Yeah, we can stay on a little bit longer if people want me. That’s cool with me, because . . .

Rachel: Awesome. I’m going to . . .

Steven: What the heck.

Rachel: . . . scroll through and look at some of these questions. And while I’m doing that, I want to share with you guys . . . I mentioned this earlier, and someone mentioned oh, do you have some resources around boards. I have a monthly program. It’s only $49 a month and you get a . . . And I have some of my students who are here joining us today who are part of this program, the League of Extraordinary Fundraisers. You get a workshop every month and a workbook. And next Thursday is our workshop, all about getting boards to fundraise. And there is a bonus call the next day, just a little board therapy for my fundraising friends, who are needing some help with their boards.

So August is on getting boards to fundraise. September is going to be on end of year. October is going to be on Giving Tuesday. There’s a lot of other bonuses in there as well. So I’m going to go through and . . . Yes, BombBomb does work with Gmail as well as Outlook. You guys feel free to type your questions into the Q&A. I’ll scroll through the chat as well but there’s so much chatter in the chat. So I will also be looking at these in the Q&A.

I mentioned that if you sign up for the League of Extraordinary Fundraisers, there is a bonus call that’s going to be happening next Friday just for therapy. I’ve served on many boards and had many boards and I like to joke that I have the scars and t-shirts to prove it. So that’s an opportunity if you need a little bit of help with your boards. We’re going to be talking about getting your board to fundraise. And we’re also going to be talking about how to makeover the board that you have. So that’s a little bit.

So Dinette Clark asked, is it appropriate to text a donor from a personal cell phone? You absolutely can do that. I mentioned the Textology tool because you gain a lot of scale and efficiency with that. I feel like it’s really up to the relationship you have with your donor. And if you’re just telling your donor, hey, I want to let you know . . . Like all those examples that I shared. And all the examples that I have that are up in that download for you are all examples about you know, hey, I’m just checking in on you. I hope you’re . . . sending a little bird therapy your way if you’re the Audubon Society.

Or I just want to tell you what an impact your gift is making. Thank you so much for supporting sweaters for penguins. And maybe you’ve got a cute photo of a penguin wearing a sweater. And I don’t even know if there’s really a sweater for penguins organization, but I’m just giving you an idea.

I know and Steven knows that you can use texting to raise money from donors. But what I’m talking about my fundraising friends, is you using texting to thank your donors, and to steward your donors, and to appreciate your donors. So Roberta asked how can I find cell numbers for our donors? Is there a service we can use? Until recently, my organization wasn’t collecting phone numbers. A survey is a great place, Roberta, for you to find those donors’ cell numbers. And

I’m going to give you another pro tip to share my mild obsession with surveys here. What works really great is if in your survey . . . And you can do online surveys, you can do printed surveys. Include the contact information that you have for your donor and say, is this correct? So maybe it’s not really that donor’s cell number make him make up a cell number with the area code for where your area is. People like Steven and I and other humans in our species, we are naturally drawn to correct the mistake. And we’re not even going to think about oh, I’m just giving you my cell phone number. We’re just going to go correct that mistake. So that’s another subtle thing that you can do in your survey. So that is one tool.

I want to mention too, and I’ll share another slide here. This monthly membership is $49 and there’s also an option to have weekly coaching calls every single week with me. And it’s a super small, awesome group, which is really fun. And you also can join and then upgrade later if you decide you want to do that. Maybe you’re going through something at work and you want a little help and a little push. Maybe it’s like end of year.

Bill asked, can it be fruitful to do initial solicitations through Zoom? Is it worth asking for face to face meetings now? My advice to you Bill Murphy is to use tools like BombBomb video email to get your foot in the door with donors. What’s nice about BombBomb is you know whether your message is getting through. But you totally can do like virtual happy hour or virtual coffee with your donor, or you can do like a virtual town hall. Absolutely. I would say just be prepared with like, some good content and some fun things. I mean, I know we all have Zoom fatigue but I’ve also had a lot of fun on Zoom.

My friend Jan and I did this workshop a while back on like worst-case scenario planning in the pandemic. So how you can do strategic planning if you’re worried about having to like totally like shut down. And we did a lot of fun interactive things in the Zoom group. And I do that when I do like board retreats or strategic planning retreats. So I think you can make it fun, but it can be short. And you know, you want to be thinking about what are the questions I want to ask my donors? And what are great questions to deepen the relationship? And what are things that I want to share with my donors as well? And how can I connect with them?

So Jonathan asked a super great question here. What survey tool do you recommend? So some of the survey tools that you can use are, of course, Google Forms. You can also use SurveyMonkey and you can use Typeform. I really like Typeform, it’s T-Y-P-E form. I like Typeform because the people at Typeform have a great . . . they write really great copy. And a lot of the sample surveys at Typeform can inspire you to be fun and funny and silly and playful with the kinds of questions you ask and the way that you phrased your questions.

So, you know, you need to think about a tool. You can also have custom surveys designed for you. I just did a survey for my list and I used ActiveCampaign to send my emails. And what I did was I did a survey. I sent people a link to a survey in Google Forms and I set it up with a Zapier, just like Steven was talking about the Zap, it connects between Bloomerang and BombBomb. Is that right or maybe it was a different . . . ?

Steven: Yeah.

Rachel: He has a Zap between Bloomerang and BombBomb. So I used a Zap to connect ActiveCampaign in Google Forms. And what that Zap did is when people took my survey, and they told me in the survey what webinar topics they were most interested in taking from me or seeing. When they took that survey, it automatically updated their contact in ActiveCampaign. So now when I look at that contact, I know oh, so and so’s . . . Bill’s top interests are these and Bill’s biggest pain point is this.

So you know, this is another reason why it’s so important to be thoughtful and intentional around your surveys and not like go into it like not having any idea about what you’re doing or why you want to do it. You need to think really strategically about the kinds of questions you ask, and what you’re going to do with the information once you ask it.

Laura asked for BombBomb, is there a limit on the video emails to be sent per year? I think it’s more . . . That’s a good question. It’s high. It’s like a monthly limit I think and it might be like I don’t know 1,000. That’s a good question. I’ve never gotten anywhere close to it but might be 10,000. There is some limit. You can ask them. You do need . . . yeah, so you can ask them.

And Chad asked about my stat on texting and I will share with you. So this is all . . . If you sign up for League of Extraordinary Fundraisers, those are all the workshops that you get access to. I have used Animoto, someone asked that. But that guide rachelmuir.com/virtual has some information about the stats on texting. I did a guest blog posts for Bloomerang about texting your donors and not being afraid to text your donors. It’s so funny, you guys have been very nice, but sometimes people get very, very passionate and they get very like, “How dare you and suggest that I text my donors, that’s so inappropriate, Rachel.” But older donors are texting and it’s the number one feature on the cell phone on iPhone.

Ashley asked if you were coaching a director who was short-staffed, what is the thing you would say that is to focus on for donor cultivation for ROI? I would say you need to be really impeccable with your donor experiences. I would say you need to thank donors promptly. You need to give donors the credit. Use that example that I shared in the reporting back. Call, pick up your phone. Give yourself Ashley a stewardship power hour, where for 30 minutes a week, you pick up the phone and just call and thank your donors. You’re going to get voicemail most of the time, but just call and thank your donors, but be prepared with a few good, awesome strategic discovery questions you can ask as well.

Kara asked thoughts about adding a link to a survey in a donor newsletter. You can certainly do it and I would say whether it’s . . . I would use like a PS, if it was an email with a survey link. You can certainly do a link . . . I will tell you you’re not going to get a lot of takers. And the thing about surveys is, you know, like a 3% or 5% response rate actually isn’t bad. I mean, the thing about surveying is you’ve got to do it frequently, you’ve got to do it often, you have to have a killer subject line. You can . . . I could talk about some surveys all day. You can ask for money in your survey. You’re not being a terrible person to do that.

But the thing about the survey is you need to put as much thought into that subject line and every single one of those questions as you do everything else, as you do updating your donors’ information as well. So that’s my advice on surveys. [inaudible 01:01:20] questions, and I’m happy to stick around if we’re okay and answer a few more of these.

Steven: Yeah, let’s do a few more.

Rachel: Okay. So Anne Marie asked should the connectedness survey . . . And if I haven’t answered your question, just type it into the Q&A, because there’s so much in the chat. Anne Marie asked should the connectedness survey take place separately from a donor survey? So these are different . . . like there’s like a supporter connection survey or a donor connection survey. There’s also a donor satisfaction survey, there’s a lapsed donor survey, there’s a brand awareness survey.

There are many different kinds of surveys but the thing to think about is you know, what is my goal in my survey? What questions am I going to answer? How am I phrasing these questions? How am I tabulating the results? You know, you could . . . I’ve seen surveys as short as three questions in a micro survey. I’ve seen surveys that were five pages, a bit too long. Actually a survey from This American Life quite a bit too long. But I would say like you could . . . in a supporter connection survey or in a donor satisfaction survey, those are two different surveys, you could easily ask anywhere from 5 to 15 questions. It really depends on the questions and it depends on what you want to find out.

There is a certain format that you want to follow in a survey in terms of like, starting with easy to answer questions. And then kind of building up you want to ask that question that connects them with those positive feelings of connection to your mission before you ask if you’re named in their will or estate. You want to include that information about do I have this contact information correct for you, Steven? And I’ve got his email and I’ve got his address, and I’ve got stuff. And if I don’t know it, maybe I’ve like popped in some boilerplate stuff, so that he’ll actually do it. So yeah.

And there was one question, we haven’t done a survey before. We’re considering one. Is there an example or a template? I totally encourage you to check out . . . I’ve got a workbook in part of League of Extraordinary Fundraisers and a 90-minute workshop that’s only $49. Then I have this other option if you want a couple of coaching calls to guide you through that. What I do in that workbook is I share lots of examples in the workshop. But I also guide you through the questions that you need to ask yourself before you put together your survey. Because it’s really important that kind of like in your appeal, every word has to fight to be there and every question has to fight for its right to be there. It needs to be a really good question.

Bethany asked how often is too often to be checking in with our donors right now? What an interesting question. I think you could easily check in with your donors, like every couple of weeks easily and you could do that with a variety of communication methods. I mean, you could do a video email, you could do a text, you could do a newsletter, you could do . . . you know, something that you just mailed to them, you can do a card. I don’t think . . . I haven’t had an organization that over-thanked me or over stewarded me ever. Have you, Steven? Have you ever been over . . .

Steven: No.

Rachel: . . . cultivated or . . . I’ve never been over cultivated. I have been over solicited. I’ve gotten like a solicitation like every single day, and I’ve never . . . you know, but I haven’t ever been over cultivated. So I don’t think you can . . . And then it’s important to think about the arc of your communications and what that’s going to be and how that looks like.

Chad asked what is a plan length of a video clip before donors stop watching or don’t open? So my tricks of the trade are . . . I would say I shoot on my BombBombs I shoot for like one minute. I have the person’s name and what I love about BombBomb is that animated GIFs that you see. Like you saw in that example where, you know, you’re like, “What’s this?” And they really want to click on it. It can be off the cuff. Think about what you want to say but you don’t need to have like music and lights and pyrotechnics. It’s okay if your cat Ron Burgundy photobombs that makes it real and human . . .

Steven: It’s better actually I think.

Rachel: It’s better, yeah. Thanks, Rob. Nice work there, buddy. Julie said, “I included an update for my appeal with my thank you card.” Nice work. “Should I say send another separate to my donors?” Hey, I mean, you know, why not? I just said, I haven’t been over cultivated and I’ve never been over stewarded. Your donors never get tired of hearing how great they are. We actually as humans can’t distinguish between flattery that isn’t genuine. So try to over flatter me or Steven, I dare you. You’ll probably just make us really happy doing it. So I don’t think . . . you know, I gave you lots of examples from my amazing friend Julie Edwards who does . . . She’s the queen of donor love, and she does such a fantastic job.

Oh, my goodness, these were a lot of great questions, and some are really like, out there. Anastasia said, We’re a new nonprofit actually got our IRS determination letter the week COVID hit.” That’s exciting. “In terms of checking and cultivating donor relationships, you mentioned what would be the best tool to invest in first? Also, do you ever recommended frequency of how often to connect?” I’m going to say that probably . . . Gosh, I would think about a stewardship plan. And I would say the best . . . you’re going to need email first. I’m guessing you already have email, but you’re going to need email first.

And I would say you need to connect with your donors frequently. I mean, I don’t know if anyone in here wants to share their regular communication plan. I would say most organizations . . . You know, I mean, we’re getting close to end of year and this is a great time to get ready for end of year and be thinking about how your . . . especially an important time to be thinking about how your . . . I refer to this time of harvest time. Where you’re stewarding your donors and you’re letting your donors know especially right now, all the great things that their generosity has accomplished this year because that’s going to make me feel very primed and excited to give to you at end of year.

But yeah, I would say you need . . . more frequent is better. I would say aim at minimum once a month. But know that if you . . . I try to communicate with my list every single week and many weeks, I send at least three emails to my list. Here’s the fact, no one opens all your emails. It’s true. People don’t. They’re only going to open it based on the subject line that they want to send.

You know, I know like Steven knows this. Bloomerang sends out an awesome email and they talk about the blog post and the webinars that are coming up. And if that’s something that interests me, and I see in the subject line, I’m going to open it. I’m going to sign up for it. But if it doesn’t, then I might not even open the email. So communicate. Err on the side of more rather than less. You could easily communicate with your donors every week. Not every donor is going to open it and read it.

So okay, I’m going to do one more question. And this is where . . . just everything is up here you guys, my email, my website, the guide today is rachelmuir.com/virtual. So I’m going to scroll through here and see here. Julia said, “We use ThankView.” ThankView is like a competitive of BombBomb and it’s more expensive than BombBomb but it’s a great company. I love JD. He’s a great guy. Julia said, “I’m guessing we need better subject lines. What do you recommend?”

Oh my goodness, Julia, I have a whole Google Doc just on subject lines. I obsess about my emails. If you’re on my email list, and I hope you’re happy to be there. I work really hard on my subject lines. And I work really hard on my copy. I’m obsessed with it. I probably send myself like 20 versions of my email before I actually hit send. And yes, I do want to go hide under my bed even after I hit send and I’m extroverted, you know.

But I keep a Google Doc of great subject lines and I recommend you do the same. Research your subject lines of what work the best. In your subject line, you can be urgent, you can have a fear of missing out, you can be funny, you can pique their curiosity. Those are like four things a subject line can do.

But you know, yes, you could have spent thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of dollars or more on a donor survey and if you don’t have a good subject line, it’s not going to be opened. So invest in your subject line, study your subject line. There’s a free tool, subjectline.com big shock. It’s totally free. I use it all the time. And it’ll rate your subject line based on . . . it’ll give you a score, a perfect score is 100 but yeah. I spent a lot of time studying that and even studying like deliverability and there’s Ron Burgundy photo bombing us here. You guys have been awesome and I’ve had so much fun getting to be with you today. Ron, say hello. Thank you, guys, so much for having me.

Steven: You’re awesome Rachel.

Rachel: This is a blast. I would do this every week if I could.

Steven: Thanks for staying on longer. I wish I had bought subjectline.com back in the ’90s. I should have seen that one coming. Dang it. I missed that one. But I don’t know how you keep up on all these tools, like that handwritten note one, which I got a real one by the way.

Rachel: I love it, yeah, I just . . .

Steven: That’s awesome. It’s hard to say mail now, you know, in a lot of case though.

Rachel: It is. That’s what’s so great about them yeah, it’s . . .

Steven: I love it.

Rachel: You don’t have to lick a stamp. You don’t have to go to the post office. None of that.

Steven: If you follow Rachel and subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on Twitter, you’ll know about all these tools because she’ll find them for you. You don’t have to worry about missing any. So I think you should do that for sure because obviously she’s a wealth of knowledge and I get all that stuff so I can vouch for it. Rachel, this is awesome thanks for hanging out longer, which you did not have to do but I really appreciate because there were a lot of questions. There still are. So reach out to Rachel if she didn’t get to your question. It wasn’t because she doesn’t like you, I promise. They were all really good questions. And follow her.

And we’ll send all the links, the slides, all the downloadables, the handouts. You won’t miss a thing, I promise. I’ll email that here today, probably while I’m cooking dinner because it’s almost end of day. This is an awesome way to end my day. Thanks for doing this, Rachel.

Rachel: It’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me. It’s always a blast.

Steven: Oh, we love having you. We’ll have you back again maybe this year. We’ll have to talk about it.

Rachel: Can’t wait. Yeah, [inaudible 01:12:22].

Steven: Yeah, definitely in 2021. And thanks to all you for hanging out. I think we had maybe like 800 people at the peak. So the 275 of you who stayed till the not bitter end, the opposite of bitter end, thanks for doing that. Look for an email from me with all those goodies. And I want to tell people about next week’s webinar because, Rachel, we got Terri William.

Rachel: My girl Terri.

Steven: Your buddy, who you introduced us to she’s going to talk about how to attract and retain diverse board members. Folks, we got to do this. This is obviously a hot topic. And it is possible even if you live in a community that doesn’t seem diverse, she is going to tell you all about that. That is Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern. I believe that’s Tuesday. We got some other webinars next week. I think we have three webinars next week. So you’ll get invites to those for sure. You want to be on Terri’s. She’s awesome. It’s going to be really good.

Rachel: She’s amazing.

Steven: Yeah, it’ll be cool. So hopefully we’ll see you again on another session. If we don’t . . .

Rachel: I can’t wait.

Steven: . . . I hope you have a good rest of your Wednesday. Have a good week. Stay safe out there. Stay healthy. We’re all thinking about you. We need you. And thanks so much for hanging out. So we’ll call it a day there. Like I said, look for an email from me, and we’ll see you on the next webinar. Bye, folks. Thanks, Rachel.

Rachel: Thank you.

Steven: See you.

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.