Kristal M. Johnson will show you how to identify and understand your online audience and why now is the perfect time to reach out to prospective donors.

Full Transcript:

Kristal: Okay.

Steven: Okay, Kristal, I got 1:00 Eastern. Is it okay if I go ahead and get this party started?

Kristal: Let’s go. I’m ready.

Steven: All right, awesome. Well, good afternoon, everyone. Good morning, if you’re on the West Coast. Thanks for being here. A special Friday webinar, we’re going to end the first half of 2020 in a real good way because we’re going to be talking about virtual fundraising, How to Build Your Online Community, everyone’s favorite topic these days. So thanks for all of you for logging in. It’s awesome to see a full room already. And I hope you’re having a good day. I’m Steven, I’m over here at Bloomerang. And I’ll be moderating today’s discussion as always.

And just a couple of quick housekeeping items. Just want to let you all know that we are recording this session and we’ll be sending out the recording as well as the slides later on this afternoon. So just be on the lookout for those from me, you’ll get them in an email from me a little later on. So if you have to leave early or maybe you get interrupted or have an appointment, don’t worry, we’ll get all that good stuff to you as well. Just be on the lookout, no worries.

And as you are listening today, please feel free to chat in any questions or comments along the way. We’d love to hear from you. If you haven’t already introduced yourself, we’d love to know who you are, where you’re from. And we’re going to save some time at the end for Q&A. So don’t be shy. There’s a chat box and a Q&A box. You can use either one. It’s cool. I’ll keep an eye on both of those. I’ll also keep an eye on the Twitter feed if you want to chat or tweet us your questions. I know a couple of you always do every week, which is fine. But we’d love to hear from you is my main point. So don’t be shy. Don’t sit on those hands.

If this is your first Bloomerang webinar, I just want to say an extra special welcome to all you folks we do these webinars a couple of times a week nowadays. We love doing them. We bring on great guests today is no exception, by any means. My favorite thing we do at Bloomerang, honestly, but what we are most known for is our donor management software. That’s what Bloomerang is. Just for context, if you don’t know what Bloomerang is, that’s what we’re all about. And if you want to learn more about us, just visit our website. We’re pretty easy to find. You can watch videos, all that good stuff, but don’t do that now because Kristal Johnson is here, one of my favorites, joining us from beautiful Houston. Kristal, how are you doing? You’re doing okay?

Kristal: I’m doing good. Hey, Steven. Glad to be here. Hey, everyone.

Steven: Yeah, this is awesome. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. I got to hear you on a great virtual summit last month. And ever since then, I’ve been, like, I can’t wait to have Kristal also share her knowledge on the Bloomerang crowd. Did a webinar for us a couple of years back. I apologized to Kristal earlier, I feel bad, I haven’t had her back for longer than two years. Because after you listen to this, you’re going to want to hear from her again. Definitely follow her online. She’s an international speaker. She travels all over the place doing trainings, giving great presentations, has raised hundreds of millions of dollars through her work with her clients, and has quite a few accolades. She was actually named a Woman Empowering Change professional. And she’s also super involved with the United Way in her hometown of Houston. And I don’t want to take any more time away from you, Kristal. So I’m going to stop sharing my screen. And I’ll let you bring up your beautiful slides.

Kristal: All right. Let me do that right now.

Steven: Here we go. Always a fun transition.

Kristal: I know. I know. It’s like I always want to do this right.

Steven: It’s okay, people are used to it by now. There you go. Okay, the floor is yours, my friend. Take it away.

Kristal: All right, thank you so much, Steven, for that wonderful introduction. Hi, everyone. My name again is Kristal Johnson. And if you see my first slide, the first thing that you’ll notice, what I put in the search bar is the word pivot. Now, if you knew me a little better, you would know that I’m the type of person that absolutely cannot stand clichés and buzzwords, right, because I’m from a grant writing background. And, you know, clichés and buzzwords are just like the anti of whatever we do in grant writing.

But indulge me for a second because pivot definitely, it fits for the year 2020. Because think about it, whatever we did before March of this year, we literally have to pivot and do something else to bring in the dollars that our organization needs to keep going. So that’s why I have the word pivot. And I want you to keep that in the back of your mind throughout this presentation.

All right, hold on one second. Sorry about that. This is a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that nobody cares about. So let’s just move on from that. That is me on a really good day, Kristal with FundJoy, LLC. I lead a fearless fundraising firm. So I’m glad to be here. I want to tell you what has helped me this year and also what has not worked, okay, for my clients, for my peers, and for my own business. So you can join the conversation, please use Bloomerang’s hashtag as well if you’re going to use the #FundJoy. It’s where I pull questions, people will give feedback, anything that they’re dealing with. So please use that hashtag as well.

So our agenda for today is we are going to talk about a couple of things. We’re going to talk about virtual fundraising. Number one, we’re going to define it because I want to make sure that both of us is talking about the same thing when we’re going into the world of understanding what virtual fundraising is.

The second one is transitioning to virtual events. Okay? Next, using Zoom as your virtual newsletter. Look, it doesn’t matter which webinar platform you use. You can use that recording and that audio as your virtual newsletter and I am going to show you how.

The third thing we’re going to talk about is the fundraising script. This is something that I came up with a few years ago because I was always asked, “Look, can you just give me word for word what I should say in front of a donor, what I should say in an email, what I should say on a phone call?” That’s what this part is about, fundraising script.

This is what I give my clients and today you can have it for free. Okay? Just write down everything that I say, listen to the recording, and do it word for word, and then tweak it, and you can make it your own. You’ll have your own one-page fundraising script. You’ll never have to wonder what you need to say again.

The next one is donor engagement through messaging. There are three things that you need to look out for and three things that you need to be aware of. And we’re going to talk about those.

The last is video and live streaming. If you are like me, where when you started to think about video and live streaming, you immediately tense up and you’re like, “I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be on camera. I don’t want to do live streaming. All of that is too difficult,” I am here to take the scare away. Okay? It’s not as scary as you think. We’re going to talk about it. And after this, you’ll say, “You know what? I have an understanding of it, I think we can do this as an organization,” because you simply can.

So first things up, virtual fundraising. The year 2020 has brought on some new terms that I’ve never heard before and I’ve never used. This is one of them. Okay? So virtual fundraising is an online action to gain donor support in the form of donations, volunteers, or exposure. I want to break each one of these down for you. Okay?

The first one, donations, using different virtual methods to raise money such as event, online auctions, and crowdfunding. Let me stop right here because I always get questions about crowdfunding. To alleviate any concern that you have about crowdfunding, what I suggest since you are attending this Bloomerang webinar is to look up a webinar that Bloomerang has called “Win Friends and Influence Donors with Crowdfunding.” It is in their archives. It tells you everything you need to know about crowdfunding. It’s one of the best crowdfunding webinars that I’ve attended. And you can look at that in their archives. It’s called “Win Friends and Influence Donors.” If you do that search, you’ll find it. Okay.

So that’s the first one that we’re talking about donations, online auctions, events, anything that you’re having, where people are not attending in-person and it’s online. You can even have an online gala. And we’re going to talk about that because I’ve seen it done.

The next one is volunteers. Okay? This is the perfect time to inform people of your cause and gain online support. Almost everyone I know is working from home right now, almost everybody, except for essential workers, of course. But volunteerism has increased because of the extra time that some people have had. Now that does not mean they need to volunteer in-person. That could mean that they could have emails, phone calls, anything that they could do for your organization that they’re able to do from home, even if it means being a social media ambassador. Okay?

Volunteerism, your fans, your employees, board members should also be a part of this slide as well. Your community stakeholders, they can act as your social media ambassadors. This is where peer-to-peer fundraising comes in play, people fundraising on behalf of your organization. Okay?

Volunteers are so important because, number one, volunteers make the best donors. People start out as volunteers sometimes and then they donate to your cause. If they’re giving their time, which is precious, then they’re going to give their money, eventually. Volunteers eventually become donors and they make the best donors. Volunteers are so important that LinkedIn has dedicated a free section of your profile where you can go in and look for local volunteers, people who are interested in being board members or volunteers for a local organization.

How do you do that? You go to your LinkedIn profile, you look for nonprofit interests or community interests. They have two terms for it. you will click one of the two boxes, and then it brings up everybody who put an interest in being a volunteer. I have had several people do this and they have found local volunteers in their community doing this one action. Okay?

Corporations are also another way to garner volunteers. After all this is over, of course, you can see which corporations give back by having their employees take some of their time and do volunteer work in the community. There’s a ton of ways.

So we’re going to talk about the five steps to transition to virtual fundraising. Okay? The first step is, of course, to plan. You want to plan the length of time that you are going to fundraise for a particular event. What these steps really are doing is breaking down a campaign for you. This is your virtual campaign. That’s really what it is. Watch when we go through the steps that these are the steps that you would do anyway for a campaign, but they’re just broken out for you. Okay?

Promotion, once you understand the length of time, say you’re planning for a spring event, and I’ll give you an example. The very first event that I’m going to in-person, the first fundraiser that I have on my schedule is March of 2021. Everything else has been canceled, everything for this year. Definitely. So that is the first in-person event that we’re hoping that we can have. So when am I going to start fundraising for that? Pretty soon.

Pretty soon we are going to start putting things in place. We’re going to act like it will actually happen. We’re hoping that it can happen with all the rules and regulations that are in place. Okay? So right now you have the time to plan. We have the time to promote for that spring gala. Okay? Your ticketing and your fees, decide all of that now, okay, what you are going to do. Are you going to do an online auction? Are you going to do different type of online events that involve local vendors with food, and drink, and entertainment? I’ll show you how to tie all of that together.

And the last free thing that you need to plan that I always suggest to everyone is have a Facebook event page. Even if you’re doing a crowdfunding campaign, you want to have a Facebook page dedicated to it. You can put a date on it, say that the time that your crowdfunding campaign ends or the time that your event is. The reason you want to do a Facebook page, however you feel about Facebook, and I have a lot of thoughts about it, but the Facebook event page will help you because as soon as you click going or interested on that particular event, that notifies your entire friends list. They can share. They can comment. They can like and they can like it, press interested or going. When they do that, it goes to their entire friends list.

Do you see how this is multiplying? That is why you want to have a dedicated event page. Facebook event page should be one of those pages. You can have others with other platforms, but Facebook events should definitely be one of those.

All right, step two. Logistics. Partner with local restaurants for food and drink options for participants. You would do this in case you’re having, like, a gala around town. And you can write this term down because it’s out there in social media.

It’s called a gala around town, where if your initiatives are local, specifically to certain ZIP Codes, you can partner with restaurants, have people order that food, have people take pictures of them having, like, a gala at home, dressing up eating the food, talking about your organization. And if you have 50 or 60 people do that, it bombards social media platforms. It shows that you had an online gala, people get involved. And even the second bullet that you see on the slide, local entertainment. They can do a live stream during your event. You can set it up that way. There are ways that you can get around meeting in-person. This is how you take your events on a virtual level.

Other things that I did not include in this slide that I have seen are people doing a walk around town, where they will literally have people do a 5K, raise money for their organization, do a Facebook fundraising page, and they’ll do a 5K. They’ll video record themselves, live streaming. They’ll show pictures and then they’ll also put a link back to your website. I’ve seen people do that. I’ve seen auctions of all sorts online. Okay. I’ve done online auctions. I’ve done in person auctions. They’re exciting, either way.

There’s a lot of logistics that come into play with these things. But if you set up yourself to do at least one of these events this year, you have that experience in case we go into 2021 and we still have to concentrate on virtual fundraising. Everything is up in the air right now. You at least will have the experience and you’re able to tweak your plan.

Third step is communication. This is so important. This could be step 1 through 5 all on its own. Because this will make or break your virtual events. Before the event is your promotion and your sales. Please understand, if you don’t get anything else from this presentation, I want you to understand it takes people 5 to 7 times to look at your social media post or your website before they make a decision. It is the same as when I market a class or a course or a webinar. Why? Because we are bombarded with images all day long. Particularly this week alone. We have a lot on our mind. There are 10,000 hats we need to do, things we need to do. As soon as this webinar is over, you have 50 more things that that you need to do. Okay?

We are bombarded with so much. So you want to have promotion be repetitive. It cannot be one tweet. It has to be 5 to 7 times. If you’re promoting for the next 30 days, you should at least do it 3 to 4 times in that week your promotion. During the event, you want to have proof also that you did something but that you also can have fun because let me tell you, people sometimes give and this is the truth. Think about it. People are attracted online to things that look fun, to things that look innovative, and to something different. That is going to motivate them unless, they are already a donor.

Prospective donors gravitate towards things that look fun, things that look innovative. Your executive director, you know, getting on the live stream telling how this is going to impact your clients and serve the community. They want to see that. So that is during the event.

And after the event, these people are so important because you want your thank yous. You want to get out your campaign results and your social media shout outs. People will wait for this type of stuff. They want to see it. You do it for two reasons. You do it for a lot, but mainly two. Number one, you want to let people know that to thank them for participating. You’re also informing people who had no idea your event was going on, that they can participate in the future. You want to let them know your results. You want to give shout outs to certain donors and certain sponsors who helped this event come to fruition. You want to do that. So before, during, and after.

Four is your networking. This is the fifth step to transition to virtual fundraising, live stream your activities throughout different parts of the event. The fundraising online that I have seen that has failed, the virtual events, is that they don’t have any proof. They’ll do a couple of pictures. They’ll talk about the event. And that’s pretty much all she wrote. That should never be the case. That should never be the case.

You want video. You want streaming. You want proof. You want pictures. You want testimonials. Okay? You want some of your staff or volunteers commenting. That is a total virtual event, a total virtual fundraiser that you can have. All of those components in one. Ask your attendees to take photos and please, oh please, use event designated hashtags.

I am going to talk for a second to the people who think hashtags do not matter. I can tell you of one case where I saw a hashtag online. And because of that hashtag, I was able to get a grant for an organization. And they were able to get $1,875. That grant was not advertised anywhere else. It was because of a hashtag. Because of an event designated hashtag. I am able to find more donors and I am able to find events that I normally wouldn’t know about. Okay. It increases your footprint online.

And trust me, if you go to Twitter right now, and you refresh your timeline, you’ll have to refresh it again in 60 seconds. That’s how much we are bombarded with a whole bunch of fluff. Okay? You want a hashtag so people can find you, so people know who you are. And if they see your tweet without even, you know, searching for your hashtag. They’ll click on that hashtag and they’ll see a running timeline of exactly what your organization is about. And that’s what you want to do when you use these event designated hashtags.

You want to promote using those hashtags. You want to highlight your clients using those hashtags. You want to use them over and over again because this becomes your new footprint on social media.

You want to include one-on-one video chats between your staff volunteers, and if you can, testimonials of people who have been impacted, current donors, your board members. They make a difference in how much money you’re able to raise for your organization. You want to ask your community stakeholders to promote your event online. Your community stakeholders or your corporate sponsors in the area, corporations, businesses, small businesses, okay, advocates, you want to ask for their help, let them know about the event.

Step 5, you want to assign roles. You want to have everything in place before you proceed. And you want your leaders, you want your volunteers, your backup crew, you want a backup crew in case anything happens to your frontline volunteers or staff, such as somebody could come down with a cold or somebody could call out sick or anything can happen. Anything can happen where you want a backup, a second string, you want a follow-up committee.

I put 2021 in parentheses because we don’t know how long we have to virtual fundraise. This may go into next year. Okay? So you want a follow-up committee. When your event is over, and they let everyone know how well you did, see that’s a few slides back, remember, how well you did, the thank yous, the shout outs, that’s your follow up committee.

So now we’re going to talk about using Zoom as your virtual newsletter. Now I got this directly from Zoom. They reported that nonprofits are using Zoom for fundraising and donor briefings. And this is a great way to use Zoom as your virtual newsletter. It is because you can take that audio and video and use it for so much more. You can have your organizational and campaign updates.

You know what I had a client do, and this is something that you can do, that’s very easy. They did an organizational update via Zoom. It was just them in a camera. Okay? Nobody invited. They took the audio from that. They put it on their website. They put a label of podcast, put it on their website, and now they have running audio, like five or six audio briefings of what’s going on. That enhances their website. It lets people know who they are as an organization. And they take that same audio and put it on Facebook, put it on Twitter, put it on all of their channels, on LinkedIn, on their company page, that this is our organizational update.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be video. You can acknowledge your donors. You can profile volunteers. You can share a testimonial, impactful story. You can take that audio and video, and put it in your next newsletter, and have that be the highlight of your entire newsletter.

I am still working with people who think newsletters don’t matter and I am telling you they do. And the number one question that I will receive surrounding newsletters is how often should we send them? You should send them when you have something to say. Because how often you send them really is less important than what you have to say when you’re sending. Don’t stick to a schedule of we have to send one every week or once a month.

If you have a lot to say, if your organization is busy and making things happen, and twice a month works for you, then by all means do twice a month. If once a quarter works for your organization, and you send out something closer to a book than a newsletter, but your donors find that more interesting, and you have a higher open and click count, then by all means do that. Okay?

Share impactful stories, profile your volunteers, acknowledge your donors. The middle three of this slide is the most important. It really is when you’re sending out your newsletter.

And the last one in bold, promote, promote, promote, promote, promote your events, I changed this to virtual events. Whatever you are doing, promote. At the end of your newsletter, promote it. The closer you get to the event, put it at the top. This is a little trick that I’ve used for years. So make sure to write this down. I’ll say it again. At the end of your newsletter, always put your promotion at the beginning of your newsletter, put your promotion when you’re getting closer to the event. So the closer to the event, put it up top. Don’t wait for people to look at a whole newsletter because they may not. Okay?

Another tip. Take that video and use it on your social media channels and websites over and over again. I have a client that does a two-minute video. Like once or twice a year, she will do it. She uses that same video over and over again. She’ll just use snippets. I have her take snippets out. She’ll make 20 to 30 social media posts off of that video. She’ll put in statistics, company updates. She’ll take the audio, put that on her LinkedIn company profile. There is so much you can do with your effort. Make your effort count and multiply it. So now we’re going to talk about creating a fundraising script.

Steven, I want to stop right here before I go any further. Are there any questions that people have?

Steven: I have only seen glowing praise for all the information you’re sharing, Kristal, so keep going.

Kristal: Awesome. Awesome. Okay, I just wanted make sure. Thank you very much. All right. So creating a fund raising script. You’ll do a lot of writing with this one. But please keep in mind what Steven said, you will get the audio. You will get the video files from this. So you don’t need to write down everything. Just kind of bullet point what I’m saying, if that makes sense to you. Okay?

So creating a fundraising script. There are a couple of components for creating your fundraising script, I have 20 to 25 scripts that I have created. That all came from the basic one that I am showing you today. Because remember, how I speak to people is not going to be the same as your tone, your language. So you take what I am giving you and then you tweak it to make your own, to sound like you. Okay?

So one of the scripts, and this is one of the first ones that I used about 12 years ago at this point, your introduction. This is where you are laying the foundation. Okay? And with the introduction, and I’ll speak for myself, I’ll use myself as an example. So I always say “Hello, XYZ. My name is Kristal Johnson, and I work for ABC Foundation. My official title is development director. But I am an ambassador for ABC and the clients we serve.” In the area where I said, “clients we serve,” you want to actually put your target population. The clients we serve in 77506. Okay? You want to get real specific here. People like hearing about different regions. If you’re dealing with a local potential prospect, donor prospect, you want to put in where your clients are. If it’s a national level, you want to indicate that. So that is your introduction.

Then there are three questions that you want to answer. The donor is not going to ask you these questions per se, but it is on their mind. I pulled these three questions because there are other questions I was answering that they didn’t want to know about. They always come back to these three. Okay?

So the first one is, who is your community? So you would say something like, “ABC Foundation provides a platform that amplifies the voices of women and children through the development of blank.” How do you fill in the blank? With whatever program you’re highlighting. With whatever project is the concern, that makes the impact, the reason that you’re speaking with this donor. That is what you would put in that blank.

The next question, how do you serve your community? Now, I did this one for an arts organization. So this would read, “ABC Foundation develops and produces creative works that spark meaningful dialogue through story.” You want to have your words come alive. How do they come alive? That is one of the three things that we’re going to talk about. But this is all about tone. I raise and lower my pitch according to what I am saying because it captures interest. That’s really what you’re doing.

Where is the gap? That is the next question. Your nonprofit is filling a gap. What is that gap? You would say, “Our goal is to address the lack of representation of blank, blank, blank in this industry.” Change that wording and make it your own.

Last question is, how can the donor help? You would say this before your close. Okay? This is the question you say before you close. “So in an effort to build community and support local businesses and their goals toward creating an equitable world, we provide blank.” Does all of that verbiage apply to your organization? Maybe not. But you can take what I just said and make it your own. Okay?

And then with your ending, because every time I end a meeting, I always end with saying that, “As you know, I had three goals for this meeting. I wanted to give an introduction on our work and what we’ve accomplished. I wanted to learn more about your interests. And I thank you for sharing that with me. And I’m here to ask for your financial support.” I always end with an ask. After that ask, I say, “Can we count on your gift to ensure ABC expands its reach?” That’s it. That’s the one-page script. Is that a lot? It sounds like a lot. But after doing this a couple of times, you’ll have it down.

That’s your script. And remember, in that script, I did start out saying I was a development director. That is to let them know even though they know who I am at this point, that’s to let them know who I am, also, to let them know I’m an ambassador, that I wear multiple hats. Yes, I’m a development director, but I am an ambassador for this organization. I care about what this organization is doing. Okay? So that’s to let them know.

So the first point people care less about titles and more about the reason you’re calling or meeting them. Most donors want you to get to the point. They want you to get to the point.

Second bullet, and I want you to read this twice. I have secured more asks in the morning than any other time. There is something, even if you’re not a morning person, I am not, my industry forces me to be a morning person. So, therefore, I’m a forced morning person, but I rather wake up at noon, but I cannot do that. So I have secured more asks in the morning than any other time, email, phone call. I’ve done Zoom asks. You know, that can be a webinar in itself, asking via Zoom, you know, via a meeting that way. Any way you can ask, I have asked. In the morning, it’s hands down. It seems to be the best time for securing the money that I want for an organization.

Ask for financial support or extending invitation to your next virtual event. I never and I do mean ever leave an ask without asking for a financial support or extending an invitation. That second part after the word or in caps is because the first part didn’t work out for me. So, if it seems like you’re not going to get the financial support, then I extend the invitation for them to join something, to visit to our next virtual event, something because we’re not leaving that meeting without having the next meeting set up.

Also, what is the donor’s giving history? You want to perform your prospect research. I know you might have a question of how you do that. That is very simple. I did a webinar for Bloomerang years ago called “The Assertive Ask.” It’s “The Assertive Ask.” It is in their archives. So all you have to do is Google it. You can even do it from Google, actually. You can put “Bloomerang Assertive Ask, Kristal Johnson,” and it’ll come up that way or you can go to Bloomerang’s webinar archives on their website. Either one will work.

All right, so donor engagement through messaging. These are the three things that we need to talk about, that I’ve been talking about all throughout the webinar. It’s timing, tone, and the last one is tact. The last one always makes me laugh, but it’s necessary for 2020 because I have seen some things out there in social media that makes me wince and makes me close my eyes and scream inside a little bit. So tact is needed these days. So we’re going to talk about that.

First one, timing. You need to be strategic in your process when communicating with the donor. Okay? 2020 is an epic year of a lot of things that we never thought we would deal with. Okay? When I encourage people because some people are very shy, some fundraisers are shy about asking for monies right now because of what we’re going through, I have the opposite thinking that this is the best time to get your message out there and let them know how your nonprofit has been impacted. And you can still do that and make the ask. I’m doing it and a lot of fundraisers I know are doing it. Make the ask. This is about timing. Your issues are happening now with your nonprofit. So you need to ask now. Don’t shy away now.

Tone, your voice and words control the conversation. The one thing that I credit to my success for raising the money I have is because I have mastered the tone in my voice. You have to know what you’re starting with. I’m starting with a voice that can be very direct and sometimes can come off in a different kind of way than other people. Okay? My voice is deeper than, you know, most women I understand that. So I raise and lower my voice according to what I am saying. It just all depends. So your voice and words control a conversation.

And another slide that should be in there is your body language. Even if you’re doing a virtual ask, your body language, the way that you are seen on camera, all of that resonates. Your body language even counts if you’re talking to a prospective donor because it comes through in your words. Okay? I can tell how people are feeling or how they are resonating with me if I’m talking to them on the phone, and I don’t even need to see them.

Your voice and words control your conversation. The same way you were talking with prospective donors before all of this happen is the same way you need to talk with them now. Okay? We’re all rattled. We’re all taken aback by what’s going on. But I am telling you keep. Try to keep an even keel with your tone and your voice. Be aware of what you’re starting with and go from there.

Tact. The definition of tact is sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues. When conversing with donors, you need to remember how the world has changed in 2020. I have noticed in working with people and making my own phone calls, doing Zoom videos, that I have to be aware of, you don’t want to put out so much negativity that is happening with this year or that is happening with your nonprofit, that it resonates with the donor in a negative way. Because you don’t know what they’re going through, you don’t know how they have been impacted by this year. You don’t know, you know, their circle, who’s been impacted in their circle, health-wise, financially, anything. So this is what we’re talking about with tact.

Also, what you put online. I know we’re all adults here but I just have to say this because I’ve seen that. What you put online, make sure that it is tactful, that it is sensitive to what people are going through. How do you know that? If you have to have one of your friends, one of your colleagues, one of your board members, one of your community supporters look at what you kind of want to put online before you do and get their feedback, by all means do that, by all means do that. There’s even an anonymous nonprofit forum where people will put what they want to put online and get feedback that way. It’s on Facebook. So there’s many ways if you’re unsure that what you’re putting online is insensitive, then by all means, use one of those methods before you post. Okay?

Next, video series to promote donor support. And there will be time at the end for me to answer their questions or any feedback that you have. So live streaming and video. This section is for the people, and I used to be one of these. I could lead the charge. I could be president of this club, that these are for the people that are very hesitant about live streaming and video, being on camera, all of that jazz. Okay?

So creating videos and live streaming, they’re effective tools because they build on common ground. You ever wonder why videos or live streaming gets more engagement than you putting a simple post or anything online? One of the reasons that it gets engagement is because as we’re scrolling on our phones or on our computer, and this is just human nature, the one thing that makes us pause is when you see a video, when you see live streaming. It’s powerful that way over a post. And remember, your efforts can be used so many ways, that video and live stream you can put right on your website. Okay? So it’s nothing more powerful than turning your nonprofit story into a video. Nothing more powerful.

How do you do your nonprofit story? Well, let me show you examples before I show you the components. And I know you have a handout as well. First up is Baker Ripley. I live about 20 minutes from Houston, something like that. And Baker Ripley is one of the, if not the largest, nonprofit in Houston. And so one thing that they do extremely well is they tell little snippets, like, little nonprofit stories on their posts, on their websites, everywhere. I think it’s just pretty cool how they do it.

You ever want examples? Look at their website. It’s pretty cool. Two of the stories represented here because there are different types of nonprofit stories is timeliness and major donors. As you know, Hurricane Harvey, we were one of the cities hit pretty hard about one of them. And so their posts, they’re thanking their donors. And all of these people that they’re thanking, I guarantee you, they went back to them for more funding than the next year or maybe even this year. They continually thanked them online. They continually tagged them. That makes a difference in telling your nonprofit story.

Second one is Love Your Brain. Okay? They use yoga and exercise to help patients who have undergone brain surgery. Very great website. Took one video, this one video that you can find at the source listed at the bottom or YouTube. Your choice, you can search it. They took this one video and they use it on GivingTuesday. They have it on their website. They have it in tons of social media posts. I’ve seen it on LinkedIn. It has been picked up by local sources like Classy is one of them and other news outlets. That one video. I can’t tell you how old this video is because I’ve seen it for years. They did that one time, and it’s a video that represents one type of nonprofit story. And that’s just a call to action, testimonial with a call to action. That’s it. With that one video, I’m going to convince you all to do video and live streaming before this webinar is over.

CASA is another one. They are great at using videos on their website to promote their cause. The stories represented here, volunteers, okay, I’m not going to mention volunteers anymore because I could just go on 50 more minutes about how important volunteers are. Testimonials, they incorporated vision and their mission.

Now, this one I haven’t talked about, but it’s pretty simple is in their video, they reiterate how their clients have been affected and how their results fulfills their mission, and how it contributes to the vision that they have that they want to see in the future. And then they always have a call to action. They have several calls to actions on their website, including several on the front page. So this is a great example of what one video can do.

And remember, you don’t always have to post. I’ve seen people do this. They’ll post the entire video on all outlets. You’re only supposed to do snippets, because if you do snippets of your video or your audio, you want to direct people back to your website and your donation page. On your donation page, you should have a snippet of a video. You’re always directing people right back to where you want them. You’re telling a story, but you’re also telling me what you want me to do. So you always have to direct them back. That is how you make your virtual ask. You can’t put a video up and then no text or verbiage behind it. You have to direct people back to where you want them to be. So that is CASA.

So the components of a nonprofit story and this is some of them, and I know you have a handout, it’s an outline, written stories, photos and video, interviews, one interview. You can turn that one interview in 15 social media posts because you can put snippets. You can make quotes out of the interview. You can have that as your testimonial. You can have it on your blog as an article. You can send it to local outlets and let them highlight you. And always if you need release forms for anything that you’re doing with your nonprofit story because you’re getting testimonials from clients, you know what your organization is required to do, then, by all means, do that.

And I always end my presentations with this quote because I swear I don’t know if Maya Angelou was talking about . . . she definitely wants to talk about nonprofits directly, I would imagine. But it always resonates with me as a fundraiser, as someone who hearts nonprofits like nobody’s business, someone who is an advocate, volunteer, it says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. They will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” And that should resonate with you because think about it. You’re not able to go out right now. But when you receive great customer service, it makes a difference. You remember that organization. You remember that restaurant. You remember that retailer. Okay?

So remember that people never forget how you made them feel. Donors remember. They remember how you make them feel. They remember your words, your actions, your expressions.

So you already had the donor connection matrix and nonprofit story outline. You can go to fundjoy.org resources. If you ever need other copies, it is there for you as well. And I also want to say the fundraising scripts, if you wanted more information about that, just sign up for the newsletter at fundjoy.org. It’s a purple bar up top and you can join my newsletter list. I only send it out twice a month. That’s all I have time for. I cannot do every week. I don’t want to bombard you so just twice a month. So I will take your questions now.

Steven: Yeah, I told you all it was going to be a good one. I told you. That’s why I made it the last one of the half-year. Kristal, that was awesome. It was so awesome to just hear from you. Lot of good ideas, a lot of really actionable things for folks.

Krystal: Thanks so much.

Steven: So that’s what I’m seeing in chat here. “Best webinar in the last four months.” Wow, that’s pretty good.

Kristal: Oh, thank you.

Steven: Yeah. We got some questions here. I’m just going to roll into them. One here from Rebecca. Kristal, you mentioned profiling volunteers, do you mean kind of, like, posting about maybe like a volunteer of the month or something like that on Facebook or can you kind of unpack what you were thinking there for highlighting volunteers?

Kristal: Yeah. I see her . . . Rebecca, thanks for the question. I am going to give you an example of what one organization is doing, a client who they have turned their volunteer luncheon into something that people look forward to locally every year. So, of course, they were not able to do it this year. And so what they have done instead is I suggested that they do a monthly volunteer highlight. And they have a Facebook event page because remember, we’re going back to the slides, create a Facebook event page. They are creating their own volunteer day. They made it an event. And during that day as if it was GivingTuesday, they’re going to post what their volunteers are doing, how many they have, their organization being impacted. And it brings excitement and engagement to that org because people expect them to highlight volunteers. That luncheon has over 500 attendees every year.

Steve: Oh wow.

Kristal: Every year. Community stakeholders, local officials, it’s very, very important that they keep that momentum going. And so that’s the way that they have done it every month, and then they have a special day is if they were having a luncheon. They have a special day just for their volunteers, video, testimonials. They have audio that they have turned into podcasts. Remember, your Zoom audio can be your podcast. It really can. It’s the easiest way to just start. If you want something on your website, and you’re not worried about it linking to, you know, other apps, just have it on your website as an audio. So those are some things to help you.

Steven: Yeah. Volunteer appreciation, so, so powerful, especially on Facebook, because similar to what you said about the events, it’s shareable.

Kristal: It’s shareable.

Steven: If somebody gets highlighted, they’re going to reshare it for their friends because people like to show off. I mean, it does so many good things for you. I

Kristal: It’s human. We love it.

Steven: Yeah. We love it. Here’s one from my buddy, Miriam. Miriam is wondering, it’s kind of interesting, let’s say you do a check-in call or a thank you call, they pick up, you say, thank you, you say check-in, you’re kind of feeling like maybe it’d be a good time to ask for money because of how the call has gone. Have you ever kind of parlayed that into an actual ask or should you just make it pure stewardship no matter how it goes? And I’m kind of thinking about your last presentation about being assertive in your asking. What do you think of that? Have you ever made that transition?

Kristal: I have. Check-in calls are very important. And I understand why you’re doing them and this is the time to do them. You want to do check-in calls now. Your donors are not going to be surprised that you’re calling, specifically your major donors. And so to take that call into a transition of an ask, the last paragraph that I talked with about my fundraising script is what I end with every single time. You want to highlight those three things.

“Well, there are three reasons why I’m calling. Number one, is to check in to let you know and update you on the organization. Number two is to thank you for your continued support. And number three is to ask for your support going forward as we transition or as we pivot.” You use the word transition or pivot, it’s going to help them understand you’re going in a different direction, that you’re innovative enough not to let this set you back, the year 2020 I’m referring to, and that you have a plan for the future. So those three things at the end of your script, at the end of your conversation is what you want to say.

Steven: I love it.

Kristal: Every time I do it. Every single time.

Steven: Here’s one. Going back to the recognition piece, let’s say you have donor, a donor or donors who like to remain anonymous, and may go for volunteers as well, is there a way to tell that story anonymously, maybe similar to how you would tell the story of a service recipient? That, you know, you don’t want to share an identity because maybe they’re, you know, underage or been a victim of domestic violence. You know, can that same strategy maybe be applied to highlighting anonymous donors?

Kristal: Absolutely. And I’ll tell you two stories real quick, I promise. With the domestic violence piece, years ago, I worked for an organization that had a domestic violence unit. And the way that they got around to testimonials and telling their story is they would concentrate on the statistics. We’ve helped this number of people this quarter and here are some quotes from our clients. Those quotes is what they included, no names, no regions, or anything like . . . not even ZIP Codes, just the quotes.

You can kind of tell because I know when she asked this, you know, people have the notion of, “Oh, you know, this organization might be lying.” If you have good quotes, and if you have quotes that provide a little bit of detail, then people understand that this is the truth that you’re resonating with them. I would worry less about, you know, people seeing it as something that’s an untruth versus putting too much detail and then somebody getting found out. So I understand that that is a fine line.

Now, when it comes to an anonymous corporate sponsor or an anonymous donor, what I have done, Steven, is I always put the industry. “We would like to thank this organization who represents this industry, usually for me, because I’m in Houston oil and gas for donating $10,000 to support blah, blah, blah.” Then I put information about that program, how their $10,000 will impact that program. I take the focus and put it on that. So I put the industry and leave it at that because that’s all you can do.

Steven: I love it. And, you know, I see donor quotes and planned giving pieces a lot. You know, “This is why I wrote so and so into my will,” but it seems like that would be just as powerful in other, you know, this is why I’m a monthly giver. This is why . . . You know, I give it at mid-level or whatever. It seems like that’s kind of an underutilized thing as well. So I love the quote idea.

This is just chock full of good stuff. It’s already 2:00, and I want to be respectful of people’s time. There’s a few questions in here we didn’t get to, Kristal. Are you cool maybe taking some questions by email? I don’t want to get your inbox necessarily . . .

Kristal: Yeah, I want to make the rest of it by email, and particularly Margo’s because that’s going to Margo Morton. I have an answer for her and, yeah, I’d like to do it by email.

Steven: I’ll get all these to you, Kristal, and I’ll resend the slides, recording, and both handouts, including that matrix you mentioned. I’m going to get that in everybody’s hands. So if you’re still listening, don’t worry, you’ll get all that good stuff from me by email. But Kristal, I’ll give you the last word. How can people get in touch with you, follow you online? Because they should if the comments here are any indication you were awesome.

Kristal: Oh, thank you so much, Steven, and thank you for the opportunity to do this to help people. One thing I want to say before I close is that 20 by 5 donor connection matrix that Steven sent you as a handout, it’s red, black, and white, use that now. You can use it right now, starting Monday even if you want to, because it’ll help you be less frustrated and streamline your efforts. So, if you are trying to find me online, fundjoy.org. If you look at the slide, you can see that the cardboard box has it. It’s fundjoy.org. My email is also at the bottom. But the very best way to get these tips on a regular basis is the newsletter. So click the purple bar at the top at fundjoy.org.

Steven: Yeah, that’s a good newsletter. And it’s got good stuff in it. So you’re going to want to subscribe to that, as well.

Kristal: And another thing, the fundraising scripts class is beginning this fall. I do it every fall. So join the newsletter and you’ll receive info about that.

Steven: Sweet. I love it. This is awesome. I’ve been looking forward to this one great way for me to end my week. So thanks for doing this, Kristal. I know you’re super busy, and you’re doing webinars and virtual conferences all the time. So thanks for making the time to do this. I really appreciate it.

Kristal: Oh, you’re very welcome. It was so good to see you again and talk with you.

Steven: I know. I had fun. It was just as fun the half-hour to hear from you again before we started. So thank you, thank you and that’s it for the first half of 2020. It’s hard to believe, I think we did triple-digit webinars. It’s definitely over 100. So what a great way to end our webinar fiscal year for June. So we’re going to take next week off. I’m taking next week off, I hope no one minds, but we’re going to come back in a big way that first full week of July with our buddy, Sean Triner, from Australia. He’s been dealing with wildfires and then right into COVID. And he’s really been in the thick of this crisis fundraising. He joined us in March, actually, if you were on that webinar. But he’s coming back to talk about a survey that he has been really successful with. So you’re going to get a real concrete takeaway in terms of a donor survey. So if that’s new to you or maybe you’ve always wanted to get into that, join us July 9th, 4:00 pm, which is something like 7:00 a.m. Australian time the following day. So it’s really nice of him to do this for us. So join us, we can’t wait to talk to you again in the second half of the year.

So look for an email from me with all the goodies Kristal mentioned. We’ll get those in your hands this afternoon. And I hope everyone has a great weekend, a safe, and a healthy holiday. If you’re here in the States for the 4th of July, we’re thinking about you all, please stay safe. We need you. And hopefully, we’ll see you again in the second half of the year. So thanks for watching. We’ll talk to you again soon. Bye now.

Kristen Hay

Kristen Hay

Marketing Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Hay is the Marketing Manager at Bloomerang. She also serves as the Director of Communications for PRSA’s Hoosier chapter.
Kristen Hay