Why Donors Give

It’s 2020, don’t you know why your donors give? Picture this: It’s 2018 and your fiscal year produced record totals for donors and dollars. Everyone in the office is absolutely stoked, spirits are high, and you decide to roll into 2019 with the same strategy. It worked once, it’ll work again, right? Fast forward: The year is now 2020, your donor and dollar numbers have been on a downward trend for months, your solicitation response rate is dwindling, and traffic to your online giving page is worse than ever. What happened? Why didn’t the trusty ol’ [insert generic plea for…

How to Level Up Your #GivingTuesday Stewardship

#GivingTuesday 2019 was a record-breaking year for philanthropy, continuing to gather traction world-wide. With online and offline giving combined, nearly $2 billion was donated on December 3rd, 2019. Online giving increased from $400 million in 2018 to $511 million this year. Online giving is clearly here to stay! Our clients saw a lot of success this year, with 30 organizations raising a total of over $4.6 million from 25,000+ donors. You can see all of our client pages here or check out the stars of the show here.   The first hurdle in fundraising is getting donors in the door, but…

Alumni Engagement: 5 Tips for Retaining Alumni Support

Alumni engagement is all about forming powerful connections that encourage former students to give back. Prior to graduation, they were on campus every day, creating memories to last a lifetime. However, now they’re scattered across the country, making it difficult to maintain those relationships. Alumni members are the heart of your school. Nothing equates to the support and connections they provide. Once that support is gone, it’s nearly impossible to get back.  Ideally, you want to engage alumni from the moment they graduate. Otherwise, their support may slowly fade, leaving you without the emotional and monetary support your school needs.…

Discover Donor Desires: Using Data to Maximize Retention

We have all heard about the need to make “data-driven decisions” in our organizations. This sounds great; of course we want to use information to make informed choices. But with so much data available, how can it be utilized to connect donors to what they care about most? The answer is simple: we need to listen. In this blog, we’ll review methods to track areas of interest across different initiative types, fundraising strategies to narrow in on donor passions, and how to leverage affinity tagging for long-term retention. Foundation Modern donors expect organizations to know what they want, and to…

How Video Can Enhance Your Fundraising Program

Video continues to prove itself as a powerful motivator of human behavior. And because philanthropy is most certainly a human behavior, many of Groundwork Digital’s nonprofit partners have enjoyed substantial fundraising success thanks to robust, video-driven campaigns. Click here for a couple of case studies to substantiate our claim above. Of course, it’s not as simple as “point, shoot, and fundraise!” Video requires creativity, integration with other tactics (such as peer-to-peer, online ambassador fundraising), and experienced fundraising strategy. Read on to discover tactics for using video to elevate modern fundraising tactics… Make video a cornerstone of your online ambassador engagement…

How to Tell an Engaging Ongoing Story with Campaign Updates

You’ve worked hard gathering a team, building your campaign and marketing the launch. Now, you can just sit back and let the funding roll in, right? Wrong. One of the biggest mistakes that campaign creators make is thinking people will automatically give once the initiative is live and accepting donations. Even if you have a beautiful online fundraising page filled with compelling content, you are still responsible for keeping (and gaining more) momentum throughout the life cycle of the campaign. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through marketing updates.  Studies show that updates more than double the…

Lessons Learned from a Meeting of the Minds

It's been a month since the Meeting of the Minds conference on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona. However, as I've gotten the distance I've found that many of the topics I heard are still poignant for where we are in today's fundraising paradigm. My team and I heard from several wonderful speakers: Ryan Lawrence, Lynne Wester, Rodger Devine, John Taylor, Bob Burdenski, among others. The topics ranged anywhere from Managing Our Expectations Toward Millennials to Creating a Culture of Engagement and Giving. You can see the full schedule here. But a golden thread I heard woven throughout is the…

How to Engage Different Generations of Donors

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Every generation differs in what they care about and what catches their attention, based on economic, political, and social factors. Understand what generation the majority of your target audience falls under and tailor your fundraising appeals to them. Here is what you need to know about four donor generations, and how to best engage with them. Gen Z: Born 1997- Present (0-21 years old) General Info: Gen Z makes up about 20.4% of the U.S population and is currently the youngest generation. When looked at as a whole, their current spending power comes out to over $44 billion per…

How to Write the Perfect Fundraising Email

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="9030" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_column_text] Asking for money can be awkward, sometimes leaving you feeling like a bother to the other person. The trick to avoiding these feelings is in the presentation you give and the manner in which you ask. Use these tricks and you will have the perfect fundraising email, helping you to avoid negative feelings. Tell a Story Like any good book, you need a hook – an opening line that creates a need to keep reading. Most people see fundraising emails and skim over before sending it to spam. Give them a reason to stop and keep…

Creating a Digital First Fundraising Strategy

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="8900" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]All of your outreach activities will support your overall fundraising strategy. As you develop communication plans for your next initiative, consider this as the starting point: the digital landing page. Each communication channel, from email to direct mail, phone to word of mouth, are driving at the same goal of engaging your supporters in your organization’s work, all in their own unique way. Your digital landing page is the one tool can tie all of these channels together. While you should continue to seek an immediate action by way of whatever channel you’re reaching out through, you…

How to Turn Your Fundraising Ambassadors into Champions

Looking for a fundraising tool with untapped potential? You’ll find that your most committed supporters are willing to do more than give. Your advocates, volunteers and donors have amazing potential to contribute as champions of your mission. Today’s donors want transparency, they demand accountability, and they expect to understand the impact their gifts make. No one can tell the story of support makes an impact better than your existing advocates. By engaging your organization’s advocates in a champion program, you can leverage their energy, connections and skills to expand the reach and effectiveness of your fundraising program. Champion programs can…

Involve Attendees at Your Next Giving Event: 5 Strategies

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="7979" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]For some of your attendees, your giving event may be the highlight of their week! Everyone will remember a great event hosted by a worthy organization, but it never hurts to take some extra steps to make sure your attendees get even more involved. This extra effort will go a long way with helping your event resonate with your most important supporters. Engagement is vital to the future of your organization because it creates a great reputation for your hosting abilities, increasing attendance for future events as well. Creating involvement opportunities doesn't need to involve a complete…

Katie Haystead

Katie Haystead

Senior Vice President, Partnerships

With over a decade of experience working with K12 schools and higher education institutions’ fundraising efforts, Katie Haystead now oversees the partnerships team at Community Funded. Her passion for partner success and satisfaction aligns with Community Funded’s priorities and Katie’s unique background is well suited to manage the day to day operations of our partnerships team as well as new market acquisition.

Prior to joining the team at Community Funded, Katie served many roles within the Fundraising Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Her experience ranges from working onsite and remotely with clients executing phonathon programs, developing annual giving strategies, onsite consultations and also developing multichannel strategies allowing for strong synergy between annual giving channels and creating strong major and planned gift pipelines.

Katie is based in Metro Detroit and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she worked for the phonathon for 3 years while working towards her History Major.

Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Kim Jennings, CFRE is a skilled fundraising leader who believes in the power of Christian education to raise up thoughtful, strong, committed leaders who can make our world a better place for all.

Kim Jennings

Todd Turner

Director of Digital Strategies, Generis

In addition to his 11 years overseeing Chuck Swindoll’s Insight Living Ministries communications department, Todd Turner has worked as a digital strategist for faith based organizations across the globe..

Kim Jennings

Jennifer Perrow

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Jennifer is a skilled fundraising and communications professional who helps ministries articulate vision, communicate mission, and raise abundant funds to advance Kingdom priorities.