Generosity Labs Podcast // Summer Check-Up

Generosity Labs Podcast // Summer Check-Up

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For today’s episode of the Generosity Labs Podcast, Kenny Jahng shares how people can be forgetful when summertime comes. He will discuss key points to be considered by churches and nonprofit organizations for check up during summer.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hey everybody, it’s Kenny Jahng. It is summertime. Feels like it. It’s definitely heading up to almost 90 degrees here in Jersey this week. This is Kenny Jahng with Generosity Labs, and we are checking in with the podcast. Haven’t been with you lately but we are back on track. And here’s the reason that we’re checking in today is that it is summertime. We are now at a point where the back to school or end of school rush is gone. Mother’s day is gone. Father’s day is gone. We are looking at July 4th, and then it’s just the summer slump for most of the churches and nonprofits that we are talking about. 

Now, you might have a vibrant schedule for the summer. But here’s one thing that I’d love to talk about today. And that’s a summer checkup.   of times you hear that before you go on vacation, you should check your vehicle to make sure the tire pressure’s there, the oil, radiator. All that stuff is in good condition before you go on a big trip. And this is the same time to do this summer checkup for your donor development activities. And it’s just a couple things that I think you should put on your radar. This is a great thing to put on for either the end of June or for the rest of July. To just check-in and see how you’re doing. 

And so there are a couple of things. The first thing is just where you are in terms of progress for your overall plan for the year. Are you on a budget? Are you ahead of the game? Are you behind the game? And it’s time to rejigger your plan. Right? Basically, we’ve got July, August, September, and then October, November, December. Right? Six months, two quarters to go. It’s time to get back onto the white board, and to find those smart goals, right? The specific, measurable, attainable, what’s the R? Relevant and timely. Right? Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals regarding your fundraising plan. How are you doing that? What are you going to do to achieve that for the rest… To meet your original goals. Maybe you’ll need to revise those goals.

And then also on the spending side, how are you doing in terms of realistic assumptions about your budget spending? Because so many times at the end of the year, you’ve seen it in so many organizations, both on the marketplace and ministry side, that their line items on the budget where you have overflow. You just haven’t used them, used the dollars, and people are just racing to the end of the year, in December, to just spend out all of their budget in certain line items.

On the other side, people run out of money early, and they’re looking for funds in the fall at some point. So this is the time to revise those budget lines, because you have clarity. You actually have 50% clarity on what’s going to happen in 2019. So revising those goals and objectives in your budget is the number one thing that you should be doing in June and July.

A second one is looking at some other things that you typically don’t have time for. But you actually have the time now to pay attention to that. And so that is looking at your donor base. Both your high capacity donors, and your first time donors. And seeing what the rates are there in terms of first time donors turning into second donors, renewals, et cetera. Basically your donor retention rate, as we might call it. Trying to figure out how to get those first time donors to donate again in the second half of the year. Do you have any type of plan or campaign or excuse, honestly, to give them for them to consider contributing to the vision and the mission of your organization once again in the second half of the year?

The other part is that those high capacity donors. This is a great time to make sure that you are engaging them. You might have engaged them really heavily during the end of your giving season. You might have engaged them during the spring or even the Easter season, right? We’ve got these big days that hit the calendar. But summertime is the time that most people get forgotten. This is a great time for you to break through the clutter, and reconnect with some of your high capacity donors, and share them. How you doing? Are you on track or ahead of the game in terms of both your funding as well as your outcomes, right? All the actual objectives in terms of the activities and the ROI and the impact that you’re going to put out there.

Give them an update. Let them know how you’re doing. And give them some realistic assessments of, this is where we’re doing stuff in a strong way, and this is where we, because all these variables, we’re at a position where we might have a deficit, or we need to strengthen and shore that up. And that might be a place where donors can jump in again and participate. So cultivating those relationships, even outside of asks. Just checking in with them and seeing how they’re doing, and getting advice from their perspective is definitely something that I think you would want to start to do in the summer, because many other organizations are not. And again, it’s easy to cut through the clutter.

And the last one is looking at the rest of the year to refine it. Right? If you have story brands work that you’ve done with your organization, this is a great place for you to go back to your SB7 place mat, as we call it. And look at the core messaging. Are you still being caveman simple, as Don Miller says? Is your messaging clear? Is it something that allows people to understand that they’re the hero and that they are the ones that are able to make a difference? Are you showing them what happens if they don’t actually contribute or become a supporter or donate to the cause. What is the opportunity cost? Are you having between now, even starting in July. You’ve got six months. Do you have at least six pieces, 12 pieces? That will be biweekly. 24 pieces weekly communication that you can actually plan out right now during the summer, and start to drip, drip, drip. Send out that out to your constituents, your high capacity donors, and your general community.

Whether it be framed in terms of a financial and budgetary type of conversation, or just the ministry impact type of conversation. Is this something that you’ve started to think about now? This is a great time to work on that communications plan, set it, and forget it. At least between now and sometime in Q4, where you really should be amping up the communications regarding end of year giving, as well as Giving Tuesday, and the last week of the year. So looking at that, kind of like the smart goals. Are you doing anything on a overarching plan to relook at what you’re planned out for the last six months of the year in terms of your communications to your community. And this is the time to make those adjustments, alignments, and then put it back on track.

So those are some of the things that I would say is the summer tune up. Part of that summer tune up for a donor development or fundraising perspective that every single organization should take some time out between June and July of this year and see how you’re doing. I’d love to hear your perspective, and show me the wins or show me the deficits of where we might be able to add to the conversation, help give you some support here at Generosity Labs.

This is the type of thing that we’d love to dive down deeper if this is something you’d like to hear about. So let me know what part of this interests you? Is it the smart goals? Is it how do we communicate more effectively with high capacity donors in our community? Is it the communications plan? I just had recently, someone just flagged that they wanted to hear a little bit more about the serving. We talked about building a testimonial engine for your audience and your community to help build authority that you have in relation to your own community.

And there was a great question that came up that says, you know, I can see how the net promoter score surveys are done for the marketplace, for secular businesses, for profit businesses. But how do you phrase it for nonprofit, for ministries, and churches? That was a great question that came up recently, and we shared some concrete examples in response.

All of this, all these resources that we’re trying to pull together for Generosity Labs, are for you. 

So selfishly I’m asking you, reach out to me. Drop us a note on the website. Visit our website, our blog. Share the podcast with others. But more importantly, let us know what are the types of resources and information topics that you would love to hear more about? Are there specific leaders in the industry? Are there organizations that you are seeing do these things well, and you’d love to hear more behind the scenes stories about their approaches, about their philosophies, and even the tactics and resources that they’re using specifically. Let me know. I’d love to hear that so we can make this resource an even better one for you.

So that said, hope you’re doing well with your summer checkup. We’ll check in with you again soon here on the Generosity Labs podcast as we’re revving back up again here at generositylabs.org. I’m Kenny Jahng, I’ll check you out next time. And remember, generosity begins with you.

HIGHLIGHTS:

03:13 The first thing is just where you are in terms of progress for your overall plan for the year. Are you on a budget? Are you ahead of the game? Are you behind the game? And it’s time to rejigger your plan. Right? Basically, we’ve got July, August, September, and then October, November, December. Right? Six months, two quarters to go. It’s time to get back onto the whiteboard, and to find those smart goals, right? The specific, measurable, attainable, what’s the R? Relevant and timely. Right? Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals regarding your fundraising plan. How are you doing that? What are you going to do to achieve that for the rest… To meet your original goals. Maybe you’ll need to revise those goals.

04:06 A second one is looking at some other things that you typically don’t have time for. But you actually have the time now to pay attention to that. And so that is looking at your donor base. Both your high capacity donors and your first-time donors. And see what the rates are there in terms of first-time donors turning into second donors, renewals, et cetera. Basically, your donor retention rate, as we might call it. Trying to figure out how to get those first-time donors to donate again in the second half of the year. Do you have any type of plan or campaign or excuse, honestly, to give them for them to consider contributing to the vision and the mission of your organization once again in the second half of the year? 

06:25 And the last one is looking at the rest of the year to refine it. Right? If you have story brands work that you’ve done with your organization, this is a great place for you to go back to your SB7 placemat, as we call it. And look at the core messaging. Are you still being caveman simple, as Don Miller says? Is your messaging clear? Is it something that allows people to understand that they’re the hero and that they are the ones that are able to make a difference? Are you showing them what happens if they don’t actually contribute or become a supporter or donate to the cause? What does the opportunity cost? Are you having between now, even starting in July. You’ve got six months. Do you have at least six pieces, 12 pieces? That will be biweekly. 24 pieces weekly communication that you can actually plan out right now during the summer, and start to drip, drip, drip. Send out that out to your constituents, your high capacity donors, and your general community.