... Or 'Aha!' moments
On Friday night – on the train home from CASE's Annual and Regular Giving Conference – I studiously wrote down all the points I wanted to be sure not to forget. Then I promptly lost that particular precious piece of paper...no doubt I'll find it as soon as I've finished writing this post, but here's a second attempt with apologies for memory lapses.
An idea to steal, courtesy of Bob Burdenski
I'll start by celebrating the true spirit of CASE here (Copy And Steal Everything). In the closing session, Bob shared an example that any organisation in the land could copy, adapt or steal – providing they have a VC as game as Dean Elmore.
The prospect of seeing the Dean jump in the Boston River turned the class of 2011 into the most generous donors ever. I heard plenty of people talking about how to get students and recent graduates to give - this could be the place to start!
A great way of thinking about how we approach communications with alum, courtesy of Adam Robinson, University of Leeds
As well as presenting loads of great tips on how to train and manage student callers, Adam talked about the special nature of a conversation between the callers and alum. He called it 'meaningful engagement'.
This felt like a great way of approaching all fundraising communications - as fundraising, and more. When we've been putting together DM campaigns in the last year or so, we've been trying to do just that: ask for money but also build the relationship between the alum and their university, recognising that they have a depth of memories, feelings and experiences that they may want to share.
A lovely way of thanking donors, courtesy of Rosie Dale, University of Bristol
When does an alum become a donor? I attended several sessions where the challenge of getting multiple gifts was discussed. One way to encourage loyalty is to thank a donor, show them they are valued and that their gift has been put to good use.
I really liked the way donors to Bristol were thanked. A book plate was dedicated to them in the library to mark each year of giving. That's a nice piece of stewardship.
And Bob shared another way to meet a donor's need for 'growth'. I also liked the Honor Roll on Facebook pages that some US universities have.
A good way of keeping motivation high, courtesy of Shona Nicholson, Wadham College
Shona was talking about the pros and cons of working in a small fundraising team and mentioned having a pinboard of good news, visible to all, to keep track of progress. Don't we all need this? I reckon so - especially for days when things aren't going so well and you need a reminder of what you have achieved.
An inspiring way to show success, courtesy of Adrian Beeny of the More Partnership
This is brilliant - Adrian shared this at the end of his session on data. Perhaps it will inspire you to find new ways of showing your donors what you are achieving together.
PS Adrian, I followed your tip and typed the search terms 'The joy of stats' very carefully indeed.
Virtual volunteers, courtesy of Bob Burdenski
Peer to peer recommendations are very powerful and social media means it's easier than ever before for your alum to influence each other. We've seen this in our current DM campaign for UCL (more info here). Just look at the comment below. The Alum are spreading the word for us.
The chance to ask anyone, anything (well, almost)
The thing I really like about the CASE Annual and Regular Giving conference - and, I'll be honest, I'm not always a big fan of conferences - is that your fellow delegates really are happy to share their experiences and help. So I'll finish with a big thank you to the conference's fantastic speakers and organisers, especially Rachel and Becki.