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Conferences Donor Participation Project

Marketing Automation Study Group (June/July 2021)

Sponsored by ThankView

June 23 (12:00 pm EDT) – INFO session – Marketing Automation Study Group

​What is marketing automation? How can it help you provide a better donor experience and save time with reporting/analysis? Join this DPP Breakout session for a brief introduction to marketing automation strategies and software tools.

June 30 (12:00 pm EDT) – Automate Your Donor Experience Workflows with ThankView

​Join JD Beebe, CEO of ThankView, and his team to build integrations that will take your donor experience to another level. Trigger a video message after getting a phonathon call? Add donors who watch a video message to a personalized outreach list? No problem! We’ll learn together how to build these workflows and others using Zapier and the ThankView API. (Free trial of ThankView included for DPP participants who schedule a training session.)

July 14 (12:00 pm EDT) – Automated Solicitation and Upgrade Strategies with Nic Prenger

​Learn how to use MS Power Automate to integrate with your CRM and customize donor stewardship messaging, We will work through examples of building personalized chaser messages and upgrade invites to one-time donors over to monthly/recurring.

July 21 (12:00 pm EDT) – Final Project Presentation

​Each participant will build their own workflow and share it with the group! We’ll then ruthlessly criticize each other’s work (just joking!) and celebrate our progress.

About: The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn Marketing Automation with this DPP Study Group

  • All sessions will take place over Zoom. Register to get the link.
  • All sessions will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

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We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else. Consult our information-sharing practices.

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Donor Participation Project

Put It to the Test: They Might Be Fundraisers with Kirk Schmidt, STARS (8/11/2021)

We all know that you’re supposed to test. Most of us just don’t or do it in a way that doesn’t teach us much.

Kirk Schmidt is a rigorous and innovative thinker in the area of fundraising analytics. Here is his message:

The test itself it simple. Implementing it, avoiding pitfalls, and knowing what the test told you (and, sometimes more importantly, what it didn’t tell you) are what we are going to discuss. The principles discussed here apply to all A/B testing, but will be discussed in terms of direct response campaigns.

Instead of any pre-reading, I would like everyone to think about this question: what would you like to test? Then, I want you to write down what you think the result would be, how do you test that, and how could the test go sideways.

Kirk is the Director of Operations for the Foundation of STARS Air Ambulance, a helicopter EMS in the prairie provinces in Canada. In his current role he manages that teams that work on donations processing and systems, stewardship, annual giving, volunteer management, donor research, and data analysis. He has been in the nonprofit space for 14 years, focused on data and analytics, and advocates for better metrics and analysis in the sector.

There will be a brief presentation followed by Q&A.

About: The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with Kirk Schmidt During our August 11 Lunch Analysis

  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

Sign Up

Enter your email now to join any of our learning & discussion sessions or access past materials:

Register for Event

We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else. Consult our information-sharing practices.

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Donor Participation Project Resources

Gaming and eSports Fundraising: A New Frontier (7/7/2021)

For this exciting Donor Participation Project, we’re excited to receive DPP member Diego Scharifker.

Diego is the Gaming Partnership Manager – Corporate Alliances at USO. There, he has spearheaded their engagement with the online gaming and live streaming community to obtain tremendous fundraising results in support of the USO’s mission.

In this session, Diego will be sharing the nuts and bolts of how he built the gaming and eSports program as well as the fundraising opportunities that his organization capitalized on in corporate and individual philanthropy.

There will be a brief presentation followed by Q&A.

About: The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with Diego Scharifker During our July 7 Lunch Analysis

  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

Sign Up

Enter your email now to join any of our learning & discussion sessions or access past materials:

Register for Event

We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else. Consult our information-sharing practices.

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Donor Participation Project

Trust & Authenticity: The Nonprofit Communications Culture Shift with Dr. William A. Donohue (6/16/21)

We’re honored to welcome Dr. William A. Donohue, professor of Communication at Michigan State University.

Dr. Donohue has published extensively in the areas of conflict, communication, negotiation, and mediation while also conducting workshops and other intervention activities focusing on communication, leadership development, and conflict management. 

He has extensive experience advising nonprofits on their communication and fundraising strategies.

In this session, he will be discussing the culture shift caused by social media and the explosion of information that requires increased transparency, more authentic communication strategies, and leading with engagement.

There will be a brief presentation followed by Q&A.

The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with Dr. William Donohue During our June 16 Lunch Analysis

  • Please bring 2/3 questions prepared and review this article as well as this paper.
  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

Sign Up

Enter your email now to join any of our learning & discussion sessions or access past materials:

Register for Event

We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else. Consult our information-sharing practices.

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Donor Participation Project

Engagement to Major Gift: Lessons from Case Studies with Adam Platzer (5/12/21)

In this Donor Participation Project session, we’re honored to welcome Adam Platzer, Assistant Vice President for College Advancement at RIT.

Adam will be walking us through his work on Forward Fundraisers, a free resource where he studies the links between engagement, cross-organizational collaboration, and major gifts.

He has prepared and analyzed multiple case studies that help us understand the sequence of events that lead to major gifts, starting at the very beginning of a relationship.

The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with Adam Platzer During our May 12 Lunch Analysis

  • Please review the case study videos prior to the session.
  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

Sign Up

Enter your email now to join any of our learning & discussion sessions or access past materials:

Register for Event

We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else. Consult our information-sharing practices.

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Donor Participation Project

Donor Experience Mapping with Emily Taylor, teenyBIG (4/14/21)

This session has passed. DPP members can access a video recording, slides, and other materials shared by the presenter. We also hold a small group discussion the week after every presentation for further discussion and networking! Make sure to sign up here to get access.

In this Donor Participation Project session, we’re honored to welcome Emily Taylor, Principal at teenyBIG, for a Workshop on Donor Experience Mapping.

Emily will be providing a brief overview on experience maps and how to use them, followed by the joint development of a donor experience map based on the group’s knowledge. 

Emily’s approach in this area is based on her background working in nonprofit management and industrial design. In the private and nonprofit sectors, she has helped design user-focused campaigns on everything from bicycle safety and light-rail advocacy to community chambers. She has a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Emily serves on the board of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits, where she helps lead the organization’s outreach to Chicago-area organizations. She is also active in the Chicago neighborhood where she lives with her family, including serving as a parent representative working with Chicago Public Schools.

The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with Emily Taylor During our April 14 Lunch Analysis

  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

Sign Up

Enter your email now to join any of our learning & discussion sessions or access past materials:

Register for Event

We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else. Consult our information-sharing practices.

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Donor Participation Project

The University of Tennessee’s Donor Participation Growth (3/17/21)

This session has passed. DPP members can access a video recording, slides, and other materials shared by the presenter. We also hold a small group discussion the week after every presentation for further discussion and networking! Make sure to sign up here to get access.

In this Donor Participation Project session, we’re honored to welcome part of the Advancement leadership team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Erick Weber, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Annual Giving and James Obear, Associate Vice Chancellor.

In recent years, the flagship campus of the UT system has seen incredible growth, almost doubling the number of donors per year.

Erick Weber will walk us through the multi-faceted components of their donor participation strategy.

There will be a brief presentation followed by Q&A.

The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic and Learn with the University of Tennessee Team During our March 17 Lunch Analysis

  • Please bring 2/3 questions prepared.
  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

Sign Up

Register now to join any of our learning & discussion sessions or access past materials:

Register for Event

We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else. Consult our information-sharing practices.

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Conferences Donor Participation Project

Live Q&A with Jim Langley (2/10/21)

This session has passed. DPP members can access a video recording, slides, and other materials shared by the presenter. We also hold a small group discussion the week after every presentation for further discussion and networking! Make sure to sign up here to get access.

In this Donor Participation Project session, we’re honored to welcome Jim Langley, President of Langley Innovations, for a Live Q&A session.

James Langley is the President of Langley Innovations, a strategic consulting and training firm, which he founded to help institutions advance a philanthropic revolution. Over his career, James has worked with institutions across the country at different levels to help raise over $3 billion.

The Donor Participation Project (DPP) convenes fundraising professionals who are concerned about the nationwide decline in donor participation (20 million US households lost between 2000-2016). 

We believe this can be solved by changing our fundraising practices and want to learn from peers who are moving the participation needle.

Discuss this Topic with Jim Langley and Ask Questions During our February 10 Live Q&A

  • Please bring 2/3 questions prepared.
  • This event will take place over Zoom.
  • The session will be recorded and accessible post-event for DPP members only.

Register Here

Enter your email now to join any of our learning sessions or access past materials:

    We will only use your email for information about the Donor Participation Project and will never share your information with anyone else.

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    Conferences Donor Participation Project

    DPP Happy Hour

    Donor Participation Project participants got together on January 13, 2021 to share their experiences so far in their fiscal year.

    Learn more about the Donor Participation Project.

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    Case Study Donor Participation Project

    W&M’s Successful Donor Participation Strategy

    Video only available to Donor Participation Project members.

    This session has passed. DPP members can access a video recording, slides, and other materials shared by the presenter. We also hold a small group discussion the week after every presentation for further discussion and networking! Make sure to sign up here to get access.

    Matthew Lambert, CEO, William & Mary Foundation, and Dan Frezza,  Associate Vice President for Strategic Operations & Annual Giving guided a Donor Participation Project session on the details of their successful alumni giving participation strategy during their last campaign.

    Some interesting takeaways were:

    • Every donor interaction mentioned the three campaign goals of increasing alumni engagement, increasing alumni giving participation, and reaching the campaign’s dollar goal.
    • They exploded their alumni engagement from about 10,000 touchpoints with alumni per year at the start of the campaign to over 30,000 by the last year of the campaign.
    • They grew their Class Ambassadors program from 200 to over 800 volunteers.
    • Their Giving Day also grew exponentially, and they viewed it as both an engagement and giving participation opportunity.
    • Leadership (President, Board, VP Advancement) must make participation a priority.
    • It is not a matter of either raising given dollar amounts OR achieving a participation goal, it has to be seen as giving AND participation.
    • Success requires a broad-based focus, across campus.
    • Diversification of the donor base is key (i.e. women in philanthropy, underrepresented populations).
    • The main indicators of giving habits are: giving history, consistency, frequency, and gift amount.
    • You must choose one among these three high-level goals: Retention, Reactivation, Acquisition. It will most likely be Retention.
    • With Reactivation, time is not on your side. After 5 years, donors are as likely to come back as a non-donor.
    • In the Acquisition bucket, newly graduated students were an important source of growth.
    • Key drivers of their success were: increased retention (year over year giving), increased gift frequency (within a year), stewardship of good behavior (i.e. consecutive giving society).

    Learn more about the Donor Participation Project and sign up here.