Ep 200 | How to Increase the Annual Value of Monthly Donors with Patrick Kirby

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When you have a thriving monthly giving program you aren't just building in financial sustainability for your organization, you're also increasing the number of people you can have conversations with for other opportunities.

So what do you do with all these contacts? Patrick Kirby is here to share all the amazing ways you can create deeper relationships with your monthly donors.  

What you'll learn:

→ why a monthly giving program is a good idea.
→ how to start conversations with monthly donors.
→ why you shouldn't be afraid to ask.
→ leveraging your CRM to help you.
→ getting your board members involved.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[11:05] Who should you start conversations with? Start with those that have given the longest or have given the most number of times. These people are primed and more likely to have a conversation with you about legacy or major gifts. Focus more on longevity vs total gifts.
[20:13] Consistency and clarity matter in your messaging. Don't be afraid to say the same stories, to reach out over and over, and to show up via different communication tools. People aren't paying attention and need to see your messaging over and over again to connect and take action.
[23:39] Leverage your CRM. Put in reminders so that you automatically know when to follow up with people. Then personalize the conversation by sharing their unique impact! Use their donor-versary or other milestones as an excuse to reach out and say thank you! Always make them the hero.
[28:54] Your board members can support you in reaching out. This does a couple of things. #1 it allows them to share their impact and #2 it allows them to hear more stories from donors. Both will create deeper connections.
[32:26] Patrick's quick hit list. Identify who has given to you the longest. Figure out how many you can reasonably connect with weekly and who is doing the reach out. Write down questions that you want answers to. Rinse and repeat.


EP 94 | Starting Conversations with Patrick Kirby
EP 123 | Giving Tuesday with Patrick Kirby


Patrick Kirby

Patrick Kirby

Founder, Do Good Better Consulting

Patrick Kirby is the Founder of Do Good Better Consulting, author of the Amazon best seller Fundraise Awesomer! A Practical Guide to Staying Sane While Doing Good, host of The Official Do Good Better Podcast, and a believer that “we’ve always done it this way” is the most dangerous phrase in the English language.

Patrick has spent nearly fifteen years working as a fundraiser in the nonprofit industry, for organizations of all shapes and sizes, and strives to ‘Do Good Better’ every day. From organizing $10,000 cure walks to $1 million galas, Patrick’s passion lies in creating creative solutions to make fundraising less boring.

Patrick married out of his league to his wife Shannon, has three ridiculously adorable children named Spencer, Preston and Willow, and lives in West Fargo, ND. Learn more at https://dogoodbetterconsulting.com

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] One of my most favorite things about a monthly donor campaign is the consistency that it can bring into your fundraising. Knowing that monthly you have X amount of dollars coming in can just help with your cash flow and make sure that things are moving along. But my second favorite thing about a monthly giving program is the opportunity that you have with all of these longtime donors who have bigger conversations, better conversations and increase their annual giving. This is such a fun topic. And I knew the perfect person to bring on to talk about how to take your monthly donors and turn them into bigger givers, maybe legacy givers. The opportunities are endless. But what we often find is that people get nervous about having these additional conversations. And so Patrick Kirby is here to share with all of us on what it is to start these conversations, how to have these conversations to make it easy on you and your team. You're gonna walk away feeling super at ease and knowing that you now have a whole wealth of people that you can talk to have these conversations with.

Patrick has been on this podcast before and he and I work on so many projects together. I love his insight in the way that he tackles these kinds of conversations and I know you will, too. Patrick Kirby is the founder of do good, better consulting, author of the Amazon Best Seller fundraiser awesomer A Practical Guide to staying sane while doing good. hosts of the official do good better podcast and a believer that we've always done it this way is the most dangerous phrase in the English language. And I agree on that. Patrick has spent nearly 15 years working as a fundraiser in the nonprofit industry for organizations of all shapes and sizes and strives to do good better every day from organizing $10,000 Cure walks to $1 million galahs. Patrick's passion lies in creating creative solutions to make fundraising less boring. Patrick married out of his league to his wife Shannon has three ridiculously adorable children named Spencer Preston Willow, and lives in West Fargo, North Dakota,

this conversation is so much fun, you're gonna love it as much as I do. There's so much action packed stuff in here. And it's gonna be a really easy way for you to grow this monthly donor program and increase the donations that are coming from the individuals that are participating. So I hope you give it a listen and I can't wait to hear what you think.

But before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our office hours, our digital marketing therapy sessions. These are 30 minute sessions one on one with me, where you can talk to us about anything that you have going on in your digital marketing space or your website will help guide you and give you strategies and resources so that you can keep moving and hitting your fundraising goals. You can book time with us now at https://thefirstclick.net/officehours. Can't wait to see you there.

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey, hey, everybody, I am so excited to have Patrick Kirby back on the podcast. Patrick, thanks for being here.

[Patrick Kirby] Hi, friend. How are you?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] It's good. It's great. And it's good to have you back. It's been a while since you've been on the podcast. But in the meantime, we've been doing hundreds of other things together, which has been super fun. So it was due time.

[Patrick Kirby] It's like we were on a podcast every single day together. We don't hit record. And we're gonna appropriate time to do so. Well, thank you for having me back. This is going to be super fun. I appreciate your face. And I'm excited today.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, well, so I've introduced people to you a little bit. So they know a little bit about you already. But why don't you just kind of share from your own perspective, like why the nonprofit space is where you find so much joy and energy?

[Patrick Kirby] Sure. I think first of all, it's the first space that I got into after college. Like that was my first job. And I was like, Okay, well, this is kind of great. And then I spent, you know a little bit of time in corporate sales. There's there is a difference between getting yelled at by a donor for a mistake and then getting yelled at by a Chinese distributor for a mistake. Like there's a dramatic difference between how one takes the hat, where you can help a donor you can help a nonprofit you can help one of these things, you're not going to be able to fix shipping issues internationally. And like that, I think was the big. The big thing for me. And you know, the other thing is, I think I found the ability to impact a lot more when it becomes a nonprofit and that you can just see this light bulb moment go on with some of the leaders who just figured it out with you or you can see it You know, food scarcity decline or homelessness decline in the community in which you serve, and you can put tangible results to the efforts that you did a lot more than you can if you are a cog in that corporate machine that never seems to end. And I think that's kind of where I find the most joy. Is that?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, no. And that's such a good point. And I think like, the reason why you and I have connected so well is because, number one, our philosophies are exactly the same on how nonprofits should approach fundraising. And we just marry this digital marketing with offline fundraising piece perfectly, I think. And so I'm excited to talk about your take on monthly giving programs, because monthly giving programs are very much kind of more of a digital product, you're not having one on one conversations with people to become monthly donors, usually. But they provide a huge opportunity for that growth in your organization. So why would you say that it's important for a nonprofit organization to invest time and effort into a monthly giving program?

[Patrick Kirby] Well, I'm going to give you two stats that are going to prove the point on why you need to do this number one is they've released over the last couple of weeks, all the end of year giving stats for nonprofits at the end of 2022. And they say something that's pretty startling. Number one, the decline of individual donors is rapidly happening. And it's not stopping anytime soon, the third quarter had a reduction of 7%. We're looking at a fourth quarter between five and 6%. And it's happening every single year. It's happened for the last decade. So the most important thing that a nonprofit can do to counter that is retention. Retention. retention. Retention is the only thing that you should be thinking about. If you have a goal for 2023. It should be how many donors can I keep from year to date, period. And the best way to do that is through a monthly donor program. And the reason is that once people get in, they rarely leave. And they rarely leave because they feel good about the initial gift. And they feel great because they don't have to get asked a million times because they've already committed, they see the results, you're able to connect with them about conversations on impact, rather than Please give me another check. And so they feel like you're not in this transactional relationship. And they stick with you, once you grab their attention. And their credit card you use they stay with you forever, and, or for a really significant long time. And I think that's really the most important part. The other one is new donors. And then new donors who want different options rather than the traditional, I'm going to send you a check, or I have to go and attend a gala. I want to do great work, I want to help out. But I don't want to necessarily do the things that I've been doing a very long time. The note that some of these reports are coming out are the organizations that were very successful in 2022, they changed up what they did in fundraising period, they didn't do the same things over and over again, they were creative with how they interacted with their supporters. And one of the ways that you do is introduce this monthly giving program, and you sell it as this, you know, sort of super cool, exclusive group that's helping you build capacity for the long term. And that is a unique proposition that a lot of donors, I think, would want to be a part of rather than going us the same old, same old again.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, one, it's easier to say like, Hey, can you give me $50 a month? Or versus like saying to somebody who's newer to your organization? Hey, can you give us $1,000? It psychologically feels better. And in the world of subscription services. I mean, like if you really sit down and write a list of all of the subscription services you have from, you know, boxes to streaming to whatever I mean, you have a long list. So psychologically, we're already like you said, they'll stick with you for a long time because the cancelling of it is not something that they necessarily pay attention to.

[Patrick Kirby] Right. I know, it's exactly the point. And I think we're at the time where nonprofits are going to look to differentiate themselves from other organizations, right? So you've got donors who have less money to distribute to nonprofits, they they're probably going to reduce the number of nonprofits they support because everybody supports a lot of them. Well, you want to be the one that they that they stick with. So this option and this talking point that you get to make with your supporters is so much different than it is about please give us a sponsorship for this whole at a golf tournament that no one will pay attention to, because you're 20 beers deep, and they stumble over this Fine, and then I'll remember, or you can give us 50 bucks a month. And this is going to have the impact of XY and Z. And we're going to give you updates rather than solicitations throughout the year.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yep, I love this well, and we could talk about why to start a monthly donor program all day long. But I want to really talk about kind of, at what point because these, these donors that are giving to us month over month over month, year, over year over a year, are our biggest fans, they're probably also giving to an annual campaign or an event or something else on top of that. And so this is kind of the goldmine of donors for us to start to talk to about increasing their gift or becoming more engaged with the organization. And I think that's where people get nervous or scared. So how might we want to think about that transition of here's all of my donors, I've got them in my CRM, you probably have data around them, like where should we start with picking the people out of that pile to start to have more in depth one on one conversations with.

[Patrick Kirby] So there's a really, there's a couple of ways that I would or the couple of data points that I would look at for your start, right. So everybody's trying to figure out a priority list on what to do. And the number one indicator that you probably have a super fan that might talk to you about a major gift, or legacy gift, which again, that stacked on top of annual planning this is this is the gold mine, that's the diamond mind, right? That legacy gift as the diamond mind, if the Annual Giving is a goldmine, the ones who have been giving to you for the longest, or who have given to you the most number of times are more likely to have a conversation about a legacy gift or major gifts than anyone else. Because you don't have to sell them on anything. They already love you. They trust what you're doing. They're you're like you just said they're super fans of yours. And they're probably seeking out more ways that they can help you. And they just need to be asked. So if you're prioritizing your list, go to your CRM, your cocktail napkin or your Excel spreadsheet, whatever that is, right? And organize it by the number that by the donors who have given to you for the longest period of time in years. And the number of times in individual donations, those are your first priorities to sort of attach? And then

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Wait, can I can I wait? Can I pause you there just for another clarification? So people might be saying, well, does it matter if it's somebody who's given two years at $10, a month or two years at $100 A month or $1,000 a month? Do we care about their monthly gift or we care about their longevity of giving

[Patrick Kirby] it's longevity only. Now a lot of the again, they probably gave you $10 A month because you probably asked them for $10 A month or gave them the option at $10 a month, they probably would have given you $100, if you had given them the option. A lot of know a lot of donors only give the amount in which you ask. So they probably have not been re approached by you to give more or given addition, because you probably have this mindset of oh, they already do so much because they're a monthly donor. Well, they for probably a forgotten about it, and B they probably have capacity to give you more, but you haven't pulled the trigger to ask them for it. The other thing too is you can ask them, what else they would like to do or what they would like to support or their perspective on how to gain more people like them. This gives you a perfect reason to give them a call and say, Hey, Sammy, you've been a supporter of ours for five years. You're one of our longest, longest standing supporters. You're one of our biggest and best cheerleaders. First off, I want to say thanks. Secondly, what can we do to celebrate you to be a champion for us? Right? You're giving them the option to tell you whether they like to be praised, or they don't like to be praised. And they don't need a thank you note now you know a lot about these donors already. Now you know a little bit more. And then you get to dive into like what else kind of makes you think that we're the best? Or what else can we do? You've seen our materials for a long time, give us your thoughts, your perspectives on what we're doing. And now you're engaging them in the conversation about the track of the organization. And because they're invaluable donors to you, they're going to give you perspectives and their opinions and they may give you some leads out of it. But it opens the door to these more in depth conversations than you've ever had before because you know exactly how long they've donated and you know what, what campaigns they've seen through the activities, the events, the the CEOs, leaving the Development Director, they've all been with you for a very long time and they've stuck with you the entire time. So you they know you love you. So that's it's such an advantage to know and ask some of these deeper questions by using this as an access point.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and I think it's great because you're not reaching out to them for an Ask you're reaching out to them just say thank you and have a conversation. So that leads to, do you think that fundraisers maybe don't reach out to some of these people that have been around for a long time? Because they're like, well, we don't want to bring it to attention. So you said, you know, sometimes people forget that they're giving. Now if I have a conversation with them, they're gonna be like, Oh, I didn't realize I was still giving, I shouldn't be doing that anymore. Do you think people have this backwards kind of abundant, a scarcity mindset? And they're like, Well, I don't want to talk to them, because they're giving me money right now. And I don't want to I don't want to make the chance that they decide to cancel that gift

[Patrick Kirby] 100%. And that and that type of attitude is going to prevent you not only from really uncovering some of your best donors, but it's that's the mindset that creeps into well, I don't want to bother the executive of the bank that gave us a sponsorship, because they already gave me a sponsorship, maybe they won't give me one. If I asked them to be a sponsor for another event, oh, we already give you once and nobody is going to be offended by you asking them their opinion, their perspective. And for additional help. Nobody. In the in the dang near 20 years I've been doing this I have never been punched in the face for asking someone for money.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Ever, maybe for other things, just not for asking for money. Totally other

[Patrick Kirby] things that I've heard. That's a litany that's a list a mile long, but for asking money, nobody ever gets mad. They might say I'm not interested, great. You now know something about them that they're not interested in this gala, or this giving campaign or whatever. But you'll never know unless you ask. And that's really one of the points that I think the best fundraisers and the best development directors and the best volunteers are the ones who say, this is what we're doing. And we're looking for help to accomplish this goal. Are you that person who can help us get there? And if the if you don't ask, you cannot assume they know you need anything. I'll give you an interesting example. I had, I had a conversation with a client who had a very successful Giving Day, last week. And I called him up and I said, Hey, you know, you did fantastic. Tell me your secrets. And he said, you know, we did better than we've ever done before. Due to your fantastic advice, thank you. But I said, I said, Well, you sound upset about it. And he said, I've got friends and family who didn't give on that day. I have business partners and people that I write checks to from my business that did not give on that day. And I said, Well, that's curious, talk to me about what you did, to ask them. And, and what they said when you ask them to donate. And it was silence. Because he didn't ask anyone for a gift. And I go, you can't assume that they know you need unless you state what you need. And if this is somebody who has who has done really remarkably well in the community and raising money, and the ones who are closest to him, he neglected to ask because he just assumed that that they knew this has a very, very relatable track to your long term, monthly donors is that don't assume that they know that you have bigger and better needs, and don't assume. And in fact, I was told once by a board member in a very contentious fight, who told me how dare you assume that these people don't want to give? And I go choose? Hold on. I was offended that and I was I realized that sage wisdom now. But how dare you assume they don't want to give more? Well, the reason you assume it is because you're not asking you're having these conversations. So I want to if you can learn anything from this is, please empower yourself to know that people want to help but they don't know how. And you need to give them the roadmap by saying we need this, this and this. Can you help?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, well, I think that is a critical statement that you made there. Because I think we are so involved in what we do. And we know what we're doing is so fantastic and amazing. And this is not just in the nonprofit space. I have made this mistake myself in my marketing business. We're so excited about what we're doing. We're talking about it a lot. We think that people are seeing it. But they're not in this rule of seven this is this has come up in so many conversations lately. But this rule of seven touch points before people make a decision is so far gone. That you need to be drilling it into people's heads. So to your point like that one on one conversation mixed with their engagement in nurturing as a monthly donor mixed with the regular information that they're getting, like we feel like it might be too much, but it's not and we also have to let go of our own ego and understand that they have their own lives. They're not what we love to think that they're sitting here watching everything that we do, and they care about everything that we do. But they, in fact, are not. And that doesn't mean that you're not doing a good job. It's just the nature of, of the beast.

[Patrick Kirby] I want to follow that you brought that up. Yeah, it's such an important thing to hammer into people. So we're gonna mention this seven times in the next two minutes, because I think everybody here is number one, I want you to know, if you're listening this and you're a nonprofit leader, or a fundraiser, you're doing amazing things, number one, number two, nobody cares as much as you do. That's number two, you're doing great. And nobody cares. Because you're not telling them about it over and over and over again, Don't get cute, and need to change up your messaging. Every, every time you pick up the phone, when it is boring to you, when your message and your mission, and your impact is boring. And you're like, oh, I don't want to tell the story. Again, it's just being heard by everybody else. Do not, do not give up your messaging and your clarity and your consistency. Because of some moment, everyone's gonna go, oh, yeah, I've heard of you guys, I go, I've been emailing you for two and a half months. And you open it up. And I've been saying the same thing over and over again. And you're just now hearing it. It's not their fault. They're busy and inundated with a billion and a half other things, your consistency, and your positivity and your enthusiasm will pay off. But you got to stick to it. And you got to believe that you're worth it. So those are the two things that ran around your brain. And it's hard to hear too. I go through this, you and I talk offline about this all the time, where we have unreasonable expectations about the amount of people that we think should be hearing all of us stuff and buying all the stuff and hiring us for everything. And yet, we do the same thing fairly regularly, where we just assume these likes are done with very much purpose rather than these fleeting moments. And like, well done a lot of likes today, but no conversions. Well, nobody cares about my stuff. I gotta tell

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] them, it's easy to click that button, that doesn't mean that they're really read it. Yeah,

[Patrick Kirby] not at all. So it's just an important reminder that even those people who you think have their crap together. And even though you think that these big organizations that you're up against are competing within your area, even if you think they have everything figured out, they don't know what the hell they're doing, either. And they're just consistent with their messaging a lot better than you are, and so stick with it.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I think that's critical. I think the consistency piece is huge. And I think like, that's what we you know, in all of my business learning and training is, it's like, the people that are successful are not the people that have a better product or have a better service. They're the people that when they got to that point, where they're like, people aren't really paying attention, they decided to quit, instead of keep going. So you have to keep going. And I think that's the beauty behind the monthly giving program also, is because you're innately having messages that are going out to those people on a regular basis. So I love this so much. I want to back up. So we talked at like, you know, let's say you pull your people that have been with you for five years. So like as we build in this kind of plan for outreach? Would you recommend people kind of set benchmarks so like, once somebody hits a certain like they've been giving to us for a year they've been giving to us for three years, like we almost have like an anniversary automation, that's more of a personal touch point. So that we just automatically know now is the time to have this type of conversation with the donor.

[Patrick Kirby] Yeah, I think it's really important. So most of you probably listening, have some sort of CRM system. And if you don't use a calendar, reminder on one, whatever that whatever you want to do, I mean, you're creative. You're go getters, you're gonna get crap done, regardless of what systems that you have. But most CRMs will give you an ability to give a reminder, at a year, it is very important to give people a reminder, you have been a donor for this. And this is how much over the course of three years you have donated, or if you don't feel comfortable with that, which I think you should, because transparency is the new hotness, I'm pretty convinced of it is the amount of gifts you've made over the last three years have made this impact. You personally have made this impact. And that gives you another reason to call. Right. So it's 50 bucks a month for three years. I'm bad at math. I don't know what that is. But are you gonna do this in your head right now? I don't want to be challenged on it. But it's like, it's like 1800 bucks. Alright, let's just say like nearly $2,000. Let's just say it. I don't know. I don't know. Again, I'm not great at math. It's like it's close. Close to two grand. Let's just say what does a $2,000 gift look like of impact to your nonprofit? And if you can add that up relatively quickly, you call up Sammy. I just wanted to say thank you I'm a volunteer at this organization that you've been giving to for a very long time. And I wanted to give you some perspective on what you have done personally, you and your family what you have done to make an impact in this community, it is fed this many people, how's this many people? Close this many people helped do research for this disease, whatever that is, you get to attest to that. And so yeah, you should ping them every year and remind them Hey, thanks for your donor Versary. That's a great bit, why wouldn't you want to do that and remind them and give them a kudos for that. You're a third year, here's your badge to put on social media, here's your creative way to promote and say I've been giving for a very long time. You we talked at the top of the top of the show here, the creative ways that you can do different things in order to spur different conversations with your donors is how you're going to build retention will use that creative power in not changing your message, but adding some surprise and delight elements to your long term donors. And that's a really good way to do it. But to answer your question in a very long winded sort of way. Yeah, get pinged reminder. Yeah, weird, right. I'm gonna go long winded. Who knew? But make sure that you just note it and follow up. It's, it's like, knowing their birthday. It's like knowing an anniversary date. It's just it's a nice to have. And these conversations allow you to ask the question like, Hey, can I ping you every year? Just remind you how awesome you are? No, I don't want to be reminded who Oh, no, he's gonna talk.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] But you talk about this a lot in your in the way that you approach conversations is that we always want to approach them and make them feel like the hero. So how can we make them feel like the hero and this is a great way to do that. And I think also, it takes all, it takes away all of the anxiety of the person making the phone call, because you're literally just making them feel good. You're not asking for anything, you're not telling them they need to do anything. And then you're naturally opening the door to learn and then figure out where to go next. But you know, I think we as fundraisers always have this, well, we know we should like reach out to so many people every month, or whatever, and just connect, if you have a monthly giving program, and you're getting these universally, this starts to fill in your calendar of like all these people that you can start to reach out to without having to think about it and already have the rationale. And the reason for what you're going to have that conversation on.

[Patrick Kirby] Well, and if you have too many on this list, first of all, great problem to have number one, right? And number two, right, I hope you have so many that you don't have enough time in the day to thank people or update them, you're like, Oh, my list of updating is crazy. But here's another way that you can use this list is that have your board members, have some of your best volunteers, have some of your staff members, or if you can pull it off, and its rarity. But if you can have those who have been directly impacted by the generosity of some of these donors, call on your behalf, and say, Thank you, my God, that opens up an entirely new playbook on how they feel as if they have made a difference in the lives of those organizations, or the ones that organizations are serving. So you have unlimited possibilities on how to have conversations and really build these epic relationships spurred on by somebody saying simple yes to I will give you 25 bucks a month. And that power in this is just incredible. Yeah. Could

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] you even like tear it out? So like, let's say at a one year anniversary, it's coming from this tight like a board member at a two year anniversary. It's you know, and so maybe at like a five year or a bigger one. That's when it's coming from somebody who has been impacted for years. It's coming from the CEO so that you can divide and conquer in a meaningful way that makes sense for the team and the staff that

[Patrick Kirby] you have. Yeah, it's perfect. And again, that that allows you to engage your board members, because that's another big question that a lot of nonprofits have. It's like my board members don't do any fundraising. Okay. But if they don't, you need to build a plan. But that's a whole separate thing. But but get them engaged. First, they probably don't understand what this gift means. Because they've never been asked to say thank you, if they say thank you. And then all of a sudden they get conversations with some of these donors that say, Hey, this is impacted me just as much as it might have impacted you. And here's my story. It's going to inspire your board members to step up and sort of like I really like this and I think we should do an impact story at the beginning of our board meetings, or hey, how else can we help? And you want them to say that you want their donors to say that you want your volunteers to say that you want your board members and your leadership team to say that so give them an experience by having them call some of your best supporters. No one who's giving to you for three and a half years is gonna go I'm glad you called Let me complain. We're gonna do that and if They do, what wonderful feedback. So don't ever think of this as an opportunity to like, almost potentially have somebody yell at you. Right? If they get upset, no, you don't, what I don't like is having you send me crap, that's a wonderful piece of nugget of information to put into your CRM, like, don't send me a fill crap, he doesn't want crap. So this gives you, again, so much more info to play around with, you know, your donors better. And you want to be the organization that knows your donors better than any other organization knows their donors better, because your donors will tell other people and their friends about how they feel and are treated by you. And that is going to help you organically build your list. And you're going to reach a crapload of money. And that's even the best part.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and what a great way to utilize your board members, because we all have board members that don't like to ask for money or don't feel comfortable or like maybe you have people that you know are great, but they just don't have the quite the network that some of your other board members have. So what a great way to also make them feel like they're making a huge contribution by taking their time to make these phone calls where all they have to do is ask and get engaged and have conversation. You know, it's all about kind of maximizing the personalities on your board and giving them tasks that align with where they're most comfortable. And this is you're handing them a list of people to just call and say thank you. They don't have to ask, they don't have to, you know, do any of that recruitment stuff.

[Patrick Kirby] No. And when when, and it's not a cold list. And I think that I think where I think a lot of fundraisers get weary about like, I don't know how to make an ask for a big gift, or I don't know how to make a larger ask, well, you're asking people cold, you're calling the bank who has never given to you at all ever. And you're asking them for a matching gift or a major gift? Well, that's not how fundraising works. So first of all, when people ask me the question, like, where do we find bigger gifts? Go to the well, of the people who have given you for the longest are the ones that love you the best are probably more likely to say yes, than anyone who's never heard of your organization. This is you're handing them gold to mine. It's just no.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, so we could talk about this for hours. Yes, you are going to in fact we had before. But if you were going to kind of give people a quick like, here's your three step action plan to get started today with going taking your monthly donor list and starting to develop these types of conversations. What what would be kind of your, your quick hit list. Step one,

[Patrick Kirby] run your data and check out who's your longest standing donor, who is the largest donor for the longest period of time, like, figure out who your rockstars are? And whatever dynamics you want, right? It's so it's the person who's given you the longest give person who's given you the most over a period of time, whatever that is, build your list. And that's how you prioritize it. The next is, what's a manageable number that you can start combing through, right? Is it five calls a week, which if you're a development director, or you're somebody who's doing fundraising, that's about as minimal of an effort as you can put in there, because again, all you're doing is saying thank you. And then really write down some questions that you want to know about those who you're going to talk with. Because the whole goal of talking with your donors to set them up for something bigger and better down the road. So if your goal is to we need to build a major gift program, or we're going to build a building in the next two years, figure out who has capacity. Well, how do you do that? We'll ask better questions. Hey, you know, we're building a great, so we're building a, we're calling some of our best and brightest donors to talk about an expansion of our services, which means probably a new building. I'm not asking you for money. I'm actually asking what you think about us doing this? Well, when I was on a capital campaign, and when I gave to a capital campaign, I did this, this and this. I go, Oh, interesting. Would you be interested in being on our campaign committee? Would you be interested in being contacted for a lead gift? Would you like you can learn a lot by asking questions. So figure out your list and your priorities and who you're going to call and then figure out what's the purpose of the call? Is it just to cultivate or is it gain information? And then the next step, the final one is, okay, arrange that next follow up, right. And so it's all about communication, what are you going to do? And then next final follow up is, what do you need to get them to whatever position that you ask them in the first place? So if you're going to build a building in two years, Hey, can I grab a cup of coffee with you? Good? Can I sit have our executive director call you because he'd be very interested? Or how would you like to be thanked or whatever that next step is, so just build a plan and then follow that? Right so the key is to do to figure out how much you can do in a manageable and reasonable expectation, and then put it reasonable so that you execute it and then and then get really boring and just do it all the time. And I made this, don't get it. It's just every Wednesday you make five fault if five calls and then the next Wednesday, you make five calls. And then look back after a year, and realize that you have made, you know, 580 phone calls from donors just exploring what they mean to you in the organization. And now you get to actually reap the benefits of going, I did do some something that was really productive, even though it only felt like I was making five. So reasonable expectations from the list that you have built a priority with, and then just grind? Because it's a long game. Okay? Well, it's

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] consistency. And it's a numbers game. And we talk about this a lot in marketing, and especially like, if you're building and growing a monthly giving program, like your one is not when it makes you a ton of money, right? Because effort and everything that you have to put into it. It's a long haul, right? But many hands make light work. And I think it's the same. You notice when you stop doing marketing, all of a sudden, all of those leads start to dry up, you're like, Oh, we're doing what we're doing great, we're doing great. And then all of a sudden, you're like, oh, shoot, now we have to start marketing. Again, it takes so much longer to ramp that up than it does to just stay consistent through all of it. And so I agree with you 100%, those phone calls happening on the regular, you never know, but you do know, if you don't do them, nothing is gonna happen.

[Patrick Kirby] Well, and this goes back to what you started taking away? Yeah, well, and this is what you said originally, when we kind of kicked off the podcast is that there's this beautiful, you have to do more than just authoring, you cannot just email your donors, you cannot just send them stuff in the mail. This has to be this beautiful mash of, of different mediums of connecting with them, because you don't know what the right way. And the right cocktail is to get them to be so laser focused on your organization. So this beautiful digital marketing that involves picking up the phone, that involves sending them an email, then following up with maybe a postcard or a thank you note or a birthday card. This blends into a nice way that you can just always be in front of them without being needy. And it's just this wonderful relationship building exercise rather than a transactional, please give me money sort of bit. That's going to make you way more revenue at your organization than one aspect alone.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, I think that's a beautiful space to end this episode with. That's a great little tidbit of information right there and hopefully, motivation to get you rockin and rollin. Patrick, thank you so much. As always, if people want to learn more about you, and all of the cool things that you have going on, how do

[Patrick Kirby] they do that? They can easily go to do good, better consulting.com. I know it's the longest thing in the entire world. But that was available on GoDaddy, but it's DO GOOD, BETTER consulting.com and has everything from our podcast, to our blog, to our university access and all sorts of goodies that we have over there for you, the nonprofit leader who just wants to suck less at fundraising.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So great. And we'll link all of that up in the show notes. Thank you for being here for my 200th episode.

Patrick Kirby 38:03
I know I'm so excited. Thanks for inviting me as always. I'm sure we'll talk in like 45 minutes about something completely different. You're talking another for another hour. You're the best. Congratulations on 200 episodes. That's a huge thing. That's awesome. Congrats. And hopefully it'll be around soon.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yep. Thanks, Patrick. Thank you so much for listening to my 200th episode. I am so excited to share this milestone with you. This podcast is one of my favorite things to do. And I've said that several times. And I'm so grateful that you are here listening taking time out to learn alongside us. This whole month has been focused on monthly giving, and I really hope that it has inspired you to continue to grow build launch wherever you're at with your monthly giving campaign. I'd love to see what you have created. So email me hello@thefirstclick.net and share your monthly giving program with me. I'd love to see it. Make sure you subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss an episode. New episodes come out on Tuesdays. And you can check out the videos of these episodes at https://thefirstclick.net/youtube For now, I can't wait to see you in the next one.


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