#DonorLove Celebration Part IX: New Donor Love (Bungee) Heights from Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home

It’s the final #donorlove celebration in partnership with the wonderful John Lepp at Agents of Good.  We’ve been celebrating the delightful ways that fundraisers have been showing appreciation for supporters that go beyond their standard supporter journeys to not only share the love and give big fundraiser kudos, but to spread ideas amongst us to replicate in our own work.

Today we’re celebrating Kelly Barbour and the team at the Edinburgh Dog & Cat home who took donor love to new heights during their Halloween Blackout Bungee event this year.

In their own words, here’s their submission:

Our aim was to host a Bungee Jump in aid of the lost and abandoned animals at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. Supporters signed up online, set up their fundraising pages, and attended the event on 27th October in Killiecrankie, Pitlochry. We engaged with them before, during, and after the event itself. They were also encouraged to dress up – it was Halloween, after all!

The first action we took to engage our fearless bungee participants was a phone call. Since they signed up online, they had already received an automatic confirmation – but speaking to them was an amazing opportunity to find out why they signed up and to get them excited about the event as well as confident about the fundraising!

Speaking to our fabulous supporters also gave me a great insight into how to support them through their donor journey. I used these conversations to help tailor my engagement tactics during the lead-up to the event, which encouraged them to be even more engaged on the night.

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On the day, I took 4 of the supporters on the train to the venue and spoke about the cause on our way there.

At the end of the night, I spent time personally thanking them all. I wanted them to know we’d be in touch to continue our support – there’s nothing worse than feeling ‘discarded’ after you’ve done something lovely for a charity!

Following the event, we sent handwritten thank you cards. They even included a small bungee jumper with their photo on it (my favourite part)!

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On reflection

I think that by using a strong balance of digital (including social media and emails) and classic, personalised chats (phone calls, face-to-face chats, and handwritten thank you cards), we were able to fully engage our supporters and ensure a fun and effective event.”

Why we love it:

  • Another example of human touches creating the magic in event stewardship
  • Using all the communication tools you have available ensures you reach everyone, and adds extra layers of donor love for those you have across them all
  • Did you see the bungee card?!…

Thank you to Kelly and the team for allowing us to share their example and for having such creativity and personality in your supporter thank yous.

John and I will be asking our specially selected judge to pick their favourite example of the #donorlove celebration which will be announced in the new year.  The winning fundraiser will win a £500 donation to a charity of their choice.  Check out the other submissions here.  Follow us at @CharityNikki & @JohnLepp to be the first to know who has won!

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#DonorLove Celebration Part VIII: CLIC Sargent Collette & The Donor Love Calling Card

We had a flurry of #donorlove submissions come through before it ended, and this week we’re covering the last few examples that squeaked in before the deadline.

Today’s example of donor love comes from Collette Brown at CLIC Sargent.  I’d stalked Collette a little to get a submission as I’ve seen her pop up on Twitter regularly asking for and sharing ways to make people feel special; so you know she’s got some cracking examples up her sleeve, and she did not disappoint.  Below are a couple of the examples she provided from both her current fundraising role and from her time at The Air Ambulance Service.

“At CLIC Sargent, I often use “thanks a million.” It’s a little individual way of showing individual donors, volunteers and my colleagues that I really appreciate their support. One way this made an impact was with one of our young service users. Her friends organised her a surprise fundraising ball raising over £2400 to support people just like her, going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment. They’d done a brilliant job, how could I possibly say thank you in a way that would mean something to them? I think, like most fundraisers we know that people raise huge amounts for our charities, but we can’t thank them with expensive gifts – so you have to get creative. I often turn to Pinterest for inspiration, but this one was of my own making. I picked up a packet of the millions sweets from the supermarket and whenever someone does something extra special, I send them a packet in the post with a handwritten thank you card that says “thanks a million.” It’s really simple, probably cost me less than 20p for each donor, but it’s always the thought that counts. For our service user and her friends, it certainly made them smile. I often get emails saying, thank you for the little surprises and they’d brightened up their day. How did I know it worked for this donor in particular? Well she’s formed a fundraising group for CLIC Sargent now and it about to complete her first fundraising event for us this weekend. I’m not saying the “thanks a million” caused all of this, but it certainly is the little things that count when it comes to donor love.

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Another example, was with my volunteers  at The Air Ambulance Service. Again, we had so many wonderful, long-standing volunteers. Each year we were always faced with the dilemma of how to thank our volunteers in a cost-effective, but meaningful way. Our volunteers raised so much money for the charity, they certainly didn’t want us to spend it on a gift for them to say thank you. This is where “have a brew, from our crew” came in. Instead of giving them a gift, myself and my manager spent time making them a little card with an individual tea bag in, which read “ have a brew from your crew – thank you for being a tea-riffic volunteer.” All our volunteers loved it. It was simple, certainly cheesy but overall out a smile on their face. Because the gesture was small too, it meant that any volunteers who we didn’t see face to face could have their token gift posted out to them for the price of a postage stamp. In fact one of our corporate sponsors, donated the tea-bags for us, so all it cost was a few stamps and an evening of crafting by their volunteer manager.”

Why we love this:

  • Collette has created a unique “calling card” that links wonderfully with her personality, creating a feeling of authenticity and gratitude.
  • The simple things are sustainable, showing it doesn’t cost or take a lot to say thank you with feeling.
  • The addition of sweets and tea bags creates another layer of “human” to the interactions.  A hand-written card is perfect, but the extra delighter knocks it out of the park.

Thank you to Collette for her submissions (and for not blocking me on Twitter) – keep up the amazing work at CLIC Sargent!

We’ll be asking a special judge to pick their favourite example of the #donorlove celebration once all examples are presented.  Be sure to subscribe to be the first to find out who has won!

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#DonorLove Celebration part VII: The College of Dentistry Know the Donor Love Drill

The 7th #donorlove celebration, in partnership with John Lepp of Agents of Good, comes from Stacey Schewaga at the College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan.  From Stacey’s submission it’s clear she has delighting supporters at the heart of all she does and it was wonderful the read the small, thoughtful, and constant ways she adds a bit of magic to supporter interactions throughout their journey with the college.  Here are a few examples from Stacey’s submission:

“At the College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan donors are number one!  A handwritten card is sent to every donor that gives a gift and the cards have inspiring messages on the front like ‘you’re what making a difference looks like’, ‘You’re simply amazing’, or ‘Act as if what you do makes a difference, IT DOES.’  All new donors get a phone call from me and a welcome package.

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thank you packs & messages

I organize student-thank-a-thons annually, have students sign thank you cards for all new donors at the time of gift including writing thank you cards to our PT faculty annaully.  At admission time, many alumni and local dentists volunteer their time for one day. Anyone who uses my office gets a personalized note and if I know the person, I have been known to leave their favourite candy.  I send sympathy cards on behalf of myself and the college to any alumni that have a loved one pass away. I honour alum retring with a special email wish. I’m always looking for a special way to connect with my alumni and donors to make them feel special.

saska2Over the last couple months, I asked donors and alumni to write an inspiring or motivational message on a note card.  These cards and a Kit Kat were delivered to 1st year students on their last day of classes.  The students are told, ‘the cards come from alumni – who have been in your shoes, and donors, care about you and wish you success in your upcoming exams.'”

 

What we love about this example:

  • donor love is there from the get-go; immediately humanising the charity and showing appreciation from that first donation with a phone call
  • students and supporters are connected throughout the whole journey; students personally thank donors, and donors write messages of support for the students at exam times
  • students are involved with thanking; guess who will become donors in future?..
  • donor love goes beyond the donations as donors are thought of also at difficult, personal times

A huge well done to Stacey and the team at College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan, and thank you for sharing your examples of showing donor love.

The donor love celebration is now closed for submissions but we will be showcasing the remaining celebrations into December.  Be sure to hit that ‘subscribe’ button so you can be the first to read them!

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