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Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Telemarketing if You Want New Business . . .

March 31st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising

How to make telemarketing a success in the digital age with segmented data lists and creative script writing.

Get those phones ready to go and follow our tips for telemarketing success in the digital age.

Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Telemarketing if You Want New Business . . .  image why you cant afford to ignore telemarketing if you want new business

In the age of digital marketing, it has been said that telemarketing is a tool of the dinosaurs. Extinct, not relevant, not effective. But in fact, the opposite is true. Think about it – we live in a very impersonal age so, if you do it right, the personal touch really can get good results in the B2B world. Telemarketing is a key weapon for B2B brands, particularly as a means of nurturing prospects so that you win new business.

So how can you make sure you get telemarketing right, to get the results you want?

How to make telemarketing work for you

Let’s look at a few of the reasons that telemarketing campaigns fail, according to Econsultancy, and how you can avoid these pitfalls.

  • Reason #1 – Not calling the right people

Also known as lack of segmentation. A definite no-no. You wouldn’t send an unsegmented email campaign so why should it be OK for telemarketing campaigns? Investing in up-to-date, targeted telemarketing data lists so you can be sure you’re calling the right people will make all the difference.

  • Reason #2 – Not collecting data

So you’ve invested in a telemarketing data list – but don’t stop there. Not every call will get you the result you want, however it’s still a great opportunity to add richer data to the list you’ve bought. If you always add more data every time you call, you start to gain a deeper understanding of what your customers and prospects need and want.

  • Reason #3 – Not having clear goals

This is true of many marketing campaigns, whether via telemarketing, direct mail or email. Don’t start your campaign until you know what you want it to achieve. Follow the tips in this article on setting marketing campaign goals to set SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound).

  • Reason #4 – Not being creative

Just because your telemarketers’ script is not visual, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend time on making it creative. After all, it is a marketing campaign and creativity has always been at the heart of marketing success. Read these recommendations for writing a telemarketing script before you start on yours.

  • Reason #5 – Not making changes

One of the key routes to success in any marketing campaign in any media is seeing what works and what doesn’t, and tweaking accordingly. If you just keep plugging away saying the same old thing when it’s clearly not working then you’re not going to be happy with the results. Start with a small segment of the list, gather your data, score the calls, and then use what you learn to the necessary changes for success.


Things to remember

To ensure success from your next telemarketing campaign:

  • Segment your data list.

  • Collect more data on every call.

  • Make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve.

  • Have a great script.

  • Adapt what you’re doing in line with what each call teaches you

For more great marketing advice read the eGuide: The business owner’s guide: use data lists to boost the sales pipeline
By , Published January 14, 2014

FUNdraising Good Times: How to Recruit Fundraising Volunteers

March 30th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising

Successful fundraising requires qualified volunteer leadership. Whether you are launching an annual campaign or a capital campaign you need a campaign chair who is committed to your cause and willing to put in the time required to achieve your fundraising goal. The ideal chair makes your goal his goal. He is well respected, has a track record of leadership in local and regional fundraising campaigns, and the financialmeans to make a leadership-level gift. He is someone people cannot say “no” to, and he hates to fail. He allocates the necessary time to lead and manage the campaign, and provides pro-bono services. He is comfortable making the case and asking for gifts. He both attends and leads campaign meetings, bringing out the best in others, and encouraging all to give to their capacity.

If you are wondering where to find such an individual, we suggest looking at your existing relationships, starting with long-term donors and current major donors. Consider current and former board members and advisors. Reflect on the well-respected leaders in your community and create a list of those who might benefit from being involved with your campaign. Remember: not all volunteerism is altruistic! A commitment to your organization’s mission is critical, but self-interest could also be a driver.

Here are a few examples. A bank president may have lost a grandchild to domestic violence and wants to interrupt the cycle and save others from such grief. An alumnus may want to enhance her profile in anticipation of a future run for state-wide office. A business leader from another part of the country may be relocating her business operations to your community and needs to build relationships and goodwill. You may be surprised at what drives people’s intentions and who wants to support your fundraising.

As you recruit your chair, share your fundraising plan with him. Give him time to review your plan so he can determine if he has the time, connections, and willingness to make it work. Ask him who he wants to support his efforts: Let him invite others to join his fundraising team. He may have a circle of colleagues he works with who can “make things happen.”

While it takes time to identify, solicit, and engage your top fundraising leadership, your efforts will yield results. An engaged and qualifiedchair can do more for your campaign than an enthusiastic chair who lacks experience and connections.

Here are the top three things to remember in regard to fundraising leadership. First, leadership is critical to the success of any fundraising effort. Second, fundraising must be volunteer-driven, with strong, experienced leadership. Third, people give to people.

Leadership is key to fundraising readiness: we invite you to assess your fundraising readiness for free at

Posted on 13 January 2014 by The Hartford Guardian

By Mel and Pearl Shaw

Freely funded, loosely regulated countries have best PSE systems

March 29th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Education

Governments that are tight-fisted and keen to exercise control are least likely to preside over a higher education system of quality.

In a paper on what sets apart strong national systems, the University of Melbourne’s Ross Williams and colleagues point out that most countries with high output in teaching and research put in plenty of resources. The authors also stress the role of government policy and regulation that allows universities freedom to innovate, manage their affairs and attract talented staff.

Yet the links between this regulatory environment, investment and output are not simple, they say in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management.

“In the Nordic countries, high levels of government expenditure on higher education are accompanied by a regulatory regime that monitors use of these resources fairly closely; in the U.S., there is less government investment and less regulation,” they say.

“Both models yield good outcomes. The worst of all worlds is where government expenditure is low but its use is directed, as in India.”

The study ranks the higher education systems of 48 nations — leaving out low-income countries of Africa and Latin America, for example — according to factors judged vital to success.

An overall rating was drawn up based on rankings for resources (public and private funding for teaching and research); the regulatory environment; connectivity (overseas student numbers and international collaboration on research papers); as well as teaching and research output, including a measure related with access to world-class universities.

The authors say there is an emerging consensus about what a quality system of higher education looks like.

The top 10 systems in the league table are those of the U.S., Sweden, Canada, Finland and Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands and the U.K. Indonesia and India sit at the bottom.

Canada is top for resources, the Netherlands for regulatory environment (with New Zealand second and well ahead of Australia at No. 7), Austria for connectivity, and the U.S. for output.

As a developing country, Indonesia perhaps by necessity ranks high in connectivity measured by the number of joint publications with a foreign author, while the U.S. with its critical mass of researchers ranks low on the overall measure of connectivity.

Australia is high on the output measure, occupying the No. 7 spot, but lowish on resources (No. 19).

The paper says it’s “an open question” whether or not strong output can be kept up with relatively weak funding. The U.K. was ranked second for output but 27th for resources.

The data suggest that government spending as a share of gross domestic product is a key factor for research output, while total funding (including from private sources) is what counts for participation rates, the authors say.

They note that in some countries — Chile, Mexico and Indonesia — the unemployment rate is higher for postsecondary graduates than for those who stopped at secondary school, suggesting a system “that is not producing the needed mix of graduates.”

Williams, from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, was joined in the study by institute colleagues Gaetan de Rassenfosse and Paul Jensen, as well as by Simon Marginson, of the University of London’s Institute of Education.


January 14, 2014

High wages in oil-producing provinces caused lower PSE enrollment

March 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Education

Strong growth in real wages in oil-producing provinces through the 2000s had a dual impact on the employment decisions of young men. A new study has found that in these provinces, increased wages reduced the share of young men enrolled in university on a full-time basis and also reduced the share of young men who were neither enrolled in school nor employed.

From 2001 to 2008, average real hourly wages of men aged 17 to 24 living in the oil-producing provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 21%, more than five times the 4% increase observed in other provinces.

Wage growth in oil-producing provinces also led to increases in the employment rates of young men. In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, employment rates of men aged 17 to 24 increased by five to six percentage points between 2001 and 2008, while in non-oil-producing provinces, the employment rate of this group increased by two percentage points.

As wages for youth rose in the oil-producing provinces, young men’s school enrollment tended to fall. For example, in Alberta, the percentage of young men enrolled in secondary or postsecondary education fell from 44% to 37% between 2001 and 2008, and the share attending university on a full-time basis fell from 17% to 16%. In contrast, in non-oil-producing provinces, the percentage of young men enrolled in secondary or postsecondary school increased from 52% to 53% over this period and the share attending university full-time increased from 20% to 24%.

Declines in the proportions of young men who were neither enrolled in school nor employed were also observed in oil-producing provinces over the 2001 to 2008 period. In Alberta, for example, the share of young men who were neither in school nor at work declined by three percentage points, while in non-oil-producing provinces, the share declined by one percentage point.

These differential movements in employment rates, full-time university enrollment rates, and rates of youth neither in school nor at work remain when other factors, such as changes in minimum wage rates, labour market conditions and tuition fees are taken into account. As a result of data limitations, the study did not track whether those who chose employment over postsecondary education planned to pursue postsecondary education in the future.

Note to readers

This release is based on the research paper “Wages, Youth Employment, and School Enrollment: Recent Evidence from Increases in World Oil Prices,” available today.

The study uses data from the Labour Force Survey and examines how employment rates and school enrollment rates of young men responded to the sharp growth in youth wages that was observed during the 2001-to-2008 expansionary period.

It focuses on unmarried men aged 17 to 24, who have no children, are not members of the Armed Forces, are not permanently unable to work, live in a Canadian province, and are either employed as paid workers or not employed.

The study also uses data from the Longitudinal Administrative Databank to assess the degree to which province-specific movements in employment rates and full-time university enrollment rates for young men are attributable to selective (or non-random) inter-provincial migration.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number3701.

The research paper “Wages, Youth Employment, and School Enrollment: Recent Evidence from Increases in World Oil Prices,” part of Analytical Studies Research Paper Series (Catalogue number11F0019M), is now available from the Browse by key resourcemodule of our website under Publications.

Similar studies are available in the Update on Social Analysis Research module of our website.

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact René Morissette (613-951-3608;, Social Analysis Division.


Statistics Canada

Monday, January 13, 2014

More US middle-income students subsidizing classmates’ tuition

March 27th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Education

Well-off students at private schools have long subsidized poorer classmates. But as states grapple with the rising cost of higher education, middle-income students at public colleges in a dozen states now pay a growing share of their tuition to aid those lower on the economic ladder.

The student subsidies, which are distributed based on need, don’t show up on most tuition bills. But in eight years they have climbed 174% in real dollars at a dozen flagship state universities surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

During the 2012-13 academic year, students at these schools transferred $512,401,435 to less well-off classmates, up from $186,960,962, in inflation-adjusted figures, in the 2005-06 school year.

Darren Hauck for The Wall Street Journal Maria Giannopoulos, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, relies on the tuition help.

At private schools without large endowments, more than half of the tuition may be set aside for financial-aid scholarships. At public schools, set-asides range between 5% and 40% according to the Journal’s survey.

The growth of subsidies is directly related to cutbacks in state aid, according to school administrators. Reductions in public spending for higher education have prompted universities to raise tuition levels, they said, making it tougher for students from poorer families to cover costs. To offset that burden, wealthy and middle-class students pay more in subsidies known as tuition set-asides.

“Without it, there is no way I’d be here,” said Maria Giannopoulos, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who receives $5,000 a year through the program.

But former classmate Allie Gardner, whose father works at Costco and whose mother is a waitress, said she resented kicking in the extra money.

“It’s this sneaky little thing they’ve put in place because they know we’ll pay it, we’re already taking out loans,” said Ms. Gardner, who graduated in December.

Most public and private universities pool their financial aid from a variety of sources, including endowments, taxes and state scholarship funds. Additionally, public universities have a host of formal and informal subsidies: humanities students subsidize science students, for example, and out-of-state students subsidize in-state students.

The subsidies are taken by public schools nationwide, but there are no figures on the total and very few by campus. The lack of transparency inside university balance sheets makes it difficult to calculate how much one student is subsidizing another. But at least 13 state universities now list the full amount students pay in tuition set-asides.

At the University of Washington for instance, a full-time student paying in-state tuition last year contributed about $2,200 in subsidies, up from $540 in 2006.

“Over the last four years the state legislature cut half our appropriation,” Norm Arkans, the school spokesman, said by way of explanation.

This type of student subsidy began at private colleges in the 1970s and spread to public schools in the 1980s, said Joni Finney, of the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Campuses supporting the practice say it helps build a more diverse student body and provides a path to the middle class for lower-income students.

But opaque college financing generally keeps this accounting hidden from public view, Ms. Finney said, largely to keep a lid on complaints from parents.

“Institutions don’t want people to know how they are financed because you might get upset,” she said. “We barely accept the idea of redistribution of income at the government level and this is basically what we’re doing in higher education.”

Schools say shrinking state support for higher education has forced them to ask more of students who can afford it. Between 2001 and 2011, state aid to public universities in the U.S. fell 21%, on a per-student, inflation-adjusted basis, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, a national research and advocacy group.

Over that same period, tuition at two- and four-year public colleges rose 45%, when adjusted for inflation, to $4,774, according to the association.

The rising costs—and subsidies—have prompted greater scrutiny and political protest in such states as Texas, North Carolina and Iowa.

“It’s an additional tax, and it’s hidden,” said Fred Eshelman, a member of the Board of Governors at the University of North Carolina, where the cost of set-asides has tripled to $1,724 in 2012 from $535 in 2006, according to university officials. “If folks are paying full boat and supporting others without knowing it, I don’t think that’s right.”

The tuition subsidies triggered heated arguments in Iowa after a state representative criticized the practice. When he learned of it, James Twedt, a 50-year-old father of three in Urbandale, Iowa, sent an email to his state representative calling the system “nuts.”

Mr. Twedt earns about $90,000 as a manager in an insurance office, and his children don’t qualify for federal aid. He estimated the set-aside program would cost his family about $20,000 through four years of college. He expects each of his children will graduate with about $25,000 in student loan debt.

He said he began saving for his children’s college education when they were born: “My father used to say if you want a helping hand look at the end of your arm.”

That view ignores the public subsidies that go to all students at state schools from taxes, endowments and other sources, said Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Even full-pay students shoulder only a fraction of the cost of their education at public colleges, she said.

The help to poorer students by classmates hasn’t closed the education gap. Students from the wealthiest 25% of U.S. households are nearly nine times more likely than students from the poorest 25% to earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 24.

In the current budget squeeze, there is stepped-up pressure on schools to admit wealthier students, often with merit scholarships as an inducement. The students neither accomplished enough to earn merit scholarships nor poor enough to get need-based aid end up the hardest hit. “If you’re not rich or your kid’s not a rocket scientist, you’re screwed,” Mr. Twedt said.

In California, tuition set-asides are listed as “return to aid” and now make up 28% of tuition, up from 22% in 2005. Last year, the total was $601 million across the University of California system, up from $201 million in 2005.

In Nevada, the set-asides cost full-time students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas $588 a year, up from $60 in 2004. State higher education chancellor Dan Klaich called it a necessity.

“What we have in Nevada is a huge low-income, first-generation population,” Mr. Klaich said, “If you lose this generation, you’re going to end up paying for it on the other end. It costs eight times more to put a person in prison for a year than to educate them at the University of Nevada, Reno.”

Seeking to expand their student body, schools have increased the amount of funds they funnel to poorer students. In the 2011-12 academic year, public and private U.S. universities gave away $33 billion in scholarships, up from $23 billion in 2006-07, adjusted for inflation, according to the College Board.

Enrolling more students at schools charging higher tuition has led to an explosion in student debt, estimated at $1.2 trillion. Per-student borrowing climbed 55% in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2002 and 2012, according to the College Board. Students with debt now owe, on average, nearly $30,000.

“We used to believe that public higher education benefited all residents of a state, not only the people who were attending, because the more highly educated workforce meant more economic growth,” said Ronald Ehrenberg, director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute. “But now our society has moved toward the notion that the people who are paying are the ones who will benefit, so they should pay.”

Higher-income public university students in California are taking on debt faster than others. Among students from families earning between $125,000 and $150,000, 39% now graduate with loans, up from 28% in 2005. The average loan amount increased to $19,310 from $13,470.

By comparison, 66% of students from families earning from $25,000 to $50,000 graduated with loans in 2012, down from 68% in 2005. The loan amounts increased to $18,071 from $15,081.

“Tuition increases have contributed to increase in borrowing,” said David Alcocer, interim director of student financial support at the University of California. He called the debate over tuition subsidies “a convenient distraction from the more fundamental issue, which is a sustained disinvestment in public higher education by the state.”

The growing subsidies have driven calls for more disclosure. Recently, the governing body of the University of North Carolina voted to include more specific language about the subsidies on tuition bills.

The Texas legislature passed a mandate in 2009 that public schools publish the rate of set-asides on tuition bills after the student subsidies nearly doubled at the state’s largest university, Texas A&M, in less than a decade.

Some Texas students set up a website calling for the end to the set-asides. Shawn Johnson, one of the organizers, said he didn’t know he had been paying them until his senior year. “At first, I just felt robbed,” he said. When he graduated, he owed $22,000 in student loans.

In Wisconsin, where the legislature sets tuition for state schools, administrators on different campuses asked for more money to offset cuts in state subsidies. In 2009, the state’s flagship school tapped its wealthiest students in “The Madison Initiative for Undergraduates,” which added $1,000 a year to the tuition of in-state undergraduates and $2,250 for out-of-state students.

The surcharge, which came on top of tuition hikes that have averaged almost 7% a year, raises about $40 million a year. About half the money is used for need-based financial aid; the rest goes to faculty and programs. Other public schools around the state have adopted similar initiatives.

When the practice became widely known in Iowa the political backlash was so intense the Board of Regents decided in 2012 to end it. In exchange, they asked the legislature to give schools $40 million to help poorer students pay for school. The money wasn’t appropriated.

“Iowa students and parents don’t feel it’s fair,” Gov. Terry Branstad said. “I agree.”

Iowa schools froze tuition for the first time in three decades, in part because the tuition set-asides were killed. Mr. Branstad said he hoped private fundraising will help fill the gap.

Mr. Twedt said he was happy subsidies ended before his youngest child goes to school.

“I feel like I’m paying not only for mine but for somebody else’s,” he said. “I give my charity elsewhere. I don’t expect to do it at the state university.”

The Wall Street Journal

By Douglas Belkin
January 9, 2014 10:32 PM

Leadership: the strength to say good-bye

March 26th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Inspirational

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap; a time to kill, a time to heal; a time to laugh, a time to weep.

Ecclesiastes, from which that quote is taken, wasn’t conceived as a guide to doing business – but maybe it should have been.

Leadership coach Henry Cloud starts there, says The Globe and Mail writer Harvey Schachter, to claim that we need to become as good at ending things – products, services, projects, relationships, or even organizations – as we are at starting or innovating. That’s a sobering thought as the New Year begins. But it’s also a path to greater effectiveness.

In many ways it’s harder to end things than to begin them. It’s even harder to end them fully, professionally and well. We’re afraid of the unknown: what will our organization be like without this staff member, that working group, those partners? We may not want to let go of a process or commitment that has served us well in the past. Life brings us enough painful endings without going out of our way to create more.

Wisdom from the garden

Leaders often overlook or underestimate the impact of ending the right things, Cloud believes. But in the garden, correct pruning helps a bush or plant reach its full potential. The same is true of organizations.

He notes that branches or stems should be pruned for three reasons:

  1. They’re not the strongest ones. They’re taking up just as much light and nutrition as the healthiest branches, but they’re not producing the same amount of fruit or flowers in return. What parts of your organization aren’t doing as well as the others?
  2. They’re too sick to recover. They’re so badly damaged or diseased that more water, more fertilizer and more hope won’t help. They must be removed to protect the rest of the plant. Where are the “unfixable” projects or processes in your organization?
  3. They’re already dead. They’re taking up space needed for healthy branches, and blocking the sunlight from strong twigs and new shoots.What aspects of your organization interfere with communication, productivity and new ideas?

To sum up, we can’t have great new beginnings without necessary, natural and beneficial endings. But there are good reasons why endings are so hard. Acknowledging the emotions behind our reluctance to end anything will help bring us to the point where we can finally take pruning shears in hand for the benefit of our own well-being and that of the organizations we serve.

Read the full article in The Globe and Mail.

publication date: Jan 6, 2014
author/source: Janet Gadeski

Study reveals underemployment peaks during recessions

March 25th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Education, News and Updates

For Recent Grads, Recessions Equal Underemployment

Finding a good job after graduation has indeed become more difficult since the recession – the recession of 2001, that is. A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Current Issues found that the trend of recent graduates working in jobs that do not require a degree began with the 2001 recession, and recent graduates are increasingly working in low-wage or part-time jobs.

Unemployment has peaked three times in the last 24 years, the report says: Following the 1990-91 recession (about 4.5 percent unemployment in 1992), the 2001 recession (about 5 percent in 2002), and the 2008 recession (7 percent in 2011). Recent graduates fared worse during those times than college graduates as a whole.

Underemployment, or working in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, among recent graduates on average also peaked at around 45 percent in 1992, 2004 and 2012.

The report also notes that from 2009-11, students in some fields fared far worse than others. Unemployment in most fields hovered around 6 or 7 percent, but there was much more variation in underemployment. While 8 percent of recent liberal arts graduates were unemployed, another 52 percent didn’t need a degree for the job they held. Although their unemployment rates were lower, at 4 percent, leisure and hospitality graduates were most likely to be underemployed (63 percent). At the other end of the scale was engineering, where 5 percent were unemployed and 20 percent were underemployed.

Here’s a link to the Study.

Inside Higher Ed

January 7, 2014


US sees PSE enrollment fall slightly

March 24th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Education

The U.S. Department of Education sure knows how to ring in the New Year! Last week the National Center for Education Statistics released lots of new data from its vast Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or Ipeds. The numbers provide a fresh look at enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and employment in 2012-13 at more than 7,000 institutions nationwide.

Here are some highlights:

Enrollment (Fall 2012):

  • Total enrollment at postsecondary institutions fell about 2 percent from 2011, to 21.1 million.
  • The total number of undergraduates fell slightly, to 18.2 million. Here’s a breakdown of where those undergraduates were enrolled, by sector:

  • The total number of graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in for-profit colleges fell nearly 8 percent from 2011, while enrollment at public colleges dropped 1.6 percent and enrollment at private nonprofit colleges rose less than 1 percent.
  • There are about five women for every four men in higher education—a ratio that has barely changed in more than a decade.

Finances (2012 Fiscal Year):

  • While total revenue for four-year public universities fell $3.6-billion, or about 1.5 percent, from 2011, private nonprofit four-year universities saw revenue fall by $45-billion, or nearly 22 percent.
  • Public colleges and universities spent nearly $300-billion, a year-over-year increase of about 3 percent.
  • Tuition and fees rose as a percentage of revenue at public and private nonprofit four-year colleges:

  • Total state funding for four-year public colleges fell by $3-billion and total federal funding fell by $1-billion from 2011. State appropriations now account for a slightly smaller portion of four-year public-college revenue (20.9 percent) than tuition and fees (21.1 percent).

Graduation Rates (August 2012):

  • Fifty-nine percent of students who entered a four-year college in the fall of 2006 to pursue a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent graduated within six years, up less than 1 percent from the year before.
  • At four-year public colleges, Asian women, the group with the highest graduation rate (70 percent), graduated at more than twice the rate of African-American men, the group with the lowest graduation rate (32 percent).
  • Two-thirds of students didn’t graduate from the community college they started at within three years, though some of them may have transferred to a four-year college.

Employment (Fall 2012):

  • Colleges and universities employed about 2.5 million people on a full-time basis and 1.5 million part time.
  • Of the 1.5 million postsecondary teachers (professors and other instruction, research, and public-service staff members), about half were employed part time. At two-year public colleges, part-time teachers outnumbered full-time teachers by more than two to one.
  • Colleges employed more than a half-million administrative staff members, the second-largest category of employees after teachers.

12 Super-Simple Donor-Retention Tips From Nonprofit Fundraising Experts

March 23rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising

Donor acquisition is all the rage, but did you know nearly 3 out of 4 new donors leave and never come back. I’d stay that’s pretty stinky, wouldn’t you?

In 2013, Chuck Longfield was on a mission to shed light on the importance of donor retention in the nonprofit industry. According to Chuck, ten years ago the average retention rates of a newly acquired donor were roughly 33%.  Today it’s 27%, and even lower in some industries.

That’s shocking (and pretty scary). If the ten-year trend continues, we’ll eventually end up with donor retention rates under 20%. Couple that with the rising cost of donor acquisition  and you’ve got an incredibly difficult environment for fundraisers (and their nonprofits) to succeed.

But we can and SHOULD change this! Adrian Sargeant says “a 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime value of your donor database by 200%.”

So let’s get started, right? There’s no time like the present to improving your donor retention rates.

This post brings together fundraising experts from across the industry to share 12 super simple (but effective) fundraising ideas for boosting donor engagement, loyalty, and retention based on answering one simple question, “what’s the key to an effective donor retention strategy?“. We hope you find their advice useful as you navigate 2014!

1. Mark Rovner, founder and CEO of Sea Change Strategies

MarkR 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014Authentic engagement: No bullshit like tote bags or fake emergencies. Deeply understanding why the donor supports you and delivering on her (or his) expectations. Superb content. Great donor service.


2. Marc A. Pitman, CFCC, The Fundraising Coach

MarcP 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014The key? It goes beyond the fundraising appeal to seeing a gift as a step in a relationship, not a one-off business transaction. This forces us to create systems to deepen relationships with people that are fans of what we do, rather than just treating them as ‘the public’ or ‘our constituents.’ This takes more time initially, but it produces the levels of support and advocacy we really want for our organization!”

3. Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE, Joyaux Associates

Simone 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014First, believe deeply – in your heart and then in your brain – that donors matter. Second, genuinely respect and honor your donors and the difference that they make in the world. Third, behave accordingly! Strategy only works when it’s based on heartfelt beliefs and deep commitment.

4. Lisa SargentLisa Sargent Communications

Lisa 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014Five years ago an organization asked me for help in overhauling their donor communications to: improve retention, increase revenue and grow their ranks. They were committed to doing everything they could, incrementally if needed, within their budget — starting with “the basics.” So in addition to acquisition rollouts 2-3 times yearly, they: created a terrific donor welcome pack and special new donor thank you; send heartfelt, hand-signed thank-yous promptly and make them as personal as possible; publish a donor-driven, story-focused newsletter now 4 times yearly (profitable FYI); send a minimum of 4 appeals annually; invite donors to engage with their organization in ways that don’t always include a monetary gift; use a drip-feed strategy to drive home the benefits of legacy giving; and, continue to invest in a quality donor comms programs as budget permits: a longer newsletter with cover letter, legacy programs, monthly giving, major donors, website overhaul, telephone and online/email program. But at the heart of it all is an ask-thank-report-back strategy as power plant. There are no silos. They set team goals to avoid little kingdoms. And they regularly maintain and update their database. This year they are on-track to break the 70% retention barrier and have already bested their stretch fundraising goal for the year. Their donor file has quintupled since 2008. Can you do like they do? Yes: The best donor retention strategies are still the ones everyone knows about.

5. Shanon DoolittleDoogooder

ShanonD 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014Be a nice human. Say thank you, care deeply, and value kindness. Be unpredictable and unforgettable. Make your donors smile, celebrate their generosity, and tell them how they made the world a better place. Remember, the goal isn’t retention, it’s meaningful relationships.

6. Vanessa ChasePhilanthropy for All

VanessaC 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014An effective donor retention strategy requires a plan and consistent action. Regularly keep in touch with your donors and show them loyalty – that you care – beyond just making the ask.


7. Pamela

PamelaG 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014The keys to building an effective donor retention strategy lie in:

  • Thanking donors well — and promptly
  • Speaking your donors’ language — lose the jargon!
  • Creating a communications calendar with a minimum of 12 touches per year
  • Sharing the stories of how your donors’ gifts are making a difference
  • Understanding customer service and how it translates to donor service
  • Building a culture of philanthropy throughout your organization

…and, I believe, most importantly, truly understanding your donor’s motivations in giving.

8. Claire Axelrad, CFRE, Clairification

ClaireA 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014Don’t treat your donors like gumballs. Chew ‘em up. Spit ‘em out! Don’t stick ‘em in your database to save for later. You’ll forget they’re there. Enjoy them now; then practice a year-round attitude of gratitude. Think from the gumball’s perspective. It’s happy to be enjoyed; that’s why it’s there. But it wants to know it made an impact. Now! Embrace ‘thank you’ as the beginning of the donor relationship, not the end. It’s give and take. Don’t just take. Find out more about it. Invite its friends over. Don’t wait until the next time you want a gumball to tell this one how you feel.

9. John Haydon, Author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies

John 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014The key an to effective donor retention strategy is to make your donors feel like they are the most important person in the world. Take a look at what charity:water did with their YouTube videos, or Epic Change with their thank you cards. On the surface, investments like these seem high. But when when you consider how much they’ll talk about you with their friends, it’s totally worth it.

10. Nancy E.

Nancy 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the key to donor retention:

  • Respect donors’ wants, even when they DON’T want to hear from you
  • Enlist your fundraising colleagues to segment donors so each one gets the right outreach every time (or no time)
  • Start up a donor advisory board of folks willing to answer a few questions each month
  • Put together an all-org donor listening team—Ask for help then show the WIIFM of donor feedback via tangible examples
  • Execute a system to log, share and analyze donor insights throughout your organization
  • Course-correct at a moment’s notice—agility in adjusting your fundraising approach to what’s vital to your donors RIGHT NOW is a must
  • Take stock of what’s still not working with your donor retention program and ask the donor advisory board how to do better!

11. Rachel Muir, CFRE, Nonprofit Consultant, Speaker & Trainer

RachelM 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014The key to keeping your donors is building a relationship with them.  That relationship starts with thanking them in a thoughtful and meaningful way for their gift and it progresses by telling them frequently how they are making a difference.  As their giving grows and you learn more about them you can retain them and get them giving more by developing a cultivation plan that honors their interests and sets a revenue goal for your ask.  If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there, but with a plan everything is possible.

12. Harvey McKinnonHarvey McKinnon and Associates

HarveyM 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014The key to donor loyalty is being loyal to your donors.


*Bonus Donor Retention Tips* by Chuck Longfield, Chief Scientist at Blackbaud

Chuck 173x111 One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink at (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change It in 2014First, acquire donors that are likely to continue donating.  Acquisition should be judged on the multi-year return of new donors.  That is, if list A has the best initial response rate but list B has the better return over 2 or 3 years, then list B should be considered the better acquisition source.

Second, devote time to your existing donors with the expectation that this will pay off in future years.  For example, Fundraiser Penelope Burk showed that a thank you call to a newly acquired donor yields 40% more revenue in year 2.

Third, discover who your worthy donors might be. The Target Analytics nonprofit cooperative database compiles giving behavior from hundreds of participating organizations and billions of donations. This database is used to assess your organization against all other organizations your donor supports. The results are then refined into one of seven actionable, behavioral groupings called “Loyalty Insights,” providing you a clear understanding of which donors have the strongest affinity to your cause. A report is generated that highlights their level of support specific to your organization compared against all the others, enabling you to easily determine how to develop your ongoing engagement strategies.

Fourth, research financial capacity and solicit the wealthier donors.  Or you could measure their passion by using the rich interactions that CRM systems have been tracking for years but that most organizations are rarely using.  For example, look into donors who answered a survey, had their employer match a gift, read your newsletter, liked you on Facebook, attended a recent event, or said something nice about you while chatting on that thank you call!

So, what’s your “aha moment” or key takeaway?

By  on Jan 6, 2014

6 Fundamentals That Can Make You A Better Manager

March 22nd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising

When it comes to management, I’ve always been a bigger believer in fundamentals than fancy.  Sure, there’s nothing at all wrong with, say, presentation skills that spellbind an audience of thousands, but when it comes to operational effectiveness, chances are that will be determined by how well you execute fundamentals day in and day out.  In that spirit, here are 6 fundamentals that can make you a better manager.

1. Be open to new ways of looking at things - The best managers are flexible, adaptable, and closely attuned to their environment.  They’re always looking for opportunities.  Be a good listener.  Many of the best process improvement ideas routinely come from employees in the trenches, as they’re the ones closest to the actual work.  Rigidity is the enemy of progress.  Don’t be afraid to shift the paradigm and move away from, “This is the way we’ve always done it here.”