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You Are Not Ordinary—20 Attributes That Make You Great!

June 17th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising, Major Gift

What is happening out there? I’m seeing too many major gift officers (MGOs) who play small, do enough just to get by, and seem to want to drift through their careers just long enough so they can retire and head to Florida.

How did this happen?

I just want to take these good people (and, yes, they are all good people), and shake them by the shoulders and tell them to wake up! You cannot be ordinary if you are an MGO. Choosing a profession that asks you to bring together donors and need is, in effect, an extraordinary thing to do. There is no ordinary in this profession.

Being an MGO is a vocation. This is not something that’s “just a job.” I believe being an MGO is a high calling, yet Richard and I are seeing many MGOs playing small. I refuse to say they are just ordinary MGOs. I seriously don’t believe that is possible, because the position itself demands too much and has such serious implications for donors and nonprofits that no one would choose the position if they thought of themselves as ordinary.

Yet, many MGOs are playing ordinary. Why are you doing this? Why have you lost your passion?

I believe our profession is in serious jeopardy. Not only is it incredibly hard to find great MGOs today, but it’s only going to get harder to fulfill future demand as nonprofits are finally waking up to the fact they need major-gift programs to be successful.

This is why if you are “playing ordinary” and you have lost your passion for this amazing work, we need you to regain that passion or consider another profession. The position and today’s nonprofits only deserve people who are absolutely passionate about being that bridge between a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs.

If you or someone you know only wants to “just get by” or “skate through” or “ride the job long enough to retire,” you are in the wrong profession. And, if you are new to this and that is your attitude, do not apply to be an MGO.

Being a professional MGO is one of the hardest, most demanding professions there is. It can be brutal, yet it’s also one of the most rewarding professions there is. That stands to reason, right? I mean, anything so rewarding has to equally be as difficult.

Those MGOs who I view as extraordinary are all:

  1. Passionate
  2. Inquisitive
  3. Tenacious
  4. Good-natured
  5. Accountable
  6. Focused
  7. Friendly
  8. Kind
  9. Intelligent
  10. Donor-focused
  11. Confident
  12. Compassionate
  13. Emotional
  14. Practical
  15. Loving
  16. Closers
  17. Spiritual
  18. Humble
  19. Risk-takers
  20. Humorous

Yes, every extraordinary MGO I’ve ever known possessed these 20 attributes. If you put all these together, there is no way you can be ordinary. No way.

If you are one of those MGOs who are playing ordinary, I ask you to look deep into your soul and figure out what is happening to you. At one time, you weren’t playing ordinary. What happened? Do you think you can get yourself back on track and be the extraordinary person you are again?

I think you can. I know you can. I’ve worked with MGOs who for one reason or another lost their passion and over time started to look at their work as just another job. But, through some coaching, management, focus and encouragement, they regained those extraordinary people that were inside of them again and became amazingly successful.

If you find yourself in that position of playing ordinary, I urge you to figure out what’s keeping you in that place. Then you have two choices: Regain that passion you once had or look for a new profession where you can find your real passion. Life is too short not to do that.

Donors deserve the best of you. Your nonprofit does too.


By Jeff Schreifels
May 9, 2016
NonProfit Pro magazine

Retarget Acquired: 5 Ways to Target the Right People With the Right Digital Marketing

June 16th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Email, Marketing, Website

Marketers often treat random website visitors as “anonymous,” but they’re not. In fact, every computer that visits your site is individually identified by its IP address. Every anonymous email has the potential to be reversed. And when you employ digital marketing identification and validation tools with your targeting data, you can do some amazing things.

1. Identify Hashed Email Addresses

Not all email addresses come in easy-to-read packages. Some are “hashed” — encrypted using a hexadecimal key that returns a string of numbers, but keeps the original email address private. This can be an essential step in ensuring the privacy of your audience data, but at some point you need to actually use the information in your targeting.

If you can identify consumers through their hashed emails, you can match them back to profiles in your database and continue to treat those hashed emails with the same personalized marketing as openly logged-in customers.

2. Email Validation

Sometimes, even the non-hashed emails are difficult to work with. Who knows how long ago that customer registered with you, or if the person used their regular email address or a fake. Since emailing bad addresses can lead to serious spam issues, not to mention wasted email, being able to validate those addresses on the fly is essential.

There are five essential types of errors you should validate against:

  • Email Correction: Misspellings and typos should be caught and corrected.
  • Syntax Checker: Invalid email formats should be identified and corrected where possible.
  • Spam Suppression: Keep known spam traps, honeypot addresses and complainers off your list.
  • Mailbox Check: Check if your messages to each mailbox are being delivered, or if they’re hard bouncing or soft bouncing.
  • Global Domain Check: Confirm up-to-date, accurate status of all email domains, so you’re not mailing to a honeypot.

3. Digital Identity Validation

Again, digital visitors are not as anonymous as you might think. You can install a layer of validation at the conversion point to empower your lead validation and fraud prevention initiatives.

These checks allow you to quickly verify online information to determine eligibility for an offer, validity of a transaction or identification of multi-channel contact information. For example, you can choose to validate data in an online contact form or at point-of-sale to further protect your business interests. Verify name, address, telephone number, email address or a combination of input data for optimal online fraud prevention.

4. E-append and Reverse Append

Unfortunately, many customers will not update their profile with you when they have a change of email address, physical address or other life event. So how can you stay up to date on the prodigal customer?

E-append is a data service that allows you to add email addresses to the data you have on current customers or prospects. A flexible matching algorithm allows you to not only find other email addresses they use, but logically choose which email address is best for your company to continue using.

Likewise, reverse append services allow you to append real-world data to people you may only know as email addresses. This allows you to target those consumers in direct mail and telemarketing campaigns. It can also provide a wealth of other demographic and targeting data for you to further refine the messages they’re getting, and where they get them.

5. IP Recognition and Retargeting

As mentioned above, every computer has a unique IP address. Recognizing and tracking those visitors may help you to increase your digital conversion rates by identifying behavior in real-time, based on the IP address. It’s really straightforward to find this information.  Use a simple web analytics solution that captures visitor data in parallel with IP addresses. Something inexpensive and simple like will get the job done. That information can be used in conjunction with a retargeting partner to serve targeted ads as the visitor IP appears on various other websites.

In some instances it may be possible to capture and append multi-channel contact, behavioral and lifestyle information to IP addresses of online visitors. Use this information to immediately personalize the consumer’s online experience, create personalized retargeting campaigns beyond your website, or identify and append alternative contact information to their record, including name, postal address, phone numbers and email addresses.

By Infutor
April 19, 2016
Target Marketing Magazine