Please virtually join us at 8:30am on September 20, 2022 for an informative discussion with the winners of the 10th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards. This webinar is free to attend for Long Island non-profit organizations.
Objective: Learn from a contingent of highly regarded non-profit leaders that are successfully moving the sector forward. Let their experience guide you to think differently and effectively advance your non-profit to the next level.
This discussion will be moderated by Kenneth Cerini, CPA, Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates and Founder of the Long Island Imagine Awards, an event designed to recognize Long Island non-profits for their innovation, impact, and leadership. Attendees will be given the opportunity to directly ask the guest panel questions.
Over the years nonprofits have struggled to figure out how to grow their fundraising events. Some organizations have been successful, and others have found it difficult to get the right people involved. Powered by Professionals follows a process that enables us to increase our chances for success by leveraging an organizational chart for each event we work on. Let me show you how we do it.
The first step in creating an organizational chart is to determine the structure of your program and then creating the framework for that structure. There are three categories we think should be considered when identifying honorees:
A. Credibility – identifying someone who further solidifies your expertise in an area and by recognizing them further enhances the perception of the organization. Make every attempt to choose a leader in their field (ex. if your organization is health-related – possibly a leading physician that cares for patients, a top surgeon, or a researcher.)
B. The Money Box – this person needs to have the ability to raise funds. It could be a company, leading executive, influential family, philanthropist and or an incredibly well- networked individual. Having a connection to your organization/mission is a plus, but not always a must. Having a clear detailed conversation with the potential honoree and laying out what the expectations are is essential to the success of your fundraising event.
C. Wow Factor – this person brings immediate exposure to your organization and is not expected to raise funds (although it would be a bonus.) By this person committing to be a part of the event, the organization can further market the event and/or leverage this individual to raise funds and most importantly, raise awareness of the organization through the media or an industry.
The most important task is to give people clear roles in the event, so they feel connected and responsible for the success of your event. After identifying the honorees, one of their responsibilities should be to help identify additional people to get involved and play a role in the event, in many cases as Co-Chairs. This enables the organization to get to people they otherwise would not have a way to approach to become part of the fundraising team because a close contact of theirs is being honored. In some cases, the Co-Chairs can drive more fundraising than the honorees. This is a crucial part of the fundraising success of an event. These Co-Chairs can be considered as possible honorees or board members in the years to come, helping the organization continue to build a pipeline of strong supporters.
Contributors: Derry Derringer, Gary Friedmann, Kim Gerstman, Jeffrey Lischin, Lisa Mantone, Ross Mudrick, Bruce Temkin, & Mieke Vandersall.
I have worked as a fundraising consultant for almost two decades. I love what I do – witnessing nonprofits surpass their fundraising goals never gets old.
The relationship between a nonprofit client and their fundraising consultant has the potential to be a true gamechanger. The most successful engagements I have witnessed have one thing in common: the client took full advantage of our working relationship. The client was communicative, clear, honest, brave, patient, hard-working, and at the end of the day genuinely enjoyed working with the Heller Fundraising Group.
The Heller Group operates with five staff and approximately 20 collaborating consultants. I believe one of our great strengths, and differentiators, is our ability to provide nonprofits with highly skilled hand-selected teams. We believe that bringing a small group to each organization not only allows for multiple intelligences to work on challenges, but also accomplishes fundraising goals quickly and efficiently. The Heller Group’s highly skilled consultants are all hands-on, trustworthy experts.
These experts have incredible insight, and I am thrilled to feature their voices on the Heller Group Blog. They know exactly what makes the most successful relationship with a consultant.
Perhaps you are thinking about hiring a fundraising consultant or are currently contracted with one — take a moment to read their advice below.
And if you are wondering whether you should hire the Heller Fundraising Group, follow this link to read my blog on the subject!
Without further ado, I present to you the Heller Group’s Top 5 Fundraising Tips for Working with a Consultant:
Be Clear. Communication is Everything!
There’s nothing wrong with needing expert advice and additional hands-on help – two of the most powerful things consultants can offer nonprofits. What makes the consulting relationship go well is communication from both sides of the table on needs and expectations. Here’s what our consulting team says:
Be sure to set up clear expectations and deliverables. – Kim Gerstman
Be clear about your goal. – Derry Derringer
Communicate with your people. Transparency about our process is critically important for success. – Mieke Vandersall
Don’t be shy — communicate often! – Gary Friedmann
Be clear about your needs and capacity. – Jeffrey Lischin
Schedule a few “big picture” check-ins fairly early in the engagement. These conversations shouldn’t focus on specific deliverables, but instead on whether work styles are meshing and whether you’re getting what you need. Often problems can be prevented through proactive communication. – Ross Mudrick
2. Honesty is the best policy
What aren’t you saying about the challenges at your nonprofit? These things will eventually come up. Fundraising brings everything to light – trust me on this. So, let’s start our consulting engagement with all our cards on the table, even the uncomfortable ones. Our team agrees with me:
Be truthful about the strengths and weaknesses of your organization and fundraising program – Kim Gerstman
There are no dumb questions. – Bruce Temkin
Make your needs known, even if it’s painful to admit that some things aren’t going well. The sooner we can get to the root of the problem, the sooner we can solve it. – Ross Mudrick
Give frequent feedback to your consultant about how they are meeting the objectives of the contract. – Kim Gerstman
Be honest with us. The only way that we can work together is if you are honest and truthful with us about your reality. We are able to keep confidentiality and talk through sticky dynamics, and… often…[that is when] we are able to make change. – Mieke Vandersall
3. Take Risks
Look, we’ve all got different levels of risk tolerance. But here’s the thing, no one ever raised more money by staying in the safe zone. Our team knows this from experience…
Be open to change. Take more risks while you have an experienced advisor by your side. – Derry Derringer
You bring the passion, and we’ll bring the fundraising expertise. – Bruce Temkin
Try something new. We are working together to try new things–and those new things are based in how we think about, talk about, and raise money. We might recommend scary things, but they might just help unlock blockages. – Mieke Vandersall
As much as possible, be open to suggestions. You have hired a consultant for their expertise and there may be ideas, while new to the organization, [that] could be impactful to fundraising in the long run. – Lisa Mantone
4. Do the work and trust the process
We’ve seen so many nonprofits raise more money when they engage in the best practices we teach them. We understand, however, it can be hard to believe in the money before you see the money. So, what do you put your trust in? THE PROCESS. It works.
Put in the work. – Derry Derringer
There’s no silver bullet for fundraising success – it takes time. – Bruce Temkin
Provide all needed documents, boilerplate writing samples, documented outcomes. – Jeffrey Lischin
Make sure that you set aside time in your schedule to work with the consultant. – Kim Gerstman
Think about your engagement as being term-limited. If you have questions about why the consultant is doing something the way they’re doing it, ask, so that by the end of the engagement you’re ready to continue the work on your own. – Ross Mudrick
Trust us! We only work well together when we have a culture and relationship of trust. – Mieke Vandersall
5. Chemistry is Key
When you select a company to support your fundraising base the decision on the proposal AND the chemistry. Choose the people who can get you to your goal. People are the secret ingredient.
When selecting a consultant, focus on culture fit. The consultant should be someone you feel comfortable with, that you trust, that you feel gets you and cares about your work. If you like working with the consultant, you’ll get a lot more out of the engagement. – Ross Mudrick
The chemistry has to feel right from the beginning. The consultant should be able to connect viscerally with your mission and articulate the case for support with ease and fluidity. – Gary Friedmann
Communicate with us. Tell us when things aren’t resonating in a particular way to help us learn your own unique culture. – Mieke Vandersall
Enjoy the relationship with the consultant – it is an opportunity to test new initiatives and especially those that may have a great impact on fundraising results. It is a partnership! – Lisa Mantone
We are proud to introduce our new Series “Ask The Expert.” These 45-minute, lunchtime sessions will allow our Nonprofit partners to get all the answers on a specific topic/area of need to help make their nonprofit organization stronger!
Please note we will cap these sessions at 30 and it is first come first serve.
Darren Port, Founder of Powered by Professionals
Darren Port has over 20 years of helping nonprofits raise funds through strategic/creative fundraising events.
Samaia Muhammad, Business Development Director at the Heller Fundraising Group
Samaia is the Business Development Director with the Heller Fundraising Group; responsible for connecting world-class fundraising consultants with mission-driven organizations that are ready to do more with more and advance their efforts toward building stronger communities.
By outsourcing certain technological tasks, nonprofit organizations can focus on their core mission while leaving the day-to-day tasks of managing technology to a third party. This can be a cost-effective way for nonprofits to get the technology they need without breaking the bank.
Technology is an integral part of society and its continuous development. The way that technology has been integrated into our daily lives has changed dramatically over the last few decades, with new technological advances being made all the time. This means that there are always ways to make your work more efficient and effective through the use of technology.
In order to do this, nonprofit organizations are turning to technology outsourcing. By outsourcing certain technological tasks, these organizations can focus on their core mission while leaving the day-to-day tasks of managing technology to a third party.
What is technology outsourcing?
Technology outsourcing for nonprofits refers to the process of hiring a third-party company to provide specific technological services. This can include anything from managing email systems to developing and maintaining websites. By outsourcing these tasks, nonprofits can free up time and resources to focus on their core mission.
There are many benefits to technology outsourcing for nonprofits. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is cost savings. By contracting out technological tasks, nonprofits can often save money compared to hiring in-house staff.
Technology outsourcing can help improve efficiency and effectiveness. By working with a qualified partner, nonprofits can get the expertise and support they need without having to invest in training or infrastructure.
When it comes time to choose a technology outsourcing partner, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Be sure to select a company that has experience in working with nonprofits. This will ensure that they have an understanding of the specific needs and challenges of these organizations.
It is important to select a company that is reliable and trustworthy. Make sure to ask for references and read reviews from past clients.
Evaluate the cost of outsourcing and whether or not it is worth the investment. Nonprofits should carefully consider the amount of time and money that will be saved by outsourcing, and whether or not those savings are significant enough to justify the expense.
Nonprofits should also assess how much control they will have over their outsourced tasks. Will they be able to customize their services to meet their specific needs? Will they have access to support and maintenance if needed?
Finally, be sure to establish clear expectations and parameters with your outsourcing partner. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road. By taking the time to do your research and establish a strong partnership with your technology outsourcing provider, you can maximize the benefits of outsourcing for your nonprofit organization.
Nonprofit organizations can benefit greatly from technology outsourcing. By turning to a third party to manage their technological tasks, these organizations can focus on their core mission and goals.
Outsourcing can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.
Downsides to Technology Outsourcing
There are a few drawbacks to technology outsourcing for nonprofit organizations.
When tasks are outsourced, there can be a loss of control over those tasks. Nonprofits may not be able to customize their technology services the way they would like, and they may have to rely on a third party for support and maintenance.
There is also always a risk that the third party will not be able to meet the expectations of the nonprofit organization. This could lead to frustration on the part of the organization and a decrease in efficiency and effectiveness.
There are a number of resources available to help nonprofits get started with technology outsourcing. TechSoup provides a wealth of information on technology topics as well as many other free and useful resources.
Nonprofit organizations are starting to turn to technology outsourcing for all of the reasons listed above, but before beginning any type of third-party relationship, make sure you carefully evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of outsourcing, as well as how much control they will have over outsourced projects.
You’ll want to make sure you’re getting what you need from your service provider before signing anything – so be sure to do some research beforehand.
“Should you outsource your IT for your nonprofit?” from TechSoup is another great place to start if you still have questions. And of course, don’t forget to ask your peers for recommendations! Many times other nonprofit professionals have already gone through the process of outsourcing and can offer great advice.
Most of us have been hearing about cryptocurrency for years. For those nonprofits who haven’t started accepting cryptocurrency donations already, you might be getting nervous. You’re wondering if you’re missing the boat or if you’re wisely avoiding the newest shiny object.
Some days it seems like everyone is accepting cryptocurrency.
That is certainly not true (yet), but what is true is that there is a meaningful opportunity in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. According to a recent report from The Giving Block, Nonprofits with The Giving Block received an average of $69,644 in crypto donations in 2021. The annual volume of crypto donations jumped from $4.2 million in 2020 to $69.6 million in 2021, an increase of 1,558%.
Let’s pretend, for fun, that the growth in 2022 slows from its blistering 1,558% pace in 2021 to a measly 40%. That would result in nonprofits accepting cryptocurrency receiving, on average, $100,000 in crypto donations.
Anyone out there that wouldn’t like an extra $100,000 in donations next year, please raise your hands.
I don’t see any hands up, so let’s continue.
Ten Things to know about cryptocurrency before jumping in
What is Cryptocurrency?
1. Cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange (e.g. $) that allows direct transactions without third-party processors.
If you want to learn more about cryptocurrency, there are approximately 9,768,456 resources available (give or take), but here’s one that is popular.
10. Failing to appropriately protect your digital wallet and other crypto assets leaves you vulnerable to significant losses that will not be covered by insurance
What to do next
If this article has convinced you that cryptocurrency is worth looking into as a revenue opportunity for your nonprofit, we recommend you reach out to The Giving Block. And if you want help making sure your nonprofit is technology ready and secure (including your crypto), then reach out to us.
How loyal are your employees to your organization? As you consider this question, a few employees might stand out in your mind for their dedication to your nonprofit’s cause or their above-and-beyond contributions to a recent project for your business. But in reality, employee loyalty is a difficult thing to measure and quantify.
That isn’t to say there haven’t been attempts to measure employee loyalty. In 2018, management and consulting firm West Monroe found that 82 percent of employees have a high sense of loyalty to their employers. However, they also found the following:
45% of employees have applied to new jobs after a bad day at work
59% of employees would leave if they got a better offer from another organization
What does this all mean? Employee loyalty is volatile. Similar to a tropical plant that requires exact amounts of water, careful fertilization, specific stretches of time in the sunlight, and consistent pruning, employee loyalty is something you have to carefully nurture.
One current, large-scale threat to employee loyalty is a new trend called “The Great Resignation.” This refers to the massive amount of turnover the U.S. is currently seeing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.4 million employees quit their jobs in September 2021 alone. And The Great Resignation isn’t likely to end soon. Astron Solutions national director Jennifer Loftus recently discussed this topic with other HR experts in a Cerini and Associates webinar, predicting that The Great Resignation will likely continue for the nexttwo years.
A variety of things could be causing so many people to leave their jobs, including burnout from the pandemic and a realigning of personal priorities. But instead of deciphering the causes of The Great Resignation, your organization should focus on mitigating its effects by increasing long-term loyalty among your employees.
In this article, we’ll give you the information you need to understand what employee loyalty is and how to create it in your workplace. We’ll cover the following:
Are you ready to start taking action to improve your employees’ loyalty to your organization and its work? Let’s jump right in!
Employee Loyalty: FAQs
A number of questions can arise when discussing employee loyalty. Let’s tackle a few of these to help you cultivate loyalty among your workers.What is employee loyalty?
Employee loyalty is the idea that employees at your organization are genuinely invested in your organization and its work because they believe in it and want to see it move forward. Loyal employees view your organization as the best place for them to work.Why is employee loyalty important?
Employee loyalty is important because it affects overall employee satisfaction and retention. If an employee is loyal to your organization and is satisfied with their job and compensation, they will be much more likely to continue working at your organization in the long run.What does a loyal employee look like?
There is no comprehensive checklist for determining whether an individual employee is loyal to your organization or not. But loyal employees do have some key qualities, many of which are easy to identify. They come to work on time, complete their work, and participate in company culture. But there are also some characteristics that make a loyal employee stand out from the crowd.
A loyal employee is truly invested in your organization’s work. You may have heard these employees described as “engaged.” They see the bigger picture of your work or mission, instead of just focusing on the day-to-day. This is often reflected in their efforts to improve themselves in their current roles or take advantage of career development opportunities. A loyal employee helps brainstorm ideas that will benefit your organization as a whole and gives honest feedback about their experience because they want to make your organization a better place to work. They also accept final decisions that come from the top and run with them.
Loyal employees also have boundaries. They don’t sacrifice their health, personal endeavors, or time with loved ones for your organization. They take their vacation time, use their sick days, and are better workers because of it.
How do you improve employee loyalty?
You can’t improve loyalty at your organization overnight. Much like a relationship with a donor or client, loyalty has to be cultivated over time, and that effort can take many different forms. In the sections below, we’ll give you actionable strategies for improving employee loyalty.
What employee loyalty means and looks like will vary from organization to organization. Loyalty is a complex idea to define and measure, but there are some effective ways to make positive changes in your organization so you can foster loyalty among your workers. It all starts with what we call “the secret sauce.”
Employee Loyalty: The Secret Sauce
The reality of employee loyalty is that most organizations try to get their employees to truly care about the organization and their work and end up missing the mark. Why?
Because they aren’t applying the “secret sauce.”
This secret sauce comes from an idea David Turt and Todd Nordstrom shared in a 2019 Forbes article called “The Truth About Employee Loyalty, And 5 Things Every Leader Should Know”:
You, as the leader, can only control your loyalty to them. We’ve personally seen so many managers get wrapped up in trying to ‘fix’ employee behavior. That seems like the job of a boss. But, it’s not. As a leader your job is to focus on what you can do to bring the best out of people. If it’s not working, keep focusing on what you could do differently.
-David Turt and Todd Nordstrom
This is the secret sauce: realizing that you can’t control your employees’ feelings about their jobs or your organization. The only thing within your control is your ability to create a work environment in which employees thrive in their roles, causing them to feel loyal to your organization and you as a leader.
Organization leaders who realize they can’t force loyalty look at their employees and their organization differently. They see their employees as assets who need to be treated fairly and compensated in a way that communicates appreciation. These employers do everything in their power to ensure employees enjoy their jobs and have opportunities to learn and grow professionally. Then in return, employers like these get the dedication and investment they want to see from loyal employees.
Now that you know about the secret sauce of employee loyalty, you may be wondering what changes you need to make to your approach to apply the secret sauce and create an environment where employee loyalty can grow.
Employee Loyalty: 15 Tips for Positive Change
What do your employees need from you right now that can help them develop loyalty toward your organization? Check out these 15 tips for creating a workplace that employees will want to stay and thrive in.
Note that some of these tips may need to be modified depending on what your workplace currently looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to follow state and local guidelines and to modify these tips as needed.
1. Work with an HR consultant.
Does your organization have the human resources policies and processes in place to encourage employee engagement and long-term retention? In order for your employees to buy into your organization and its work, you may need to work with an HR consulting firm that can provide an objective third-party evaluation of your current strategies and help you to improve them.
To select an HR consultant for your organization, follow these steps:
Define your needs. Identify what you need from an HR consultant. This might include streamlining your performance management process, changing your approach to compensation, or improving how you find and hire job candidates. Your needs will help guide your search for a consultant.
Discuss with key stakeholders. Before you commit to any engagement with a consultant, make sure your team is on board with the idea of hiring outside help. This will be especially important if you’re working with a strict budget.
Outline your guidelines. Set your expectations for working with an HR consultant. Consider the budget you have, the expected start date, and the timeframe for the engagement.
Begin your research. Search the internet for candidates or reach out to professional connections for recommendations. Remember to consider whether or not you’re willing to work with someone remotely and to filter your options accordingly.
Draft an RFP. An RFP, or request for proposal, will detail your organization’s needs and expectations. When you submit an RFP to a consultant, they can use that context to draft a strategy for your organization, which will help you decide whether or not you want to work with them.
Compare the candidates. Once you’ve submitted your RFP to your chosen candidates and received their proposals, review the proposals and candidates with your leadership team.
Make your pick. After researching your top candidate and reviewing their references, reach out to them and start working together.
HR consultants can help you see the blind spots in your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty at your organization and help you determine what you need to change as an employer. Be open to your consultant’s ideas, but don’t be afraid to push back on or workshop the strategies they bring to the table, too.
2. Equip your employees with the best tools for their work.
Do your employees have the best tools available for their roles? For example, an employee might suggest that Slack or Trello could enhance workplace communication and project management. How do you respond? If you’re willing to try it out, this shows your employees that you care about their ideas to improve how they work.
Providing your employees with the best tools can require investing in technology or other resources you may be unfamiliar with. But letting your employees have more of a say in how they complete their work helps communicate your loyalty to them and receive their loyalty in return.
Plus, never underestimate the effect purchasing up-to-date tools and equipment (like new computer monitors or desk chairs) can have on morale!
3. Discuss retention openly.
Your efforts to retain your employees don’t have to be a secret. In fact, communicating to your employees that you want them to continue working for you can actually help your retention efforts. This will not only make them feel valued, but will also help both you and your employees speak up about what you need to change or keep doing to continue working together.
One of the best spaces for discussing retention is one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Because managers are in the best position to get to know their direct reports and be involved in their work, they are also in a great position to discuss potential retention risks. Here are some questions that can help guide managers when talking about retention:
What do you like about your job?
What do you dislike about your job?
Do you feel like your work is meaningful?
Do you feel you’re able to develop new skills and take advantage of professional development opportunities in your role?
Questions like these can help you proactively extinguish potential employee turnovers before they even have a chance to spark. You can also use retention surveys to gauge new employees’ first impressions of your organization, reasons that star employees stick around, and why employees leave, all of which can inform your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.
4. Take a total rewards approach to compensation.
According to our guide to total rewards compensation, “a total rewards approach to compensation is the most viable method of keeping your employees satisfied, increasing retention rates, and growing your organization sustainably.”
This approach encourages employers to view compensation more holistically, offering not only direct compensation and benefits, but also things like:
Scheduling flexibility and PTO usage
Career development opportunities such as continuing education courses, professional association memberships, and relicensing or recertification opportunities
A total rewards approach to compensation can help you create the kind of internal culture where employees thrive and want to stay. This will encourage them to strive for constant improvement in their roles, boosting retention and loyalty all around.
5. Be transparent about everything.
Transparency is key to building trust and loyalty with your employees. Transparency ensures that both your and your employees’ expectations are clear and can be met. Whether you’re open about compensation or an upcoming merger, employees will appreciate it when you make an effort to keep them updated and involve them in big-picture organizational moves.
It’s also important to be transparent about the negatives. If your nonprofit loses a major source of funding or a client’s relationship with your company sours, employees will want to know. Instead of scaring them away, you’ll show them that your organization has high ethical standards and wants to collaborate with everyone to improve and move forward.
6. Set up an employee recognition program.
According to an Apollo Technical article on employee recognition, an employee who receives recognition for their work is 63% more likely to stay at their current job for the next three to six months. What does this mean for you? Frequent and thoughtful recognition is key for ensuring your employees are happy and productive in their roles, which can increase their feelings of loyalty toward your organization.
Here are a number of ways to recognize your employees:
Set up an incentive plan, encouraging individuals or teams to meet certain goals to earn a reward, like a gift card or an extra day of PTO.
Write thank-you notes for employees that go above and beyond.
Give star employees shoutouts in staff meetings or newsletters.
Select an employee of the month and give that employee extra perks for the month, like a reserved parking spot.
Throw parties or host special lunches or dinners for teams who go above and beyond.
Remember, employee recognition doesn’t have to break the bank. According to our article on low-cost employee recognition, “the point of employee recognition is to make the employee feel valued by the organization.” No matter your budget, you can find a way to incorporate recognition into your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.
7. Provide management training.
Management training can help your employees—from those in entry-level positions all the way to those in top-level management roles—learn more about how your organization works and what it means to be a good boss. These opportunities can help employees who aspire to be in a management role and provide insight for others interested in learning more about why their boss makes the decisions they do.
Offer management training sessions to your employees in which you discuss how you run your organization and how managers fit into the organization’s hierarchy. Create spaces for open discussions about good management techniques, like active listening and providing feedback, so that both managers and their direct reports can get more out of their relationships with management.
Remember, teaching your employees what it means to be a great manager won’t mean much if you don’t live by what you talk about in training. Actively apply the advice you give in training to show your employees how to put it into action themselves.
8. Promote employee health.
Employees will feel more connected to your organization when your organization promotes healthy ways of living. Why? Because employees want to know that you see them as people, not just parts of an always-working machine. There are a variety of ways you can promote healthy living, including:
Offer a mental health stipend.
Hold daily or weekly workplace yoga, meditation, or stretching sessions.
Keep your breakroom stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, and caffeine-free beverages.
Encourage teams to take walking meetings.
Enter teams of interested employees in fun runs or walk-a-thons.
Install standing or cycling desks.
Invite a sleep expert to present to your employees about getting the rest they need.
Host challenges to see which department can walk the most steps or drink the recommended amount of water every day for a certain period of time.
Show your employees that you care about them and their well-being by incorporating more health initiatives into their day-to-day tasks. They’ll be more satisfied and happy with their jobs, as they’ll feel like your organization is a place where they can both develop professionally and maintain or improve their mental, physical, and emotional health.
9. Facilitate social events.
Employees need friends at work to enjoy their jobs and want to stay with your organization. To create an environment where friendships can grow, host social events. These events can be big or small. For example, you might organize an after-work happy hour, take the office out for lunch, host a holiday party, or even set up an employee trip to an amusement park.
Ask your employees for suggestions and be sure to listen. They’ll let you know what social opportunities are the best fit for them, and they’ll love the chance to meet people from other departments and develop memories outside of their day-to-day work with each other.
10. Provide career development opportunities.
Another great way to increase your employees’ loyalty to your organization is to offer them career development opportunities. Career development opportunities are likely already part of your organization’s talent management process. But also thinking about them as something that employees want and need to feel more invested in their work can help your efforts to increase loyalty.
Here are some popular opportunities you can offer your employees:
Stretch Assignments: These are out-of-the-ordinary assignments that require employees to learn and develop a new skill.
Cross-Functional Teamwork: This gives employees the opportunity to work with a team or department they usually don’t get to interact with in the scope of their daily duties.
Continuing Ed Courses: Continuing education courses, especially those that offer continuing education credits, can give your employees the chance to learn from experts in their field.
Recertification/Relicensing Opportunities: If your industry requires employees to recertify or relicense, your organization can provide study materials and pay for the relicensing exams to encourage employees to keep their skills sharp.
Conferences and Webinars: Provide your employees with opportunities to network and mingle with people in their field, allowing them to develop professional relationships and keep up with new industry knowledge.
Association Memberships: Associations create a community of professionals within the same field and provide opportunities like networking, conferences, workshops, and social events to help your employees grow their professional networks.
Management Training: In-house management training can help your employees develop a stronger understanding of how your organization works, how they can get the most out of their relationships with their managers, and how they can work toward a management position.
No matter where your employees are in their professional lives, it’s always a good idea to promote continuous learning and improvement. Providing career development opportunities like these can help you develop a great reputation with your employees as you encourage them to learn and grow within your organization.
11. Focus on diversity and inclusion.
According to Glassdoor, 76% of employees and job seekers report that diversity is an important factor when they evaluate companies and jobs. Work with your organization’s top leaders to evaluate your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. You might need to take action to adopt fairer hiring practices or to revise your compensation approach.
Remember, it’s not enough to just talk about DEI. Your employees want to see you making real, positive changes in the workplace.
12. Empower employees to give back.
Employees love to see opportunities from their employers to give back to the community. Opportunities to donate or volunteer enrich employees’ lives, and they also boost your reputation in your local area. Here are some opportunities you might consider offering:
Donation Matching: One of the most popular ways for employees to give back is to donate to causes they care about. Try offering gift matching to help employees increase their donations’ impact. To learn more about the good that gift matching can do, check out 360MatchPro’s article on corporate giving and philanthropy.
Volunteer Grants:Volunteer grants are donations organizations make to nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer. These grants encourage employees to volunteer more and can be a great boon to nonprofits.
Corporate Volunteer Days: When you organize a corporate volunteer day, you’re arranging for all of your employees to participate in a nonprofit’s cause for the day. Whether you’re building a new playground or tutoring school kids, your employees will find fulfillment in lending a helping hand on these designated days.
If giving back is something that your organization values, providing opportunities for employees to do the same communicates to them that your organization is consistent and has a genuine desire to do good. As you look for ways to help your employees make a difference in your community, you’ll likely notice an increase in dedication to your organization.
13. Show appreciation for the little things.
When it comes to recognizing your employees or communicating how appreciated they are, remember to thank them for the little things. An employee might clean the coffee pot, water the office plants, or take notes in a meeting without being asked. Be sure to tell them “thank you.” Those two words can go a long way in making your employee feel like they belong at your organization.
14. Change up the routine.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your employees is to shake things up. A change in routine can be a lot of fun, relieve stress, and reset your team to be more productive. Try out one of these ideas:
Hosting a work retreat
Surprising your employees with catered breakfast or lunch
Bringing in therapy dogs for employees to interact with for an afternoon
Hosting meetings in different locations, like outside of your office building
Switching out office chairs for exercise balls for a day
Monotony can turn into a retention risk. By demonstrating that your organization works hard to make each day fresh and new, you can make a positive impression on your employees.
15. Listen to your employees’ feedback.
To feel invested in their work and loyal to your organization, employees need to know that when they give their managers feedback, suggestions, or ideas, they are being heard. Surveys are a great tool for getting feedback from your employees. When employees can remain anonymous, there’s less pressure to keep their ideas to themselves and more encouragement to share what’s on their minds.
To learn more about surveys and to choose survey questions that will help you get actionable feedback, we suggest working with an HR consultant. A consultant can help you design a survey, administer it, understand the survey responses, and implement positive changes to make your organization a better place to work.
Employee loyalty is complex, and your employees’ feelings about your organization can change on a regular basis. However, when you apply the “secret sauce” and work to demonstrate your loyalty to your employees by applying the tips we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll start to see more dedication to and investment in your organization’s work.
To get expert help with your efforts to cultivate employee loyalty, reach out to an HR consulting firm like Astron Solutions. Astron Solutions can provide you with the services and solutions you need to improve your employer brand and keep your organization moving forward.
Interested in learning more? Check out these additional resources:
As we move deeper into 2022, many of the issues that have impacted the sector in 2020 and 2021 continue to affect us in 2022. The Covid pandemic doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, Nonprofits are faced with the Great Resignation, supply shortages, cyber security threats, and lack of funding. If Nonprofits are fully aware of the issues they are facing they can hopefully get ahead of them and make the most of 2022.
IMPACT OF COVID:
The Coronavirus continues to take a center stage and it will for most, if not all of 2022.
Change in WorkForce: 55% of all employees want a hybrid work model, it is what they have become accustomed to over the last 2 years, so nonprofits need to relook at their structure to determine if this is possible and how they can continue to ensure that these employees are effective remote.
Vaccination/Mask Policies: Organizations will need to continue to monitor the ever-changing regulatory environment and remain compliant as employees’ and constituents’ safety remain a top priority.
Start and Stop of services: We expect there to continue to be the need to be flexible to ensure that everyone is able to pivot at a moment’s notice, especially after we all just witnessed the aggressive nature of the omicron variant. We are predicting to see more of a return of services to pre-pandemic levels by the 3rd or 4th quarter.
THE GREAT RESIGNATION:
19 million US workers quit their job between April and September 2021. Causing remaining team members to be carrying more responsibility than they were in the past. To combat this and retain employees we must look at multiple things:
Developing Strong Leadership: Employees are not as connected to an organization as they once were, they are instead connected to their team and leadership. It is important to look at your leaders and ensure that they are working effectively with their teams.
Flexible work schedule: People’s priorities have shifted to more of a focus on work-life balance, family, travel, etc.
Prioritize your people: Employees are looking for added benefits and a priority on mental health.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: This needs to be more than policies, it should be part of your organizational DNA.
Increased Salaries: Nonprofits can expect to have to provide raises of at least 3-6%.
Nonprofits need to develop budgets and contingency budgets, being ready to react quickly. CARES Act funding has dried up and with inflation, organizations should expect a potential rise in cost. Plus, with volunteerism down 66%, those services you once had volunteers for, may now require you to hire staff for. As a result, it is increasingly important to relook at your fundraising strategy:
Using SMS marketing strategy as opposed to email, we are seeing text messages have a 99% open rate, while emails have a 33% rate.
Make your website mobile-friendly, we are all spending more and more time on our phones and less and less on our computers. You need to work to ensure that people can easily make donations from their phones.
Make it easy for people to donate with apps like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
We will see a continued rise in Crypto Currency donations. Last year, on giving Tuesday $2.4 million in crypto was donated, which is 583% more than the previous year’s Giving Tuesday. Don’t miss out make sure you are set up to receive crypto donations.
Be personal. Don’t just reach out for end of year giving, form meaningful relationships with your donor’s and increase monthly giving.
Make asks relatable. People want to have an idea of what impact their money is making (examples: a book in the hand of a child, housing for a month, etc.).
Expect technology to continue to play a big role in events going forward. Have streaming options and text communications throughout your event to make sure everyone can be a part of it.
We are all seeing an increase in Cybersecurity issues. According to the Institute for Critical Infrasturuce Technology, 50% of nonprofits have experienced a ransomware attack. In order to protect the data of your volunteers, constituents, and donors it is important to take these threats seriously. Nonprofits should look at options for cybersecurity training to ensure their employees are aware of what to look for and how to avoid these threats.
In the last 2 years we have seen a shift in how we use our space, clean our spaces, capacity of space, etc.
Space will need to be more malleable to meet the changing needs of the organization on a day-to-day basis.
Re-evaluate office space, on average, office space cost $5,000 per person per year. Relook at your space … do you need it all? Can you renegotiate your lease to downsize?
With hybrid schedules office staff is constantly rotating and people will most likely not have permanent desks anymore, this will increase the need for disinfection and will require more durable furniture.
With us being a little more than a month into 2022, we see things continuing to change and pivot. If the last two years have taught us anything it is that anything is possible. So continue to be flexible as we move forward.
Ken is the Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, LLP and is the executive responsible for the administration of our not-for-profit and educational provider practice groups. In addition to his extensive audit experience, Ken has been directly involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State in such areas as cost reporting, financial analysis, Medicaid compliance, government audit representation, rate maximization, board training, budgeting and forecasting, and more.
You’ve worked hard to encourage many of your supporters to attend your nonprofit’s fundraising events. With the help of your digital marketing campaign, personalized phone calls, and targeted online ads, your RSVP list grew longer than you could’ve imagined.
But true donor connection and engagement needs to extend beyond your event. So the million dollar question is, how can you convert them into long-term supporters?
According to The 2021 Giving Experience study by OneCause, 64% of attendees rated their experience as excellent and 34% rated it as good. Your event gives your nonprofit a starting point to deepen engagement and forge stronger relationships. Think about it — attendees have already expressed an interest in supporting your mission via your fundraising event. They are primed to continue their support if you put in place the right stewardship strategies from the start!
Sourcing long-term supporters at your next event might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these top tips to leverage your fundraising event to foster long-term relationships with supporters:
Make a good first impression.
Perfect your messaging.
Ensure it’s easy to donate.
Keep in touch.
Sourcing and retaining long-term supporters is one of the most effective ways to generate sustainable donation revenue for your cause. And those potential regular supporters are right in front of you at your events. Let’s get started!
1. MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION.
Whether your supporters are repeat, first-time, or lapsed supporters, you need to make a great first impression. A good first impression extends past the first few minutes of your event and should be part of your planning for the entire event. Everything matters, from your registration setup, to your event communications, to how you thank your attendees afterwards.
When it comes to making a good first impression, be intentional. Think about ways to make the supporter experience seamless, fun, and grounded in your mission. Use these strategies to give attendees an experience to remember:
Personalization: Potential long-term supporters want to feel valued by your organization. Give them a personalized experience. On your emails, invitations, and communications, use your supporter’s first name rather than a generic “Dear Donor” greeting. Go a step further and try to learn a bit about select first-time attendees so you can identify ways to form a meaningful connection at your event.
Organization: A well-organized event conveys professionalism and trustworthiness, and helps your mission shine. Be sure to keep organization and a seamless experience at the center of your planning. This is especially important if you’re hosting a a hybrid event, with two distinct guest experiences (remote and in-person). To keep your hybrid events running smoothly, check out this OneCause hybrid fundraising guide.
Appreciation: Your attendees have taken time out of their busy schedules to support your nonprofit, so be sure to create ways to show appreciation, throughout your attendee experience. Dedicate time during the event to express gratitude and create personalized thank you moments.
Remember, a well-organized and personal event will leave a strong, lasting impression. Whether you’re hosting an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event, start your planning process in advance to give you and your team enough time to prepare a great first impression.
2. PERFECT YOUR MESSAGING.
Cultivating a personal relationship with your attendees is important, but the relationship won’t stick unless your attendees connect with your mission at your event. Whether your event is about raising awareness about your cause or encouraging donations for a campaign, perfecting your messaging is crucial. To strengthen your messaging:
Align your tone with your brand: The tone you use in your messaging builds your brand. Be sure that the way you talk about your nonprofit, cause, and mission all have a consistent tone, brand voice, and strengths-based language.
Tie messaging back to your mission: Your mission should be at the heart of everything you do. In your marketing materials, communications, and event information — do one thing: tie everything back to your mission!
Emphasize donor impact: Your supporters want to know their contributions make a difference. Throughout your event, show how long-term support can drive impact and improve lives. Be sure to use concrete examples and impact statements.
Your messaging creates depth for your supporters — it’s what ignites their passion for your cause and creates a memorable experience. By spending time crafting a powerful mission message for your event, one that resonates with your audience, you can deepen your connection with short-term attendees and start building long-term supporters relationships.
3. ENSURE IT’S EASY TO DONATE.
Supporters, whether they’re one-time or recurring donors, value ease and convenience. Our Giving Experience study found that 64% of donors contributed to a nonprofit because “it was easy to do.”
Start with your donation form. Look at it from the donor’s perspective. Ask yourself:
Is it easy to use?
Can you complete it from your phone?
How many steps does it take from start to finish to complete a donation?
Streamline your donation form as much as possible, especially if you’re directing virtual attendees to your website to donate. With the right fundraising software, you can customize your donation form to create a seamless giving experience. Remember your donors are consumers in real-life too. They want their giving to be as easy as their online shopping experience. So be sure your donation form delivers!
When customizing your donation form, have a pop-up or other option asking if donors would like to become recurring donors. Include a blurb on how recurring donors can deepen the impact of your mission. Simple, powerful recurring donation requests can encourage supporters to commit to your cause long-term.
You can get supporters more involved by actively encouraging them to explore matching gift opportunities. Perhaps their employer will match their donation on a monthly basis. Many supporters have no idea about the availability or power of matching gifts. Using matching gift software, you can quickly help supporters verify if their employer matches donations.
In the end, whether your event is virtual, hybrid, or in-person, a streamlined donation process will help your cause increase the chances of converting supporters from one-time gift givers towards more impactful contributions.
4. KEEP IN TOUCH.
Once you’ve formed a connection with your donor at the event, you need to sustain the relationship with effective communication. Regularly communicating with your supporters, even if they’ve only donated once, will demonstrate that you value every contribution and might encourage them to donate more frequently.
Here a few meaningful ways to stay in touch with your supporters:
Send your annual report: Your annual point is an ideal place to show donors the impact of their contributions. Consider creating a digital version of your annual report to send out to all of your donors so they can see what your nonprofit has been up to.
Offer connection opportunities: You could also keep in touch with your supporters by sharing different ways for them to get involved beyond donating. Send information about signing up for volunteer opportunities if your supporters have previously expressed interest in getting more involved.
Encourage peer-to-peer involvement: Don’t forget to highlight potential peer-to-peer fundraising opportunities! For instance, if you’re hosting a 5K run, encourage your donors to solicit donations from their friends and family members to support their participation in the run. Create templates and other marketing materials to help your supporters effectively connect with their network.
While you don’t want to overwhelm your supporters with communications, it’s important to stay in contact with them throughout the year and to connect with them in meaningful ways that extend beyond a donation ask. Find ways to communicate, share, and invite them into your mission. This creates long-term value for both your supporters and your nonprofit.
Long-term supporters are the backbone of your organization, and their contributions help sustain your work towards your mission. By connecting with supporters at your event and then following up on those relationships afterwards, you can source and keep more supporters for the long-term. Happy Fundraising!