In this blog, we’ll give you an insight into our May Data Slam 2021 webinar fundraiser, and why you should get involved. This month, we’re talking all about data and how fundraisers can use this to communicate with their donors and form stronger relationships. Data is very important to any nonprofit or charity, as it can be used as a way to learn more about your donors; who they are, what they value, and how they see themselves as part of your organisation’s mission.

That’s why we’re bringing fundraisers from all over the world together for our May Data Slam 2021 virtual event, and just like the traditional poetry slams, our webinar will be loud, lively and jam-packed with fun sessions. The virtual conference will aim to help you get started, and do more, with data. Whether you’re a frontline fundraiser looking to learn more from what donors are telling us, or a tech-savvy all-things-data Excel jockey, we’ve got a session for you!

Take a look at our insight into the May Data Slam 2021 webinar below, including location, time, date and session highlights.

When and where is the May Data Slam taking place?

Our May Data Slam will take place on Thursday 13th May 2021 and starts 2pm BST (9am EST). The entire summit is being broadcast online and will be three hours long. 

The event will be curated and hosted by Sam Laprade CFRE and T.Clay Buck CFRE.

Who should attend?

Not sure why you should attend the May Data Slam? Well, if:

Then our Data Slam is definitely for you!

Key sessions 

The Ultimate Guide to Fundraising Databases - Chad Barger

So, where do you keep your data? Join master trainer, Chad Barger, CFRE, for a look at the FREE ‘Ultimate Guide to Fundraising Databases’ online guide that he maintains. Chad will also spend a few minutes reviewing how to best evaluate a fundraising database in order to ensure that it will meet your needs.

Undaunting the daunting - Helen Brown

You’ve got a precious asset (your nonprofit’s data) and you know that you need to keep it safe. But what does that mean? Safe from what, or whom? And why? And how? In this session, Helen Brown will provide a flyover of the legalities and due diligence requirements impacting fundraising and point you to solutions to keep your nonprofit’s donor data safe and compliant. 

Yes, You Can Plan a New Donor Welcome Series in 20 Minutes! - Maureen Wallbeoff

Donor journeys all begin with one thing; the first gift to your organization. This is the most important time for you to begin to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with them. And that means a new donor welcome series!

But many nonprofit teams feel stuck when it’s time to create these email messages; we’d rather do nothing than get it wrong. Join digital strategist Maureen Wallbeoff as she shows you exactly how to plan a simple, effective new donor welcome series in just 20 minutes.

Humanizing Artificial Intelligence: How AI can help every fundraiser build stronger, more authentic donor relationships - Nejeed Kassam

89% of nonprofit professionals believe Artificial Intelligence can make their organization more efficient, yet almost 80% of nonprofits do not have access to this technology. In this session, come and learn the fundamentals of how you can wield AI as a powerful tool in your work as a fundraiser, everyday. 

You’ll leave with a better understanding of how predictive analytics empower fundraisers and offer unprecedented opportunities to strengthen donor relationships. Your knowledge, combined with the power of Artificial Intelligence are going to change the way you fundraise.

Self Determination and the Future of Data - Amy Sample Ward

The way we structure our world influences what we think is possible and what we allow to take shape. This is true in technology, in data, in fundraising, and social change work in general. 

What does it look like when we release those structures? What is made possible in ourselves when who we are and what we do is not confined to a predetermined check box? Together, let’s envision the possibilities of a better world we can make tomorrow through the changes we make today.

Data, Data Everywhere - Steve MacLaughlin

We are swimming in data, but often bone dry on wisdom. Why is getting more out of data such a challenge? What does it take to embrace using data? Who are organisations that have become truly data driven? Have you heard about Digital Transformation? How could you not! 

It has become the latest buzzword for CEOs, Board Members, and would-be change agents. But what are we really talking about and what are the implications for charities? Real digital transformation must use digital strategies, processes, and tools to do something that transforms the organization - not just improves current practice. 

Join Steve MacLaughlin, vice president of product management at Blackbaud and best selling author of Data Driven Nonprofits to explore and demystify data in the social good sector.

Respect Your Donors with Gender-Inclusive Data - Jude Shimer

Using gender pronouns and salutations can make or break an interaction with any donor, but especially trans and nonbinary donors. Don’t narrow your prospects by assuming donors feel most respected by traditional gendered titles. Improve your relationships and grow your base by embracing gender-inclusive data practices.

Marketing and Fundraising, a data match made in heaven - Safiyyah Gareeboo

Are you marketing and fundraising teams siloed? This is fairly common and can often lead to data frustrations. CRM has the power to pool resources from each team whilst meeting your individual needs and remaining data secure. This talk will highlight key issues and provide tips on how to overcome them to achieve better data quality across your organisation. Working together will help you and your data be more impactful!

How to get involved

If you want to get involved, you can book your early bird place today, here. If you’re already a Fundraising Everywhere member then there’s no need to register! The event will be subtitled and recorded for you to watch back at any time for 30 days post-event.

Please let us know if you need additional accessibility support by contacting [email protected] before May 5th.

Last week we ran a member's-only Fundraising Clinic with some really interesting questions and ideas. One question was around what you should say on a thank you call, and how you teach non-fundraiser volunteers how to make them.

For this week's Fundraising EveryWeek we thought we'd share some of our answer with you.

We don't want to overthink or overplan our thank you calls. We're trying to avoid sounding too rigid or formal or scripted. In fact, we don't use a script…I recommend just thinking of a general structure and letting the rest of the conversation flow.

Imagine you're talking to your elderly neighbour, or your friend's parents or a friend of a friend. We're not overly familiar but as non-profits we have the luxury of being a bit friendlier than a bank or insurance company.

This is the structure I recommend:

In reality our supporters are going to take us on random tangents. They don't follow a script…and that's OK. This is an exploratory call where we're listening for information and opportunities and helping our supporter feel heard and fee important.

So let's go through it briefly…

Introduce & Build Rapport
We want to try to take the cold out of the call as quickly as possible. They're suspicious and hesitant so how can we remove that? Tell them why you're calling. Tell them the connection. Tell them what you know about them. "You filled out our survey." "You get our newsletter." "You donated to us last year." Anything that tells them you're not a stranger.

Thanks & Achievements
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You can't thank someone too much, as long as it's honest. In fact we're going to continue thanking them throughout the whole call. Thank you for your donation, thanks for signing up to your newsletter, thanks for making a complaint. There's always a reason to thank someone. So tell them what has been achieved because of them.

Check Data
One of the things I love about phone is that we get something out of it even if it's not a financial ask. Now is the time to double check that address, capture their email address or find out anything else you'd like to know about them.

Most importantly, find out what they think. "Why did you decide to donate?" "What did you think of our event?" "What did you think of the news story over the weekend?" Open questions that show your supporter they're valued gets them interested and gets them talking. And that's what we want. The more they talk, the more engaged they are and the more we learn. Asking questions is one of the greatest tools a fundraisers has.

There's more to how we can make them feel great and discover more fundraising opportunities. But that's a pretty good start.

The most important thing is that they get done. They help retain donors, spark further gifts, bring in employers and friends and tap in to volunteers. They're lovely.

Members get exclusive access to a monthly virtual Fundraising Clinic where we answer their specific questions and have an open discussion about the challenges they're facing right now. You can become a member here for only €20 per month.