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The Power of the Pen: Getting the Right Message to the Right People (Part 4/4)

Have you ever sat down to draft an annual fundraising campaign letter only to realize the words just won’t seem to materialize on the page? Has writer’s block ever stymied your efforts to craft the perfect request for support of a special project? Do you sometimes struggle to translate a passion for your museum into a compelling message? If you answered yes to any of the above, this presentation is for you! Learn from a panel of professionals representing museums of all sizes, and take away tips for engaging donors.

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The Power of the Pen: Getting the Right Message to the Right People (Part 4/4)

  1. 1. Getting the right message to the right people
  2. 2. Start with the Basics • Correct spelling of names • Correct addressee and salutation • Correct addresses • Correct gifts • Correct memberships • Correct preferences • These components have to be PERFECT.
  3. 3. Layer on More Information • Events • Volunteer activities • Public programs participation • Interests (based on interactions, surveys, etc.) • Use all these data points to segment your mailings. • What are similar qualities that your donors/prospects share?
  4. 4. Segmentation • Make your content more relevant to your donors. • Use your data points to segment your mailings.
  5. 5. Planning and Tracking August August September October November November November November Segment Stewardship- General Collections: Energy Living Lab Botany Stewardship Staff AR - No Ask AR - Ask AF Appeal Board of Directors - Current Board of Directors - Honorary, Emeritus Board of Directors - Past Binational Advisory Board Board Committees Board Prospects Government Officials (From Custom List) Staff - Current, Past, Retired, Contractor Live Oaks Members $250+ Donors from 2016-now BTS Group Education/MAF (AF - Under $1000) BRCC (AF - Under $1000) 2016–2019 ($5–$999) SPC (Over $799) Current LC's Lapsed LC's from 2016-now LC Prospects (7/1/2016+) Family Days/Storytime Tickets from 2018 Nat at Night 2019 Escape Room Attendees Natural History 101 Attendees Live Oaks Key Prospects Live Oaks Prospective
  6. 6. Botany Appeal - Year One • Sent to: • Volunteers (active, inactive, prospective) • Past donors to botany • Public program (specific to botany) participants • 7.38% overall response rate • 35% response from active volunteers • Average gift $194; 16% were first time donors (non-members) and 33% were first time donors (members)
  7. 7. Botany Appeal - Years Two and Three Year Two: $10,000 challenge gift from year one donor • Sent to: • Volunteers (active) and past botany donors • 30.77% overall response rate; average gift $300 Year Three: $10,000 challenge gift again • Sent to bigger group: • Volunteers (active, inactive, prospective) and past botany donors • 12% overall response rate; average gift $249
  8. 8. Say thank you. Say it again. And again. • Customize your thank you letters. • Send gift specific stewardship letters. • Create events where you know there is interest. Use segmentation for your all your follow-up activities.
  9. 9. Eowyn Bates VP of Advancement San Diego Natural History Museum ebates@sdnhm.org