The Hodge Group is Going Green!

Leslie Kreinberg has been named The Hodge Group Green Team lead.

An estimated 50 billion bottles of water are consumed per annum in the US and around 200 billion bottles globally. If all of these bottles were lined up together they would stretch to the Moon and back 56 times.

The Hodge Group is now sponsoring reusable water bottles for your conference to end the use of disposable water bottles and keep them out of our landfills. See us, The Hodge Group Green Team, in action at CRD this fall in Washington DC.

Email Leslie to learn easy ways to make your organization more green!


Back To Basics: Giving Donors What They Want

All charities have been challenged to maintain and grow their private fundraising base during this recent economic downturn. Some people are out of work or worried they will lose their jobs. Others are worried that job loss may affect them in the future. As a result, giving habits have changed.

Even people of considerable wealth have altered their philanthropic behavior. They have become more discriminating and have trimmed down the list of charities they support. Yet, these same wealthy donors are actually increasing the amount they give to certain organizations. Donors are responding positively to charities that are staying in touch and communicating how they are coping with the recession while still providing critical services in the community. The 'back to basics' hints that follow can help your organization remain on donors' preferred giving list.

Donors Want Information
Donors are conducting more and more research prior to making a giving decision, so says Penelope Burk, author of Donor Centered Fundraising. This means they are looking for information and validation about organizations that they are considering.

The Hodge Group suggests these three ideas for helping donors get the information they need to feel good about supporting your organization:

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Pay attention to your website. Websites have become an organization's front door, a first point of contact. What will donors or prospects see when they visit your site? Make it easy for them to find your organization's mission, values, and priorities. Be sure visitors don't have to search hard to find information about "How to Give." Update content frequently to demonstrate that you have a dynamic organization. If you host a Facebook or Twitter page, be sure to check in daily to see what people are saying (or asking) about your organization.

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Revisit your case for support. Make sure it is up to date, compelling, and easy to find on your organization's website. Don't just brag about how fine your organization is. It's important to tell why your organization makes a difference in your community. Provide some stories or testimonials to illustrate your successes.

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Post your newsletter and 990 on your website. Periodic printed newsletters can find extended life and value when you post them on line. It's an excellent way to keep fresh information in front of your constituents. You should also be aware that experienced donors are likely to seek out your 990 if they are considering making a major gift to your organization. You can provide this information by posting a link to a PDF of your 990.

Donors Want a Rewarding Giving Experience
Strive to make the donor's entire giving experience stress free, easy, and gratifying. Sometimes charities are so focused on getting a gift that they forget what they should do afterwards.

Here are a few tips for making the giving experience a real pleasure for your donors:

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Offer secure on-line giving or a printable gift form that can be mailed in with a check. Include a remittance envelope with newsletters as well as direct mail solicitations. Some organizations enclose a remittance envelope with each gift acknowledgement. Your website may also offer suggestions for making larger gifts with a variety of financial assets such as appreciated securities, insurance, qualified retirement plans, etc. Be sure you are prepared to discuss these options if donors call for more information.

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Provide prompt gift acknowledgements that have a personal touch. Reference the purpose or trigger for the gift. Give serious consideration to who should sign the letters. Signatures can come from staff, CEO, board members, volunteers, or grateful clients. Donors also appreciate personal thank-you phone calls from staff or volunteers.

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Tell donors how their gift has helped. Assemble outcome data and anecdotes from programs receiving private support and send donors the information. This is especially important for those who are giving at higher levels and who have been loyal donors over a period of years. Donors really appreciate knowing just how their support has made a difference. They also like hearing from you when you're not soliciting.

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Don't overdo solicitations! Test your solicitation schedule by asking a few donors or volunteers how much is too much. Some organizations are soliciting 5 or 6 times a year. Many donors say this is too frequent. Use donor 'touch' opportunities instead to provide information rather than another 'ask.' A thoughtful, informative touch is often more effective at prompting the next gift than an unwelcome ask.

Let The Hodge Group help you with your fundraising challenges.


Blue Jay Across the USA - Westminster on Tour 2009!

The Road Crew is having an experience of a lifetime traveling cross-country meeting Westminster alumni (Russ Hodge ’81 in July), students, families and friends. Thank you for your support of this new, exciting multi-city event!

Follow the 2009 Road Crew Online! Maddy '11, Gina '09, Jason '09 and Sarah Beth '10 have been blogging and posting photos and videos during the road trip. Go to: http://bluejayacrosstheusa.shutterfly.com

Support the Road Trip - Purchase Raffle Tickets! Click here to buy them online - 1 for $5 or 5 for $20. Support the Road Trip and enter for a chance to win a Westminster Carhartt Jacket, Westminster Nike Dri-Fit Polo, Westminster Watch, Pearl Necklace (donated by Joe Genovese '92), a Wooden Platter (hand turned by Jim Orton '55), and many other exciting items!

www.westminster-mo.edu/go/2009roadtrip


The Hodge Group has been selected as a member of the Giving Institute, an international association of leaders in the philanthropic consulting field.

Visit www.givinginstitute.org


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