Listen to our exclusive interview with Dan Doyle:
In this podcast, we talk with Dan Doyle, Chief Evangelist at Fundraising Report Card, a fundraising analytics platform that helps nonprofit organizations measure the performance of their fundraising campaigns, gain insights into constituent data, and raise more money more efficiently — all essential to running a nonprofit.
The Creation of Fundraising Report Card
Fundraising Report Card was started by a couple of people from a company called MarketSmart which helps nonprofits around the country build their major giving and legacy giving pipeline. They saw that their clients were struggling to analyze their programs as they didn’t have any tools with which to do so. So, on a whim, Greg Warner, the founder of MarketSmart, and Zach Shefska, the COO, decided to build a tool that would help nonprofits analyze their fundraising programs. With the help of a team of coders and programmers at MarketSmart, they created Fundraising Report Card and built all the key dashboards and KPIs that nonprofits need and rely on.
Our interview with Dan Doyle discusses ways Fundraising Report Card can help you fundraise more efficiently. Their clients get growth dashboards, and they can look at things like their revenue and donor growth year over year, quarter over quarter, and month over month. They also get retention dashboards, so they can look at the retention by loyalty. Perhaps most importantly, clients can access lifetime value customized to them based upon the information they send and upgrade or downgrade reports. Additionally, Funding Report Card offers 12 KPIs, which clients can use to better understand their program.
Where to Begin?
Your focus will generally depend on what stage your business is at. If you’re a new organization, you’re probably going to focus on growth and whether you are growing year over year. If you’re a mature organization, your focus is more likely to be upgrades and downgrades and donor retention.
One key advantage of using Fundraising Report Card’s platform is that they offer a free version which is great for organizations that are just starting out and need the most help. This type of business doesn’t have the budget for an agency, let alone business intelligence tools, so it’s great that they can have these tools up and running within a minute at no cost. You can check it out at fundraisingreportcard.com.
Simple and Intuitive
Dan explains that their platform is incredibly user-friendly — a plus if you’re new to the business world. He adds that clients just upload a three-column CSV or Excel file from their database and start using their tools. Their typical client already has a CRM tool for its fundraising program. They then develop the criteria for people they want to analyze, export those donors off their CRM tool, and then upload them. As mentioned above, the Fundraising Report Card platform only requires three columns of data: a unique ID, a gift date, and a gift amount. It’s that simple.
If you can’t get a three-column CSV or Excel file off of your database, you have bigger problems than the analysis endpoints.
Frequency of Analysis
A typical client would first upload their file and look at their data through a fundraising assessment at least on an annual basis. They would examine factors like growth, dollars and donors, and retention rates. They can do a multi-year analysis and look back several years to see if their retention rate is improving or decreasing.
Dan explains that while initially, their typical client does an annual assessment, Fundraising Report Card likes to drive their clients to do an assessment at least semi-annually, and then quarterly, which is optimal.
Good Funding is Critical
Nonprofits are deeply rooted in doing good for others but all the good intentions in the world will get you nowhere if you don’t have any money.
There’s an old saying in fundraising: No money, no mission.
And so, fundraising is critical — it’s the engine that keeps the organization focused on its mission.
Lastly, in addition to quarterly assessments through the Fundraising Report Card platform, Dan recommends keeping the following in mind when addressing your nonprofit’s funding needs:
- Have an investment mentality. Be willing to invest in order to find new donors to support your organization. Don’t shy away from it as it’s key for startup nonprofits.
- Be willing to try things that are new and different. Experiment with new tools and don’t get lulled into doing the same thing year after year. Stick with what works, but always look to new and different fundraising tools.
We also recommend:
- Should I Incorporate My New Org and a Profit or Nonprofit?
- How to Find Ideas for Your Social Enterprise that You’ll Want to Pursue
- Why Every Social Enterprise Needs a Business Model And How to Get One
Transcription of Interview (Transcribed by OtterAI; there may be errors.)
Adam Force 0:00
Hey, what’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. This is your host, Adam Force. And if you missed last week’s episode, it was with Cassie Parks who talks about money stories is all about your money mindset, the blocks that people have, and how she helps people overcome those blocks even has a program $10,000 in 90 days.
And she says she’s blowing that number away some really interesting conversation and very important, you know, insights to understand about the money mindset. So if you missed that, jump over to listen to the interview with Cassie parks. Today, we’re going to be talking to Dan Doyle, he’s a chief evangelist for the fundraising report card. And basically, it’s an analytics and reporting tool for nonprofits provided by market smart. And so fundraising report was actually developed with one very specific goal in mind. And that is to help nonprofits raise more money efficiently.
So we’re going to talk to Dan about all the ins and outs and how it actually does that and what value it brings to, you know, people in different levels of their business startups versus larger nonprofits. And so you can see where you fit in for anybody listening right now that has a nonprofit or thinking about a nonprofit, these metrics, these metrics, and this type of data is very, very important when you’re trying to grow a nonprofit. So yeah, this will be helpful information for you guys to hear what Dan has to say about that.
Another update is just if you haven’t stopped by the website in a while guys changecreator.com, we do have a new free report, I was going to say program free report. And it is called three skills every entrepreneur must have to grow impact business. And these are three things that are just really important to focus on. So if you’re feeling confused, you don’t know where to put your energy and your time. These are three things where you should really be putting your time and energy to start developing and growing your business. Okay?
So this is going to be helpful for you as a self development, opportunity, a business growth opportunity. And there’s really good insights, and we’d love to hear your feedback on it. So you know, if you download that if you’re not already get into our Facebook group storytelling strategies to grow your impact business, and we want to hear from you what is the key insights? What questions do you have, we have an amazing community and it’s growing, and it’s very, very engaged. So we’d love for you to be part of that community. So find us on Facebook, guys, this is where we hang out. This is where we do a lot of cool stuff. Alright, we’re going to jump into this conversation with Dan Doyle. Thank you all for being here. And I hope you enjoy this.
Okay, show me the heat.
Adam Force 2:49
Hey, Dan, welcome to the Change Creator podcast show how you doing today?
Dan Doyle 2:58
I’m doing fantastic out here in lovely San Francisco, thanks.
Adam Force 3:01
San Fran. Yes. You know, I’ve only been to San Francisco three times in my life. And this past time I went was for the So Cap Conference. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there.
Dan Doyle 3:12
No, I haven’t. Sounds good, though. We have a lot of conferences.
Adam Force 3:15
Yeah. It’s a big one for impact investing and stuff like that.
Dan Doyle 3:18
Oh, yeah. I do know what you’re talking about.
Adam Force 3:19
Yeah, yep. Yep. And you know, it’s funny, because when we first went to our first time out to that conference, couple years ago, we went out there because we’re kind of at the time looking at, you know, talk with investors and stuff like that. And it happened. Muhammad Yunus was down the street doing another event at the Commonwealth club.
Dan Doyle 3:38
Oh, no kidding.
Yeah. So we’re like, oh, man, wow. Yeah, just is random. So we, you know, we called ourselves that, you know, hey, we’re a media company tickets are sold out was like, 200 bucks a head. And they let us in. And we and that’s how we ended up getting him on the cover of our magazine.
Adam Force 3:55
Yeah, I mean, it’s like one of those things where, like, if you’re not getting out there, you know, know what opportunities might just pop in front of you. Right?
Dan Doyle 4:02
Adam Force 4:03
So, Dan, tell us about you’re doing some really interesting stuff with fundraising, report card, and, you know, just in the nonprofit space and all that kind of stuff. So tell it Tell me what you have going on these days. Like what’s what’s the latest? What’s the greatest? And then we’ll, we’ll build up to it after that?
Dan Doyle 4:21
Sure. Yeah. Well, absolutely. fundraising report card is been around for a couple years now. And so the latest and greatest is we’ve got over 4000 nonprofit clients. So that’s an amazing deal. And we’ve got a growing number of consultants as clients, so philanthropic, nonprofit, fundraising consultants use the tool set too, so we’ve got a great growth in the number of clients both on the nonprofit side and the consultant side. And we have a wonderful free version, that a lot of smaller nonprofits, small and mid sized nonprofits are able to use it, then we have a bunch of paid subscriptions. So it’s really I kind of say it’s democratizing analysis, it’s making it. It’s something that’s at people’s fingertips where it didn’t used to be, and they’d have to pay a pretty hefty fee to get this stuff done.
Adam Force 5:11
Got it. Got it. Yeah, I mean, that’s pretty cool. So before I actually I have so many questions I want to get into but let me just get there. So we get to the background for people just so they know. It. What was the reason you decided that this was necessary? Like what led you to fundraising report card? And, you know, putting this this business idea itself together? Because it looks like, you know, on the surface thing all that’s complicated, right? There’s a ton of just like, technology behind this and all that. So it’s always interesting to hear how these stories blossomed.
Dan Doyle 5:45
Yeah. But actually, the story predates me. So I’ll give it to you, which was what excited me about joining the team, this this last year as the chief evangelist here. So it was actually started by a little group of folks at a company called MarketSmart. MarketsSmart specializes really in helping nonprofits around the country build their major giving and legacy giving pipeline. And what they thought is that what they saw with all of their clients is they were struggling to analyze their programs. They had lots and lots of reports with, you know, columns and rows of numbers and reams and reams of paper, but they didn’t have any tools at their disposal, that allowed them to visualize, you know, key dashboards and KPIs to help them understand and analyze their fundraising program.
So Greg Warner, the founder of MarketSmart and, Zach Shefska, the COO there decided on a whim that they would actually build this tool that would help nonprofits analyze their fundraising programs. And so the great thing is it there’s all these tools are out there and available. Just no one had been really putting them together. And so they with another team of coders and programmers at Market Smart, built out fundraising report card and kind of built all of the key dashboards and KPIs that nonprofits need and rely on. And it was really just an opportunity to hopefully help nonprofits, you know, raise more money by understanding their programs better, just kind of filling the deficit that existed and, you know, with over 4000 clients now, I think it’s proven that there was a huge deficit, you know, the CRMs just don’t offer the tools that we do. So it’s been a real great thing for nonprofits.
Adam Force 7:27
Yeah, I mean, the and what kind of data? What kind of like, what are these nonprofits getting from the platform, exactly?
Dan Doyle 7:35
Oh, my gosh, they get you know, they get almost everything but the kitchen sink with it. So it was just, we sort of gave away the store. So the kind of dashboards they is growth dashboards, and they can look at things like their revenue and donor growth year over year, quarter, over quarter month over month, they get retention dashboards, so they can look at the retention by loyalty. First time donors report dollars to get lifetime value, which I remember, I used to own my own fundraising agency, and you pay a hefty price to an agency to build out lifetime value of your acquire donors. And just because the technology so easy to leverage these days, clients can access lifetime value customized to them based upon the information they send, upgrade downgrade reports, I mean, there’s just a whole slew of dashboards. And then we’ve got 12 KPIs, which are sort of single snapshots that they can use to understand their program.
Adam Force 8:33
And can you customize, like what metrics maybe are most important to you? So I want to put ourselves in the mindset of some of the early phase nonprofits who are in our audience and probably listening right now. So they’re thinking, wow, this sounds amazing. You know, there’s a there’s also data overwhelm, right? And so yeah, I’m curious how much control you have. And if there’s some really key metrics that people, especially in the early phases, focus on.
Dan Doyle 9:01
So the nice thing I like about why I joined was, you know, we got 36, dashboards and 12 KPIs. And I guarantee that within those having been in the business for 30 years doing fundraising, consulting and running fundraising programs, small and large, I guarantee you, the metrics that you need to assess the strategies and developed tactics are within that tool kit, right. So you can pick you know, and depending on the life stage, you’re you’re absolutely right.
If you’re a new organization, you’re probably going to focus on growth, and are you growing year over year. If you’re a mature organization, you’re probably focused on upgrades and downgrades and donor retention. So, you know, there’s just within all of those, it kind of matches up with wherever an organization is in its life stage.
And frankly, also with consultants who consult with clients, they can access all the tools to based upon whatever client they have, wherever they are, whatever strategy. So I think for me, that’s one of the benefits of it is we don’t have to create anything new. It’s all sitting out there. You just need to decide and I do a lot of demos and webinars with new clients.
Adam Force 10:04
Dan Doyle 10:04
And it’s great to see them, they will ask all the important quick go great analysis leads to more questions. And they ask all the great questions they should be asking themselves internally, but now they’re asking it informed by the actual data.
Adam Force 10:17
Yeah, yeah. Which makes a huge difference, obviously.
Dan Doyle 10:19
Adam Force 10:22
Is there any, I guess, future vision for expanding this type of dashboard and metric insight for the for profit space?
Dan Doyle 10:33
No, we’re pretty much focused only on nonprofits and consultants who work with nonprofits. And that’s our target audience, you know, there. And the reason being is, you know, for profit companies have different analytic needs, they have different funds that are available to them. And so what we found was one where we’re an organization, a company, steeped in fundraising, and helping nonprofits. So that’s sort of where we do our best and we shine.
And they’re kind of the organizations that needed the most help, you know, we find our typical new client signs up for free version. And they have zero analysis, they don’t have an analytic staff person, they’ve got a fundraising executive who wears multiple hats, you know, they open the door in the morning, sort the mail, do the fundraising, you know, you know, they’re doing everything.
They don’t have money for an agency, you know, they certainly can’t afford business intelligence tools like for profit companies can so a free version just immediately is, you know, up and running for them within a minute.
Adam Force 11:36
And so that was that kind of an interesting segue to fulfill a curiosity I have, which is around your growth. You said you How many years did it take now to get to your 4000? How long has this been going on?
Dan Doyle 11:50
It’s kind of started at about seven 2017, you know, end of 16, early 17, is when folks were really hearing about the tools. So just a couple years.
Adam Force 11:59
Okay, what were some of the more, I guess, what were the biggest contributing factors towards the growth at this point?
Dan Doyle 12:10
I think it was just, folks, finally, hearing word of mouth that there was an easy tool available for them to do analysis. They, you know, all those people who just had been suffering without having it because, you know, I know, I consulted with a lot of regional and small groups, and they just don’t have the money to bring in analytic tools, or even hire an analyst or anything like that.
And all of a sudden, they had that for, you know, 30 bucks a month, 50 bucks a month, you know, or free if they wanted the free version. So I think just plain old word of mouth and people saying, hey, there’s a tool out there, that’s super affordable. And all you have is a super simple, and yet gives you really deep analysis. So it’s simple analysis, deep analysis, and affordable.
Adam Force 12:53
And it sounded like you said, you’re doing webinars and trainings and you’re out, meeting people in person. So just Yeah, all of those things, I guess, are contributing towards helping people because I feel like sometimes, while this stuff can sound exciting, people are always looking for the catch, right? It’s like, well, it’s like, you gotta like commit yourself to exploring something new, learning a new product, and all that kind of stuff. So I was curious about that onboarding, if there was challenges and stuff.
Dan Doyle 13:20
You know, there really isn’t. There’s the — 99.9% of the problems that a client might have, are getting data off of their CRM that has nothing to do with us, right. So if they can get three columns, CSV or Excel file off of their database, they can upload it and use our tools . They are incredibly intuitive. And when I do demos, it, you know, I spend a half hour but they only need about five to 10 minutes to kind of get the system and maneuver it pretty quickly. It’s all super intuitive. The navigation is great. You know, I always tell clients, if you can’t get a three column CSV, or Excel file off of your database, you have bigger problems than the analysis endpoints. So if they can get it off, they literally drag and drop upload, and within a minute, they have all their dashboards at their fingertips. So it’s, you know, it’s not that hard.
Adam Force 14:09
Yeah. Have you noticed that when you’re presenting our doing the demos and stuff like that, there’s certain aspects of the program that people is, you know, their eyes kind of light up?
Dan Doyle 14:21
Well, yeah, cuz for most of them, it’s the first time they’ve actually seen their numbers visualized. And I, you know, I always tell people, you know, a lot of our clients, I say, so many folks are visual learners. And they’re, like, 60% of the population is visual learners. And I think, frankly, fundraisers are even more visual learners.
And so for so many of these people is just an eye awakening moment, that all of a sudden, they’re seeing things visualize, so they can see growth, they can see decreases, they can see problems in retention, just visually right in front of them.
You know, it always kind of goes back to some of the fundamental questions about nonprofits and fundraising, which is where Where are the red flags? Where am I not doing well? And, you know, then they start asking, Well, how can we do this better? What did we do wrong? And then where are we shining? And how can we replicate that?
Adam Force 15:15
Right, right? And how big is your team now?
Dan Doyle 15:20
Well, there’s a whole team at MarketSmart, but there’s about four of us completely dedicated to Fundraising Report Card coders, myself, and, and others there. We’re kind of all virtual. So we don’t do a lot of in person meetings. It’s all by webinar and virtual meetings. So it’s really cool. We can meet anyway, actually, we’ve got clients all around the world. I was talking with someone Australia the other day, we have clients in Switzerland that wre logging in, and the UK, so we’ve got clients everywhere.
Adam Force 15:48
So that’s interesting. So people, and I just find this to be super valuable. So I’m just kind of digging into it with you for the sake of you know, anybody listening in the nonprofit world, and you guys can obviously go and explore the platform. It sounds like anybody right now listening that wants to can go sign up for a free plan. Is that correct?
Dan Doyle 16:09
Yeah, the free plan is available, they just go to fundraisingreportcard.com. And there’s a lot of green boxes that say, sign me up, it’s pretty easy. You sign up, all you need is a email address and a password and you’re up and running. And the the the only limitation is that we for free versions, it’s only 5000 records or fewer. So that meets the needs of most of the smallest nonprofits around the world. And then there are some dashboards that you don’t get some of the high powered dashboards. They don’t they’re limited to.
Adam Force 16:39
Yeah. And so like, what do you have to meet certain requirements? Like, do you have to have a certain like, where does the data I guess I’m trying to understand where the data is coming from? Yeah. So like, is it pulling? Cuz I know, there’s been some platforms in the nonprofit space where like, it’s like, oh, you have all these different areas where you have data, but how do you see it all in one place? Can you share a little insight on how that backend works for people?
Dan Doyle 17:07
Yeah, sure. So usually, the typical relationship is our client already has a CRM tool for their fundraising program. So whether they’re on NeonCRM, Salesforce, Little Brain, Raiser’s Edge, whatever it is, they have that. And then what they are able to do on their end is develop the criteria for people they want to analyze, export those donors off of their CRM tool, and then upload them just three columns of data, we just need a unique ID, a gift date, and a gift amount. That’s all we need.
We don’t want four, we don’t want two, we want three, you know, unique ID. No more, no less. And then they upload them and they’re up and running. And usually clients upload the largest kind of data master file they can find on their clients.
And then once they upload the largest, they then start saying, Oh, I want to only look at individuals, I don’t want estate gifts and bequests to be included, because they skew things all I don’t want monthly donors to be included, because they have a different look and feel. I want to upload them separately. So the beauty of it is I always find is they upload a big file, and then they start getting into the data and start parsing out their program.
Adam Force 18:18
Okay, that’s pretty cool.
Dan Doyle 18:19
So we’re platform agnostic. So you know, I really couldn’t care what platform they’re on, as long as they can get a file off of it. They can be up and running.
Adam Force 18:28
But typically, they would already have a CRM, where they have a database that’s at least starting to build.
Dan Doyle 18:36
Most of the clients do, we do have clients who have files smallest, you know, local clients, who everything’s just sitting on an Excel spreadsheet. So you know, so we have the whole gamut. We have clients who don’t even have a fundraising CRM, but they have everything on QuickBooks or something. And they can still use the tools.
Adam Force 18:56
Interesting. Okay. So and and I guess, our people, lot of the clients that you work with, is this for, like, I guess, how can you tie like, tie it together for me to show. I go in here, I upload this information? And how, then does it help with their fundraising efforts? So because I’m sure they’re all running like multiple campaigns a year? Or is it usually for evergreen campaign? Or is it like a launch? Like, how do they? And I just want to understand that like, sequence, I guess, a little bit?
Dan Doyle 19:30
Yeah, no. So what we would hope a typical client would do is they upload their file. Yeah. And at least on an annual basis, they are looking at their data and doing a fundraising assessment. So they’re looking at growth and dollars and donors, they’re looking at retention rates, and if that’s increasing or decreasing, so it’s a multi year analysis, so they can look back five years, let’s say they can look back as far as they have data that would say they look back five years, they can see if their retention rate is improving or decreasing.
If it’s decreasing, what loyalty level is at the increasing what strategies and tactics do we need to develop? So it helps get clients into the sort of analytic loop. And so they’re constantly evaluating. We then like to drive our clients from moving from an annual assessment to semi-annual and then hopefully, that the best use of it is quarterly, people are looking at their programs on a quarterly basis and assessing their their tactics against the strategies they’ve developed.
Adam Force 20:26
Right. Interesting. And and you could see in the data does it show? I guess, over time, as you do these things, it shows tactically, like what, what’s working and what’s not, or is it just showing loyalty of certain channels of donation?
Dan Doyle 20:44
It shows fundraising success or failure. And so what then has to happen is the professional fundraisers on the team, whether it’s a consultant or the organization itself, what they need to do is then assess what strategies they put in place.
So if they had a problem in 2017, they need to ask themselves, what strategies we have in play. What tactic do we have in play last year that caused retention to go down? Right, if someone so you really still do need a fundraising professional at the helm? We can’t replace that.
Adam Force 21:14
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I got it.
Dan Doyle 21:16
There’s no robots doing that work.
Adam Force 21:18
Yeah. No, that makes sense. That makes sense. Okay, so you got all this data, you could see your your growth and donations, and then based on the trends you would look at, okay, well, then here’s the campaigns that we ran, obviously, we can align, like, if this, you know, shows the uptrend or downtrend?
Dan Doyle 21:37
Absolutely. You know, one of the demos I do is with one of our mid sized clients, I have their data uploaded, and there was a year in which they lost their major giving officer. And so for about eight months, they didn’t have a major giving officer. And it just shows dramatically in their trends, you can see the year where they lost a major giving officer and for a while Oh, we can just kind of scoot along without one.
And clearly, the evidence is No, you cannot you can’t raise major gifts without a giving officer. And it’s all right there for them to see. And you know, other things show up, too. So for example, if a client, you know, nonprofit has a very poor new donor welcome series, it’ll show in lower first time retention rates. And, you know, if they improve that we have case studies where they see that data, and then they implement a tactic like a new donor welcome series that’s actually thoughtful, they can see their rates increasing in the coming years.
Adam Force 22:30
Got it got it. Interesting. And what was the role that you mentioned that they removed and noticed a big difference? What was that title?
Dan Doyle 22:38
It was a major giving officer. So that’s the person it was actually the staff member who was responsible for raising gifts at 5000 or above for that group. And the person moved on to another organization, and they struggled to hire someone, and they ended up not having someone for about eight months. And when you look at giving at the 5000 or above level, it just disappeared.
Adam Force 22:57
So how is that translated? And sorry, like, I’m super not in the nonprofit world. So that’s why when I hear titles like them, like say what? But so that translates, though, just by seeing the numbers like you would have that’s not you don’t see in the system, the the changes of like losing someone of your personnel, you just see that flows and trends of donations and growth. And if you see a big dip, you would say, Oh, well, that was during the time that we lost our major giving officer.
Dan Doyle 23:28
You bet. Yeah, it’s it’s black and white. It’s in color, but it’s, it’s in black and white. Yeah. And that’s part of the beauty of data visualization. And part of the beauty of sharing this, with so many nonprofits or around the country around the world, frankly, is now that they now they can actually see this stuff. And when you see a big dip, it almost always will know the answer.
Oh, we converted our database, we moved you know, we did a database conversion. And we lost a lot of records, or we lost a major giving officer or we cancelled an event for you name it. They’ve almost always had the answers to why things improved, or did not improve.
Adam Force 24:07
Gotcha, gotcha. Yeah. And it looks like you guys have a nice visual design, as well, which is it was helpful. And I’m just looking at your your website. And yeah, I mean, so it sounds It sounds like you helped to really organize data, give it a visual representation, so you can understand it more clearly and make decisions that are smarter.
Dan Doyle 24:31
Yeah, that’s, that’s it. But it’s really a tool that helps fundraisers do better and raise more money.
Adam Force 24:38
That’s pretty awesome. And I know that can be a challenging part of nonprofits is raising that money. I mean, that’s like, you know, it’s, it’s an ongoing one way or the other nonprofit or for profit, you’re you’re always fighting to get your next round of dollars.
Dan Doyle 24:53
Absolutely. And there’s an old saying in fundraising: No money, no mission. You know, if you don’t have money, all the good intentions in the world will get you nowhere in helping your cause. So you’ve got to actually have money in the door. And so fundraising critical, it’s the engine that keeps the organization focused on mission. So we’re playing a little part in that.
Adam Force 25:12
Yeah, yeah. Well, listen, it sounds like you have you know, and just reading your, your resume and stuff, it sounds like you have a lot of background and incredible experience in the nonprofit space. So just thinking of our, you know, early phase nonprofit entrepreneurs, any advice from your experience that you might have on the fundraising, you know, front?
Dan Doyle 25:39
It all starts with investment. And so some of the things I know having been consulting with nonprofits for almost 30 years now, is that we can often be investment shy. And they are nonprofits that are small and starting can see that as losses of money, where it’s really an investment in the future of the program. So have an investment mentality. And I think that’s a key factor to kind of startup nonprofits is really having an investment mentality.
And then be willing to try things that are new and different. We find, as organizations grow beyond the sort of startup phase, they get lulled into the same old, same old, so we’ll just do what we did last year, we’ll just do what we did last year. You know, they keep going back to that well, and so I challenge people, yes, you need to go back to what you know, worked. But you need to keep in within your toolkit, new and different things that you haven’t tried sort of experiment. And so I think those organizations that will be most successful, enjoy investing and are not shy. Yeah, and are willing to try new and different things and assess the risk.
Adam Force 26:46
Dan Doyle 26:48
Adam Force 26:49
And you say investment, you mean to get investment from people or to be willing to invest in what you’re doing,
Dan Doyle 26:56
willing to invest to find new donors to support the organization. And that’s the, you know, the, all my years of fundraising that was in number one constraint on the organization was how much they were willing to invest. And so, you know, I think that you have to have an investment mentality.
Adam Force 27:14
Interesting. And any, I guess, you know, as you in the donor in the world of like finding donors and stuff, where does the nonprofit even begin to start finding a donor?
Dan Doyle 27:27
Oh, my gosh, there’s so many different channels, you know, you know, the tried and true ways they do direct response to find low dollar donors, whether it’s digital marketing, or direct mail marketing, and so they find $15, $30, $35, $40 donors, and then grow them up the pipeline to become mid market donors and major donors. So there’s that that’s a channel that has been around for ages. A lot of organizations use events as a as a way to find new donors. So whether it’s a black tie event, a special event or a challenge event, a bike-a-thon, walkathon, something like that. That’s another avenue they use to find new donors.
Adam Force 28:06
Interesting. Okay. Well, I want to make sure we have a minute here just to let people know where they can find the Fundraising Report Card. So I think it’s just fundraisingreportcard.com, right?
Dan Doyle 28:19
Yeah. couldn’t be easier.
If you if you can type and you have a browser open, you can find us at fundraisingreportcard.com.
Adam Force 28:28
Yeah. I mean, it sounds like a good piece of software. And I was interested in talking about it, because I think there’s a lot of value and you know, the more that we grow Change Creator and stuff like that we know. Wow, like you really do need to see what your data is doing. And the more clarity you have around that. Yeah, it’s worth the investment of your time and energy because it really accelerates your growth when you have that clarity.
Dan Doyle 28:53
Yeah, knowledge is a pretty important thing and in fundraising, too.
Adam Force 28:57
Exactly. Awesome. Awesome. I really do appreciate your time, Dan, and
Dan Doyle 29:03
Thanks for having me.
Adam Force 29:04
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well keep up the good work and supporting the nonprofit world. And guys, you can check out their awesome software and hopefully it’s something that will help you grow your fundraising.
Dan Doyle 29:15
Thanks so much.
Adam Force 29:17
You got it. Take care.
That’s all for this episode. Your next step is to join the Change Creator revolution by downloading our interactive digital magazine app for premium content, exclusive interviews, and more ways to stay on top of your game available now on iTunes and Google Play or visit changecreatormag.com. We’ll see you next time where money and meeting intersect right here at the Change Creator podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai