Transcript Episode 122.5 – Creating Winning Fundraising Email Campaigns with Jess Campbell on The Prosperous Nonprofit
Stephanie Skryzowski: [00:00:00] Welcome to the prosperous nonprofit, the podcast for leaders who are building financially sustainable and impactful nonprofits and changing the world. I’m Stephanie s Kowski, a chief financial Officer and founder, and c e o of 100 Degrees Consulting. My personal mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income.
On this show, we talk to people who are leading the nonprofit sector in new, innovative, disruptive, and entrepreneurial ways, creating organizations that fuel their lives, their hearts, and their communities. Let’s dive in.
Hello, my friends. I am really excited to bring to you the first ever bonus episode of the prosperous nonprofit. Now, I had to do this because there’s something really exciting coming up, and I simply could not [00:01:00] wait to share this with you, and I didn’t wanna let the opportunity pass me by. So first of all, let me tell you who we’re talking to today because she’s awesome.
And if you don’t know her yet, you absolutely should. So Jess Campbell. Is the founder of Out in The Boones, a small shop helping nonprofits discover donors in their email list. She’s been a nonprofit fundraiser for 18 years and has raised over $17 million. Whew. Working from New York to California and organizations big and small.
She’s also the founder of the Raise More Together Summit, which to date has educated more than 3000 nonprofit leaders and fundraisers. Before starting out in the Boons, she was a development director for Lyft la, a national organization that empowers families to break the cycle of poverty. So she’s.
Awesome. We just met a few months ago and immediately connected and knew that we had to work together in some way, shape, or form. And so we’ve been kind of chatting and she hosts the Raise More Together Summit, which is an online [00:02:00] virtual conference that is happening August 16th through 18th, and it is 20 different speakers who are speaking on topics related to fundraising.
Specifically end of year campaigns and raising money in this last part of the year, which we all know is when a lot of our funding comes in, right? So she’s hosting this amazing Summit 100 Degrees. My company is a sponsor, and I’m also doing a talk about how to use your nine 90 as a marketing tool, as well as storytelling with your numbers, which you all know.
Is something I am super passionate about. So anyway, Jess and I were chatting today on this episode all about email marketing, and she gave like so many good pointers on how to really nail and hit your fundraising goals, how to nail your emails, how to nail your donor communication in this last part of the year so that you can hit your fundraising goals.
She lays it out. Step-by-step for [00:03:00] us, and there’s really so much goodness in this episode. I can’t wait to get to it. She’s also gonna talk about the Raise More Together Summit, which I am a part of, which you should absolutely join because the amount of professional development and education and the price that you will pay, hint, it’s not very much at all, is like, Uh, incredible out of this world.
So I’m not gonna share all the details right here. You’ll have to listen to the episode with Jess. And with that, let’s get started.
Hey everybody, welcome back to the prosperous nonprofit. I’m super excited to be here for this little bonus episode with Jess Campbell. Jess, welcome.
Jess Campbell: Stephanie, we’re gonna have some fun. This is such an honor to be
Stephanie Skryzowski: here. I know, I know it was a little bit of a last minute schedule on both of our sides, but this is, it’s just such a timely conversation that I had to squeeze it in.
So I’m really excited if our listeners have not heard of you, which would be kind of strange if they hadn’t. [00:04:00] But if they haven’t, tell us, um, a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Jess Campbell: You’re so nice. So hi everyone. My name is Jess Campbell. I’m the founder of Out in the bos. I tell people that we help nonprofits discover donors in their email lists.
So my place and playground to hang out is all spaces, email marketing, fundraising campaigns, end of the year campaigns. And all the marketing and fundraising that comes with all of that. I am a former director of development, so I myself has been in a lot of your listeners’ shoes out there, meeting with donors, making asks, doing the follow-up, and now I sit on the other side where I help teach nonprofits how to do that themselves.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Amazing. And what type of organizations do you work with? Like what size are we talking about? Little nonprofits, startups, or like big ones or? Everywhere. Everything in
Jess Campbell: between. Yeah, for sure. I tend to attract [00:05:00] small and mid-sized nonprofits, and I define that by organizations $10 million and below, so my style is less formal, and so I don’t have a lot of like the universities and hospitals and colleges coming my way, but.
I know that small and mid-size is relative, so I usually work with teams that have a director of development or founder, plus a director of development and maybe a small team. Um, so not total startup, not super large fundraising machines. Somewhere in the middle.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Hmm. Yeah. That’s awesome. And I know you’re like the email queen.
I just got an email from you today with like a super funny story about a package that your mom sent to you in college with a book. He’s just not that into you. Um, so storytelling is clearly like your jam. Has this always been something that you have? Focused on, or has this been a learned skill over the years?
Where did your [00:06:00] incredible storytelling for the purpose of inspiring giving or inspiring action on the other side, where did that come
Jess Campbell: from? Yes. I mean, so I have to say, I don’t know that I would’ve classified myself as a strong storyteller growing up, but as you just referenced, I did just send out an email about my mother, and she’s an amazing storyteller.
So I am lucky enough to have grown up and. Had modeled to me what excellent storytelling is, and I’ll just say off the bat, when people ask me to rate myself as a fundraiser, I would never, ever, ever say like I’m an a plus star fundraiser, because the amount of times I’ve actually had to sit across from someone and ask.
Them for a million dollars or whatever is few and far between. I very, very, very much lean on my relationship skills and so donations have more often than not been offered to me before. I’ve actually had to ask for money. I’ve literally had donors after several meetings or getting to [00:07:00] know them or whatever, be like, we’re considering a million dollar gift.
How does that match up aga against. Like what your expectations for us are, and so storytelling is a huge, huge, huge part of that. I was also gifted such luck in my career as a fundraiser. I. By having some amazing mentors and bosses that taught me through example. So I had this one boss, her name’s Elizabeth Daley.
She had a theater background and then now she’s in real estate, which I feel like the two things like just make for a great fundraiser. So in her in-between career, I worked under her. And when I was working for the organization, it’s called Chrysalis, that provides homeless. Folks or people who are returning citizens employment opportunities.
At first I started where she would bring me to everything, but she would do the talking and then she would kind of like throw me some passes, like she would tell the story and then [00:08:00] I would tell the story and then by the end, She would just let me really lead and tell the story and, and I had it, you know, and I realized that so many nonprofit people are not gifted that mentorship.
But she really modeled for me what really great storytelling to invoke action was. And then as I started my business, I just realized like, It’s not my jam, it’s not my style to be super salesy. It feels super duper yucky. Both of my parents were in sales growing up, and I remember just being like, I am never doing that.
And then lo and behold, I become a fundraiser, which is like a different form of sales, and so I had to make it work for me. And so, I mean, I’ve made donor cry like out of happiness. I have like really gotten good at sparking emotion, funny entertainment and for me that’s just what works. You know, other people a little more hard hitting and that’s okay too.
So I think you have to find. Style and then it’s practice, right? Like I am [00:09:00] on a bajillion email newsletters. I am everywhere. I’m reading everything. I love books. I love podcasts, and I think as a consumer, when you notice good storytelling, you adapt and you modify and you practice and get better.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that because I’ve also thought of, I’ve never thought of myself as a storyteller either, because I’m like, I’m not that person that can just like sit around a campfire and tell the story that everyone is like paying attention to and holding onto every word.
I’m like, that’s not me at all. But in the written word, it does feel. Different. And it’s really like you said about like building that relationship and finding that little piece of connection with who you’re talking to. And I think that’s like super good encouragement for anybody listening who’s like, oh my gosh, I have to write these emails to our donors and I’m not a storyteller, but I know there’s this message I need to convey.
So how do you help? You know, nonprofit leaders figure out how to tell their story in a way that [00:10:00] feels authentic and genuine and good, and also ethical and not sort of like that exploitation kind of thing. So what advice do you have for going that direction?
Jess Campbell: For sure. So one thing I always advise my nonprofit fundraisers and leaders is to really have eye stories.
Meaning you have to go and sit with your program from time to time. You need to go. Talk to the people that you serve, or you need to walk the dogs at the dog rescue, or you need to go water the garden in your environmental center. You need to touch the work with I stories, because it just sounds different when you say, oh, Sandra from our program team told me about this person one time that did this.
Versus like, well, when I sat down with James, this is the story he told me, or this was my experience with James. So I would say, if you haven’t touched your program in a minute, Take next Thursday, carve out a couple hours and go do that because it will really, really make a difference. [00:11:00] I wanna address what you said about ethical storytelling ’cause it’s not something I knew about when I was a fundraiser, and now I’ve become more educated.
So I’m a big proponent of compensating people for their time. If they are gonna sit down with you and tell you their story, that can be in the form of actual cash. That can be in the form of gift card. But if you are asking someone for their labor, I encourage you to compensate them. Even if they’re a part of your program, they do not owe you that.
And then I also just want you to be really sensitive. I have a lot of clients who do work in like the domestic violence space or in maybe even the foster care system. And it is not worth re bringing up their trauma for the sake of your fundraising message. And so what are other ways that you can do that?
Can you talk to the caseworker and. Get a version of their story. Not first person, but your first person is still with that caseworker, right? Can you tell stories like through animation? I think that that’s actually great visual [00:12:00] storytelling tactic to like hire an animator and tell the story through that lens.
Other stories like that come up r. Everyday stories, like it’s the you, you know, tripping down the stairs. It’s you forgetting your kids’ lunchbox and having to turn around and make another trip. It’s you spilling coffee on your white shirt as you’re walking out the door. People love to see themselves in the stories, and so what I do is I’m just like, what’s the point of the story I’m trying to tell?
And then I work my way backwards. So is it, I’m trying to. Motivate. I’m trying to relate. I’m trying to reveal a struggle. I’ll tell that story and then I’ll transition it to the point through something that’s happening at my organization. The other thing I think nonprofits like really miss is that you can tell the same version of the story over and over again.
I have one client that works with. Adults who have been either homeless, incarcerated, or in the foster care [00:13:00] system in Los Angeles, and they have a training program that teaches people how to become production assistants in Hollywood. And he’s always like, but we told that story last month. I’m like, you could tell that story every hour of every day and your readers will never, ever, ever get bored.
Think of these big old brands like McDonald’s. They’ve had the same logo, the same slogan for like a bajillion years. Like you out there with your limited resources and your tiny budget do not need to be like, Clever. You know, be clear. That’s such a gift to people. And then just some other ideas of stories that I think are really worth telling.
Like what’s the origin story of your organization? Who’s a staff member that really hit it out of the park? Who’s a volunteer or a board member that just really like connected with your program? Anything, any version of that is always good. It’s never boring. It might feel boring to you because you talk about it and breathe it all day long, but your reader think [00:14:00] about open rates and like social media, click rates.
They’re super low. So chances are like for every story you even tell, like maybe one out of five is actually getting read. So repetition is actually going to be your friend. That’s why telling the same thing over and over again will help you. ’cause then people will. We’ll remember you for that.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Exactly.
Jess Campbell: gosh, that was very long-winded. Sorry.
Stephanie Skryzowski: No, I mean, I feel like I should have been taking notes. Um, but we have the show notes. It’ll have a nice little checklist of everything you just rattled off because that was really good. And I just think everything you listed just sort of takes overwhelm out of.
Communication out of, you know, telling the story that it doesn’t need to be some grand thing. It can be, like you said, telling the story of a volunteer who’s really made an impact with your organization and who knows what that could inspire. That may be a different story, wouldn’t so I love that. I. As we are now, you know, we’re recording this at the end of July.
This is going to go live in just a couple weeks [00:15:00] in August. So we’re starting to think about year end campaigns. And you are a fundraiser, so this is like, I’m sure what is a hundred percent on your mind because as we, you know, I know from looking at the financials that a lot of organizations like 50, 60, 70% of their annual revenue lands in Q four and that is huge.
And I also would imagine that like, No pressure on the fundraisers right now, right? Like that’s a lot of pressure to like make sure that everything is in line so you can raise this huge amount of money at the end of the year. So think about end of year campaigns, thinking about emails, what are fundraisers?
What should fundraisers be thinking about
Jess Campbell: right now? I’m so glad you asked this because the landscape has really changed compared to two and three years ago. There was a report that just came out that, not to be doomsday, but giving is down, donors are giving less, and so my first piece of advice [00:16:00] is to really like.
Take stock. Where are you present day? Are you on track to hit your numbers? Are you behind? Are uh, first time donors lapsing or are they retaining? What’s your monthly giving program? Is it growing steadily? Like, what’s the deal? Right? I always say like, you can’t measure what you don’t track, so you have to know what.
Where are you as of August, 2023 when we’re talking? Pretty much. From there, I think that you need to assess and do what will give you the highest return on your investment, which is your donors. So at this point, it’s going to take a lot to turn a brand new human into a donor by December. It just is. It’s not impossible, but.
If I was a limited resourced nonprofit with very few staff members, I would be focused less on acquisition right now and more on having [00:17:00] meaningful donor engagement touchpoints with my previous year donors. My last 18 months of donors, I would be checking in for no reason. I would be giving them an update on where their gift was spent.
I would be inviting them to a meetup. To vision cast forward and say, this is where we’ve been, but this is where we aim to go. I would be thanking them with gusto. I would just really be like doing the things, making the calls, writing the handwritten thank you notes. Now, because I. 99% of nonprofits are not going to do that work.
And then as it turns towards the fall, you can start what I call the warmup phase or the lead up phase, which is the moment where you’re going to start pointing your content towards the thing you’ll be asking for at the end of the year. So let’s say, you know, you are a dog rescue and you do a couple things.
You not only rehouse dogs, but you provide emergency medical attention. And maybe you also like teach people how [00:18:00] to. Train and like walk their dog on a leash and stuff like that. But maybe at the end of the year, you’re really trying to bring home or rescue a hundred really high need medical cases. If that’s your goal at the end of the year, I want you to start pointing your content towards high need medical cases.
In your content, in your email, on your social media. So I want you to turn off the faucet a little bit on those other programs and turn it directly towards the thing you’re raising money for. That way when it’s time to actually ask for money, people are informed, people are inspired, they’re educated, they’re not like, wait, what?
They do what? You know, you don’t wanna come outta left field. You want it to be a really natural progression and. I think having some focus on that storytelling is really helpful for folks. So that would be kind of my loose to-do list. One, two, and three. So just to recap, it’s assess where you are. Number two, it’s engage your donors.
And then three, it’s start pointing [00:19:00] people towards the thing you wanna raise money for. Come November, December.
Stephanie Skryzowski: That’s so simple. Yet I feel like so many organizations don’t do that. Mm-hmm. It’s like, number one, we don’t do the sort of assessment phase. We’re just like, okay, what did we do last year? Let’s get ready to rinse and repeat.
Do it again. And we don’t. Mm-hmm. Even know if that’s relevant anymore. Like you said there, there’s a constantly changing landscape, right? And so understanding where we are is so important, and we’re gonna talk about that little, a little bit. Um, in my presentation at the summit, which we’re gonna talk about shortly.
I think the other thing is having a goal, like a very specific goal. You mentioned having, you know, okay, we want to do this specific thing. Our goal should, I would imagine, should not just be like, we wanna raise this bunch money. Well, what are we funding? Like, what are we actually working towards? Because I feel like I.
If we have the internal focus, then our donors can see that. And like you said, the content is leading up to it, so it’s top of mind and it feels more like I can relate with it and attach [00:20:00] more to it, versus just like, we’re this organization that has 12 different programs and we’re just raising a bunch of money.
Like that doesn’t feel connecting, you know? I don’t know if that’s the right
Jess Campbell: word, but Absolutely. And I think as fundraising shops, we have the ability to actually have goals. That are more holistic. For example, I think you could have a goal around. Open rates or click rates for your emails, you could have a goal around what your return rate.
If you set a hard copy appeal, you can have a goal for your response time for thanking a donor. Like we wanna thank every donor within the first 48 hours that a gift comes in. You can also have a goal around retention, increased number of donors. So it’s like less about the amount of money and more like we want a hundred new donors, this campaign.
And I think having those goals and stating them and writing them on paper again allows you to assess. And make adjustments along the way. So for example, if you’re like, we wanna have a [00:21:00] 40% or higher open rate on all of our emails, and you’re sitting at 35, guess what? You gotta figure out your email subject lines.
You gotta change the day and time that you’re sending your emails because if people aren’t opening your emails, they’re not clicking and then they’re not donating. So it allows you to make adjustments, but again, you have to do those assessments of like where you stand today. Otherwise you don’t know if you’re like, Winning or if you’re behind, you know?
Stephanie Skryzowski: Exactly. I feel like honestly, this information is genius and at the same time it’s stuff that we hear all the time in the sort of entrepreneur, especially this like online entrepreneur space, but I don’t feel like. I’ve seen this taught for nonprofits. Mm. And so I love this. And you also have a solution for that.
Mm-hmm. In the Raise More Together summit that you’re hosting. How many years have you done the summit now?
Jess Campbell: So this will be, I think the [00:22:00] fourth year, but it’s the sixth round. For a couple years it got really wild and crazy and did two a year. Oh my
Stephanie Skryzowski: gosh. And you survived. I know. And you’re still doing
Jess Campbell: it.
Amazing. I know. It’s one of my favorite things I do.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh well it’s, I mean, okay, so tell before we get like too far into it, tell us what the Raise More Together
Jess Campbell: Summit is. Yeah, so back in a long time ago, I was just really craving some solid fundraising information and expertise from like, Experts, real nonprofits doing the work, and I just really wasn’t finding what I was looking for and just.
And, and the way I operate, I was like, I’ll just build it myself. And so, I’m not kidding. In six weeks from IDEA to actually launching the summit, I had like over 800 people register for this thing. And it was like, buckle up, here we go. And it was a asked, and I don’t know if it’s just not knowing what I don’t know or what, but [00:23:00] it was super fun.
It was super actionable. Um, all the content is really practical. I always say I’m a practical, tactical, girly, and so it’s less on like the theory of this or like. The mindset. We do have some people that talk mindset, but it’s a lot of like how-tos and so it’s short actionable sessions to get people to step into action immediately.
Even this time around, we’re gonna have, um, get shit done sessions so that people will have carved time on their calendar to like, make those 15 thank you calls or like send out or prep that email and just get it done. In community with other nonprofit leaders and fundraisers who have some sort of fundraising responsibility.
So it’s three days. It’s a blast. So many people have made friends. Like my friend this summer, she is kind of bebopping around and she met up in person with people. She’s directly met. From the summit and I was sending me pictures and stuff and I [00:24:00] was like, this is so cool. And the other thing I’ll just mention, it has a really diverse lineup.
And so it’s a lot of speakers you may not yet have heard from, but they’re geniuses, like they’re superstars and you know, maybe they just haven’t gotten the platform or the megaphone that they deserve just yet. So you’ll get to hear and meet them through this. Oh
Stephanie Skryzowski: my gosh, I’m so excited. So this is my first time participating.
I feel like I may, I, I feel like I may have heard of it in the past, but we were connected recently and I knew that I wanted to be a part of this. So, I’ve got two sessions in there that I’m very, very excited about and full disclosure a hundred degrees is sponsoring this summit. So I’m super excited. I’m so excited.
I know. ’cause it’s given us so, so many opportunities to work together. Yes. So fantastic. Okay, so who’s the summit for? Is it for all nonprofit leaders? Is it for just fundraisers? Like tell us who it’s for.
Jess Campbell: Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve done some assessments actually, so I know [00:25:00] that like. 89% of the folks that come to this are nonprofit leaders, directors of development, nonprofit founders.
We do have a couple people who are like board members or comms people, but the majority of folks are the people at nonprofit organizations that have fundraising responsibilities. We also know that the average budget is around $3 million. So we have had people who do work at these large, large institutions all the way down to startup nonprofits.
And I would say that we fall in like I. The medium to advanced content. So if you are like a baby nonprofit fundraiser, this is gonna be like you playing with some of the big kids in the sandbox. But I think that that’s okay to be around. People are a couple steps ahead of you. Um, but this isn’t like how to fill out your 5 0 1 c three form and like build your board from scratch.
That’s not so much the content. It’s more like, How advanced techniques for [00:26:00] like, how to build your email list or it’s how to like your session. I’m so excited about your two sessions about how to merge the storytelling using numbers and the words to build this beautiful, compelling picture around making an ask and all of those things.
We have messaging, we have branding, we have, um, marketing. We have how to raise $500,000 in individual gifts by December 31st. It’s a real combination. But what I love about this summit is like the style. And the reason I say that is because I understand firsthand how busy all you listeners are, and the idea of sitting down and watching 20 recorded sessions makes me sick to my stomach.
And so what’s cool about this is we have. Live components where you can meet the speakers like Stephanie, ask her questions live. But we also have prerecorded [00:27:00] sessions that we put in a private podcast feed so you can like legit listen on the go. We have this amazing Facebook community with over 1500 folks, so people are like asking questions, chatting away, making friends.
Um, we have prizes, we have giveaways, like. I’ve just tried to think of it all and every year it gets better and better, and this year is just not gonna be an exception to that. I’m
Stephanie Skryzowski: gonna bring it. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. Okay, so it kicks off
Jess Campbell: August 16th, right? Wednesday, August 16th. Yes, ma’am.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Okay, perfect.
And if people are like, okay, oh, and I like, I don’t know if you mentioned this, but this is like worth probably thousands of dollars. I mean, if you think about like the value that you would get in going to a conference and having, not only going to a conference but having all this content like you, you have it now like it’s yours.
What does it cost? Just to remind our lovely listeners?
Jess Campbell: Yes. So we have a $27 general admission ticket and then a $77 v i p ticket. Okay. [00:28:00] It’s kind of a no brainer. And like I’ve had people that have come all six sessions, so it’s all brand new content. We’re not repeating and recycling it’s brand new speakers every single time.
And, you know, we’re, we’re really following a playbook of like, what is happening present. Now, you know, we’re not talking about pandemic strategies ’cause like that’s not relevant anymore. We’re talking about AI and chat G B T and getting visible on LinkedIn and like, all sorts of new things that are happening right now.
Um, so it’s, it’s worth it.
Stephanie Skryzowski: So less than a hundred dollars. Yeah. Yes, 100%. No brainer. Let’s see, what else do I wanna ask you about the summit? What else should our listeners know? I mean, I’ll be there. You’ll be there. All the other amazing speakers will be there. What is the website where they can find out all the
Jess Campbell: info on the summit?
Yeah, so I’m sure you’ll put the link in the show notes, but it’s just raise more together. Do [00:29:00] co.co raise more together. Do co And then it’s really easy to sign up and. I’d love to see a lot of new faces there. Yes. I was also just thinking like it’s just, we always time it in August, which people have advised me against because it’s like summer people going back to school, like people are a little checked out.
But the reason why we do that is because the theme of this year is closing year 2020, fundraising year out strong. And if you really wanna do that, you need to start thinking about the last five months of the year in August. Not in like November. And so that’s why we do this summit now. So you’ll have all the information, tools, resources, and can even carve out some time to get things done now versus like in the thick of it.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, and you mentioned this. I love that. I mean, I’m thinking about 20, 24 budgets right now, so I’m like in the same place as you we’re starting in August with our clients to start thinking through, okay, what is our [00:30:00] 2024 big picture? And then like taking that down, okay, what’s our revenue, what’s our fundraising goal?
And then really starting to build out the budget so we’re not starting to think about. Next year in like December, two weeks before we all go on holiday. Um, before we started recording, you had said like, you know, Q four end of your giving, end of your campaigns is about so much more than just giving Tuesday.
Can you tell us kind of what you mean by that? Because I know that giving Tuesday can be like a big day for a lot of organizations, but I would think that like, okay, when we’re thinking about Q four and year end fundraising, like giving Tuesday should not be like the only thing we’re thinking about.
Jess Campbell: I mean, so.
On paper, giving Tuesday raised $3.1 billion for nonprofits across the globe in 2022. That’s an exorbitant amount of money. It’s also the most competitive giving day of the year and with millions of nonprofits. I mean, I do this every year where I [00:31:00] assess what comes through my inbox on Giving Tuesday, and I had 52 asks from various nonprofits.
Wow. So if you were. To stand out. I probably have a very high number of nonprofit asking me for money. I’m giving Tuesday just ’cause I’m on so many email lists, but you’re probably competing with like 6, 7, 8 other nonprofits. And so I see some nonprofits just going all in on giving Tuesday when the data shows us that December is actually the most profitable giving month.
Specifically all the way through the last three days of the year. This year, giving Tuesday falls on like November 29th. So if you go all in on giving Tuesday and just skip December, you are missing out. I’m like so much potential revenue and that’s why I say it’s a real campaign, like you have to think through.
The warmup phase, maybe the giving Tuesdays the kickoff all through the month of December, and then even what’s your gratitude phase come post gift, because [00:32:00] that’s the easiest one to forget. But we’ve seen statistically that it has the highest likelihood of someone coming back to make a second gift if they’re just thinked properly.
And it’s just such an easy thing to skip over because you have the gift in hand. But it’s like, do you wanna be on the hamster wheel forever? Probably not. So, You know, how can you bring people in for the long, the long ride?
Stephanie Skryzowski: Mm-hmm. Are you scheduling out emails like in advance, so like are you spending basically the month of August and September writing and scheduling your emails for the rest of the year, or do you ever pop in like sort of spontaneous ones depending on what’s happening or how does, like what does that look like?
The sort of email writing and scheduling process?
Jess Campbell: Yeah, so this is a little advanced. And so what I do for my clients that I actually do writing for is I do what’s called a V I P week. So in one week on Monday, we meet by Friday, you have a draft of like [00:33:00] 13 emails, your hard copy appeal, your social captions, like I do it all really fast and in a short period of time.
And these are emails that get dripped over many, many, many weeks. So there’s the warmup emails, there’s the campaign emails, and then what happens? In the back end of your email marketing system specifically is if someone makes a gift, they basically fall out of this scheduled sequence and maybe they just get looped into your general newsletter where you’re doing more information telling or value-based storytelling and you’re not asking as much, but.
For the people who you’re trying to recoup a gift from. Yeah. They’re getting these emails. Now, can you pause an email or replace an email for something that happens or something that’s super timely? Absolutely. But it’s really nice because if you pre-write or you pre-plan your campaign, then your energy can really be spent on having those one-on-one meetings with your major gift [00:34:00] donors, or making those customized asks that for your major gift donors that you know.
An email is not going to cut it. It’s also doing all of that really important gratitude, um, that again, if you’re like, well, I don’t have time ’cause I’ve gotta send this email. It’s like, no, you really should invest in thanking donors via a call or a handwritten note and you just have a little bit more.
Space and like not for nothing. I mean, you and I are both moms to young. I have a young daughter. You have young kids, like we’ve got our own stuff going on. We’ve got holiday parties, we’ve got staff to think we’ve got Christmas presents to buy school’s out session. It’s like mad. And so if you don’t want it to be super stressful where you’re like writing emails the day you’re sending them like yes, mm-hmm.
I very much advocate for pre-writing them.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that. And you said exactly what I was thinking was like, okay, if all of that is done and thought through, then you have the time and the capacity to add [00:35:00] those more personalized touches that are really going to help set you apart and set you over the edge.
And I also feel like when you are pre-planning for things like this, you’re thinking about it more holistically, more strategically, versus like, okay, I gotta write an email for this week. Wait, what did we say last week? Like, what, what are we talking about? Like, it doesn’t, there’s not like a common thread.
And it’s not done strategically. So I love this and I just think that the, the raise more together summit, like you said, is actually perfectly timed. Yes, it’s August, but I mean a lot of kids go back to school in August. Parents are already kind of getting back into that like sort of year end routine and rhythm.
So I think this is a perfect time and if not, if you are still on summer vacation, well what better, what a better use of your time than some professional development.
Jess Campbell: And if you can’t attend live, we have the general admission pass comes with seven days of replay and the v i P pass for a whopping $77 has unlimited access for life.
So [00:36:00] it’s like you can take it in as you want.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, I think that’s great because it is a little bit overwhelming to think like, oh my gosh, I’ve got 20 of these things to get through. I’m gonna have all my notes, and then I have to actually do something with this. Like, ugh, that feels a little tricky. So for $77, you can, you know, choose the ones that feel most relevant right now.
Go through them, take your notes, take action, and then move on to what you need next. Um, I love that. So, oh, so exciting. And I don’t know if I need this, that there’s, um, so you have a private, like a podcast feed, so you can actually just listen to them. You don’t have to be glued to your
Jess Campbell: laptop. Yes. So good.
So I’m a big audio consumer of information and whether I’m walking my dog or I’m driving in my car, or I’m folding laundry, Like, that’s what I would do, frankly, unless there was like a speaker. I really, really wanted to listen to the live sessions. But we do put all the recordings of the live sessions in the private podcast feed as well.
So it’s like, I get it. And to your point, yeah, my [00:37:00] daughter literally starts school on Tuesday and then we start the summit on Wednesday. That was intentional, um, because I, it’s like I’m back to work, you know? Yeah. Summer is officially over and the attention is, Turning towards this new, really important time period for all of us nonprofits.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. I can’t wait to like watch all of the magic happen. Tell the people what are
Jess Campbell: your two
Stephanie Skryzowski: topics? Okay. Yes. What are my titles again? I am talking about how to use the nine 90 as a marketing tool. There’s a snazzier topic, or snazzier title I should say, but it’s basically about like how to use this mandatory tax filing that we all have to fill out and really how to use it strategically because honestly, it’s the first thing that somebody is gonna look at.
When they are assessing whether or not to give to your organization, and you know, I have found like before I even get on a call with a potential new client or even a, an organization that I personally might donate to, I’m looking at their nine 90 and [00:38:00] maybe it’s ’cause I’m a finance person. I’m super familiar with the form.
But your savvy funders, that is the first place that they’re going. So it’s really important to do what you can and really use it strategically. ’cause it is something that you have total control over, over how you’re using it. So I just recorded my session last night and I had to do, I don’t know if, um, if your assistant told you, but I had to do two takes because the first one was 23 minutes and I was like, oh, just.
That’s not gonna fly with Jess. I gotta do this again. So I had to cut, cut a bunch of time out of it, but, um, yeah, I’m excited. I, I’m excited. I think it came out good. And the other one is, oh my gosh, what’s my other topic? Do you remember? I gotta go look up my project plan here.
Jess Campbell: I have storytelling with financials, translating numbers into impact.
That’s right. And then, yeah. So tell the people, ’cause that’s your live one. Yes. Okay, so
Stephanie Skryzowski: this is 60 Minutes, which I’m super excited about storytelling with financials, and we’re basically going to look at the financial statements that you already have at your fingertips. You have an income statement, you have a balance sheet, [00:39:00] and I’m gonna show you some really easy ways.
To gain some new insights from these numbers. There’s like a couple quick calculations, no complicated math, no like weird accounting stuff in, in involved at all. Um, but really then how to shape those numbers into telling a story. And you know, I think for a lot of donors seeing numbers is. Almost more, maybe not more compelling, but as compelling as some sort of like emotional transformational story.
A lot of donors really wanna see those numbers because that’s what clicks in their head. So we’re gonna talk about, um, yeah, basically your financial statements and really how to translate those into a story. And you don’t have to be a numbers person. I think that’s the best part because I’m sure a lot of our fundraisers are not numbers people, you’re.
Brilliant, beautiful storytellers and like spreadsheets make you wanna cry perhaps so. So we’ll make it nice and nice and fun. Maybe
Jess Campbell: a little bit of crying, but you’ll make it a little less painful. It’ll be fun. I will also say, as a fundraiser, I found that the most [00:40:00] impactful stories I tell are the ones that infuse the numbers.
So really having that information on how we weave the two together is gonna be like magic.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yay. I’m so excited. This is gonna be awesome. Okay, so one more time. We’ll definitely put this in the show notes, but Ree, it’s more together.co is where you can see all of the speakers and learn more about the summit and get your ticket and all of that good stuff.
We’ll put everything in the show notes and yeah, and I hope to see you there live My session, my live session is Wednesday the 16th at 12:00 PM Eastern, so I’m hoping for. A big crowd to talk about numbers. Yeah.
Jess Campbell: Let’s come support our girl, Stephanie. It’s gonna be great. Um, we look forward to seeing you in a few weeks and I’m so grateful to have you a part of it.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yay. All right. Thank you so much, Jess. I am so glad we’re able to make this happen and excited to just know you now. I’m glad we’re in each other’s worlds.
Jess Campbell: Absolutely. From coast to coast. Yes,
Stephanie Skryzowski: exactly. Alright, thanks [00:41:00] Jess. Before you go, I just wanna thank you for being here. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100 degrees podcast.com.
That’s 100 degrees podcast.com, and I’ll see you next time.