Kaizen: The Future of Fundraising


Kaizen – Japanese for “good change” – is a concept Blackbaud Chief Scientist Chuck Longfield feels all organizations can benefit from, nonprofit or otherwise. The philosophy, a consistent drive to be better, do better and innovate more, certainly permeates everything Longfield approaches. No resting on your laurels for this fundraising and technology guru!

In the newest report from npENGAGE, The Fundamentals of Fundraising, Longfield introduces us to the why; quite literally the ethos behind this report which, divided into four sections, packs an informative punch:

  • Section 1: Fundamentals
  • Section 2: Evolution of the Sector
  • Section 3: Technology
  • Section 4: Harnessing the Future

This kaizen philosophy goes beyond simple idealism and ascribes to the notion that one should not only strive to do better but that it’s a distinct responsibility of organizations to do so.

In flipping through this report, be ready to get inspired and energized. Discover new ways to look at the “same old same old”: for example, a related video recommended by contributor to the report, Karen Osborne. Check out How Great Leaders Inspire Action: 18 minute TED talk by Simon Sinek, author of the classic “Start With Why” and see how “getting limbic” with your marketing strategy can result in a more loyal brand following. This talk was aimed at the for-profit industry, but there’s no reason stations can’t benefit from Sinek’s mindset.

How is your station implementing kaizen? Send CDP a story about station improvement and we’ll feature you here and give you a virtual gold star.

****Click here to open the full “Future of Fundraising” report.

Did You Miss It? CDP Webinar Recap


If you miss any of our webinars, you needn’t worry. We record them and post the links to our website within 24 hours.

Just last week, CDP hosted a webinar discussing the results from a recent Facebook test conducted in conjunction with the Digital Engagement Council (DEC) and ActionSprout. In addition to Michal and Brooks’ comments, guest speakers on the webinar include the DEC’s Jennifer Strachan, as well as Sarah Francis and Drew Bernard from ActionSprout.

If you’re a nonprofit looking to maximize Facebook as a fundraising or engagement platform, ActionSprout can help. Their sole mission is helping nonprofits unlock the fullest possible potential from Facebook. ActionSprout, determined to help organizations bring their A-game in terms of fundraising strategy, has developed a tool that snaps into Facebook and helps track engagement, among other things.

Don’t miss this highly informative and unique content: click here to watch now.

***You may be prompted for a password – if you need a reminder, contact us.

Donor Retention Tips from npENGAGE


Donor Retention: The Easiest Money You’ll Ever Raise

An apt metaphor author Gail Perry uses for donor churn is a fundraising “treadmill” in which organizations work very hard to bring in new donors as the current ones “fly out the window.” How to stop this incessant cycle is the big question on all our collective minds and this npEngage post has excellent tips on instilling that much-desired loyalty in your organization’s donors. Check out their 20-point tip list on everything from timing of the “Thank You” and continued engagement.

As you check out this list, bear in mind that dissatisfaction may not be a factor in donor drop-off; that simple apathy may play a role. Your typical social media user is processing 285 pieces of content each day. Much of the list Perry compiles for readers is centered around a consistent and multi-pronged engagement of donors in a way that makes your organization literally unforgettable. A relational approach is outlined within these steps that will ensure you’re on the donor’s radar in a positive way.

Tips on retention should be used on all donors, including Sustainers. In fact, having a Sustainer program is one of the best ways to reduce donor-churn. Whether you’re just starting out or if you’re trying to reduce Sustainer drop-off our Sustainer Best Practices Checklist can help. It’s uber-organized with linked assets where applicable and a prioritization system built in so you can delegate tasks among your membership team.

If you’re ready to take steps toward change, CDP has culled the research for you (and not just for Sustainers) – straight out of the National Reference File (NRF). You may know about CDP’s beloved Fundraising Checklists, but have you taken a peek at our Fundraising Calculators? There is a retention calculator for Sustainers as well as a Long Term Value calculator (LTV) which will show the value of members acquired through all your fundraising channels. Thinking ahead to end-of-year strategies or your FY giving push, organically map out how and when some of Perry’s retention tips might be used and start delegating those tasks ahead of time.

If you have a success story about retention at your station you’d like to share, please contact us!

CDP in the News: Currrent.org


CDP Executive Director Michal Heiplik was interviewed by Current for the second time this month, this time with an eye toward tracking Sustainer trends in fundraising.

In the article, which asserts that growth is tapering off but still happening, Heiplik is asked about trends among the stations that CDP tracks for the quarterly ROAR report. Citing a drop-off that began last year, he says “we used to be able to retain 90 percent of Sustainers by month 13; that number in the first quarter of this year is at 83 percent.”

Current journalist Dru Sefton writes that “TV stations continue to battle the popularity of transactional pledge and its focus on thank-you gifts. Donors may still confuse a sustaining membership, which continues indefinitely, with a yearlong installment plan, and request to end donations after that point. Smaller stations with fewer resources continue to face challenges in prioritizing sustainer work.”

Pledge is one of the most powerful ways to achieve the conversion from a transactional to sustaining donor. Check out CDP’s Best Practices Checklist to find ways to mitigate Sustainer drop-off from your donor files. The chart above, sourced from Target Analytics, highlights some recent stats: click through to see the full text of the recent Current article: Public TV Sustainer Growth May Be Slowing But Still Shows Progress.


Earlier this month, Current published “Pubcasters Refine Tactics for Acquiring Donors Through Canvassing”, an update on the CDP revival of door-to-door canvassing that has raised over $14 million for participating stations in the last 5 years.




Here at the Sheraton Boston the Exhibit Hall is officially open (Ballroom A, 2nd floor) and Team CDP is looking forward to connecting with YOU! Come find us in booths 116, 118 and 120 to discuss your ROAR (Revenue Opportunity and Action Report), new CDP services, or how to get started if you are not yet participating in quarterly benchmarking. (Click here to see a sample of the ROAR report if you’re unfamiliar.)

To sweeten the pot, we’ve got two Apple iWatches to giveaway to conference-goers this week. Enter to win at our booth by dropping your business card and signing our guestbook. We’ll draw our lucky winners and announce them here on our blog sometime next week.

Our sponsorship session Collaborations Driving NET Revenue will take place on Thursday, August 11th at 9:45am – 11:00am in Sheraton’s Public Garden Room (not to be confused with Boston’s actual Publick Garden off-site). Come and hear how stations are finding ways to collaborate creating lasting and profitable partnerships that build scale and opportunity.

Looking for some fun while you’re here? We’ve got you covered. Our team has compiled a list of recommended eateries and local sightseeing while you’re here in beautiful Boston. Click here for details.



Downton Abbey Sweepstakes Winner Takes His Trip


Is it possible that Highclere Castle looks even more majestic in the background than it does on TV? Pictured here is the grand prize winner of this year’s Downton Abbey Sweepstakes, Philip S. from El Segundo, CA, along with his wife and a local guide.

Stations who wish to update their prospects and members on the winners can use the official Facebook and Twitter messaging below; contact CDP for digital copies of these photos. Also, in case you forgot: check your CDP Station Dropbox for prospect lists that were placed there in late Spring, garnered from this year’s Sweeps.

2016 Downton Abbey Sweepstakes’ Grand Prize Winner, Philip S. and his wife from El Segundo, CA arrive at Highclere Castle! They had afternoon tea with the Countess Carnarvon.

2016 Downton Abbey Sweepstakes’ Grand Prize Winner + wife from CA arrive @ Highclere Castle! They had tea with the Countess Carnarvon.