On my second day at the Nonprofit Technology Conference…
I attended a session led by Jeff Shuck, President and CEO of Event 360. His company is one of the leaders in designing and directing events for nonprofits. I met a few of Jeff’s wonderful staff too, and heard all about their work on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure projects. Event 360 is U.S. firm that designs and directs events for nonprofits. The session– A Scientist in Your Communications Department: Segmenting Messages, Customizing Content, and Delivering Results. This was another incredible session, Jeff’s vibrant and energetic personality being half of it. He made breaking down these insane numbers and analytics actually quite fun. Well, “fun” from my seat in the audience. It was probably not fun for those individuals actually involved in calculating these numbers and statistical research. Jeff’s presentation packed my little head with even more essential information– thank goodness that was the last session of the day, I was getting close to brain explosion for the loads of knowledge I was learning.
Like I said, his presentation was FULL of charts and graphs and numbers…and while about 60% of the presentation I could barely wrap my head around, the 40% of key takeaways I left with are essential to any communications strategy:
 First things first — you must understand what segmentation is. Understand what makes your constituents tick and group them together based on these similar characteristics. Identify your highest potential groups.
What happens if I don’t segment? You OVERSATURATE people with information; you’re giving them a reason to never open emails from you again.
Collecting your data. Often we don’t know this yet this is one of the most important pieces of data. How do you collect it? Start with WHY– asking you people why they do what they do. For example, why does that individual donate? What’s his/her connection to the cause?
 Measuring your data. Take your data and rank people on 3 things. For example– How recently did you give? How often did you give? How long have you been giving as a donor? (i.e. 20 years)
 Define your groups, send different messages. A basic segment for fundraisers to go on- people that give frequently vs. people that have never donated money at all. They need to receive different messages.
He then brought in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure case study, which is where the numbers began to bury me. In a nutshell, his goal was to figure out which groups weren’t donating, figure out why, and fix it. I had some stats about their online communications method using
75 unique messages (4 different kinds for each)
17 recruitment messages
46 fundraising messages
10 general updates
2 donor messages
That’s A LOT of messaging.
Predictive Analysis. Use your constituent knowledge and information about past activities as indicators of potential future activity. Identify a predisposition towards a specific action, give them messaging and tools to get there faster.
Build Strong Messaging. Every message must have to things: NEED, IMPACT and ACTION. Ask yourself, what problem are you trying to solve? People give to impact. Make a specific ask– be simple and concise. Make sure your mission is always front and center.
Overall– PERSONALIZE your messages based on what you know about people’s motivations. BUILD your case. ILLUSTRATE your need and the impact a donation will make. TEST and MEASURE the response to different messages.
Those were just my own notes. If you’re left wanting more, check out Jeff’s presentation in SlideShare: http://slidesha.re/fnBMIc
Thanks, Jeff! And to the rest of you– remember to always thank you donors