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Q + A between SEED SPOT and Emily Goodstein, Online Fundraising Strategist

By Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager

SEED SPOT: We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Emily Goodstein, a fundraising strategist, author, and advocate. She took the time to talk with us about #GivingTuesday! We got to pick her brain on all things #GivingTuesday.  We’re excited to share her thoughts, insights, and best practices!

SEED SPOT: Tell us about yourself! How did you gain your fundraising expertise?

Emily: I’m Emily Goodstein — a lifelong resident of the District of Columbia, digital marketer and online fundraising enthusiast. I’ve spent over 15 years working at or with nonprofits, helping purpose driven organizations tell their stories in effective ways to gain new supporters. Before starting my own digital marketing practice, I worked at Convio and Blackbaud where I had a front row seat while good for the world groups put together strategies and campaigns to raise as much money from their donors — using email, web and social media tactics to creatively engage supporters. As a consultant, I work with 12 organizations doing much of the same work.

Emily Goodstein, Fundraiser Extraordinaire!

SEED SPOT: What are common misperceptions about #GivingTuesday that you’d like to debunk?

EG: Oh, there are so many.

One of my favorites is that #GivingTuesday is only about giving money — but it is really about all kinds of giving. Many organizations break from fundraising asks on #GivingTuesday and ask for donations of time or items they need. Other organizations use the day to simply say thank you in the midst of a sometimes overwhelming end of year season.

Another myth about #GivingTuesday it is just one day — when in reality in could actually kick off an organization’s entire end of year fundraising cycle. And taking this one step further, prep for #GivingTuesday should really begin the day after last year’s GT ended — thanking your donors and thinking about what worked and what didn’t.

Emily presenting at’s conference on how to create an effective #GivingTuesday campaign

SEED SPOT:  How can entrepreneurs leverage #GivingTuesday as a springboard into a lucrative year-round giving campaign?

EG: I love this question! The truth is, a good #GivingTuesday strategy is actually just a good year round fundraising strategy. So starting in January, folks may consider some list growth tactics that can take place all year long (so when GT hits, they have a whole bunch of eager fans waiting to hear from them). Consider a pop-up on your website to gather email addresses or running a contest where folks can enter by giving their email. And spend the year cultivating donors and building a relationship with them — showcasing how you and your cause add value to their lives or their communities. So, that way, when you get around to asking for money in November and December, folks know how important your organization is and don’t feel like the ask comes out of the blue.

The other great thing that should happen year round is reaching donors on many channels — not just by email. So once you get the email address of a supporter, consider re-targeting them on Facebook via the Custom Audience feature or sending a strategic direct mail piece. Or giving them a ring to thank them for their involvement without a fundraising ask (SEED SPOT note: this is a great way to engage your Board Members! Imagine getting a thank you call from an organization’s Board!). All this work will mean that your donation pitches are better received and donors already feel connected to your cause before they are asked to support it.

Lastly, remember to spend non-peak fundraising months testing what works well. You can always do an A/B test of email subject lines or use the Facebook promotion feature to test messages or imagery with a small budget. This way, when November and December roll around, you will know what will resonate with your audience to gain the highest donation response rate possible.



SEED SPOT: What are some common mistakes entrepreneurs make in nurturing donor relationships and how can these be avoided?

EG: The biggest mistakes I see time and time again are organizations thinking #GivingTuesday is a super saturated time and they don’t plan to participate because the field is so crowded. The kicker here is that we see the number of dollars raised growing year over year (over $300 million was raised online in 2017, up 78% from 2016) so if organizations choose not to participate in #GivingTuesday, they’re actually leaving money on the table. For organizations who aren’t in need of fundraising dollars (or, like some of my clients, organizations who had other reasons to fundraise only a month or so before #GivingTuesday hits), it may be a time to ask for non monetary gifts — but it is a time when your community is expecting to hear from you — even if your message is purely one of thanks.

The other common mistake, which can be easily avoided, is entrepreneurs only communicating with supporters in a sometimes stuffy newsletter format. Don’t wait until you have seven or eight things to list in a newsletter — it is okay to send more emails with only one ask per message as opposed to packaging everything up into a periodic update. Additionally, feeling forced to produce content just because it is “time to send out the next newsletter” is a really easy mistake to make. But cut yourself some slack and email your list when you have something to tell them, not because the calendar says it is time to send an update.

SEED SPOT: Any additional resources entrepreneurs can look into for more help?

EG: I love this guide from — check it out and get inspired as you gear up for #GivingTuesday.

The team at the Nonprofit Technology Network has some amazing resources too:

SEED SPOT: A huge thank you to Emily for helping us give power to our #GivingTuesday strategy! We at SEED SPOT are excited to take her advice to amplify our own #GivingTuesday campaign. Learn how you can donate to SEED SPOT here.

Want to hear from other Content Experts eager to help you improve your business? Consider attending a SEED SPOT 2-Day Launch Camp – one may be coming to a community near you!

Need some advice on making an ask to a donor? Learn some tips from a SEED SPOT Team member here



The post How to Spin Your #GivingTuesday Campaign into a Full-Year Culture of Giving appeared first on SEED SPOT.

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For many, it seems that finding your perfect partner can be a real challenge. You know you want partners, you’ve heard how great they can be and how much they can help your business grow. But so far they have remained elusive, mythical business creatures. Hunting for your ideal business partner should not be as impossible as the quest for Sasquatch.


First thing’s first, before you start your partner search ask yourself, do you know where to find partners or how to lure them in? Knowing these things are key to making sure you’re following the right track to finding your perfect partner. If the partners you do recruit aren’t the ideal fit, they are likely to churn. On top of that, if you’re chasing the wrong type of partner, your efforts can be costly in both the long and short term. In fact, partners churn about 10% of their vendors per year. If you’re just starting out your hunt for your perfect partner there’s a handful of things to consider.



1. How to Identify Your Ideal Partner.

When looking for your perfect partner, ask yourself:

  • Which type of partnerships are you looking to add to your business?
  • What responsibilities will your partner have?
  • How much time and money are you willing to invest in your partner program?
  • Your ideal partner may be the right fit for you—are you the right fit for them?
  • How will you define success for your partners?
  • How will your partner define their own success with you?


Ask yourself these questions before jumping into a partnership to make sure you are setting yourself and your partners up for success. After all, the goal of any partnership is to have two equally invested parties who are both benefiting from the success of the relationship. 


2. Developing Your Ideal Partner Persona

After you’ve determined your hunting strategy, which partner type you would like to implement, and your partner responsibilities, it’s time to build your Ideal Partner Persona (IPP). Assigning a name, title, industry, and business size to this profile will help you adjust your messaging to fit that specific person. Everyone wants to be communicated with like a valued person and tweaking your messaging to match the language and values of that persona will help bridge the relationship gap and relate with their goals.


When creating this partner persona, you want to make sure your IPP is someone who isn’t so different from you that your cultures and products/service offerings do not align, but different enough to have a diverse audience—giving you the chance to address prospects that are normally outside of your reach. Remember, the partnership has to be a good fit for both of you, otherwise, your partnership could end with a messy breakup. If that partnership doesn’t work out, don’t think the perfect partner is nothing more than an urban legend—get back to hunting!


3. Determining the best way to lure in your perfect partner.

You’ve spotted your perfect partner, it’s time to lure them in. The goal of any partnership program is to be exclusive enough to drive interest, but open enough to avoid disqualifying solid partner candidates.


In addition to referral commission, helping your partners feel well educated and prepared to have conversations with your customers is a huge incentive. The easier it is for partners to sell your product, the more the partner will be willing to sell for you. With partner education in mind, it may be a good idea for you to offer free quarterly training, an invitation to an annual partner conference, reserved time with the engineering team to request new features or integrations, and/or a subscription to your platform for a length of time. Making the education a known factor from the beginning will help partners to feel supported.


4. How to Get on the Right Track for Long-Term Partnerships.

Like any employee, partnership relationships work well if you set achievable, task-based goals. Think about this, if there are free goodies on the line, in addition to your standard agreement, your partner will work hard to earn those goodies. Not to mention, if you elevate your partner’s status based on their achievements, they will feel valued and recognized. How many times have you referred six friends to try yoga, spin, karate, etc. just so you could get a free month of classes? I have. Those rewards are highly motivating. As a bonus for the vendor, referred customers are more likely to adopt, quicker. It’s a win for the partner and a win for the vendor.


5. Eyes on The Prize—Now What?

After demonstrating to your partner all you have to offer, it’s their turn to offer benefits to you. Any relationship, including partnerships, is a two-way street so it’s important to make sure that your partner is as invested as you are in the relationship.


Finding your perfect partner isn’t impossible and doesn’t have to be as elusive as the search for Sasquatch. Determine what partner type is best for your business, what characteristics make those partners ideal, where to find those partners, how to intrigue those partners, and what will give the partner enough incentive to join your journey. If you can answer all of those questions, the next step is to start hunting. Get ‘em, tiger!

The post Urban Legends Debunked: Perfect Business Partners Do Exist. appeared first on Partner Relationship Management Software (PRM).

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Whether you work in-house or have clients, marketing ROI is a critical component of making sure your marketing efforts are working — and proving to key stakeholders that you’re adding value.

In this post, we’ll review the data you need to pay special attention to when measuring ROI, as well as how to calculate ROI based on your campaign goals.

Prep work for calculating marketing campaign ROI

Crunching numbers and calculating ROI is the easy part. Most of the work goes into choosing the right ROI calculation for your business or campaign and then pulling the necessary data to plug into the equation.

Determine your revenue and marketing spendNeed I say more? For campaigns where sales are the goal, you’ll need to know your post-campaign revenue and total marketing spend. If you’re optimizing for leads or other non-monetary conversions, see below.

Calculate the value of future customersFor some campaigns, success is measured in conversions that will turn into revenue later — think lead form submissions, newsletter subscriptions, etc. But it’s still important to ascribe a dollar value to each conversion because, while these calculations aren’t exact, they at least enable you to get a general idea of how much money your hard-won conversions will bring in.

The two most common ways to calculate this are average purchase value (APV) and customer lifetime value (CLV). If your customers tend to only buy once, or very sporadically, you can stick to APV. But if your customers tend to buy multiple times or pay via subscriptions, CLV may be a superior metric to use.

Determine sales cycle lengthAnother variable worth considering is how long it will take the marketing campaign to show results. If your product or service has a high price point, your sales cycle is likely considerably longer than, for example, an e-commerce clothing company. Alternatively, you may find that the sales cycle for leads you gain at tradeshows is usually much faster than those generated through digital channels (or vice versa).

In either case, take a look at your historical data to determine your sales cycle length before running ROI calculations. That way, you can be sure you’re giving your campaigns enough time to generate revenue before you measure them.

How to find the right ROI calculation for your needs

At face value, calculating ROI is simple: Just subtract marketing spend from revenue to determine your ROI figure, and then divide again by marketing spend for your ROI percentage. But depending on the specifics of the campaign, it’s important to make small tweaks to this formula for the sake of accuracy (and to prove you’re doing your job!).

1) Your campaign is optimized for one-off sales 

In this situation, you can stick to the simple equation for ROI percentage:

ROI = (Revenue – Marketing Spend) / Marketing Spend

Example: You run a Facebook ad campaign promoting your new jewelry line. You earn $5000 in revenue and spent $2000 on the campaign. Your ROI is then (5,000 – 2,000) / 2,000, or 150 percent.

2) Your campaign is optimized for non-monetary conversions that will turn into recurring sales 

Similarly to the situation above, you want to assess how much money you stand to make based on customer lifetime value, instead of just one-off revenue. First, find your customer acquisition cost:

Customer Acquisition Cost = Revenue / New Customers

Then, plug in numbers to this modified ROI equation:

ROI = (Customer Lifetime Value – Customer Acquisition Cost) / Customer Acquisition Cost

Example: You run a beauty products subscription service and conducted a direct mail campaign to get new subscribers. You spent $5,000 on the campaign materials, and earned 50 new subscribers as a result, making your customer acquisition cost (5,000/50), or $100. Your customer lifetime value is $200, so your ROI stands to be 100 percent.

3) Your campaign is optimized for non-monetary conversions that will turn into one-off sales 

Here, you can still use the original ROI equation, but you need to determine both your estimated ROI per lead and your sales conversion rate. First, find your customer acquisition cost:

Customer Acquisition Cost = Revenue / Total leads

Then, find your ROI per lead:

ROI per lead = Average Purchase Value – Customer Acquisition cost

Next, determine your forecasted revenue based on your lead to customer conversion rate:

Forecasted revenue = (Total leads * Sales Conversion Rate) * ROI per lead

Now, plug these numbers back into the normal ROI formula:

ROI = (Forecasted Revenue – Marketing Spend) / Marketing Spend

Example: You sell MRI equipment to hospitals and purchase a booth and sponsorship at a large trade show where your goal is to generate leads. You spent $100,000 on the sponsorship and earned 200 leads, giving you a customer acquisition cost of $500. If your average purchase value is $250,000, you could expect an ROI per lead of (250,000-500), or $249,500. If your lead to customer conversion rate is 5 percent, then you can expect 10 of those 200 leads to become paying customers, earning you $249,925*10, or $2,495,000 in forecasted revenue. Since you spent $100,000, that leaves you with an ROI of .025 percent.

But what about attribution for multichannel campaigns?

As a marketer, you know that in general, no campaign or marketing tactic makes money by itself. When calculating ROI for a marketing campaign, it’s important to decide in advance how (or if) you will factor in other touchpoints, and how much credit you’d like to give to them.

For example, if you’re running a single-channel direct mail campaign targeted at people who are unfamiliar with your brand, you can feel pretty confident giving 100 percent attribution to that channel — especially if you use proper tracking methods. However, if you’re running a promotional campaign that spans direct mail, email, and Facebook ads, you’ll need to decide if you want to calculate ROI by overall campaign spend, and/or break it down by channel.

To a large degree, this decision will depend on your resources. A holistic look at marketing spend in a multichannel campaign would definitely be easiest, but you’ll lose out out on important information regarding which channels performed best within the campaign. Breaking down the campaign by channel offers better insight, but requires more effort and resources.

What’s a marketer to do? At a minimum, calculate your ROI based on overall marketing spend. Doing so at least allows you to answer the question your stakeholders want answered most: Did this campaign generate revenue? From there, you can select an attribution model that can help you determine which channels contributed most to your ROI.

For more tips on attribution for multichannel campaigns, check out this post on how to dissect a marketing touchpoint.

Calculating ROI on marketing campaigns doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little prep work, you can choose and equation that works best for your campaign goals and business model.

Want to know your ROI from phone call conversions? Learn more about how CallRail makes it happen.

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