12,154 Love letters: My 33 years as United Way pro

  If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. –Marc Anthony For the last 12,154 days I have been directly employed by United Way or one of its subsidiaries. September 30, 2015 was my last day working within United Way network. June 21, 1982: I arrived in Alexandria at the former United Way of America HQ just a few weeks after graduating from The College of William and Mary. I found this photo of the UWA management training class from that first week on the job. The program recruited 10 recent graduates each year from across the nation, immersing us into two different United Way organizations over 12 months–one placement in fundraising and one placement in community impact. As the 1st generation in my family removed from sharecropping in rural Georgia and Virginia, this was an amazing opportunity. What an adventure! My career has taken me from Alexandria, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Hampton/Newport News, Lexington and finally to Cincinnati. Over the years, I quickly learned to pay attention to the origin story of each organization which contained the core DNA to the culture many decades later. Was that United Way formed by service providers seeking an efficient fund-raising channel? Or was it formed by people with resources seeking more effective service delivery options? Very different origin stories played out in very different community-based organizations. What I remember most from this time are the people, both inside the organization and within the community. As a young professional, the vast opportunity for mentorship by corporate titans and community activists alike was incredible. So many life lessons and...

New Donor Defections

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  But in this case, a picture is better than a hundred reports.  This is a chart from the WinBack platform for one of our pilot communities showing how many new donors recruited a few years ago are still giving to this United Way.  Over 75% of those new donors in 2010 no longer give at all. (And this from a very strong, progressive and beloved United Way).  All of that hard work, wasted. When our client saw this chart, their immediate reaction was to rethink their intentionality around on-boarding new donors and keeping them engaged over time.  At Winsightz, we find that many organizations lack a thoughtful and planned effort around donor retention. That’s why our WinBack pilot program is so important to organizations facing donor retention challenges. Our program is designed to help you FIND, KNOW and ENGAGE both lapsed and at-risk donors. We’re showing you many new views of donor churn/donor retention. We’re bringing together fundraising experts to help guide you through weekly coaching sessions tailored to your organization.  And finally, through our cohort of members, we’re sharing promising practices attacking the problem during our 90 day sprint. This chart doesn’t have to be your future, when you take action with WinBack today.  For a program description and screen shots of the platform, please email...

Join our 2015 WinBack Pilot

We are now recruiting a select number* of organizations to pilot the WinBack platform of software and strategic coaching services dedicated to helping you WinBack lapsed and at-risk customers/donors. The pilot program includes the following benefits: 90 days use of our interactive churn dashboard connected to your CRM/campaign system 11 churn segments based upon donation/purchasing history Drill-down capability to identify specific customers Customer profiles include internal history and social media matching Exportable files for use in your marketing efforts 90 days of strategic services in support of your WinBack campaign Review of your initial data by Amy Case, the creator of our churn dashboard Weekly strategic coaching calls with your team to understand/use the information Monthly meetings of the pilot organizations for best practice sharing/migration Fixed pilot fee, representing 75% savings over the proposed monthly price Enrollment for the 4th quarter pilot ends soon.  To apply, email win@winsightz.com. *A special welcome to the SIX WinBack pilot organizations who have enrolled to date.  The pilot will be capped at 12-14 participants.   Boston, MA: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley Cleveland, OH: United Way of Greater Cleveland  Fitchburg, MA: United Way of North Central Massachusetts Louisville, KY: Metro United Way Reno, NV: United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra Winston-Salem, NC: United Way of Forsyth County...

Introducing WinBack

Losing customers or donors?  Many organizations spend vast amounts of energy chasing new customers, yet lose an offsetting number due to inattention.  At Winsightz, we have a heart for charitable causes and small/medium businesses facing this challenge. That’s why as our first product, we’re introducing WinBack–software and coaching services to help you FIND, KNOW and ENGAGE your lapsed customers.  Through the balance of 2015, we’re piloting our new service with a select number of organizations to test our product and refine our processes focused on WinBack opportunities of lapsed and at-risk customers. In the 90 day pilot program, we connect our software to your existing CRM/campaign platform providing overnight updates to our live “churn” dashboard. FIND:  We segment your customers into 11 segments based upon their purchasing/donation history.  The dashboard has many views of the data and can be filtered by the way you organize your efforts. KNOW: Within each segment, you have drill down capability on individual profiles which blend key data elements within your organization with social media matches so you can know even more about your WinBack prospects. ENGAGE: Within each segment, you can download an Excel version of the data for further refinement/use.  And when there are social media matches, you can see their recent posts and launch to their platform from within their profile. We’re offering our pilot program at 75% off of list price (buy one month, get two free months and no installation fees). Don’t let another quarter go by without focusing your efforts on WinBack.  For more information, email Winston@Winsightz.com or call 859-240-9822....

$350 million opportunity

I recently learned that over the past eight years, United Ways across the US lost 3.5 million donors (a decrease of 30%).  That’s a net loss of donors, masking a larger issue with donor/customer churn.  And while overall revenue has remained relatively constant over that period, it is a disturbing trend. Assuming $100 average gift per donor (less than $2 per week), that means that there is at least $350,000,000 fewer dollars available for the community work United Ways are doing across this nation this year than eight years ago. As a United Way leader, what is your share of $350 million?  Do you know how many donors you lost over the past several years?  Even more importantly, do you know them by name, giving history and interests?  And what if you could see this information in a visual format, updated nightly showing those donors who may be at-risk of leaving? As someone who has devoted my entire professional career in and around United Ways, I’ve decided to take action this fall to work with a cohort of progressive United Ways to arrest and reverse this trend. By making donor win back a singular focus, I believe we will also improve donor retention and new donor on-boarding—with the combination of these ultimately plugging the leaks from our annual campaign buckets. I’m now recruiting up to TEN United Way organizations to participate in a pilot of our WinBack program for three months this fall.  In the 2015 WinBack pilot we will be using the NewSci churn platform created by Amy Case, to help us easily FIND, KNOW and ENGAGE donor...