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Podcast | Elevating Donor Loyalty: Strategies for Long-Term Nonprofit Growth

Recent statistics show continued declines across all types of donors from 2022 to 2023 — except those who had given seven or more gifts, which increased. This growth highlights the significance of donor loyalty. 

In this Go Beyond Fundraising podcast episode, Allegiance Group + Pursuant Chief Strategy Officer Trent Ricker discusses the value of fostering deep, meaningful relationships with donors. He emphasizes quality over quantity and says loyalty to an organization can lead to deep-rooted support that will last regardless of what’s happening in the short term. 

Trent also explains the difference between transactional and relational fundraising. He urges nonprofit professionals to return to the basics and focus on stewardship, using data and donor preferences as a guide. He even shares how a positive stewardship experience turned a planned gift from his stepfather into family-wide support for a children’s healthcare organization. 

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Host: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of the Go Beyond Fundraising podcast. Today, I’m sitting down with our Chief Strategy Officer, Trent Ricker. Trent, welcome back to the show! 


Trent Ricker: Thanks, Leah. Always a pleasure to join you. 


Host: Yes, we were having a spirited discussion, and we decided we needed to sit down and hit record because you and I were looking over the recent Fundraising Effectiveness Project. They released some numbers recently that showed some declines across all aspects of donors — newly acquired donors, repeat donors — and only the category of donors who had given seven or more gifts saw any measurable increases when you looked at 2022 compared to 2023.  


And it just got you and me thinking about this overall topic of donor loyalty. That can sound like an incredibly broad topic, but I think it’s important for us to talk about because it is one of the most valuable aspects of any nonprofit brand — or any for-profit brand for that matter. 


So, we know that donor loyalty is one of the most valuable aspects that a brand has in its portfolio. But too often, nonprofits are mismanaging donor loyalty, and you had some amazing thoughts you have observed when talking to nonprofit leaders. So, let’s start there. 


Trent Ricker: Yes, in some ways, Leah, it’s complicated, and in other ways, I think it’s as simple as it’s ever been, and I think that’s what fires me up sometimes. I’ve been in some great conversations with some of our client leaders who are seasoned professionals. Some of us have been around for a long time, so we’ve seen a lot of different things over the last few decades. While things like Giving USA or the Fundraising Effectiveness Project are so important to give us a pulse, from a macro perspective, I think that we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that quality matters over quantity. And loyalty to an organization and a cause will create deep-rooted support that lasts regardless of what’s happening in the short term. 


There are always things and a study that will come out and say, “Okay, here’s where we’re at related to inflation and consumer sentiment and the stock market and the macro geo-political environment.” We have an election coming up and there are wars, and all of that absolutely impacts the short-term decisions that people make with their disposable income. And as we know, when we’re looking for support for the causes that we’re looking for financial support from, a lot of that is going to be disposable income and episodic giving. And others are a little bit more regular and long-term and loyal that should hopefully lead to some planned giving. 


I think what kind of got me fired up about some of these studies is, once again, we see the challenge in acquisition — acquiring new donors, which you and I have talked about before. I question some of the data there because I do believe that nonprofits are engaging with new donors in different ways that are a little bit harder to track. But table that a little bit.  


It still comes back to something that’s been a philosophical anchor for me for so long, and that is delineating between what is transactional fundraising and relational fundraising. I think my belief is there’s always a place for transactional fundraising. And at the basics, transactional fundraising might be something like — remember bake sales? They still do them, right? For whatever charity, if somebody goes and they’re giving money. Or the Salvation Army, the bucket, the entrance to the grocery store, whatever it might be, it’s very transactional in nature because we’re giving by nature. But that’s a bit different. There’s nothing wrong with that. Again, we can actually have a positive ROI transactional fundraising event or campaign, and we should absolutely count that money in our coffers and put it toward good use for our missions. 


But relational fundraising is different. We want to build the deepest relationship we can with those who intersect, who have a care for the cause that we as an organization are trying to serve, and those who have an interest and also have the capacity and means to serve, whether that’s through donating, participating in an event, advocating for a cause, volunteering for the cause, being an ambassador online. But when we build loyalty, then we build predictability; we build long-lasting, deep-seated roots.  


So, again, when I see some of these numbers come up — and reflecting upon conversations I’ve had with a variety of leaders in the space over the last few months — the fundamentals matter. And I want to spend a little bit of time today talking about what organizations can and should be thinking about that’s a little bit more mid-game and long-game and a little less about short-game related to some of the things and some of the tactics that I see that are very much ROI-focused. Still very important, don’t get me wrong. Everyone should track the tactics that they’re doing, the business cases that they’re making related to any sort of investment, whether that be an acquisition or an event or whatever else it might be.  


But I think we need to make sure we're not losing sight. And perhaps the single most important tactic — and strategy, I should say, more broadly — that an organization should be thinking of is stewarding donors to a place of deep-seated loyalty such that that supporter positions your organization as one of their top three, four, five philanthropic priorities. And if we’re trying to work on those who have a deeper inclination to support a cause like yours, then we should work toward loyalty. And I think data today helps us do that better than ever. 


So, my first start more than anything else — and I want to hear your perspectives because you brought an interesting perspective that reminded me a lot related to generational fundraising. Yes, let’s share with our audience a little bit of what we were talking about with the cohorts related to generational giving because I think there’s an expectation there as well. 


Host: Absolutely. Before we hit record today, we were waxing a little bit about how your given donor is probably going to go through many different seasons of life. Someone who’s perhaps a married couple in their late 20s/early 30s but doesn’t have kids yet may have some extra disposable income to give to an organization. They may have to back off from that giving once kids come into the picture. They may be able to give a little bit more after they get through some of those early seasons. They may have to back off that giving once again once those kids go to college.  


Once maybe they start having to pay for weddings, and then maybe their parents start to get old, and they have to start investing in elder care or paying money for elder care. And then once they get through that next season, they may be, if they’ve been with you through all those different seasons of life and they have felt like they matter to you and that you have cultivated a valuable relationship with them, now they’re moving into a time in their life where they may be wanting to include you in their estate planning.  


I think that when economic times are uncertain, we’re not sure how the future is going to be, it can make a lot of leaders get perhaps myopic about how different fundraising programs are performing quarter over quarter, and they could be losing sight of that overall lifetime value of a donor. And having the patience to invest in things that may not necessarily have a positive ROI today, tomorrow, in a year, two years, but over that donor’s lifetime will prove incredibly fruitful. 


So, I’ll stop there because there are many different ways that we can take it. But I think it’s a perspective that is important to have in mind in 2024 as we’re seeing these continual declines in different areas of fundraising. 


Trent Ricker: Yeah, I think that’s true. And I think you did a nice job. That’s timeless, the arc you talked about of the lifecycle of an individual and their possible propensity to give based upon where they are in their stations in life. I think if you overlay that with the actual cultural changes of those folks — so, for instance, those that were in their 20s and married without children 50 years ago probably thought and acted differently than those today. In fact, even if you look at my parents, who would be baby boomers, they married much younger, and they had children much younger. So, that’s obviously changed, and their beliefs and how they were raised and what they believe today — now baby boomers — is different from what we might think with millennials, Gen X, Gen Y, etc. So, we need to think about that from the nonprofit perspective.  


And some of this stuff I think we should talk about — I want our audience to understand that this might be a bit remedial, but it’s important that we do pause to consider the basics. And at times, I see organizations, particularly direct response programs, get into a rinse and repeat because there’s predictability to it. So, there’s a rinse-and-repeat mentality of “because it’s predictable and we did this last year” — we do want to constantly iterate maybe with some test packages and try to improve upon last year’s numbers — “but last year’s numbers gave us some predictability.” No argument with you at all on that because we need to have predictability, and we want to be able to continue to do what works. But I would also suggest that your addressable audience and some of those tactics continue to change and maybe even shrink.  


Traditional list acquisition through the mail still performs but at varying levels — and I might even argue declining levels over the years because you are inherently fishing from a pond that’s getting smaller and smaller. Not to suggest that’s the pond of addressable donors, but the pond of those that respond to direct mail through tactics that you’ve engaged with in the past is shifting. Traditional organizations that might do front-end premiums like address labels — that audience still performs; you can still have a positive ROI package. In fact, if somebody hired us to get them “more donors,” there are lots of tactics that we could employ in order to get more people to give a gift or more to your organization. And that’s transactional fundraising, by the way.  


That doesn’t necessarily mean that the vast majority of those folks have an inclination to loyally support your cause. However, through transactional fundraising, if you’re applying analytics effectively on your new donors to determine if there’s an overlay of those that have a proclivity to give to organizations like yours, they’ve now given a first gift, they might have a certain capacity to give, then that should inform the tactic that you might follow up with on that strategic segment moving forward. Others you might steward and say, “Thank you very much” and not invest a whole lot into because they might not have shown much of an inclination to support organizations like yours in the past. 


Again, I’m conflating a couple of different things here. One, are we thinking about our acquisition efforts effectively to ask those to support our organization and then dive deeper with those who might be loyal to us? Number two, are we doing it in a way so that we are diversifying our next-generation donors? I think it’s pretty evident that the way you talk to a baby boomer in a, let’s use a direct mail acquisition piece, would be different than a millennial, than a Gen X. I think we’d all agree that the way that we might talk to that individual would be quite different. If we knew that information, we would strategically segment our copy, our imagery, perhaps our cadence, our blend of channels that we would speak to clearly. Direct mail still performs quite well, but we know that digital is a channel that’s nimbler and showing increasingly better returns. We can advertise in certain areas more specifically, more relevant, more timely, more personalized.  


Starting on this journey of thinking about acquisition — what is your acquisition strategy? First, where are you working in transactional acquisition versus relational acquisition? And once we acquire new donors, what are we doing to retain those donors so that our future issues are less about how we replace the donors we’ve lost — because we’re going to lose some donors, clearly. But I see far too many organizations that have too high of churn. They could be investing in either acquiring the right donors and/or cultivating the donors they did get to increase the likelihood of them being loyal donors over the long term. 


Does that make sense, Leah? 


Host: It absolutely does. It’s interesting — there was an example that you brought up when we were prepping for this episode about a healthcare organization where they saw their annual giving program mostly as a revenue generator rather than a pool of prospects for mid-level and major gifts. And you’ve seen this time and time again, where the annual giving program at healthcare organizations is maybe not turning much of a profit. And so, an ROI-driven leader will come in and say, “We can spend those dollars much more fruitfully elsewhere, and we’re going to decrease our investment in that program.”  


And in your view, it has caused them to not see that people who are in that annual giving pool are folks who could be potential mid-level and major givers if they were just stewarded and invested in the right way. 


Trent Ricker: Yeah, it’s a great example. And again, I come back to this macro perspective, that there are very generally two types of nonprofit organizations. There are those that have customers as part of their revenue — arts and culture have patrons and members that pay for tickets to go to a museum or to go to a show. Universities clearly have students, and hospitals have patients. So, those are three pretty simple examples. There are other mission-based organizations that don’t have that pipeline of prospective donors or supporters.  


And by the way, just because they’re “customers” doesn’t mean that they’re supporters as well. When we work with arts and culture, it’s very important to figure out those folks who buy tickets versus those who become a member to experience those benefits — it’s an ultimate premium, if you will — to those who are both member-donors, right? I’m going to pay for a membership, but I’m also going to give you a donation on top of it. To those that don’t care anymore about their membership because maybe it’s past the point by which they’re able to physically or want to enjoy that particular arts and culture program, but they want to continue to foster and cultivate the arts for the community or for generations to come. But they have a pipeline, right? So, first of all, there’s a difference between that.  


And I think to the point that you brought up that we were talking about healthcare. Healthcare is a great example — constant pipeline of patients. And when you hit people in that cycle, there is a potential cycle for grateful patients to become philanthropic supporters. And a healthcare organization has an opportunity to make a case for support for the work that they may do for research or care or community engagement or whatever else it might be.  


But over the years, I’ve worked with a myriad of development folks in healthcare, and it’s interesting to me that we might work with an organization that looks at their direct response program, let’s say as a prospect. Like, we are marketing, and we are prospecting, and we are cultivating prospective new donors and next-generation donors and cultivating those. And some of those are going to filter into our mid-level program and major program and potentially planned giving as well over time. And then, we might work well with an organization for a few years building the foundation in that those programs — let’s just say regular acquisition programs — sometimes breaking even or working at a slight loss is acceptable because the long-term lifetime value of the newly acquired donor in a sustaining program, a monthly program, is positive long-term ROI.  


So back to that example, some of those organizations would look at say, “Do I look at my direct response program as a revenue generator, or do I look at it as a part of a comprehensive fundraising strategy that’s part of my prospecting initiatives and cultivation and marketing and stewardship?” And the answer is yes, particularly in healthcare.  


Now, I could make the argument to the counter in some of the, let’s say, mission-based organizations that don’t have that benefit. They have to actually acquire new donors through nontraditional means or, let’s say, traditional direct response means. I’m going to go to a co-op, or I’m going to rent some lists, or I’m going to do a peer-to-peer event, or I’m going to do a gala or a golf event, and I’m going to try to increase my brand recognition, I’m going to try to raise some money that’s positive ROI at those particular events and those particular programs — they have to have a sharper eye for that. But still, make no mistake, why wouldn’t you engage in trying to acquire the right donor who has a higher likelihood of giving you multiple gifts over multiple years, which obviously decreases your cost to acquire a donor?  


And therein comes back to one of the simplistic elements that we want to talk about today. Do not lose sight that any acquisition effort, while a transactional donor, we should take their support, and we should thank them and give them an opportunity to continue to support us. The real opportunity is strategically trying to acquire the types of donors that are more likely to be loyal donors. And just as importantly, when we do acquire the new donor, to understand if that new donor does fit that profile. And if so, what are we going to do to cultivate them to the next gift, to the next gift, to hopefully becoming a sustaining giver, which again reduces our cost to serve that donor?  


And I want to pause here because another element that’s starting to trouble me a little bit is the stewardship element being marginalized. Some organizations say stewardship is a luxury or “We can’t afford to do that.” “We’re down in fundraising this year, so we’re going to cut something. We’re going to cut a newsletter or we’re going to cut a program.” I’m here to suggest that, having been around for a while, particularly during poor economic conditions, say ’08, ’09, when folks stewarded well and kept people engaged — regardless of how difficult things might be for your organization — those donors stayed loyal, and those organizations remained stronger even through the difficult times. 


So, I think it’s an important element to bring stewardship into this conversation as well because that’s the bridge between an acquired donor and a loyal, retained donor. Retention is critical. 


Host: I think it comes down to something simple, and that is value. And the reason I say that word is because, in order for someone to make a purchase and make another purchase or to make a donation and then another donation, they have to feel like the value that they’re getting out of that transaction is greater than what they’ve put into it.  


And I’m going to use an example from YouTube because, as millennials, my husband and I both consume an inordinate amount of YouTube. But I’ve noticed that the creators on that platform that do well, they’ll start by — if you’ve watched a couple of videos, in every video they’ll always ask you to subscribe to their channel. And then, in another video, they may share about their Patreon program. And their Patreon program is where you can become a partner, and you can donate a certain amount monthly to them. And based on the tier that you elect into monthly, you can get exclusive content from them. So, maybe a newsletter or exclusive videos or early access to videos.  


And if they are delivering and continue to deliver content that you find incredibly valuable — for example, fitness advice, nutrition advice, maybe they just talk about an entertainment topic that you find particularly entertaining — you will continue to see that as a valuable investment because you feel like you’re getting more than you’re putting in. And I think that nonprofits too often make this mistake that donors are perhaps more generous than they are. And that people, at the end of the day, they do want to support these causes they feel passionate about. But at the deepest human level, they want to feel like they’re getting more value out of it than they’re actually putting in.  


And I’m going to stop there because I’m sure that probably sparked a lot of thoughts for you. But I don’t think that enough nonprofits are thinking about that value question deeply enough. 


Trent Ricker: Yeah, I think it’s pretty well documented that millennials, in particular, and younger, care a lot about what their dollars are doing when they support an organization. They have a high level of expectation — instant gratitude, if you will — to understand that if they gave you $100, they’d want to know pretty quickly. It’s not just about saying thank you, that’s basic manners; we talked about that earlier. Everything I needed to learn, I learned in kindergarten, or whatever it might be. Yeah, thanks; you need to say thank you.  


But I think that the younger the generation, the more their expectation is that they have an understanding about what you’re actually doing with it. And that doesn’t need to necessarily be, “Your $100 did XYZ,” although that’s a great way to fundraise, right? A lot of great organizations say, “Hey if you give us X dollars per month, it’ll give clean water to these many people.” Great, right?  


But the younger generation, in particular, cares a lot about seeing as quickly as possible and in a medium they care about. You talked about YouTube — they care about video, let’s say, even if it’s raw video from somebody’s phone to show the impact that it’s making on somebody drinking clean water for the first time. That gives them confidence in your organization that you’re doing what you said you were going to do. And it gives them the joy and the gratitude and the value that their donation made a difference.  


Whereas I think on the opposite of that spectrum, baby boomers came from a generation that they got their news via newspapers and nightly news and the mail. And so, if they made a donation, they would get maybe even a handwritten letter that would come weeks later in the mail, and there wasn’t a whole lot of communication and there was a higher level of trust. Fewer organizations, by the way too, so it took a lot of brand trust and brand equity to be built so that people could feel comfortable in giving to those organizations.  


But even in the example that you gave, to engage you as a next-generation supporter, I assume you’re a millennial, is that fair to say, Leah?  


Host: Yes.  


Trent Ricker: Yeah, okay, and I’m on the tail end. I’m a Gen Xer, but I’m an older Gen Xer. So even a Gen X I think is 1965 to 1980. Isn’t there a big difference between somebody who was born in 1968 versus 1978? There’s a pretty big difference. Not huge, but It’s big enough, particularly in this day and age. When you say YouTube, the old man in me hears “U2,” and I’m thinking you’re thinking about the band at Sphere or something like that, and I get all excited. You’re talking about YouTube, which I know of, and I’ll engage in, and I’ll watch some videos on.  


But to your point, you are there a lot more deeply, frequently, and more engaged than me using it as a consumption channel. I might go there and, hey I want to catch a golf lesson on YouTube or something like that. And I wouldn’t quite think about subscribing to a channel just yet. 


That point being is both acquiring you and me as donors is different although our age difference is not that significant. Stewardship would be significantly different. If you gave a first gift, you’re going to want to be stewarded in a way that’s different and engaged in a way, followed up on in a way. To create loyalty for you is different than maybe me giving a credit card or responding to something via a digital follow-up to join a monthly program.  


You might expect an ambassador package that might equip you to post some things on your social channels because you’re not only wanting to know what the organization is doing but you want to proudly share it with your tribe. That’s awesome! We should equip you to do that. I may or may not want to do that. I may be more of a consumer of content on social, or I might be what’s considered a little bit more of a lurker — I’ve never loved that term because it sounds creepy, doesn’t it? But I actually find more interest in just keeping up with other people than engaging in the online channels.  


Whereas my mom is absolutely that way. And yet, is she important? Of course, she’s important as a supporter and somebody who is still consistently giving but maybe at a declining pace because she’s now in her early 80s. But for those organizations that she’s stayed loyal to, I’m quite certain that she’ll be leaving generosity in her estate to some of those organizations. So, is it important to continue to cultivate and steward them? I’m stating the obvious — it absolutely, positively is. 


So, this just speaks to three — yourself, I could talk about my daughters, for instance, who are 16 and 19. Different than Leah, different than me, different than my mom. How are we thinking about that related to acquisition? But just as importantly, the topic of today’s podcast: loyalty, retention, stewardship. Because if we’re going to face an increasing challenge in acquisition, then it’s even that much more important to keep what we get and cultivate to the point that we’re building deep-seated loyalty and long-term value. 


Host: 100%, and I think that the ways that you engage the different generations can cross generations. And maybe a great anecdote or story for us to end on is, without naming any names of organizations, you shared a story about your stepfather leaving a legacy gift to two separate children’s healthcare organization and had very different stewardship experiences with both of them.  


And without giving away the ending too much, one of them left the possibility that you may end up leaving a legacy gift to this organization that stewarded well rather than the other one. And so, there’s going to be a potential downstream effect from just a legacy gift being handled in a compassionate and engaging way versus something that was just more rote and transactional. 


Trent Ricker: Yeah, it’s an interesting case study that I inadvertently backed into. When my stepfather passed away a few years ago, he gave pretty meaningful gifts to two different organizations that he supported. They were both children’s charities. The stewardship was night and day between the two organizations. There’s a lot to be said for this — you and I were talking about it earlier — this massive wealth transfer underway. Baby boomers are set to pass on $68 trillion to their children, and I see articles nearly every day about some wealthy celebrity and what they’re going to do with it, or “my kids don’t deserve it, I’m going to give it to charities,” or whatever else it might be. It doesn’t matter, there’s discussion about it because there’s this gap and there’s a lot of wealth being transferred. 


In this particular case, I don’t think I ever remember a conversation with my stepfather related to what organizations he had supported. I knew he supported his alma mater; I knew he’d been a member of a couple service organizations that he’d given support to. But I was surprised to hear where he gave gifts because I didn’t realize he’d given to those organizations regularly or had any inclination other than they were both children’s organizations that supported health issues with children.  


The way my mom was stewarded was night and day, and I’ll quickly go through this story. One organization, she got a very transactional letter from an attorney that acknowledged the gift and thanked her of course, but it was very cold. It was actually signed by the attorney, and it was an acknowledgement letter, almost a receipting than it was anything to do with the impact. That organization didn’t do any further follow-up. She didn’t get a touchpoint from any of the development team to thank her or to learn more about how my stepfather had been a part of that organization or what they could do to serve her to continue to be a part of the mission of that organization. I don’t know that my mom expected much to be honest with you, because that’s not who she was, and (she) felt it was a private gift between her husband and that organization. 


But what was eye-opening was the other organization and how they did it completely different. First of all, they called her to thank her. And then the individual asked that if they were in that area soon, if they could come visit her, thank her, take her to lunch, tell her a bit more about how that gift made an impact for their organization, and learn a little bit more about Tom’s desires for that gift, particularly as it was left for children in the health organization. And my mom took that as a gesture of gratitude, so not one that was threatening in any way, shape, or form. 


Being in this business, I would joke with my mom and say, “Ah, they’re going to get their hooks into you, mom.” I said, “But no, it’s good actually. I love to see that they’re stewarding. But this individual’s going to build a relationship with you and that’s appropriate, so take that visit.” And she did. Subsequently when my mom was visiting her granddaughter in Utah and visited one of those hospitals, and got a tour, got further involved. I’ll save some of the details of all the various touchpoints.  


But suffice to say my mom started to give gifts annually to that organization since my stepfather has passed. And my mom has since shared with me, and I think she has shared with that organization that she’s left some in her will for them as well. Both because of I think what she’s now learned about that organization but also in honor of her husband. And that transfer of wealth that went to her and to now charities. My brother and I have had the opportunity to be cultivated a bit. Because I’m in the industry, I know some of these players anyway. But I’ve been able to watch this play out pretty well and even watch my brother, who will be almost an ambassador of that organization.  


So, in this unintentional way, stewardship in that case from a planned gift, which actually germinated from direct response. Because outside of that, my stepfather had no deep-seated connection other than some regular giving to that organization. And some of the visibility that he obviously had faith in that organization has turned into my mom giving to them regularly, me having some regular engagement with that organization, my brother being, I would say, a bit more of an ambassador of that organization, and that’s the way to do it right. All that started with direct response. It’s a good way to close. 


Everybody that’s listening today, love the diversity of our audience that we have folks in a variety of market segments and a variety of disciplines inside of fundraising, from direct response all the way up through major and planned giving, and then folks that are mail experts, digital experts. Gang, my charge to you today, I’m fired up here, in the spring of 2024, is don’t lose sight of the basics. When we get new donors, how can we learn as much as we can about them and in very authentic ways engage with them to get them to become deeper, more loyal supporters of our cause if that intersects with their own desires.  


And with data as it is today, including our GivingDNA tool, you put those new donors through some of the software tools that are out there like GivingDNA, you can learn a ton about people’s giving, where they give, what they care about. And that’ll give you some insight as to how and who you might want to cultivate more deeply. That can inform subsequent strategies from high-touch phone calls or visits all the way to strategic segments in digital or mail channels.  


My parting shot today for our audience is just think through who am I engaging and how? What am I doing with our new donors to cultivate them through the appropriate journey? And what are we playing for the mid- and long-game? Because I think that what that organization that’s working with my mom on for that planned gift is certainly thinking mid- and long-game, and it’s going to pay off for them. 


Leah, thanks for your time today. Do you have any other thoughts on that? We covered a ton in there. Again, any one of these topics could be a podcast in and of itself. Any other thoughts from you? 


Host: I think where you ended was perfect because, in addition to investing in your programs in a smart way that build that long-term lifetime value with donors, invest in your back-end systems like data analytics. That way you have the information at hand to know where to place those bets, so to say, with your different programs. And know that, “Hey, if we continue to invest here, this could be the potential outcome because the data is showing us that it’s a safe bet.” We can invest in this area, and it doesn’t have to feel like, “Oh this area isn’t generating any ROI right now, this quarter, let’s cut it.” I think it enables you to have that long-term view in a way that feels much more secure and much safer, I think. 


Trent Ricker: Yeah. I’d encourage our audience as a takeaway from this, if you haven’t already, this is a time of year where it’s a little bit quieter as we head into the summer. If there’s time, get it on the calendar to get you teams together to talk about your bigger strategies as it relates to engaging the appropriate generational cohorts, your acquisition strategy, and then your loyalty and retention strategy.  


Bring together those leaders in your development group and your stewardship group and just take a giant step back. Ask yourself those intentional questions. What do we want to be in the next two, three, four years in the makeup of our donor file, and what sorts of things do we need to do to accomplish that breakthrough vision?  


If we can help accommodate those conversations in any way, we’re always happy to facilitate. Always available for questions and brainstorming. That’s one of the things I love about Allegiance Group and Pursuant. I love just engaging with leaders in conversation to challenge us all to be better and stronger and think about all the right things. And then it’s just applying them on a day-to-day basis and making ourselves better. 


Always a pleasure to be with you, Leah. Thanks for your time today. 


Host: Thank you!