Hello Online Express Community!
In my last release email notification to you at the end of July, I mentioned that would be the last time I'd communicate release details to you via email unless we anticipate downtime. That remains true, but I wanted to offer this Community post as a reminder of that, as we do have another upcoming release tomorrow. Below are the release details

When
The Online Express update will occur the 18th of September, around 11pm EDT (GMT - 4:00).

What’s New in this release?
Technical Upgrades:
We went under the hood and made a few technical enhancements. These changes aren't visible in Online Express, but they'll create better online payment experiences for your users.

For information about new features in previous releases, please review the Online Express New Features Guide.

To be very clear, there should be no downtime during this update to either Online Express or to your web forms. Thank you everyone, and have a nice day!

Travis Richardson
Product Manager, Blackbaud Online Express

#WIIFM Wednesday: Retaining Your New EOY Donors

Hey Community! I hope you all had a successful end of year! Did any of you catch this State Farm commercial? (And did anyone else grab their tissues?) The message is: "The season of giving ends, but the need still remains."

This got me thinking...during the season of giving, you may have seen some new donors contributing to your mission. But, did you know that the average donor retention rate for a first year online-only donor is only 21%? We've got to show our new donors that our need still remains as well. Here's the good news: just a 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime value of your donor database by 200%.

This means that now's the perfect time to begin strategizing how you'll cultivate relationships with your new end-of-year donors--so that they'll donate again this year, and next year, and the year after that! Here are 3 tips to think about:
  1. Welcome your new donors: You've probably already thanked your donors once they've made their gift - but you also want to welcome them as a new donor to your organization. My favorite donor welcome involves reporting back to let new donors know what their support means to your organization and how it's making an impact. Your first-time donors will be especially moved by personal stories and tangible ways their gift made a difference. Once you've compiled a few moving stories and statistics, you can use The Raiser's Edge to create a quick query of first time donors, then create an email in Online Express to send this impactful welcome email. 
     
  2. Invite your new donors to get connected in other ways: Could your organization use an extra hand for an upcoming volunteering project? Are you hosting an upcoming event your new donors may be interested in? Do you have a sustainer or recurring gift program? Be sure to invite your new donors to get engaged with your organization in other ways besides making another one-time gift. 
     
  3. Get Personal: The best donor retention strategies involve getting to know your donors, what they care about, and why they give. You'll want to begin discovering this ASAP, so you can send your donors content they care about.

    You may be able to use clues from their first gift (What fund did they give to? Did they respond to a specific email campaign?), what their responses were from other emails you sent (Did they click through our welcome email? Did they open an email about a specific topic?), or even if they have since become involved in your organization in another way. You could even send a personal note or make a quick call to welcome your new donor and get to know then a bit better.
Hungry for more tips? You can find additional donor retention tips for 12 industry experts here. 

How are you retaining your year-end donors at your organization? Comment below!
Posted by Rachel Nigro on Jan 10, 2018 5:52 PM America/New_York

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