How to obtain birthday data for birthday messages for donors
Frank Mumford, CFRE, Account Executive at Gravyty
As a past fundraiser in many different organizations and CRMs, the one underlying theme amongst nonprofits is their birthday data about their donors can’t be trusted. I remember working for one organization that mentioned they bought a screening with the birthdays but most ended up not being correct.
As major gift officers and those who work on the fundraising frontlines, birthdays are a tremendous opportunity to show up in a different capacity, where you are solely reaching out to share in the celebration of their day. Birthdays aren’t about your mission, goals or programs; they are about those who help make a difference.
So how do you get proper birthday data, beyond your board members. Then, what do you do with it?
Here are four ideas to capture your donors’ birthdays:
Ask those with who you are closest with what their birthdays are. These would be your board members, volunteers and people in major gift portfolios. Since these are people someone in your organization is very likely to have a relationship with, simply ask. Your email can say, “Hey Frank, we would love to celebrate your birthday every year, and unfortunately, we cant because we have never asked. What is your birthday?”
This straightforwardness and honesty will net results, and most people are happy to share this information about themselves.
Run a birthday campaign
Another way to gather data for birthday messages for donors, run a birthday-themed campaign. Think about the “birthday of your organization” and if you don’t have one, make it up! Say, “This year, we are celebrating our birthday on this month and day. As we celebrate ours, we want to celebrate yours.”
Then offer options on how they can share their birthday back with you via a survey, email reply or another trackable method of response.
Send a birthday message to everyone on the wrong day
You read that right. This one normally catches people off guard, but it actually works.
It’s human nature to correct people and share that they messed up your personal details. You can prepare a mass email that says, “Happy Birthday…we think? If today isn’t your birthday, please share when it is. You are important to us and on your special day, we want to share in the celebration of you.”
Learn from other organizations
You can glean a lot from observing how other organizations are gathering birthday information. Businesses are often great at requesting birthday information through a creative email graphic, video or other form of inquiry. They may offer a special gift on their customer, client, donor or member’s birthday if they provide that information.
A parting thought
Birthday data helps with prospect research for you to show up authentically, and to reach out about them and not your organization. If you are going to capture this info, please make sure you do what you say you are going to do to build your prospect and donor’s trust and respect.
Frank Mumford, CFRE
Frank serves as an Account Executive for Gratavid from Gravyty. Previously he was a Senior Donor Advisor at The Greater Twin Cities United Way where he was first introduced to the opportunity Gratavid presented in connecting and engaging with donors through video. He holds a B.A. in entrepreneurship and a B.S. in economics from Northern Michigan University, where he got his start as a student telethon fundraiser.
He has more than 13 years of fundraising, sales, and marketing experience across the higher education and social service sectors. Frank is a Board Member of AFP Minnesota Chapter and the NMU Alumni Association.