Fundraising Research Lab
We are obsessed with understanding what inspires people to give.
That’s why we’ve constructed the first-of-its-kind digital fundraising research lab. In the lab, we study how nonprofit organizations engage with their donors, and then we test different approaches to understand what works (and what doesn’t) to grow generosity.
We approach this from two different angles:
From the perspective of the donor…
Through our many mystery donor research studies, we have given thousands of online donations to 1000+ different nonprofit organizations across 9 countries so that we can understand how nonprofits communicate and engage with their donors online.
From the perspective of market-tested data…
Based on what we learn from the mystery donor research studies, we then market-test different strategies designed to increase digital fundraising performance. Our online fundraising research library has recorded 2,500+ digital fundraising experiments that help evolve our understanding of what makes people give.
*Technically, you don’t need a lab coat for this kind of research like Kevin’s wearing in the picture. But you look cooler if you have one.
Digital Fundraising Agency
We take the learnings from our online fundraising research and implement them with innovative nonprofits to reach more people, acquire more donors, raise more money, and grow generosity.
A digital fundraising consulting engagement with NextAfter consists of 4 critical steps:
- Understanding your donors using data
We’ll stitch together all your data sources, map your donor experience, and show you exactly where your growth opportunities are.
- Charting a path to revenue growth
Based on our data analysis, we’ll create your customized, 3-year online fundraising roadmap – complete with a design of experiments, projects, and projections for growth.
- Implementing digital-first strategies
We’ll help you implement your 3-year roadmap using digital-first strategies that may include online donor acquisition, optimizing key metrics, cultivating and upgrading donors, and more.
- Perpetual learning and optimization
Any engagement with NextAfter is packed full of testing, optimization, and research to help you learn more about your donors and prove what works to increase revenue.
*As evidenced by Tim dressed as 90’s funk sensation Jamiroquai in the picture, we like to keep it loose and have a whole lot more fun than your typical nonprofit agency.
Institute for Online Fundraising
Our mission is to decode what works in online fundraising and make it accessible to as many organizations as possible.
The NextAfter Institute is our mission in action.
We work to equip nonprofit marketers and digital fundraisers with original research, evidence-based resources, and data-driven training. This can help you better understand your donors and why they give so that you can raise more money to fund your world-changing work.
Benchmark your organization against others in key areas of online fundraising, including donation pages, email cultivation, multichannel fundraising, value proposition, and more.
Get free online fundraising tools, tips, and tactics through our library of evidence-based resources. These include our online fundraising blog, the Generosity Freakshow podcast, “how-to” eBooks, and more.
Build your skills as an online fundraiser using tested, proven, and research-backed training courses covering key topics, including email fundraising, donation pages, a/b testing, and more.
*Jeff will almost certainly be wearing shoes if you meet him in person – but he apparently likes to film training videos in his bare feet.
Accolades & Certifications
Vision, Mission and Core Values
Although we are not a nonprofit organization, we are very much a cause-based organization. Our mission is to decode what works in digital fundraising and then equip nonprofits with that knowledge to fulfill our vision to unleash the most generous generation in the history of the world. This is what drives everything we do.
We execute against this mission by adhering to 8 core values:
Focus relentlessly on client success, and everything else will fall into place.
We have faith that our own needs will be met if we put our clients’ needs first. This means that we must employ servant leaders. But this does not mean that we simply do whatever our clients ask. Often, we push back. Hard. We would rather part ways with a client than compromise in ways that would require us to deliver anything less than our very best.
Always be testing.
Embrace the fact that no one knows everything and be willing to test anything to find out what truly works. In fact, the more that we test and experiment, the more we realize what little we know. We recognize that we are not expert fundraisers. And neither are you. The only true experts are the donors themselves—so we become students of the donors to learn all that there is to know about how to best reach, communicate, and inspire them to be more generous.
Employ MacGyver-like resourcefulness.
We believe that necessity is the genesis of all great inventions. That’s why we don’t pout about not having enough resources; we embrace the challenge of having to do more with less. And it stretches our creativity in ways we could never possibly dream to make us even more effective at our craft.
We refuse to live in our fears. We make bold decisions. We stand behind our convictions and fight for our ideas. But we are also open to changing our minds when presented with new and conflicting data. We are also people of faith. We believe that faith is critical to our success as it liberates us to act without fear. We have faith in God. Faith in each other. Faith in our clients. Faith in our process. And faith in the miracle of generosity.
Empower clients, don’t enslave them.
The pinnacle of our success is when we have effectively worked our way out of a job. This means that we must consistently make efforts to ensure the transfer of knowledge and work hard to build capacity back into our clients’ organizations. If the norm is for agencies to hold their clients in bondage, then NextAfter exists to set the captives free.
Never compromise our convictions in order to meet financial obligations.
We don’t have debt or investors we are beholden to. We have been profitable from day one and are disciplined about saving for the future. Financial independence is important because it enables us to remain objective and honest with our clients. We will never “close a deal” because we need to, but rather because we know we are the right people to help the organization succeed. This also means that we don’t do discounts. We don’t work pro bono or on contingency. We believe that a healthy profit margin and disciplined cash management is the most effective way to preserve our integrity.
Be above reproach.
Not every situation can be covered by rules and regulations. When faced with decisions, we urge our people to follow one simple command, “Be above reproach.” We know that trust is the foundation of any relationship. And trust is built through transparency, honesty, and a commitment to integrity. We should conduct ourselves in such a way that we have nothing to hide.
Err on the side of generosity.
Generosity is our cause; it is our muse. And it captivates us with its sheer simplicity and profundity. It wakes us up in the morning and keeps us up at night. It inspires us. Challenges us. It drives everything that we do. But it also informs our basic business decisions. Do we hoard our learnings or share them freely? Do we stack our profits or give a portion away? Every debate is settled by generosity’s gentle touch.
Looking to join the team?
At NextAfter, we’re always on the lookout for the next member of our team. We’re searching for people who have a passion for helping nonprofits.