Strength Training for Fundraisers
Giving customers choices has become known as permission marketing. A few far-sighted nonprofits have been practicing it for years and getting exceptional results. Nowhere is permission marketing more appropriate than for nonprofit fundraisers.
Our approach to fundraising communication would be driven by what interests and involves our donors. Giving donors choices is a perfect example of the 90-degree shift. Having made our organization and its offerings as interesting, appropriate and involving as possible, I'd be confident that donors would safely, reliably choose for themselves the level of closeness and the content that would most suit their interests in and capacities for involvement with our cause.
When this strategy starts to work, I'd try introducing other choices for our donors, so they can in effect choose their own personal communications programs. I know the technology that makes this possible is getting better and cheaper all the time. And I know donors give much more regularly and more happily if they feel their wishes are taken into account. So this is another area where we'd be able to be 15 minutes ahead.
Then with this and all the other learnings I've gathered from the points in this list I'd structure a fundraising strategy that employs the best of current techniques and practices, focusing on fundraising that motivates rather than discourages my donors.
(This "Top Tips" list is an extract from "The Zen of Fundraising" by Ken Burnett, published by Jossey-Bass. Find the expanded version of this article and scores of other great fundraising-related articles on the SOFII website. Or look for three more tips in the May 10 edition of FS' daily e-letter, Today in Fundraising.) FS
Ken Burnett is a globally renowned author, lecturer and consultant on fundraising, marketing and communications for nonprofit organizations, as well as a founder of the Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.