3 Christmas Wishes for Fundraising Joy
It's that time of year — the time when pleasant trips to the mall are replaced by power-shopping, finding a good parking place matters more than winning the lottery and even your dentist sends you mailings with "holiday gift ideas."
For fundraisers, our holiday wishes are simpler — good income, good income and, of course, good income! But looking ahead to 2012, here are three things I'd like to find under the tree Christmas morning that I guarantee will bring happiness to me through the new year.
A workable solution for the U.S. Postal Service
Some of you probably immediately thought, "E-mail is a great solution for the post office. Just stop snail-mailing!" But the U.S. Postal Service is important to fundraising. Oversized formats just lose something in e-mail. Good design and a great offer in acquisition can (sometimes) break through the clutter of life and get opened — and gain you a new donor. And giving a major donor a physical receipt with a sincere, hand-signed "thank you" often conveys gratitude better than an e-mailed receipt.
Let's face it, we depend on the post office for at least some portion of our fundraising. We need a working post office that delivers mail efficiently for a price we can afford. Every increase in postage means something else in our budgets has to get trimmed. We may enjoy bashing the post office, but we need it. It's a bit like an eccentric aunt; we joke about it, but we'll miss it if it isn't around.
Hopefully in 2012, a compromise can be found that keeps the post office affordable for fundraisers, gives us the service we need and operates in the black.
Genuine donor service
Why do we try to squeeze donors into our molds? E-mail is cheaper, so we expect our donors to switch to online communications. Mailing receipts costs money, so go online and print your own. All the answers to your questions are online, so please don't call. Find our latest video on YouTube …
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.