3 R’s for Time-Strapped Fundraisers
How we learn depends on who we are. Some of us prefer to hear, others to read and still others to experience.
It’s really no different with our donors. Some of them enjoy our letters and newsletters, and are pleased to see them in their mailboxes. Others want everything to arrive via their inboxes. Some like photos and truly believe a picture is worth 1,000 words. And another group will search YouTube for videos of your work.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. We all have our own preferences — and sometimes those vary from day to day, depending on other factors present at the time.
The bottom line? There is no “one size fits all” in fundraising. Getting our message out in a variety of ways is essential if we are going to maximize our results. Doing that, given budget and time constraints, can be daunting.
By using these three R’s throughout 2012, you may be able to talk to your donors in more ways and still have time left over to have a life.
Step 1: Repurpose
Whatever you invest in developing, look for ways to use it for other purposes. The DVD you prepared for your annual dinner can be mailed to major donors who weren’t able to attend and posted online. The acquisition mailing your consultant wrote can be revised for lapsed donors.
In other words, if you are strapped for time and/or money, look at everything and ask how else you can use it. Sometimes a small, inexpensive change can give a single-purpose fundraising piece additional functions for other audiences.
Step 2: Recycle
There is no reason why you have to start from scratch every time you create a fundraising communication. Although we like to look back at what we did and reminisce about the project, our donors generally don’t remember. So if you have a great mailing from 2010, recycle it by freshening up the statistics and maybe changing the story and photo. Your special campaign can become the “2nd Annual.” That great newsletter feature may be perfect content for your blog.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.