We really liked what Adams Hussey’s Kim Cubine had to say in a recent guest rant at The Agitator, Roger Craver and Tom Belford’s blog. Kim was ranting in reaction to a feature about online fundraising versus direct mail in a recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
With thanks to Tom and Roger, we’re excerpting the post here.
“‘Direct mail is on life support,’ says Michael Hoffman, chief executive of See3, a Chicago consulting firm that specializes in nonprofit fundraising and communications. ‘Charities that have relied on direct mail to get new donors have to start thinking about what’s next, or they will wake up one day and find that an aggressive start-up has taken their place.’
This is an outrageous statement in my opinion. Any marketer worth their salt is always thinking about what’s next. And next is multi-channel marketing.
I did not see any statistics where the first time online donor was cross-referenced with a direct mail prospect list to determine the overlap. It’s not just coincidence that organic giving to an organization’s website spikes when prospecting mail is arriving in homes. I suppose it is the reverse of ‘clicks-to-bricks.’
We also have analysis for an aggressive marketing client that shows that donors do indeed move between channels and that nearly half of first-time online donors make their next gift by mail or by phone.
Some of the campaigns listed in the article are super cool. But most nonprofits don’t have the ability to send mosquito nets, plant a tree in the rain forest, enlist a flight attendant to make a personal pitch to a captive audience (no peanuts for you if you decline).
Most nonprofits have to roll up their sleeves and do their fundraising using the old fashion way — test/analyze/test again!”
Read Kim’s rant in full here.