AFP CEO Paulette Maehara's Take on Convio's 2010 Holiday Giving Survey Findings
"One of the messages in this report that I thought was very interesting was putting a face to your cause is extremely important. Animals have done that extremely well for some of the animal-related organizations, as well as the social-services organizations," Maehara says. "Putting a face to the cause is extremely important so that people see the outcome of your efforts — not the fact that you're doing some wonderful work — but putting a face on the appeal and the outcome of what their money will actually go toward is extremely important. The more you can do that regardless of the type of sector you come from, the more effective you're going to be in raising money.
"What's interesting in the research is that few people are persuaded by more practical reminders that the year-end is coming. That's been a traditional tagline or line of direct-mail appeals, year-end appeals, whether they be direct mail, e-mail or telemarketing: 'The year-end is coming, take advantage of your tax-deductible gift now.' That particular message isn't particularly appealing," Maehara adds. "I can't tell you how many of those I've written in my career."
Only 33 percent of respondents say they are persuaded by the more practical reminder that they have yet to make a donation, and even less, 28 percent, say reminders that the gifts are tax-deductible persuade them to give.
Maehara continues: "Putting the face on the appeal and being effective with those messages is really important, whether it's feeding the hungry in Africa or helping AIDs victims on the streets of Los Angeles. The more you can see it, feel it, touch it, the more effective that kind of an appeal is."
The numbers in the survey are much more positive than they were just a year ago, giving fundraisers hope for this holiday season and beyond.