Innovation. Integration. Immediacy = Online Success for HRC
“While we had a difficult time getting people [who originally made a donation on the street] to make that second gift and stay with us long-term, getting them to sign on as monthly donors has made it much more financially valuable to us,” Grams says.
Still, Crowley warns, monthly giving isn’t exactly “a magic pill” that allows an organization to sign up supporters and then forget about them. It’s just as easy to cancel a monthly giving commitment as it is to agree to it.
“It takes a lot of focus on what resonated for these folks [in the first place], and we work hard to keep them on file and engaged,” she explains. “We test a lot of things and continue to try to make those numbers grow.”
Traditional direct-marketing channels have contributed in a major way to HRC’s success over the years — and remain a large and integral part of its fundraising mix — but there’s no denying that the Web is a significant new channel for the organization. How else do you explain an online strategy director? According to Grams, HRC’s fundraising model is appropriately integrated. And even though he and Crowley have been with the organization for 10 and 13 years respectively, they don’t struggle with the whole integration concept in the same way that many “old-school” fundraisers seem to. Perhaps that’s because HRC doesn’t draw as hard a line between donors and non-financial supporters as many organizations do.
When HRC lobbies “the Hill,” it’s important for it to have the power of numbers behind it — both financial and membership — and the team knows that once you get folks to come on as supporters, there’s a clear line to getting them to give. The key, Crowley says, is to keep them engaged.