7 Strategies to Reach Today's Finicky Donors
In a really smart move, organizers of the 2013 Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference, which took place in National Harbor, Md., in July, set up chairs and monitors outside some of the more heavily attended sessions so participants who spilled out into the hallways could be comfortable and actually hear the speakers.
I was out in the hall for one such session, “7 Game-Changing Strategies to Reach Today’s Finicky Donors,” presented by fundraising consultant Gail Perry.
In it, Perry outlined some important areas of concern for fundraisers, including ways in which high-value donors are giving. The 2012 Bank of America High Net Worth Philanthropy study, for example, reported that 74 percent of these folks gave because they were moved by “how [their] gift could make a difference,” supporting the notion that fundraisers must clearly and consistently communicate the result of a donor’s giving.
Among the trends discussed in the session:
Trend 1: Lack of trust
Donors are wary of trusting nonprofits. The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer concluded that only half of the giving pubic believes that nonprofits can be trusted to operate with society’s best interest at heart.
Among the questions donors worry about: Will my money be wasted? Will it make any difference? Where will the nonprofit spend my money?
The steps Perry recommended to build donor trust:
- Foster personal relationships with donors.
- Be transparent.
- Be specific.
- Do what you say you will do.
Trend 2: Rise of the boomers as major donors
According to Kn Moy, senior vice president of innovation strategy at Masterworks, almost two-thirds of all boomers gave financially in 2010 (52 million). Boomers gave a third more than the “matures” and are highly motivated to give back and seek “meaning and significance.”