The point is, each donor may be moved to give to any one or all of these types of organizations. However, they will give to the groups that demonstrate success at accomplishing their stated goals.
FS: Has marketing to faith-based donors changed in the past few years?
PZ: Yes, more online and more based on personal relationships.
ML: Sure. Just like everyone else, the faith-based donor has been affected by the recession. The difference, though, between a faith-based donor and a humanitarian donor is that the faith-based donor is more likely to give sacrificially, while other types of donors will cut their donations before they change their lifestyle.
Some organizations have realized this and tailored their messaging to emphasize faithfulness and stewardship. Hopefully, it is a trend that will not just be a market-driven change, but a true change in how organizations communicate with donors and partners in the ministry.
FS: What is something that most likely will never change about marketing to faith-based donors?
PZ: Direct mail will always be king when it comes to response rates.
ML: The faith-based donor will always be highly sought after. They are a group of people that will give faithfully for years if the organization can communicate to them effectively. They also have the capacity to become more involved in the work of the organization through volunteering in many different ways, not just on a board, but actually feeding the hungry and working "in the trenches."
FS: Can you list two tips for reaching and engaging faith-based donors?
PZ: Play to their emotions. Politicize your mailings.
ML: First, you must be real. Throwing a few "Christian catchphrases" or quotes from the Bible won't get you very far with a faith-based donor. They want to see some real results — not just platitudes.