The State of Direct Marketing and Integrated Fundraising
Loyalists and missionaries give more. The average American donor gives $590 a year. The average loyalist gives $2,400, the average recruiter $1,300.
Loyalists can be identified by the length of time on the file, their willingness to upgrade and the fact that they self-identify in surveys as “being loyal to the organizations they support.” Recruiters tend to be a bit younger than other donors and are best identified by their willingness to take on online assignments such as signing petitions, etc.
Capture their value by designing a loyalist/recruiter plan that provides for recognition, reward and engagement with the organization and its mission.
Thoughts and recommendations
The good news about online activity is that it makes donor cultivation less expensive, permits personalization, increases loyalty and is timely.
The bad news is that the online channel — especially social media — can disconnect donors from the organization. Social networks encourage more local giving.
The need for channel integration is clear — and urgent. Younger donors engage in “channel hopping” — they might give to a disaster by SMS, to another cause by mail and to another online.
The postage meter and the mouse must co-exist. In the future, it is essential to focus on multichannel giving and channel reinforcement with one form of media reinforcing the other. And remember, older donors do use online for researching issues and organizations, but give via postal mail.
Even if you’re not raising much money right now from younger donors, it’s essential to begin experimenting with online for the Generation Y folks. Test paid lead generation, online premiums and content with perceived value.
Most of all, remember that content is king. No technique, no channel, no premium or much of anything else will work without the proper content reinforced with emotion.