Whither the Winds of Change
The fundraising world is changing rapidly, and those who aren’t prepared will be left behind. Are you ready for these changes? Are you, in fact, leading your organization to embrace these changes? If you’re not, or if you don’t like change, perhaps now is the time to think about a career change.
Here, from my perspective and experience, are some of the more significant changes happening right now. Perhaps you can grab hold of these opportunities, change your fundraising, and soar.
Direct mail used to stand alone as the most effective and efficient communication channel for nonprofit organizations. But not any longer. It remains the workhorse, for sure, but e-mail, online blogs, outbound telemarketing, product and statement inserts, podcasts, and targeted radio are rising in significance. Most of these alternative channels are working well and attracting younger donors. And some are far less expensive than traditional direct mail; online blogs and podcasts cost almost nothing when it comes time for execution. Developing strategies and preparing creative content does cost you, but your ability to target messages to specific donors makes these costs insignificant compared to the potential benefits.
Are you using, or at least beginning the process of testing, alternative channels for both new donor or member acquisition and ongoing cultivation efforts?
If so, good. But alternative channels are just the tip of the iceberg. As communication channels evolve, the content of what is being communicated becomes even more important because donors are changing too.
More discerning donors
I remember that my parents gave multiple, small gifts to many nonprofit organizations. Their charitable giving pattern was the norm for their generation. They gave out of a sense of gratitude and obligation.
Today’s donors are very different. They give to make a difference, and they want proof of that difference. They are more demanding, more discerning. They expect strong, effective and lasting solutions from the organizations they support.