Do You Just Love Me for My Money?
Donors are tired of receiving solicitation after solicitation merely asking for their financial support. If you want to succeed in the fundraising market today, then it is increasingly important to offer donors and potential donors an opportunity within your direct-marketing efforts to do more than just write a check.
You must make your donor a partner in your mission. The donor must understand that she is an integral part of your organization, not just a dollar sign. If you can find legitimate ways for your donors to participate in your mission, you will be rewarded with greater donor loyalty, better retention and higher levels of financial support.
That’s why you need to ask yourself, “How else can our donor base support our mission, in ways other than donating money?”
Whatever your answer, your solution more than likely will be an “involvement device.” Involvement devices are vehicles employed by your direct-marketing program that require an action other than a contribution.
One of the most obvious examples of an involvement device is the petition. Many 501(c)4 organizations use petitions to demonstrate support or opposition to a particular action. Petitions can be addressed to members of the legislative or executive branches of our government regarding a particular issue or stance, or be targeted to other entities, such as regional or local elected positions or even corporations.
Another popular form of involvement device is the survey. Often called a poll or a questionnaire, these allow the donor to express her views about a particular subject. Surveys aren’t as prevalent as they once were in the direct-marketing community, but they can be employed successfully for just the right occasion.
Other involvement devices include donor-recruiting-donor campaigns, in which donors are provided materials and/or incentives to recruit neighbors, family and friends to also become donors. And the “campaign kit,” which often features a poster, bumper sticker and other materials for a donor to display or distribute.