ProFile: Kory Christianson
Second, the direct-marketing professionals inside our organization and within other organizations make it special. People are always willing to share what has worked for them, trends they are seeing, etc. This willingness to help others is evident throughout the sector.
FS: What challenges do you face as a fundraiser?
KC: In terms of direct marketing, often the challenges are outside of our control. The economy, postal rates, regulation, etc., are always challenges. So, we do the best we can to deal with conditions beyond our control, but focus our main energies on those areas we have control over: our messaging, our donor service and our strategies for success.
FS: How have you seen the nonprofit/fundraising field change and evolve over time?
KC: Obviously, a lot has changed over the past 16 years, whether it's the economy, technology or social-giving attitudes. We have certainly seen the types of mailings that worked in 1993 really don't work as well today. Packages have certainly evolved over time.
Changes in technology with barcode readers, scanning capabilities, and the platforms and systems necessary to manage our donor system have allowed us to move personnel from production functions to marketing and donor-service functions.
Also, donor-giving behavior has changed and is continuing to change. A decade or so ago, our donors would give simply because of what we were doing. We are clearly seeing a change now, where donors have higher expectations. They want to know the program outcomes and the long-term results of our programs and services. For us, these results and effectively communicating them are very important and increasingly correlated to the progress of our development efforts.
FS: What ways do you reach out to donors and potential donors at St. Joseph's Indian School?