Five Thoughts About Integrated Fundraising
For example, suppose you’re testing whether a direct-mail appeal will receive better results if accompanied by a series of ads in general-circulation newspapers. There really isn’t a way to have only some of the citizens of Buffalo, N.Y., see the ad so that you can measure the effect of the ad on response rates to the direct mail. In such cases, you often can use a “matched market” approach. If, in the past, Omaha, Neb., donors and Buffalo donors responded very similarly to the direct-mail appeals, then you might take out the ads in one city but not the other, and see if there are sudden dissimilarities in the response to the direct mail.
Obviously, this isn’t a perfect test because the local news headlines or weather or something else in Omaha might be different than in Buffalo, and the different results might be caused not by the presence or absence of the advertising but rather by some external event. Thus, testing in multichannel and integrated marketing often has to be repeated to be sure the results are truly reflective of the changed marketing strategy and not other factors. This can add initial expense to the costs of developing an
integrated fundraising strategy.
3. Coordination among channels
The key to integrated fundraising not only is to use each channel or medium independently, but also to use them to support one another.
When you’re communicating using a single channel, you can plan your messaging and packages to arrive in conjunction with a holiday or event. When you’re using multiple channels, you don’t want to have the e-mail message that’s delivered a week before the direct-mail package arrives to have a totally different look and theme. You want the two channels to complement one another, and thus you must coordinate them.
Much of fundraising is done by telling stories. These usually are about the people who benefit from the work of the charity. These stories should be engaging, compelling, interesting and motivating. It should be no surprise then that a good story will encourage the reader to learn more about the subjects of that story.