Five Thoughts About Integrated Fundraising
Yet another method of coordination is using one medium exclusively to support another, where prospective donors specifically are designated to be addressed in more than one channel. An oft-used strategy here is a pre-mail e-mail or a post-mail e-mail. The e-mail isn’t really a stand-alone message; it’s designed solely to support the direct-mail package. Thus it might say, “Watch for our letter in your mailbox” or “Did you receive the letter we sent to you?”
Research suggests post-mail e-mails are slightly more effective than pre-mail e-mails and seem to remind prospective donors that they meant to send in a donation but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
The Internet also can support various forms of display advertising, such as magazine inserts, billboards and newspaper ads, by providing a response channel for this advertising so that prospective donors, volunteers or supporters can donate or communicate.
4. Escaping the silos
Frequently, you encounter a situation where the Internet is the responsibility of the IT department; petitions and advocacy belong to government affairs; newsletters and reports on programs are handled by communications; and, of course, fundraising is done by the development department. This can be a major obstacle to integrated marketing.
Often there are rational limits to the frequency and types of communications via direct mail. These are based on costs (which nearly always suggest that every communication must contain a solicitation) and response cycle (amount of time to deliver the mail and receive replies, which often leads to approximately 12 mailings per year).
Limits to the frequency of e-mail communications are based more on marketing concerns (not wanting to be viewed as spam) than on costs or response cycles. Thus, it is common for e-mail communications to include several cultivation messages for each solicitation. The frequency often is weekly or driven by “news.” Direct mailers seeking to integrate with e-mail need to understand the differences in the styles of communication as well as frequency, and those differences need to be communicated throughout the charity in all of the departments that control either the content or channels of messaging that will be integrated.