Integration Strengthens Fundraising Initiatives
It wasn’t too long ago we were told that direct mail was going to be completely overtaken by the Internet; and as little as five years ago, nonprofit organizations’ Web sites and direct-mail materials reflected that message. Today, with the explosion of online groups and social networks, tactics to reach current and prospective donors are expanding yet again. While it may be fun to speculate about marketing trends, which methods are actually best to secure a nonprofit’s fundraising future?
Donor outreach is not just a single-layer approach anymore; it’s about integrating new media with tried-and-true communications practices while being very careful to ask donors for their preferred delivery methods. Nonprofits need to adapt their marketing tactics based on the resources available to them, and blend their messages to maximize the impact of integrated marketing. This is critical to not only developing a core donor base but also planning a lasting, creative strategy. Marketing should use the breadth of techniques at its fingertips to strengthen the organization’s brand as well as build the overall community network.
Integrated campaigns are about just this — building the right donor relationships at the right time and in the right way. Lessons learned have shown organizations that they can’t just plunge into new donor pools and immediately create paths for their participation. Personalizing outreach is key to cultivating relationships, converting target audiences into true ambassadors — and ensuring fundraising for the future.
Following are some tips to help nonprofits realize the vision and value of integrated marketing campaigns, as well as support fundraising efforts:
1. Use your Web site to its fullest.
The Internet is a critical medium, and the look and feel of an organization’s site should engage the target audience, not push it away. Many organizations have put off purchasing a content-management system; however, this essential function, which is tied to the database, can allow you to maximize the impact of creative content. Today’s CRM systems are enabling nonprofits to tailor online content to their customers based on individual interests. Web sites also can help organizations understand who’s interested in what and maintain information on customer preferences. Creative Web designs also should be included in an organization’s marketing storyboards. It’s important that a nonprofit’s Web site reflects the expertise and professionalism of its mail pieces.