Leadership Series: Is Change an Uphill Battle?
- Some are intrigued with our gift catalog, with items from a $75 goat to a $22,000 school construction project that allow people to make a donation in the name of a friend or relative.
- Others want to walk through “The World Vision Experience: AIDS,” a traveling exhibit depicting the lives of four children in Africa whose lives have been devastated by AIDS.Some will volunteer to assemble AIDS caregiver kits for those in sub-Saharan Africa serving people affected by AIDS.
- Others with a higher capacity to give have helped to fund community lending institutions from Honduras to Cambodia.
- Others partner through the Hope Initiative, an opportunity for Americans to care for widows and orphans ravaged by the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
- And nearly 85,000 new donors partnered with World Vision for the opportunity to help the 2005 tsunami victims in Asia.
World Vision has broadened its donor-recruitment channels from direct mail and television in the late ’90s to the Internet, event marketing, affinity partnerships, city campaigns, radio, retail and volunteer groups by 2007. Nearly two-thirds of our cash income comes from opportunities launched in the last five years. Today, we rely on non-traditional channels for more than 70 percent of our donor recruitment — a reversal of our 1999 numbers.
Trend 3: Deepening
Savvy nonprofit marketers will respond to the trends taking donors away from charities with an effort to personalize their organization to donors. Through CRM, charities can launch an intentional effort to grow a donor from one who simply writes a check to a supporter who gives of his or her time, talent, treasure and influence. The key here is to view the gift and the donor as a relationship rather than a transaction.
At World Vision, we have embarked on a strategic effort to excite donors to engage with the poor. For some, that means simply sending a “birthday bounce back” card to their sponsored child; for others, especially major donors, deepening translates into traveling overseas to meet our project staff and beneficiaries personally, or participating in conferences with experts to meet other current and potential donors. Our overriding donor-management theme of “supporter transformation” is founded on an uncompromising commitment to changing the hearts of our donors. Some of World Vision’s tenets under-girding our efforts to transform supporters include:
- communicating clearly;
- being accurate, complete, current and relevant in all communications;
- conveying realistic expectations of how a donation will be used;
- honoring supporters’ contact preferences and restrictions;
- ensuring all donor promises are fulfilled; and
- seeking opportunities to educate donors on issues of injustice.
Those donors who are assembling kits, starting banks and digging wells want hands-on engagement with “their” projects. They want to step into the shoes of the beneficiaries and bring them hope.