They’re Doing What?
Results from end-of-year giving campaigns are still coming in, but one fundraising trend was clear in 2006: nonprofits’ growing expertise in integrating campaigns across multiple communications channels.
The increasing costs of acquiring new donors through traditional methods, the continuing challenge of donor fatigue and the exponential growth in online donations has spurred many organizations to bring online outreach into the mix.
For many donors, online communications are far more compelling than mass mailings. Links to audio and video files, such as The Humane Society of the United States’ celebrity audio PSAs to support its ProtectSeals Campaign, create a high-touch experience to connect constituents to an organization’s cause. E-mail allows organizations to communicate instantly at critical times — such as immediately after a national disaster, before a vote on the Senate floor or in the critical weeks leading up to elections — to capitalize on the timeliness of a specific appeal.
Integrating offline and online tactics enables organizations to take a holistic approach to building relationships with donors. This year, more organizations will follow the lead of those that not only diversified their tactics in 2006 but also coordinated the timing, content and design of offline and online campaigns for a seamless, integrated experience that drove some impressive results:
■ Equality Ohio’s Turnout Ohio campaign recruited almost 100 new volunteers and raised nearly $17,540 from existing and new members over a seven-month period leading up to the November elections with two direct-mail fundraising letters, phone banks and a series of online communications, doubling its list size from 5,508 in March to 10,078 post-election;
■ Oxfam America’s 2006 Matching Gift Campaign raised more than $250,000 online in four months through a coordinated series of offline and online tactics — including direct-mail and online fundraising appeals — adding more than 200 new subscribers to its e-mail list who contributed more than 13 percent of the total dollars raised; and