Looking to Boost Fundraising in 2020? Start Here.
Your fourth quarter plan wrapped up. You’ve pulled and segmented all the files — mailed, emailed and made phone calls. You’ve launched your digital programs. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and watch the donations roll in.
Hopefully, that 30 seconds of respite from the chaotic world of fundraising was enough, because it’s time to dive into implementing your 2020 plan. Now is also a good time to reflect on last year’s frustrations (or gaps) as you look for ways to improve response, revenue and relationships with your constituents.
Limited By Current Tech?
Think about how you can get a clearer view of your constituent. Does your marketing approach treat your target audience like an anonymous pixel or like a real person with unique interests, motivations and behaviors? As constituents become accustomed to best-in-class online and offline experiences from brands like Amazon and Starbucks, they’ll expect the same from your organization. Delivering personalized creative across a variety of channels and devices improves marketing efficiency, builds stronger brand connections and drives more value. You’ll need the right capabilities in place to make this happen, which leads us to the next question you should ask yourself: Is my current technology limiting my programs?
As a nonprofit in today’s age, it’s safe to assume you’ve made a significant investment in both your online presence and your constituent data. However, across media and channels, you need the tools to seamlessly integrate all of that information and put the information in motion.
For example, your technology stack likely has no problem measuring response when it occurs within the same channel as your outbound media message (e.g. a direct mail kit produces a direct mail response), but what happens when a direct mail recipient responds by making a gift online? Does your technology require complex or time-intensive work-arounds to properly attribute this response? If so, your next communication with this constituent may suffer delays, or not be informed by key insights. To avoid this kind of conundrum in the future, focus on how you can make your technology more dynamic in nature, easy to access and easy to evolve with your strategy.
Look at the Data
As you consider technology upgrades, think about how you can better use data to deliver personalized experiences for your constituents. Is your data clean? Do you capture and store the correct data? Are there additional third-party data sources that offer more granular insights? Most importantly, can all of your siloed data be assembled with relative ease to deliver a comprehensive picture of your constituents? Don’t overlook the power of first-party data collected from website behavior—those insights often lend themselves to compelling creative messaging.
Finally, to continue improving your programs, your success won’t be complete without regular and nimble access to backend analytics. Before you launch a new campaign, you should have a wealth of insights to inform your next strategy or testing cadence. Know which channels are effective on their own and which channels are working in tandem to impact response. Know who your constituents are and how they prefer to interact with your organization. If you find yourself running the same campaign tactics over and over again without improvement, a lack of comprehensive analytics may be to blame.
As you craft your plan for next year, your priorities should all tie back to one key goal: turning gift-givers into loyal donors. Whether your data and technology maturity are in their infancy stages, or if they’re well-developed, there’s always room to improve.
Cheers to 2020 and a resolution to change, learn and grow!
Richard Heimsoth is the senior director of Customer Strategy at Merkle.