Maximize Donor Engagement With Multichannel Integration
In order to maximize fundraising dollars, organizations must use a multichannel approach, combining online and offline communications for maximum engagement. During the inaugural FundRaising Success Virtual Conference & Expo held on May 20 (and available on-demand until Aug. 24), three fundraising professionals — Jenny Kellum Lee, creative director of Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; Kate Millea, interactive consultant at Convio; and Jessica Fraser Sotelo, manager of online marketing at World Wildlife Fund — tackled the multichannel integration process in the session “Get It Together!”
Multichannel best practices
Millea began by breaking down giving channels over the last two years overall and by demographic (i.e., Gen Y, Gen X, baby boomers and matures). Checkout donations (52 percent) and check by mail (49 percent) made up the highest percentage, with mobile/text (8 percent) and social-networking sites (5 percent) giving coming in last. But Millea pointed out that the “art and science of fundraising is changing,” as exhibited by Gen X and Gen Y both distributing their giving more evenly among all channels. This shows just how vital a multichannel approach truly is, especially going forward as Gen Y and Gen X age.
“The first rule of thumb,” Millea said, “is starting with the information collection.” And the more information you can collect, the better. For example, when offering an online registration for e-mail news or an online newsletter, collect the offline mailing address on the registration form. That way, you can send direct-mail solicitations as well as online communications.
“Think about what you can gather on your website that you can then use in other ways,” Millea advised.
It’s important to tell donors why you’re asking for more information as well, she said: “You want to be able to capture an e-mail first and foremost and then at least ask for more information — and why you’re asking, i.e., send a publication, offer through mail, even just saying, 'we love to have the ability to send you information when needed.'” About 45 percent to 50 percent of people who provide their e-mails will fill out the rest, Millea said, so “be sure to leverage your website for gathering information.”