"We don't make the determination for the donor how or where they will give — we simply make it as easy as possible for them to choose how and when they want to give," she adds.
Key to success with such a broad strategy, Woodward, Cleghorn and Johns all agree, is consistency of messaging across the mediums.
"For example, we know that DRTV is a key driver to our Web pages for information gathering and to donate. We ensure that all offers from the DRTV program are reflected with the same dollar handles on our website," Woodward says. "We also ensure that when we go out with either direct mail, e-appeals or renewal telemarketing calls, that messages and offers are consistent and even though asks vary by mediums (lower dollar handles for mail, higher for online) that they are consistent derivatives so as not to confuse the donor."
Adds Cleghorn: "And we do not necessarily segregate communications by channel — Web donors will receive direct-mail communications."
Interestingly, as communications — whether for business or pleasure — are getting more succinct (even 140-character "tweets" are being lambasted for being too long to retweet without editing) and cryptic (omg I h8 dat), IFCJ is having some of its best fundraising success through a medium that could be seen as the antithesis of things like Facebook and Twitter: DRTV.
Cleghorn says DRTV is the highest source of new donors at IFCJ, accounting for 45 percent to 50 percent of all new-donor acquisition each year, followed by direct mail, then online, and personal referrals and friends.
Other keys to success
He also points out a variety of other factors that are at play in the phenomenal growth of IFCJ's contributed income in the past five years. Chief among them: