State of the Sector
Roger: And ALL have to worry not just about acquisition, but especially about retention.
Polly: And those that can successfully convert non-direct marketing donors (event participants, etc.) to direct marketing donors.
Margaret: Kurt, you mention that you’re not seeing a lot of success raising money online among your clients … do you all see that changing in the next, say, year? Five years?
Kurt: It’s going to have to change, Margaret. We aren’t going to have any choice if we want to survive.
Roger: Kurt’s absolutely correct. Right now, online giving accounts for less than 3 percent of funds contributed.
Roger: BUT … online communication is key to holding on to donors through effective communication, involvement, etc.
Kurt: How many clients do any of us have that have a 23-year-old working in donor development or acquisition in other than [an administrative assistant] position?
Margaret: Kurt, you’re saying that nonprofits have to hire younger folks in development?
Kurt: Or begin listening to them.
Jo: [This] is what we’ve been talking about at the ASPCA for a long time … expanding channels and ensuring no matter HOW the donor wants to reach you, you are there. In their space … on their terms.
Jo: We are very high risk in opening new channels, but we support that with investment in customer service. Kurt’s right.
Jo: If you don’t listen and aren’t able to respond, you lose their interest pretty quickly!
Roger: Absolutely right, Jo.
Kurt: Think how the topics we’re discussing run counter to each other — older, good donors that give more and new donors that don’t want to hear from us the way we communicate. Talk about a disconnect.
Margaret: In our webinars, we’ve had people ask how they “try the new stuff” while still maintaining the “old stuff” — I assume “new stuff” refers to the Internet, while the “old stuff” is direct mail?