Cover Story: The Art and Science of Fundraising
“We’re better able to steward our donors, thanks to this system,” she adds.
Starting at the beginning
Tracking donor activity through Moves Management means that cultivation begins on the direct mail level, with the very first response to a package. No matter how a person responds — whether he sends a check or visits the Web site and indicates that he has an interest in diabetes research — no matter how small a blip he creates on the radar screen, the team takes notice. Bennett paints a picture of a well-orchestrated strategic pas-de-duex, with the local and national teams working together to get to know him and figure out the best way to draw him in further.
An example: A donor responds to a direct mail package by sending a $20 check and indicating in the return questionnaire that someone in her household has diabetes. Immediately, the staff sends that person information about the disease and its management, as well as about the ADA Web site.
If the donor then goes to the site and enters her ZIP code, she gets information about what the local chapter is doing in her community, as well as an opportunity to get involved. If she does volunteer, the more intense cultivation begins on the local level, with volunteers speaking with her about additional involvement and giving opportunities.
“It started with a nationwide direct mail acquisition, and now they’re back home where they live, meeting with local folks in volunteer-to-volunteer interactions,” Bennett explains.
And through it all, Moves Management keeps an eye on the progress so that donors are suspended in that comfy fundraising Xanadu between neglect and overkill. The tracking system lets the staff learn what the donor needs.
“Every move depends on the one before. The donor is directing us in a certain way - if we listen to him,” Bennett explains, sharing the story of a woman who gave $1,000 in response to a direct mail package but who made it clear that she didn’t want to be bothered with phone calls or home visits and wasn’t interested in volunteer opportunities.