Getting Your Wires Crossed
“People may get the [appeal] through snail mail, and then they may respond through e-mail,” Golden says. “We find that if we can continue to use both channels, we have stronger results overall.”
Don’t forget the data
However you enact multi-channel fundraising, Gaffny says, your goal should be investing in the overall relationship — thereby creating donor value — through “a series of multi-touches within a
number of differentiating channels.”
But all that means nothing if you don’t collect the data from those interactions.
“If an organization wants to take the time to create a multi-channel program where they either are proactively pushing out communications along different channels or just offering different channels for the donor to find at his or her own discretion, unless the organization also is capturing what’s happening via all those channels, then they’re not really getting the full breadth of the relationship,” Gaffny says.
It’s what Craver calls “the database problem” that results from a silo
mentality, which still exists in a lot of organizations where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing. As a result, organizations fail to connect or integrate their databases.
“Matters of the Web and Internet, mistakenly thought to be ‘technical’ in nature, are set off in silos guarded by Webmasters, IT personnel and sometimes communications departments who have little or no understanding of metrics — investment, performance, return on investment — and all the other tools needed to implement and measure an effective multi-channel campaign,” Craver adds.
To run a multi-channel campaign effectively, an organization must make data gathered from each channel available across the board so it can get a full picture of a constituent’s activity and be accurate in subsequent solicitations, regardless of channel.
Moving past the denial and anger stages to an acceptance of multi-channel fundraising is one thing. Embracing it and making it an organizational mindset is another.