You might be thinking that the new year will just bring more of the usual fundraising grind, slogging forward step by step, scratching for every dollar.Well, I have good news: It doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, the smartest fundraisers are paying attention to what promises to be next in breakthrough fundraising trends, strategies and tactics that will revolutionize the way funds are raised in the years ahead. So get on board if you want to ride the coming surge of fundraising effectiveness.
Diversify your channels
Direct mail has been the workhorse of donor acquisition for many, many years, but other channels can work — and have worked — amazingly well, too. For starters, I’ve seen newspaper inserts and display advertisements work very well for local and national organizations.
Cable- and utility-invoice inserts also deliver a low-cost new donor. What’s more, the Internet and direct-response radio and television have emerged as important acquisition channels for some nonprofit groups.
The key strategic question to ask here is how best to diversify your acquisition sources so you are not so dependent on just one channel, such as direct mail. Acquiring new donors is like managing your stock portfolio: Diversification is crucial to minimizing risk and maximizing return on investment.
Consider lifting your list-exchange cap
Many nonprofits exchange donor names and addresses with other organizations as part of their direct mail acquisition campaigns. This extremely common practice leads to lower acquisition costs and helps build donor files with like-minded charitable givers. However, almost every organization involved in this practice limits the exchange to donors who have given less than $100.
There have been some recent nudges in the industry to get organizations to increase their exchange cap to as much as $999.99. Why? Because exchanging these more valuable donors will lead to a greater pool of younger donors who tend to give much larger first-time gifts.