The Fundraising Landscape, Circa 2005
Offer a ‘money-back’ guarantee
Do you have enough confidence in the quality of your work to offer donors a money-back guarantee?
Marshall Burke, vice president of private support for CARE, one of the country’s leading major-gift fundraisers, believes that you can’t really be effective as a fundraiser if you aren’t passionate about your cause. Is your passion for your organization’s work strong enough that you would promise to refund the donor’s gift if he isn’t wholly satisfied?
I know, this may sound counterintuitive. But, strategically, why should your donor’s experience with you be any different than his experience with Nordstrom? Or Starbucks? Or Lands’ End?
Few nonprofits have tried offering a money-back guarantee. But I believe the tactic holds great promise. More discerning donors would flock to charities that demonstrate this kind of unwavering confidence in their mission.
Adapt to changing times
This roundup of new trends, strategies and tactics could go on and on. We’ve only skimmed the surface. But fundraising is changing rapidly. It’s changing because donors are changing. Your strategies and tactics also must change in order to effectively communicate with — and motivate — these new donors. Those of us who can adapt to take advantage of this evolution will reap the benefits.
Timothy Burgess is cofounder of the Domain Group, an international direct marketing firm serving nonprofit organizations in North America and Europe. A 27-year fundraising veteran, Burgess serves on the advisory council and ethics committee of the Direct Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Federation. He can be reached at 206.834.1480 or via e-mail at email@example.com.