The Real Costs of E-philanthropy: There’s No Such Thing as a Free Donation
At the point you’re pushing “send” on your latest e-mail campaign or e-newsletter, have you thought through to the next thing that happens other than the much anticipated donation?
What about the hundreds of e-mail inquiries that well-intentioned donors will send back? Did you think through the fact that you’re going to want to reply to these valued donors with something more than a form letter?
Did you really know that Bernice in St. Cloud was that connected and that you are now her only resource at the organization to talk to? Your correspondence team is a hidden cost to your online fundraising efforts. Its thoughtful replies are going to make Bernice remember that you care — and that you’re more than just another open hand looking for a year-end donation. What your correspondence team members say and do is critical for the future of your organization. Do not skimp on this resource or talent — factor it in!
So, you listened to the sales pitch and decided you really had to buy that new e-mail platform that can do all those amazing things. But did you really expect Suzie to jump ship a month later to go on that personal quest she secretly waited for her entire life? Now you have a fancy platform, and you’ve spent your training dollars on a person who’s currently walking with a stick through the north of England.
To get the most out of what you pay for, do not be shortsighted with the training. Get that replacement off to training — yesterday! While you’re at it, send two other people as well — one from marketing and one from major gifts. They’ll come back with a broader experience and appreciation for what it takes to run an e-campaign, and you’ll have the makings of a Plan B.