Fundraising's Changing Face
Online giving is rising dramatically, especially during high-profile events such as disasters, political campaigns and targeted multi-channel media efforts that draw attention to a particular cause or campaign. The challenge for fundraisers is to make certain that we’re prepared. Forrester suggests commercial marketers adopt a “war room” mentality to harvest response. Fundraisers should do the same, arming themselves with systems that fully integrate online, direct mail and the telephone into a seamless fundraising structure designed to make giving as easy as buying a product or service.
3. Television, as we know it, will decline as an advertising medium as dollars flow to new formats. Forrester reports that by next year, more than 17 million homes will have digital video recorders. Another 34 million digital cable subscribers will have access to video on demand. Forrester sees a future where “interactive VOD showcases and targeted commercials eclipse” today’s traditional TV ad-buying practices.
What does this mean for fundraisers? The ability to deliver high-quality video fundraising messages to targeted individuals based on highly specific characteristics is a reality today and will become increasingly more sophisticated and common. Just think, a video clip about supporting the families of police officers killed in the line of duty could target viewers of CSI or other police shows. Video clips of urgent human need and how your organization is responding could be embedded in TV news programming. We’re not far from the day when donors will be able to “pull” a video project report from an organization they support to learn the most recent impact of their gifts.
4. Direct mail will become a lower-volume, premium medium. Forrester estimates that direct-mail volume among commercial marketers grew by at least 15 percent in 2005 over 2004 — and this is a conservative estimate. We know that direct mail remains the staple of fundraising. But rising costs for postage and paper will force continued innovation in the way
we approach donors in the mail.