Surprise! There’s no such thing as a magic bullet when it comes to fundraising. But then again, wishful thinking aside, you knew that already.
Direct-response fundraisers are being asked to measure more carefully in an increasingly complex environment. So, are we doing it right?
Two seemingly disparate developments spur this writing. One is the fiscal disaster that is the United States Postal Service and the other is the unprecedented attack on the deductibility of charitable donations. I see these as related and stemming from the same problem.
Aside from looming postal issues, the future of direct mail looks increasingly bright because of an inevitable massive expansion of your prime audience. It is well-known that among the various fundraising channels, direct mail appeals mostly to the oldest demographic. Your files typically have a median donor age of mid-70s.
Whenever the economy enters a recession, parts of the fundraising industry and much of the commercial industry enter “crisis mode.” The two most vulnerable giving channels are probably 1) corporate donors, sponsors and partners (particularly among corporations hit hardest by the recession) and 2) foundations, because their assets have decreased so significantly.
Editor’s note: This is the last in the year-long, quarterly series of stories we’ve been calling “The Leadership Series,” where leaders in the fundraising sector speak to big-picture issues fundraisers need to think about, over and above the day-to-day details of their jobs. Not one to mince words, Geoff jumps right in with these “Five Thoughts About Integrated Fundraising.”
Multi-channel fundraising is simply the idea that an organization uses more than one medium simultaneously (mail and telephone, for example) to conduct fundraising campaigns. Integrated fundraising is merely the process of making sure these campaigns are designed to work synergistically with one another.