The Children’s Aid Society, New York City, founded in 1853 to serve needy children and families through a broad network of services, including education, health, counseling, adoption, foster care, arts, recreation and emergency assistance.
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.
“If we’re going to eradicate substandard housing from the face of the earth, we need to be focused and organized.”
So says John Cerniglia from Habitat for Humanity International, which has been providing affordable housing to low-income families since 1976.
And he means it. His word choices sometimes make a face-to-face visit to a major donor sound more like a covert operation for Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt than a friendly chat between board member and prospect.
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.
Two months from now, President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will wage their final battle for the White House, capping off an emotionally charged, hard-driving election campaign that has seized American consciousness like no other.
To illustrate, consider that when George H.W. Bush ran for re-election against Bill Clinton in 1992, he didn’t mention him by name until July. And in 1996, Clinton didn’t mention Bob Dole by name until August. This time around, the candidates traded barbs as early as Super Tuesday in March.
Newsletters, especially of the online variety, allow fundraisers to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders long before they even think about anteing up the greenbacks. Donors and prospects alike can now get engaged more often, and with more personal relevance — making it easier and more cost effective for nonprofits to forge links with individuals primed for giving.
When Kwi Brennan came to New Jersey’s Rutgers University in 1996, volunteers culled from the alumni and student body were raising about $2 million a year through telemarketing. Not bad, but not exactly blazing either.
Then Brennan, the senior director of annual giving, and his supervisor, Victoria Wilt, turned up the heat. Telemarketing revenues jumped up to $2.5 million in 1997, $2.9 million in 1998, $3.1 million in 1999, $3.7 million in 2000, $4.2 million in 2001, $5 million in 2002 and $5.1 million in 2003.
In the formative years of online fundraising, nonprofit organizations assumed that if they built a Web site with bells and whistles, rich content and a device to accept donations, donors would come. But to the chagrin of many fundraising pros who defined effective online fundraising as the ability to take credit card transactions through a Web interface, donors came in fits and starts. Charities soon learned that they needed to be just as creative, diligent and engaging in their approach to the Internet as to any offline fundraising medium.