Lynn Edmonds, president, L.W. Robbins Associates
Loyal donors are being conservative but holding on. Since the spring, we have seen a slight increase in giving in some audiences but not all. And in certain cases, we have been able to reactivate lapsed donors by decreasing the gift asks.
For many fundraising professionals, the world of social media is an intimidating place. They know it's the wave of the future, but many are reluctant to dive in. I spoke recently with Terry Barber and Doug Broward, vice president and creative director, respectively, of integrated direct-response fundraising agency Grizzard, about the evolution of social media regarding fundraising.
Grizzard Communications Group recently held a conference, Winning Strategies in Challenging Times, focusing on effective and efficient ways of communicating to donors during difficult economic times. The conference was held February 24th – 26th and featured a live panel discussion presented in the online virtual world of Second Life. Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary of The Salvation Army, along with other IT communications associates from Alexandria, VA and Reston, PA participated in a panel discussion as animated “Avatars.”
Grizzard Communications Group today announced it will serve as Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles’ (URM) full-service agency. As the agency of record, Grizzard will be leading the organization’s direct marketing efforts and will work with the URM to perform a comprehensive donor data analysis and develop a more integrated approach to their current fundraising program.
The country’s economic crisis will force donors, especially older adults, to cut their contributions to charities for the rest of the year, according to a recently released survey. But those between the ages of 25 and 34 will increase their donations, according to the survey by direct-response marketing and fundraising firm Grizzard Communications Group, which is headquartered in Atlanta. The survey showed that only 13 percent of respondents expect to increase their giving for the remainder of 2008, while 29 percent plan to decrease it. Bill Jacobs, vice president of research and analytics and senior strategist with Grizzard, says the surprising
Without hesitation, she pulls over, leaps out of her car and runs across four lanes of freeway traffic to save a lost and frightened dog. Why? Because she’s a champion for her cause; she knows nothing else … compassion runs through her Canadian veins and keeps her heart beating.
Nonprofit direct-response fundraising programs historically have centered around one channel, usually direct mail. But as other channels become more viable and new ones emerge — can you say W-E-B? — innovative organizations have become aggressive in incorporating them into their fundraising mix.
Grueling is the word that crossed the lips of the intrepid judges for our 2006 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence as they made their way out of our offices one hot afternoon in August.
Not that we’re particularly demanding taskmasters, but the competition was, indeed, fierce. Much to our glee, it grew from 33 packages in 2005 to nearly 90 this year (sent in by 21 agencies and four nonprofit organizations). Some of the categories remained the same, but we added a few and tweaked a few others.
This past year began a new chapter in my family’s life: We became child sponsors. My wife and I decided that when our daughter was old enough to understand the concept, we would engage her in the process of choosing a needy child to sponsor.
You’ve probably heard -- ad nauseum -- about the importance of mailings that directly generate income. However, what many people aren’t spending enough time discussing are mailings that I’ll simply refer to as “informational” (versus transactional). Examples of these types of mailings include newsletters or magazines that are sent to a certain category of donors or members. How important are they? I can recall one year in which an organization failed to send anything to its members, resulting in a 25 percent decline in its renewal rate. This is a good example of what can happen if members are not kept informed of what’s going on