2 New Must-Do Steps for Taking Your Fundraising to the Next Level
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Recently, in the “Blast From the Past” series, FundRaising Success republished a 2010 article, “The Not-So-Great Divide,” and for good reason. This piece made the case for integrating online and offline fundraising efforts “now and for good,” explaining that donors don’t define themselves as living on “Planet Online” or “Planet Offline,” so fundraisers shouldn’t treat them as if they do.
The author called on nonprofits to take five steps:
- Reorganize internally so people managing online outreach are coordinating with those working in the offline realm.
- Integrate e-mail and direct-mail lists in a centralized database for a single view of donors.
- Plan donor-centric campaigns with a consistent message, look and feel across channels.
- Ensure that online and offline calls to action refer to and reinforce each other.
- Monitor results to learn what combination of online and offline efforts works best.
But a lot has changed in the past three years, so it’s time to add two new steps to the list. Nonprofits today also need to:
- Optimize online fundraising because it’s become critical for acquiring the best donors.
- Adopt an omnichannel fundraising strategy to build the deep relationships that inspire donors to give generously throughout their lifetimes.
The business case for adding these steps to the “must-do” list has never been stronger:
- More new donors now are recruited online versus offline, and they are proving to be the best donors, especially those who are engaged across many channels. Online donors who use more than one channel have a two times better retention rate in the first year. Those who give and share a nonprofit’s mission across multiple channels have the highest lifetime value.
- Online fundraising experienced double-digit growth in 2011 and again in 2012, while offline fundraising remained relatively flat. No doubt, broader adoption of social media across all age groups, including those over 45, is helping to drive some of this growth. There are more than 460 million Facebook users and 165 million-plus on Twitter. Not coincidentally, nonprofits using social media have increased fundraising results by 40 percent. Skyrocketing smartphone usage, including among those between 45 and 65 and older, also is a factor: 10 percent of traffic to online fundraising pages now is from mobile devices.
- The online channel can inspire large donations. Increasingly popular online giving days have resulted in multimillion-dollar gifts. And an impressive 84 percent of nonprofits have received at least one online gift of $1,000 or more.
Given these trends, here’s some 2013 “now and for good” guidance.