Knowledge vs. Inertia: Are Fundraisers Ready for the New Era of Insight?
Half a century later a new generation of groundbreakers including Richard Viguerie, Roger Craver, Morris Dees, our founder Jerry Huntsinger and a few others integrated the new technologies of their era and took direct marketing to a much more sophisticated level.
And because these were men with strong, if dissimilar, social consciences (and because it was the 1960s), they also used their skills to usher in a new era of nonprofit fundraising.
Now another 50 years have passed. Today's game-changing technology is all about information.
We're collecting data that is more detailed, comprehensive and "segmentable" than ever before. And now we're seeing the opportunity to combine all that data with rapidly emerging information about new ways to understand and motivate donors.
Individually, some of these studies may seem downright goofy. But, taken in aggregate, we dismiss them at our peril. Those who embrace these new discoveries have the opportunity to take our industry into its own new era of fundraising.
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.