Fundraising and a Glimpse Into My Electronic Inbox
Like many of you, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day brought many e-appeals to my inbox. I tend to make my donations via check and the U.S. Postal Service because I am a direct-mail junkie, but a few brave souls still email me.
Despite my poor showing, there were several similarities between our lists — not just in the sense that we got some of the same emails, but in the messaging and the methodology. Here's what I learned from studying my end-of-year inbox and Larissa's detailed list.
Time is short
Many organizations realized the window was narrow, and they didn't waste a day. The most I received from one organization was three emails over six days. (I am a deeply lapsed donor to the organization, so I was not a hot prospect.) Larissa, on the other hand, received nine from Defenders of Wildlife (one a day from the 26th through the 29th, and two a day for the rest of the year). Environmental Defense Fund sent her three just on New Year's Eve.
While we can argue all day long about how much is too much, those who only mail once in these last six important days of the year should challenge that thinking for 2015. What happens if your one and only email is overlooked, swallowed by the waves caused by the organizations sending out five, six, even nine emails? Year-end is a key time for donating; it's an opportunity not to be squandered.
Need more proof? Network for Good reported that the 10,000 charities it reports on received 13 percent more online gifts in December 2014 than in December 2013 — and giving on Dec. 31 was more than double the giving on Dec. 30. And the cherry on top? Giving on Dec. 31 accounted for 22 percent of all December giving.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.