We All Need Each Other—Why Going Solo Doesn’t Work: Direct Response is Beautiful
Now, let's talk about the direct-response driven shop. There are many nonprofits out there who were birthed through direct mail, telemarketing and print ads. I mean they literally grew up overnight because they started aggressive direct response acquisition campaigns and brought in thousands of donors. That's awesome.
However, over time they realized that in order for them to create more revenue for their programs they had to start developing strategies to move donors up the giving ladder. The answer was a lot more direct response. And for some time that has been working pretty well.
And, for many it continues to work well, maybe not like the "good old days" but still pretty decent. Well, the smart development professionals are now savvy to the fact that they must start major gift programs if they want to survive long-term and keep their fundraising ratios in line.
The problem I find in the direct response driven shop is that they don't want to let go of their donors. There is a mistrust of the major gift team. Plus, because of bad leadership, the direct marketers, being judged by the revenue they bring in, fear their results will start to look bad if their best donors are now on a caseload and out of their program.
I cannot underestimate the number of conversations I've had with the direct response team and the major gift team that were all about protecting their turf.
And, it goes both ways.
The major gift team does not often recognize the good work that the direct response team does. I mean, where do you think your major donors are going to come from? I also know MGO's who will hold on to donors who are not performing for way to long because they don't want to put them back into the regular mail stream.
If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff.
If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.