We All Need Each Other—Why Going Solo Doesn’t Work: Direct Response is Beautiful
What happened? Besides investing heavily into acquiring and cultivating donors, this forward-thinking leadership team realized that engaging donors, moving them up and out of the direct response program would lead to a more robust fundraising program overall. They did it by understanding in order to have a great major gift program they had to have a great direct response program. And, you know what—the major gift program knows this, appreciates this and even uses some of the strategies of the direct response program to cultivate their major donors.
In other words, they appreciate what each brings to the table.
What does this mean for you? No, I'm not advocating you start communicating 40 times per year (although for some of you, perhaps you should). But, I want you to realize that one program cannot be successful without the other. It won't happen overnight. Remember it's taken many years for the nonprofit I highlighted to get to where it is now. But, it had the foresight to do it right.
Even if you're a one-person development shop, appreciating the strengths of both disciplines will help you create a healthy fundraising program that is not dualistic in it's approach, but inclusive.
Remember, we all need each other.
Jeff Schreifels is the principal owner of Veritus Group — an agency that partners with nonprofits to create, build and manage mid-level fundraising, major gifts and planned giving programs. In his 32-plus year career, Jeff has worked with hundreds of nonprofits, helping to raise more than $400 million in revenue.