Fund Raising Tip #4: Think Multichannel

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You don’t have to outspend the competition to outwork them.

At a seminar sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, political analyst Scott Rasmussen, founder and president of Rasmussen Reports (and co-founder of ESPN), recently told an audience of businessmen and women that in five years “we will not be using telephones for polling.”

The fact that the day may be coming when we no longer are interrupted at dinner by pollsters is worth celebrating. But the significance of Mr. Rasmussen’s observation is in the fact that it recognizes that the way people communicate is changing.

It teaches us that nonprofits must keep up with new trends and tools in order to continue to successfully compete for support. It means that to succeed over the long-term your strategy must be adaptable and employ all of the tools available.

With these changes taking place it’s important to seek experience in direct mail fundraising and fulfillment services with expertise in state-of-art digital and online technologies. Consider consulting with a partner with expertise in everything related to direct marketing from the mail box to cyber space.

While experts agree that the majority of contributions are still received through direct mail, it is becoming increasingly common for a first contribution to be given online. (1) Young givers – the ones who have never had a land line telephone or a newspaper delivered to their doors – are a prime target for an online outreach strategy.

Did you know that those younger online givers tend to have higher household incomes than mail-acquired givers? Or that they tend to give larger gifts than mail-acquired donors and tend to give over a longer period of time? (2)

On the other hand, did you also know that retention rates are lower for first-time online givers than for first-time direct mail givers? Or that large numbers of first-time online givers eventually switch to offline methods, usually direct mail? (3)

Your fund raising strategy must recognize that the process of acquiring new donors – the number one priority of an effective fund raising program — and keeping them, needs to embrace new technologies and constantly adapt to change. But it also must incorporate tried and true techniques for retaining donors and maximizing their support for your organization.

You don’t have to outspend the competition to outwork them.

At Bluegrass we love new technologies. We think variable data printing technology is one of the most innovative and effective tools available for maximizing effectiveness and stretching your budget.

But we’ve been around long enough to know that the best strategy is the one that works.

(1) 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Mulitchannel Giving Report, Helen Flannery and Rob Harris

(2) 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Mulitchannel Giving Report, Helen Flannery and Rob Harris

(3) 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Mulitchannel Giving Report, Helen Flannery and Rob Harris

by:

Aaron Stringer

Creative Director


December 6, 2012

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