Last January, fundraiser Mal Warwick, founder and chairman of Mal Warwick Associates in Berkeley, Calif. and Washington, D.C., saw the U.S. economy heading south and published a paper entitled Fundraising in Tough Economic Times. Well, those times have become even tougher, so Warwick recently readdressed the topic in a new paper, Fundraising in Tough Times: A No-Nonsense Guide to Surviving in a Challenging Economy.
It's contagious. It's bringing in new donors and extra funds. But it's unpredictable and hard to control. It's viral fundraising - when a story, e-mail, video, call to action or event catches fire online and is passed from person to person, creating a wave of response and giving. "It could be an e-mail. It could be a social network. It could be a video on YouTube. So when you use the term 'it went viral,' it merely means that people told their friends about it via word-of-mouth," explains Madeline Stanionis, CEO of Watershed, a San Francisco-based online fundraising and advocacy company.
All donors are not created equal. As in the for-profit world, the most financially valuable individuals are the ones who undertake long-term relationships with an organization-those who embrace a nonprofit's mission and make donations again and again. In a perfect world, fundraisers would be able to discern these individuals from the 70 percent of newly acquired donors whose first gifts are also their last, and invest in them accordingly.
Challenge: Increase new donor acquisition; Solution: Integrated marketing, including rich media, e-mail blasts and retail partnerships; Results: E-mail opens totalled 40.5 percent, and the clickthrough rate was between 16.3 percent and 20.7 percent. The end result was $100,000 raised.
Just as two brains often are better than one, so is the case with direct response media. Covenant House, a New York City-based nonprofit and the largest privately funded childcare agency in the Americas, has found success in supporting its direct mail efforts with other media to drive response. And the result is not only improved donations to the campaign at hand, but also to the organization’s communications over the long haul, says Joan Smyth Dengler, Covenant House’s vice president of direct response. Here, she shares some details from the nonprofit’s direct marketing program and lessons learned when layering media. Target Marketing: What direct response
Rising to the challenge on local and national fronts. We recently marked the anniversary of two major disasters in the United States: Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina. This December, many also will remember the terrible tsunami that ripped through the Indian Ocean in 2004, killing nearly 300,000 people. The American Red Cross disaster relief efforts were a vital part of helping these communities rebuild, and media coverage of this work offered the 125-year-old nonprofit organization plenty of high-profile publicity. So, as the officer in charge of the direct response fundraising unit, Margaret Carter’s job should be pretty easy, right? Yes, funds pour in immediately following catastrophic
Direct marketers, like their advertising counterparts, are plenty guilty of creating nonsensical buzzwords to sensationalize industry trends. But I’m gonna defend Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg to the hilt for their characterization of marketers addicted to online traffic: “crackvertisers.” Besides the fact that it’s just plain fun to say, the term aptly describes those companies that are so focused on traffic volume they’ve forgotten that buying more visitors is not the only way to make money from a Web site. When keyword prices spiral—and they will, Jeff promises in his article about the future of SEM (turn to page 101)—these traffic junkies will be facing
Every industry has its luminaries—pioneers whose names become synonymous with the techniques or products they developed. Ed Burnett, Ralph Lane Polk II, Richard Benson, John Caples, Leon L. Bean, Lillian Vernon, Jeff Bezos and, of course, Lester Wunderman come to mind. But not every trailblazer operates in the white-hot spotlight. Many conduct brilliant work day after day for their companies in relative anonymity. That is, until Target Marketing decided to nose around and find those professionals who are setting new standards for direct marketing performance. With the help of our Editorial Advisory Board and other key industry figures, we’ve selected eight exceptional direct marketers who
Garnering monthly donations for your cause can be a more cost-effective proposition if you piggyback this ask onto your current single-gift efforts. Steve Froehlich, director of direct marketing at the ASPCA, a New York-based nonprofit that supports the humane treatment of animals through education, legislation and healing/adoption programs, offered attendees of last week’s List Vision event the following monthly giving program insights from tests conducted by the ASPCA. Insight #1. The inclusion of a monthly giving option on response devices in acquisition efforts has generated response between 8 percent and 12 percent, and helped build up the ASPCA’s sustainer file. Insight #2: When incorporating a monthly
When readers open this reminder letter sent by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., the first thing that catches their attention is probably the personalized, yellow sticky note bearing a message that appears to be handwritten (Archive code #604-171950-0605A). The note states that AICR will be telephoning donors in the area who have not renewed their support. “A contribution at this time may save us the cost of a phone call,” it concludes. While the strategy may appeal to readers’ desires to avoid receiving yet another telemarketing call, the message indicates there was a monetary benefit for