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From first gift to an engaged donor

What’s your plan to maximize your Fundraising Day results?  “But it’s Fundraising Day today,” you say. “Tomorrow it’s on to the next campaign.”

For a lot of fundraisers that’s the reality. They stumble from campaign to campaign, never realizing the full potential of what they’ve managed to accomplish on any single day.

As with life, a killer follow-up campaign is where the real work begins and sustained donor relationships are forged. After all it’s easy to get everyone eating turkey on Thanksgiving — the real trick is to get them purchasing it “out of season.”

Turn occasional donors into monthly donors

It can take more than a year to recoup the money spent to acquire a single new donor.  So, it’s important for fundraisers to keep a donor engaged by converting a one-time or occasional donor to a monthly giving plan that is automatically charged to a credit credit card or debited from a bank account.  

To do this you need to stop thinking of Fundraising Day as a single event — and start framing it as the first of many opportunities to engage donors and increase your fundraising efforts.

Your email campaigns aren’t working

The key to this strategy is an effective and coordinated follow-up campaign. In the UK there is a much higher rate of monthly giving, partly because British fundraisers are great at following up with donors.  Here’s a link to an interview with Jo Sullivan on this topic and you might enjoy a read of Harvey McKinnon’s Hidden Gold.

Unfortunately in the Canadian context many follow up campaigns rely solely on email communications. The driving factor behind this is the cost. And while we all know it is very cheap to load up an email campaign into Constant Contact or MailChimp, we also know that the majority of these emails are deleted almost immediately.

According to a Canada Post study last year, direct mail breaks through the noise.

So how can you turn your Fundraising Day into a full-fledged Fundraising Season? Well, there are a few strategies to consider, across multiple marketing channels.

Here is our template:

How these all fold into a multi-touch campaign really depends on each fundraising organization’s particulars. Most often an agency is engaged to help develop the creative and messaging for these steps.

ResponsiveReceipts and ResponsiveLetters mailed Next-Day!

What we bring to the table is the ability to produce and mail low-cost automated direct mail pieces with ResponsiveReceiptTM and ResponsiveLetterTM.  

RP__Letters-TaxReceiptThis is the sort of data-driven strategy that fundraisers equate with digital communications like email or SMS.  But where those others are likely to be ignored or deleted, printed material is likely to get opened and read.  Refer to the Canada Post research I mention above on the power of mail – it has more impact, is kept longer and drives more response than electronic email.

And, just as importantly, with data-driven templates that are printed and mailed next day, donors are still basking in the glow from their initial donation when your pieces arrive in their mailbox.

The best part for smaller organizations is that costs are not as affected by volume, so communications that are triggered automatically are delivered at low price-points making print an affordable part of your multi-touchpoint campaign.

So now it’s up to you. Will you let another Fundraising Day go by without maximizing the return on your efforts, or are you willing to engage with donors to see some real results appear on your ledger this quarter?

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