Sunday, April 29, 2012

BIG’s Blog: A New Fundraising Model Rises

This blog is really written for nonprofit organizations that are overly dependent on direct mail fundraising. But even if your organization doesn’t do much direct mail fundraising, there is still an insight for you, too.

With direct mail, the fundraising model begins with an acquisition mailing. Direct mail fundraisers trade or purchase lists and mail a package specifically designed to convert some of the prospects on those lists into donors to their organization. Success is determined by a donation. It’s very black and white.

Fundraising using the Web is a very different model. A fundraising organization constantly puts new stories or information on the Web. People see the stories and some make contact . . . usually by going to the organization’s Website. This is a “contact,” not a donor. From this contact the organization works to engage the person who made contact. Engagement becomes the key. This is not a black and white process. The contact may become a supporter of the organization and they may also donate, but not all supporters are donors.

This is the new model of fundraising that is rising, even as the direct mail model slowly declines.

But here is the secret: both use the fundamentals of direct marketing.

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