Sunday, September 2, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Picking Up Allies

It was just five years ago that two “facts” came together in my mind, merged and started me down the path that is the focus of our practice here are Browne Innovation Group.

Fact #1. Direct mail fundraising as a core strategy for growth in annual giving was going to fail. I have been a direct mail marketer almost all my working life; first leading a mail order merchandise company and then founding a direct marketing agency. I was not only a member of the Direct Marketing Association; I was the establishment of the DMA.

Fact #2. The Internet will be the growth engine for new donor acquisition and growth in annual giving for fundraisers for the next twenty years. Fundraisers who have depended on direct mail to be their “big net” in growing their donor file, which in turn grows bequests, are now seeing their donor file shrink (a new phenomenon) which portends declining bequests in years to come as well as annual revenue.

This insight led to the development of our Transformation Fundraising program which helps fundraisers transform their direct mail-centered Development group into a donor-centered strategy that is built on the Internet.

Since this seemed so obvious, I could not understand why other consulting groups were not singing the same song. Now the chorus is beginning.

Beth Kanter, author of The Networked Nonprofit also has a blog. Last Friday, September 1, the title of her blog was: Redesign Your Nonprofit Organization for Success in the Age of Connectivity. Beth has been an early and consistent advocate for utilizing the Internet’s capabilities, particularly social communication platforms, to not only connect with donors and supporters, but actually using these Internet-based tools to manage your nonprofit organization including fundraising.

Our whole consulting practice is about transforming fundraising, which inherently means redesigning your direct mail-centric organization. Beth Kanter is a significant voice in the nonprofit world and she is now stating explicitly, “It’s time to redesign your nonprofit organization for success in the age of connectivity.”


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