Friday, December 27, 2013

BIG’s Blog: Drip, Drip, Drip

You are all probably off today. The good thing about having Christmas fall on a Wednesday is that the Development office operates with only a skeleton staff Thursday and Friday of Christmas week with most of you off enjoying friends and family.

Most of us are relaxing in the glow of our Christmas 2013 memories and trying not to do too much as we kick back in anticipation of going full tilt into 2014.

So what is the story with the title of this blog post . . . Drip, Drip Drip? Glad you asked. Although I am very bad as a prognosticator, I am going out on a limb to say that I believe the vast majority of fundraisers who use direct mail to a significant degree in their fundraising WILL FINALLY ACT IN 2014 on what they have known in their gut for a long time, about direct mail’s future.

I have noticed a decided up-tick in senior fundraisers’ conversations with me in person, by phone, or by email actually telling me their direct mail appeals are declining in profitability. We don’t talk about if direct mail will cease to be effective, we talk about when direct mail will cease to be effective. THAT is a major sea change in mindset from even last year at this time. This doesn’t mean that they will stop using direct mail tomorrow, but that they admit direct mail will have a sunset.

Look, every organization is different. I get that. But at some point the facts just pile up and the clarity emerges as the consensus opinion.  Let’s face it, this is a huge issue to fundraisers as it drives how they acquire new donors and accounts for anywhere from 20% to 80% of some organizations’ net annual revenue.

Talk about something that will keep you up at night!

Hopefully your direct mail program is still throwing off revenue. That is a good thing. Once you have changed your mind about direct mail . . . it changes everything regarding how you think about your fundraising strategy. When you finally change your mind and say out loud to yourself or others, that direct mail is not the future, you have subtly shifted from dependence to viewing it as a tactical piece of your fundraising program. And a piece of a program is a very different perspective than viewing it as the linchpin of all your efforts in fundraising.

So now you have moved from DEPENDENCE to OPENNESS in trying things you might have heretofore not considered. All because you “changed your mind.”

THAT is a great mindset to be in going into a new year!

Oh, and Drip, Drip, Drip?

In 2014, “Drip, Drip, Drip” will become our mantra and metaphor for how you need to learn to communicate with a whole new market (new generations) of potential donors.

Join us.
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