Friday, May 2, 2014

BIG’s Blog: Dramatically Growing Donation Revenue

By now, most of my blog readers have attended one or more of my speaking events or Webinars. These are always educational and…if I say so myself…fairly compelling in the argument that our current methodologies of raising donations are beginning to fail and fundraising needs a new business model.

How many of you have the personality predisposition to blame yourself when things go wrong? Like we have total control…right?

What is happening today in fundraising is NOT YOUR FAULT!

It’s unfortunate, but it is not your fault that you happen to be living through the time where the Internet and digital disruption are effectively impacting EVERY industry sector…including fundraising.

There is one story I ALWAYS tell in all my speaking events and Webinars. Why? Because, first of all, fundraisers can relate to it and, second, it encapsulates the CONTRAST of what is REALLY HAPPENING today.

I contrast the stories of two retail merchandise companies: the catalog merchant Lands’ End and the online merchant

Everybody has heard of the catalog merchant Land’s End. Founded in Dodgeville, Wisconsin in 1963, it grew and expanded until, by 2002, when Sears bought it, the company was doing slightly over one billion dollars in sales. Impressive…right? From zero in sales in 1963 to…39 years later, they were doing slightly over one billion dollars in sales by 2002.
Except that… was founded in the year 2000 by three guys who never produced a single catalog; all they did was put up an e-commerce Website.

And yet…a mere 8 years later, they were doing one billion dollars in sales!

That’s right…Zappos hit one billion dollars in sales FIVE TIMES FASTER (5X) than Lands’ End.

How is that even possible?

How did they do it? The answer is: THE INTERNET!

Every year of its storied history of growth, Lands’ End mailed more and more catalogs. . .and every year sales grew. Assuming about the same percent of response to their catalogs each year, the more catalogs they mailed, the more their sales grew, year after year.

Many nonprofit fundraising organizations have similar stories about growing donations through growing their direct mail program.

Yet Zappos NEVER mailed a single catalog. Zappos merely plugged into the Internet.

And what is the Internet?


Today you are struggling to grow revenue for your organization. The traditional tried-and-true fundraising methodologies aren’t working like they used to.


Because the Internet has taken over.

Two examples; one personal, one business oriented.

Personal: How many letters do you write today versus how many emails do you send?

Business Oriented: When was the last time the U.S. Postal Service turned a profit?

The Internet offers what catalogs and mail can never offer … the ability to “Scale Exponentially.” This is the answer to how Zappos can hit one billion in sales FIVE TIMES FASTER than Lands’ End.

And, of course, you don’t know how to shift your fundraising organization to a 100% online fundraising model THAT WORKS!

THAT is exactly what we teach you and your team in our 18-week online program (which, by the way, begins in July.)

If you can do this on your own without outside help, then that is great…you just need to “get-er-done” and start growing again.

If you’re interested in learning more about our program, drop me a note. I’ll personally send you a proposal for our online learning program and share with you the names of the 40+ fundraising groups that have already taken our program.

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