The Importance of a Multi-Level Approach to Donor Development

I am always excited to hear from clients that our marketing expertise and strategic implementation have enhanced their fundraising efforts.

I received one such email the other day. Our client was thrilled when a lapsed donor was reactivated because of a digital donor acquisition ad they had seen, resulting in a large gift. The donor originally came onto the donor file four years ago because of a television appeal and gave only one other time in response to a direct mail piece, but went silent after that. The donor’s affinity to the work of this organization was still intact, and their trust in the organization’s leadership was still strong – but they had simply not been motivated to give. Our digital ad was able to speak to them in a unique way and reactivate this lapsed donor.

There are other instances when the opposite happens. A new name is added to the donor file through one of our digital acquisition ads. The donor then goes on to respond to a direct mail piece sent out by the organization, resulting in a generous additional gift.

All aspects of a good fundraising program should work together and enhance one another. When the organization’s message is communicated effectively through multiple communication platforms, the result is more revenue from multiple streams.

A well-rounded and multi-layered approach is critical to any fundraising effort, especially considering how many communication tools there are in our digital age.

  • Email appeals to your current donor should have as robust a focus as direct mail appeals, and vice versa. Both communication strategies are critical in today’s culture.
  • Use both digital and traditional strategies to add new names to your donor file. This needs to be an ongoing and intentional part of your overall donor communication program.
  • Educate new donors and prospects on the mission, vision, and passion of your organization before they go into the regular communication stream. You should build trust and affinity, so they have a strong handle on exactly what your organization is all about — and how their support makes a difference.
  • Always send a prompt and heartfelt thank-you with some details about how the donor’s gift was used. Prompt and consistent receipting practices round out this tried and true strategy.

The last, and often neglected, aspect of every donor communication program is to give it time to bear fruit. It is easy to grow impatient and not allow a program enough time to gain momentum. Unfortunately, we have seen clients pull the plug on aspects of their donor program just as they were about to experience a breakthrough. Results may take time. Great results take more time. Give your program time to mature. Monitor and adjust to optimize performance. In the end your patience will pay off.

Do you need help building and implementing an effective multi-level donor acquisition and communication program? Infinity Concepts can help! CLICK HERE or call us today at 724-733-1200.

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