Posted on: September 15, 2018
I was recently giving a presentation to a group of fundraisers and – without thinking about it – said that it was usual for us to laser prompt each donor’s response device individually, even if there were tens of thousands of people being mailed.
Someone said “What? Every single person has different asks?” It was evident that their charity did gift prompts of a one-size-fits-all approach.
Because my background as a fundraiser is predominantly in direct mail, I don’t think of any other way of talking to donors except as personalised as possible. The main principle that drives this is “a person will usually give you what you ask for” – so many charities are missing out on huge amounts of income because they are asking a person who could give a gift of £100 or £500 or more, for £12, £20 or £30.
With advances in print technology (not to mention digital) it is possible to personalise a 16pp newsletter with details of the person you are talking to throughout the text, not to mention details of their giving history. “Stephen, your gift last month of £45 is helping us to reach more children like Paul.” Why aren’t more charities speaking in this way?
However, the real changes are taking place online and especially in the area of the donor journey. An example of this is the possibilities that are available to any digital fundraiser through the platform of one of our technology partners that allows you to automate the donor journey with auto-triggers based on an action or non-action taken by the new prospective or actual donor.
This level of “relationship fundraising” is not the preserve of the major donor fundraiser, but the principles of personalisation should be applied to every single donor, whatever the channel.
The real changes are taking place online and especially in the area of the donor journey.
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