When magic happens in fundraising

by guest blogger Annalise Briggs, Manager of the Monthly Giving Program at Mercy Corps.

As fundraisers, we try to be as efficient as possible with donors’ money. Oftentimes conversations about emotional content are mixed in with conversations about testing, converting emergency donors, revenue, retention, ROI and LTV.

That’s how it was when a small team of us at Mercy Corps came up with a “Comfort a Kid” idea — write a note to a child in Japan and we’ll give them to survivors of the earthquake in our Comfort For Kids program. New donors would receive a monthly giving ask and current supporters would land on a thank-you and ‘share this with others’ message. (See our message here.)

We wrote the copy, chose photos, developed the light box and landing pages, tested the email and then something magical happened:

Donors responded.

I read through the hundreds of personal and heartfelt notes from supporters to these children in Japan and tears welled up in my eyes. That was a magical moment in fundraising — to connect donors to a cause most will never touch or feel or experience in person, but who had the opportunity to be part of the solution.

It was beautiful. It was fleeting.

I then went back to look at open rates, click-through and monthly giving conversions.

But the magic, beauty, and emotion — that’s the real part of fundraising. The technical stuff, the numbers, and three-letter acronyms — those are just our tools.


Comments

6 responses to “When magic happens in fundraising”

  1. Tom Ahern Avatar
    Tom Ahern

    Fundraising is way more about joy than it is about math.

  2. Tom Ahern Avatar
    Tom Ahern

    Fundraising is way more about joy than it is about math.

  3. Karen Graham Avatar
    Karen Graham

    Your donors’ heartfelt response is a good reminder of why we’re in this field. Thanks for keeping it real, Annalise!

  4. Karen Graham Avatar
    Karen Graham

    Your donors’ heartfelt response is a good reminder of why we’re in this field. Thanks for keeping it real, Annalise!

  5. It was really a good feeling dude the lines touched my heart excellent information very nice blog thanks dude…….:)

  6. It was really a good feeling dude the lines touched my heart excellent information very nice blog thanks dude…….:)

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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