Online fundraising: figure out the big stuff first

Do you sweat the details, like what hour of the day to send emails to your supporters?

Don’t. According to the Emailvision blog, Campaign send time isn’t important.

In a variety of studies, the time of day an email was sent had little or no impact on its effectiveness. There’s not much point aiming to blast those e-appeals at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., or any other exact hour.

Why would I bother telling you that some minor metric is not important?

Because I’ve noticed a lot of fundraisers really zoom in on the small metrics, especially when they’re doing online fundraising.

But the small metrics are just small. They make little difference — often none at all.

Focus on the big stuff instead. Spend your time and energy on questions that can make a difference. Like:


  • Do our messages talk about things donors care about?
  • Does our fundraising offer resonate with donors?
  • Is our website easy to navigate and use?
  • Are we making it easy for direct mail donors to give online?

These are big-money questions. Asking and answering them can turn your online fundraising into a powerful source of revenue and support.

The little questions, like what time of day to send emails — the time to think about those is when the basics are humming along at optimum level. But not before.

Thanks to Be Relevant! Email Marketing Blog for the tip.


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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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