Two cross-channel fundraising wrong turns

Our donors cross media channel boundaries. They’re really screwing up our neat, measurable direct-response world. It’s a pain, but it’s something we must get used to and find ways of working with.

One thing not to do is encourage donors to downgrade their involvement — or get lost entirely — by sending them to low-involvement channels. Here are some serious wrong turns that you shouldn’t encourage donors to make:

QR code in direct-mail

If you put a QR code on your direct mail, you’re creating an easy path that goes away from the high-involvement world of mail and into the lower-involvement world of the web. Response rates to web-based fundraising efforts are a fraction of what they are in the mail. Response via mobile is lower yet.

Text-to-give on a website, email, or direct mail

When you encourage text-to-give on a webpage or an email, you build a path from the high gift world of the web (where the average gift is north of $50) to the low gift world of mobile giving, where the average gift is around $10.

QR codes and text-to-give have their places. Mostly for situations where the choice is between small gifts and/or not-very-committed donors — or nothing. Like getting disaster donations from young donors who aren’t on mailing lists and invisible to most of our normal channels.

But don’t take costly wrong turns.


Comments

2 responses to “Two cross-channel fundraising wrong turns”

  1. Great point, Jeff. And of course, mobile giving carries the added demerit of disconnecting donor data… suddenly an engaged, understood donor simply becomes a revenue blip attached to a phone number. All the while downgrading her gift level. Ick.

  2. Great point, Jeff. And of course, mobile giving carries the added demerit of disconnecting donor data… suddenly an engaged, understood donor simply becomes a revenue blip attached to a phone number. All the while downgrading her gift level. Ick.

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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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