Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New study finds sheds light on fundraising marketing

The guy on the right is the donor!
A new study released in August has some surprising things to say about fundraising marketing. The study by Russ Reid, a Pasadena, California company that provides direct-marketing services to non-profits, found that one the greatest indicators for giving is whether a donor’s parents were involved in helping non-profits. Parental involvement in non-profits increased the odds of a child becoming a donor by more than 80 percent.

The study also concluded that social media has yet to become a giving medium. While 57 percent of all donors said they used social media, only 6 percent actually gave money that way.

The big “no brainer” for the study was that a charity’s website was the single, most critical marketing vehicle. Most donors went there to get more information, and many of them went to there to give online.

So, where does that leave your non-profit?

First, if parental involvement is a big deal, encourage it. Why not seek out two generation families that give to your charity? Take their picture and put it in your newsletter and on your website for all to see. You could also create giving products aimed at parents and their children.

On the social media scene, the research is mixed. It may not be a place where people give, but it certainly is a place where people have relationships with each other and your organization. So, forget the hard sell on Facebook and instead use it keep donors engaged.

Finally, you need to look at your website for what it is – the centre of all non-profit marketing. It has to be good, easy-to-use, engaging and, most of all, up-to-date. Don’t be tempted to just leave it as it is in hopes that it can stand the test of time. That will be the kiss of death for the thing. Your website is the single greatest investment in marketing you can make. Support it with content and maintenance.

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