Fundraising in the Digital Era Part 3: The Nuts and Bolts of a Successful Campaign

Regulatory compliance plays an extremely important role in fundraising. There are a myriad of laws and regulations put in place by government entities that protect both donors and organizations.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series, we discussed the importance of developing relationships with donors as well as ways Nonprofits can leverage integrated marketing strategies to engage donors and turn them into long lasting contributors.

In this third and final installment of the series, we will discuss the nuts and bolts of a successful campaign; mainly the compliance and regulatory issues which Nonprofits need to keep in mind when developing and implementing strategies.

The Nuts and Bolts of a Successful Campaign: Compliance and Regulatory Adherence

The federal government and each individual state have very specific regulations for every kind of direct marketing campaign, including traditional mail, phone calls, email, text messaging, etc.

It’s extremely important, therefore, that your fundraising campaign is in compliance with these rules and regulations, as your organization could be negatively impacted if something were to go wrong.

It’s in your best interest to identify a marketing partner with the knowledge, experience and technology to help you prevent compliance failures.

For example, InfoCision  has invested in advanced technology aimed to ensure compliance with a dedicated team of practitioners whose only job is to stay updated on regulatory issues.

This series was designed to introduce you to the basic tools necessary in launching a successful digital fundraising campaign. Building long-term connections with donors begins with establishing trust in the relationship.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

 

Fundraising in the Digital Era Part 2: Leveraging Integrated Marketing

Not too many years ago, Nonprofit teams had to knock on neighborhood doors to raise awareness and support for their organization. Needless to say, it was a difficult job that quickly caused some of those involved to burn out.

With the telephone and other digital channels, however, there are many more opportunities in which Nonprofits can connect with existing and potential donors.  For example, Nonprofits may leverage all sorts of emerging communities through social media.

In continuation of our three part series, below we discuss how Nonprofits can leverage integrated marketing strategies to engage donors and turn them into long lasting contributors.

Leveraging Integrated Marketing: Effective Strategies that Build Relationships

A growing majority of today’s donors spend time online. Therefore, in order to grab their attention and effectively communicate with them you need to have a strong digital presence. Below are some strategies to consider implementing with your next fundraising campaign.

  1. Pair demographic data with multichannel marketing: While the majority of donors still prefer the telephone for direct communication, younger donors tend to choose contact via digital channels, such as email and social media. To ensure that you are reaching donors through the channels they prefer, marry demographic data with multi-channel marketing solutions.
  2. Give it a personal touch: Business Intelligence and Analytics tools can help increase your fundraising success through capturing relevant insights from donor data—like preference, response rates, etc. In addition, demographic scripting can help personalize the messaging that encompasses the urgency and relevance of a Nonprofit’s value proposition.

Be sure to join me for Part 3 of this series which will discuss the nuts and bolts of a successful fundraising campaign in relation to compliance rules and regulations.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Fundraising in the Digital Era Part 1: Building Relationships

Getting the necessary funding for an organization to be able to further its mission is not an easy task. You may need to contact dozens of potential donors before finding someone willing to donate to a particular cause.

In the not so distant past, the majority of fundraising was done door-to-door, through the postal mail, and over-the-phone. Today, however, many donors are spending a significant amount of time online. Therefore, Nonprofits must create a digital presence for their organizations to increase awareness, generate interest and acquire more donors.

In this three-part series, we will discuss how Nonprofits can build long term relationships with donors while leveraging integrated marketing to increase funding for their mission.

The Fundamentals: Building Relationships with Donors

While times have certainly changed, the fundamentals of engagement have not. Successful fundraising comes down to one thing: building lasting relationships with donors.

Rather than make the all-too-common mistake of simply asking for funds, Nonprofits should take the time and do the work to build a real connection with donors.

After all, a donor who becomes engaged with the organization will likely give again and again because they not only believe in the organization, but become personally involved in its mission.

Building a personal connection means involving donors in a multifaceted communication and engagement cycle. For example, you could follow up with a thank you call and provide a welcome kit that explains how contributions will make an impact.

While this takes dedication, engaging donors in this way will keep them active. Remember, it’s more cost effective to maintain a current donor than it is to find a new one.

Be sure to tune into Part 2 of this series in which we will discuss ways Nonprofits can leverage integrated marketing strategies to engage donors and turn them into long lasting contributors.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Donors need to move beyond The Overhead Myth

Three leading nonprofit sources launch campaign to correct misconception

OMI wanted to share with you an important letter directed to the donors of America from the country’s leading sources of information on nonprofits.  The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar and Charity Navigator have joined forces to denounce the myth that judging a nonprofit by their overhead ratio, usually an organization’s administrative and fundraising costs, is a valid indicator of their performance.  This letter is signed by all three of the companies’ CEOs and it kicks off The Overhead Myth Campaign which aims to correct this common misconception.

So many times donors are erroneously guided to give to organizations that have low ‘overhead’, as that is what the media tells us is the mark of a good charity.  As a fundraising partner to the Who’s Who of national nonprofits we hear this often at InfoCision.  However, in the nonprofit world overhead can encompass many crucial investments, such as administration and fundraising, that not only help an organization sustain itself and run efficiently, but also be successful in growing and carrying out their mission.

When we focus predominantly on overhead, we can create what the Stanford Social Innovation Review calls “The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle.” By underfunding ‘overhead’, charities starve themselves of the freedom they need to best serve the people and communities they are trying to help. 

The letter concludes with urging donors to consider the whole picture when deciding which charities to donate to citing those served by the organizations need high performance more than just low overhead.  We couldn’t agree more.

Partnering with the nation’s leading nonprofits

Here at InfoCision we work with the nation’s top nonprofit organizations, which consciously choose to be good stewards of the funds entrusted to them. We are proud of the work we do in helping charities carry out their important missions. We not only help them raise money to help sustain their programs, but we also help to increase the number of donors involved; a key to sustaining themselves in serving millions of people around the world. We are honored our clients entrust us with such an essential function and hope this letter and campaign will educate and empower donors everywhere to support charity based on the results an organization produces , and not just their ‘overhead’.

This subject seems to be gaining attention from the media.  Our Friend Dan Pallotta has been very vocal on the issue.  And, with the release of this letter from highly regarded organizations like the BBB; could there be a movement under foot?  We can only hope.

I encourage everyone to help spread the word to end The Overhead Myth!  www.overheadmyth.com

If you have found this information helpful, please leave a comment or question if you want to discuss further.

Volunteer recruitment is a vital part of nonprofits achieving their missions

Volunteer Recruitment programs help to get more people involved with nonprofit organizations; spread the word about important causes and educate people about how they can live healthier.

volunteer recruitment kitYou’ve likely received a letter in the mail from a friend or neighbor that contains educational information such as tips for living healthier or ways to identify risks and prevent disease.  You may not have understood the full impact of these letters and the huge role volunteers have in furthering an organization’s mission.  I’ve been in the fundraising industry going on 30 years and have seen first-hand the importance of volunteer recruitment campaigns and I’d like to take a minute to share with you why they are so vital.

There’s no question this strategy aids in fundraising, because a person is more likely to give when the letter comes from someone they know.  However, the benefits extend far beyond dollars raised.  Volunteer recruitment programs help to get more people involved with nonprofit organizations; spread the word about important causes like fighting diabetes, cancer, autism, lung disease, stroke, etc. and educate people about how they can live healthier.

Here’s a short run down of the role a “family and friends” or “neighbor to neighbor” volunteer recruitment campaign has in advancing an organization’s mission:

1)      Engaging supporters on a deeper level – It’s one thing to give a nonprofit organization a donation, it’s another thing entirely to volunteer your time to send letters on their behalf.  For volunteers, making that commitment creates a deeper level of engagement.  Because there isn’t a financial commitment, nonprofits can involve supporters who can’t afford to write a check – giving everyone an opportunity to support the mission, regardless of financial means.

2)      Reaching people and creating new supporters – Another great benefit of a Friend and Neighbor campaign is enabling nonprofits to connect with many people they otherwise might not reach through traditional phone and mail efforts.  By having existing supporters reach out to neighbors and friends, it increases the likelihood they will receive the message and respond positively.

3)      Educating people about the cause – Fundraising is one small component of the work charities do.  Nonprofit organizations are dedicated to their cause.  Whether it’s finding a cure for a disease or providing better services for people facing challenges, every nonprofit is trying to do something to make the world a better place.  The information provided includes educational information like tips for living healthier or ways to identify risks for diseases.  By distributing this information, volunteers are helping to advance the nonprofit’s core mission.

4)      Spreading the word about the organization – Nonprofits utilize volunteer-based grassroots programs to spread their mission to millions of people that normally wouldn’t get that message.  Even if the individual does not send a donation, they may talk about the organization with a friend, decide to learn more about the cause, or even volunteer themselves to help in the future.

Involving people in volunteerism is a great way for nonprofits to engage more donors, and it creates stronger connections with the mission.  So next time you receive a letter in the mail from your neighbor on behalf of a nonprofit organization I hope you’ll take the time to read it and consider if helping that organization is the right choice for you.