Whilst social media is still perceived as a cool set of communications tools, the debate continues to rage regarding hard facts-based ROI for fundraisers. This new article and infographic from the Care2 network shows a picture from the USA which suggests these channels are valued but that direct mail is still the daddy when it comes to fundraising success.
I've seen better results from UK charities (the now infamous NSPCC Facebook campaign and Comic Relief to name just two) so what do UK fundraisers think of this experience from the USA? Does it mirror what we're seeing here or are we ahead of the curve in terms of using social media for fundraising as opposed to building awareness?
For those feeling daunted by 2012, a word of encouragement. It’s not all bad news. Yes, things will be tough, but we’re all getting used to that. Nevertheless, you will still need something to carry you through the year and help you raise the funds your organisation depends on.
I was reading the tweets from the very useful @marketingdonut team and was pleased to see them share renowned marketing expert Drayton Bird’s “35 things I have found to be almost always true”. I was pleased to see it again as I didn’t get the chance to add to the list from a not-for-profit perspective... something I aim to put right below for the most impactful of Mr Bird’s points:
Relevance matters more than originality – 100% agree but originality tends to get more cut-through than cliché
The most important element in any creative endeavour is the brief – ie; the robust thinking that went into it and how the organisation can articulate that to an outsider
The urgent takes precedence over the important – but a mixture of both is likely to be the right thing to do (if your plans are robust, that is)
The customer you want is like the customer you’ve got – so true... but as well as the new types of donor, volunteer or supporter, not instead of!
The internet is just accelerated direct marketing – I think it's more than DM these days. Perhaps it’s just a hugely powerful means to achieving a whole raft of objectives (including traditional direct marketing)?
In his blog this week Jeff Brooks talks about three self-destructive courses of action not-for-profit organisations are following in a flawed attempt to survive the current tough economic climate. He cites three main behaviours suggested by fundraising consultant Michael Rosen:
Do Not Have a Compelling Case for Support.
Ignore Current Supporters.
Given our experience of the last three years, I’d add a few more linked behaviours guaranteed to make it tougher for not for profits and charities to survive an economic downturn:
This week I’ve seen several blogs and tweets from people whose thinking I respect touching on the subject of putting your audience at the centre of your actions. Some have suggested that the audience should always be the driving force and others have posited that true innovation might not be possible if you do.