My last blog post seemed to generate a lot of buzz (well, not in the comments yet) in the emails I received from some other fundraising industry insiders.
Though we are in challenging times, it’s important to stay focused on the bigger picture. At DonorPerfect, we’re focusing our energy helping our clients retain the donors that they have. While average donation amounts are declining, it’s critical to keep and retain donors for the long term.
As a result, as a company we’ve seen a great increase in business in the last part of the year as nonprofits are struggling with ways to raise funds or simply keep their funding the same. After all, while the results were down across the spectrum, there was still a large group – 40% – that actually grew their fundraising revenue last year.
Fundraising is hard. It really is rocket science. You would never try to build a rocket ship without the right tools and materials, so why limp along with the equivalent of hammer and chisel with Excel or Microsoft Access? It doesn’t make sense.
In other news, my partner and colleague, Doug Schoenberg, recently blogged how cell phone fundraising is affecting the Haiti relief efforts.
Overall, I think cell phone fundraising is great – for the right organization. Unfortunately, people may jump to the conclusion that they need to start fundraising via cell phones, when in reality their chances of success are actually quite small.
The maximum cell phone donation is $10. The average online gift is $120.00. That means you roughly need 12 times (1,200%!) more donors to give via cell phone simply to make up the huge loss in the average donation amount. Can you realistically see your donor base grow 12 times? It’s not likely. Your resources will be more effective if applied elsewhere in your organization.
Before people start drinking from the mobile giving kool-aid drinking fountain, they really need to make sure they have their best practices established. Creating and maintaining a direct mail program, on-line giving, major donors, newsletters, annual program, special events, capital campaigns, etc., all take a good deal of time and effort. To date, all of these fundraising techniques will be much more effective than mobile giving and should be considered first and foremost as the best bang for your buck.