5 Questions for Roger Craver | npENGAGE

5 Questions for Roger Craver

By on Jun 29, 2011


This is a continuing series of 5 Questions for experts from across the nonprofit sector:

5 Questions for Roger Craver
A pioneer in direct mail fundraising in the 60’s…Telemarketing in the ‘70s…Online information services in the ’80…online fundraising in the ’90…Roger Craver continues to push the envelope and challenge conventional thinking through his daily blog The Agitator and with his new firm DonorTrends.

1. What’s the one thing that still dumbfounds you after 45 years in the nonprofit sector?
I’m eternally surprised and not a little confounded by how adverse the sector is to real change and true innovation.

2. Why have you been so tough lately on direct response fundraisers?
For that very reason. So many talk the good game of ‘multi-channel integration’, and others mouth the importance of ‘retention’, but at the end of they day far to many just replicate or tweak last year’s plans and continue doing the same old/same old. I guess they think some force from beyond will magically appear.

3. Which will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector: social or mobile?
The two will meld within a very few years along with what we now call online. Virtually every activist, donor, member, alum, you name it, will have a range of engagement options in their pocket or purse and the organizations that have mastered this range of engagements will hit new heights of supporter involvement and rewards.

4. Why is recurring giving so big in the rest of the world but not in the United States?
Largely because of a far more prevalent system of electronic, direct debit banking in most of the developed world except the U.S. It’s coming here too, slowly ever so slowly, and it’s a good thing because a $25 small gift donor who signs up for monthly direct debits has between a 165 and 200 times greater Lifetime Value than typical average direct response donor.

5. 5 years from now we’re all going to look back and say ___________?
“The past sure isn’t what it used to be” and be willing to take the risk and necessary of dealing with the new realities and powerful opportunities of a greatly changed world.


Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), Institute of Fundraising National Convention (United Kingdom), Civil Society Conference (Netherlands), International Fundraising Congress (Netherlands), Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School (Ireland), and a keynote speaker at several conferences across the social good sector.

Steve previously served on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, became a bestseller in 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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