Last year and again this year I’ve had the pleasure of joining the Fundraising Roundtables with many of you across the country. For a digital fundraiser like me, it’s the mental equivalent of being a kid in a candy shop without mom to rein you in.
In Chicago and DC earlier this year, amid success stories, proven strategies and exciting new tactics, a constant theme emerged. Simply put:
Fundraising is best when it is donor-centric
It’s an easy mantra to speak but a more challenging one to live. But the Roundtables provided two concrete examples I want to share with you.
American Diabetes Association
David McShea from ADA reminded us that you can’t be everything to everyone. For their Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes fundraising program they narrowed their focus and selected three target audiences: team captains, top fundraisers and walkers with diabetes. Those clearly defined audiences allowed the ADA team to build three marketing approaches that hit on key messages that resonated with each of these strongest participant segments.
At Easter Seals, they also put their audience at the center of their strategy. The team developed website visitor personas and collaborated with the Charity Dynamics team to ensure the newly redesigned site met the needs of those personas. The site is also responsively designed so no matter what device visitors are using, their experience is a great one.
In a few weeks we are taking the Roundtable to its next stop: the Big Apple. I’m sure New York fundraisers will have more examples of how donor-centric fundraising helps organizations fulfill their missions and I can’t wait to hear every single one.
New York also highlights something a little different though. Given of the time of year, last year’s canceled marathon is top of mind as we approach the event. I’m curious to hear what trends fundraisers are seeing related to the marathon. Are the usual suspects participating and fundraising again? How are you progressing toward your goals? How are you keeping your donors at the center of your strategies and tactics?
With a new format for the Roundtables this year – we’ve moved to a full afternoon of programming – there’s more opportunity for in-depth conversations and networking. I know we’ll use every minute of it digging into donor-centric fundraising and the unique experience of reviving marathon fundraising
Donna Wilkins is the founder and CEO of Charity Dynamics, a leading agency for nonprofit digital marketing and fundraising. Visit CharityDynamics.com to learn more about solutions and the team.
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