Major Donors are Multichannel | npENGAGE

Major Donors are Multichannel

By on Oct 20, 2011


And other than that, the rich really aren’t that different from everyone else – especially online.  If you’ve read our major donor study The Wired Wealthy: Using the Internet to Connect with Your Major and Middle Donors, published in 2008 by Convio, Sea Change Strategies, and Edge Research, then you already know a few important things about major donors:

  • half of wired major donors say that online giving is their preferred giving method
  • most wired wealthy already give through multiple channels
  • most wired wealthy visit the website of a nonprofit before they decide to give

And if you’ve been keeping up with recent trends on mobile, then you also know that by 2014 more people will view webpages using a mobile device than a computer.

Not to mention the explosion of social media in the last several years.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, Tumblr, YouTube, blogs, and a million other ways for your organization to get the word out and for people to have conversations about your organization and your mission.  A million ways for a wired wealthy person to find out about your oganization, to learn about your work, and to be inspired to give. And direct mail, email, telephone and face-to-face conversations haven’t gone away – in fact, some might argue the strategic application of these communication channels has even more importance than it used to.  That’s integrated marketing.

Finally, there’s an interesting series of blog posts on the blog Passionate Giving that makes the case that nonprofits owe it to their donors to analyze the cost of major gift fundraising and to do it as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.  There’s a lot more contained in the 6-part series, so give it a read.

So what’s my point about the wired wealthy’s online habits, mobile, social media and making major gift fundraising more efficient?  Stick with me, I’ll tie this all together in a minute.

Major donors are an important part of any nonprofit organization’s budget.  Some organizations have been around for a long time and have robust major giving programs and robust membership (or annual giving) programs, and raise money from events, peer fundraising – a diverse revenue stream.  Some other organizations rely much more heavily on major gifts to support their work – and I’d venture to say that’s more true for organizations that could realistically put themselves out of business in 10-20 years by solving the problem – curing the disease, passing the law, etc.  But in both types of organizations, major gifts are important.

Also, most major gifts don’t happen out of the blue.  Most donors become major givers after already being part of the donor base.  That goes double for planned gifts.  So excellent donor management is important throughout the life cycle of the donor – you need a place for all of this information that helps you steward them in the best way possible.

Here’s the punch line:  with so many different channels and so much new technology, the number of ways that you can interact with major donors – and they can interact back! – you need a system that can handle all of this data and put it together in a way that lets you make sense of it all.  A system that makes the right data available to the right people at the right time.  A system that is optimized for what it’s doing in each particular moment.  And a system that is right for your organization’s needs.  The point isn’t to simply store your data, it’s to make the data usable and accessible so in any given moment your staff can deliver the right message to a major donor.

That’s why you should check out Convio Luminate™ and Common Ground Fundraising to see which system is right for you.  Whether you’re a large national organization, a multi-affiliate group, a small or growing charity, or an enterprise operation, Convio has a solution that can help enable your success and take your fundraising to the next level.


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