The latest episode of The Baudcast (iTunes | direct) is all about the 2008 donorCentrics Internet Giving Benchmarking Analysis. The report has generated a lot of discussion and buzz in both the media and the blogosphere.
The panel discussion includes Chad Norman (Internet Marketing Manager), Melanie Mathos (Public Relations Manager), Allison Van Diest (Senior Internet Product Marketing Manager), Rob Harris (Vice President – Analytic Products, Target Analytics), Roger Craver (Founder, Craver, Matthew, Smith & Company and The Agitator blog), Hildy Gottlieb (President, Community-Driven Institute), and myself.
Here are some quotes that I pulled from episode 24:
"The reason they don't return online is that they get a fuller experience in terms of information and the relationship building process through the other channels. That's not to say that they wouldn't return online. It's just that in my judgement and the research we've done indicates that the online environment is a mile wide and an inch deep. Where things work best with online is when it's integrated." – Roger Craver
"Techies have a tendency to be in love with tools. As we get online the more we're focusing on one small thing — should we have a Facebook campaign, should we have a Twitter campaign, should we have a whatever campaign — versus how does that fit into to that overall integrated strategy which all flows from the data." – Hildy Gottlieb
"The larger average gifts of online donors pretty much trumps everything. Because they start out at higher levels the overall retention rates aren't all that different, although online is lower. Where it's really apparent is if look at a $50 online giver versus a $50 direct mail giver. But even that aside — the (online) gifts are so large that even if they aren't as loyal their lifetime value is still quite high. That just points to what the opportunity is if you can keep them loyal through integrated marketing." – Rob Harris
"Maybe by its very nature (direct mail) won't appeal to this young group. It's not leveraging just the channels we have today in new mixes that will bring in younger donors into a more engage state, but instead responding to what younger donors need. How you help people brand themselves as your 'missionaries', and the easiest way to do that is online. Enable them to not just tell your story for you, but tell something about themselves and who they are based on their relationship to the organization." – Allison Van Diest
"Have a strategy behind what you're doing and have that strategy go beyond just fundraising. Have the strategy start with what we are looking to accomplish for our community, our region, or the geographic area we serve. Who do we need to engage, what do we need to do to accomplish that, and how does fundraising fit into that. But if the strategy doesn't start with what we want to accomplish and move backwards from that, then you're just going to keep picking at different tools and eventually be saying 'well that didn't work'." – Hildy Gottlieb
A really great panel and a very interesting discussion. I highly recommend listening to this episode of The Baudcast.