Social Fundraising Is About People, Not Media

Silent auction boosts Charity donation
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Network for Good COO Katya Andresen had a fantastic post yesterday discussing the siloed nature of fundraising. She lamented the nonprofit marketplace’s failure to adopt truly multichannel approaches to donor development. It was great to see an acknowledgement of the fluid nature of donors, and the need to change fundraising approaches.

Her comments were based off of the Blackbaud Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report, which shows that multichannel marketing is an realized objective, even though it is proven to work. One obvious conclusion you get from reading the report is the singular focus nonprofits have on media forms in fundraising rather than the people behind those media.

The reality about us — people — who donate is that we rarely consume any one form of media. In fact, none of us really see our entertainment or reading or conversations as an act of consuming.

We move through life and see, participate in, or ignore our various media as we go about the day. Whether it’s an ad on the subway, a solicitation via traditional mail, an email from a cause, or a peer recommending a cause on a social network, we receive multiple requests for donations every day.

People make their donation decisions based on variety of touches and reasons. Social fundraising limited to the social media tool set is a very limited set at that. That’s why most good fundraising tools offer email. They will perhaps even grow their house file, and integrate them into those multichannels. But if nonprofits are smart, they’ll go further and use social fundraising to develop a real relationship with donors.

A real relationship looks like more than a transaction. It is an engagement, and demonstrative moment were a nonprofit treats the giver like an investor. By treating them as such and reporting results, asking their concerns and desires, a nonprofit can do more with them. They can grow a much more robust house file, too. That sure seems more social than single media transactions.