Besides being a novice at fundraising, I’m no expert at advertising either. Sometimes I understand what marketers are doing and other times I’m dumbfounded.
Example: I have been binge watching an old TV series from the 1980’s on a free cable network. The same commercials run over and over and over again. The biggest standout commercial is for Buick. No offense, but I will never buy a Buick. I don’t care how many thousands of commercials I see, I am confident that I will never buy a Buick. It’s just not me. Is that commercial wasted? I’m obviously not the only one watching this show and maybe there will be someone who is influenced to buy a Buick but it won’t be me.
Personally I was more interested in the ads for WD-40 and their line of new products. I might be influenced there. Again, I am no expert on advertising although I know it works.
In your field of fundraising, how many letters do you send out? How many emails, newsletters, postcards? Do you only send to those who respond or do you “advertise” to a broad market with hopes of picking up a new sponsor?
I have talked with people who email MailChimp newsletters. They watch their dashboard for days to see how many people open it. After pouring themselves out and re-writing the letter they become depressed that only a few read it. It’s hard.
Are we marketing to the wrong audience (like Buick is with me)? Should we be trying to attract $10 donations (like I am with my trees) or should we go for the kill and hope to get a $50,000 donation? Wouldn’t that be nice?!
From the little I know, we need the whole gambit – $5, $10, $25, $100 and keep going. I always encourage people to give $10 a month. That’s $120 a year and most people won’t write a check for that much.
One of the people I work with went to a fundraising consultant who strongly advised sending out slow mail paper newsletters. I huffed. I was wrong. He was right. They are working. They are expensive and a lot of work but they are working.
What works for you? I got some good feedback yesterday from part 1 and I will be addressing that as we go. Please send me yours. Brian