Donor Insight. Fundraising Action.

State of the Fundraising Union

Posted by Caity Craver on 01/2018

Tonight the US President will deliver the State of the Union address. 


If you had to stand before a constituency of marketing and fundraising professionals, how would you report on the ‘State of the Fundraising Union’? 

Here’s my outline. (please add your own standing ovations and forced tears when needed.)

The State of the Fundraising Union is strong… or is it?

• We’ve faced some serious challenges like retention and acquisition response rates, and made progress in certain areas like average contribution size and monthly giving.

• Our resolve is stronger than ever but our strategy is myopic and outmoded.

• We’re at war with three enemies – Donor Attrition. Inefficiency. Competition.

• We can’t hold on to our donors. Donor retention continues to decline yet fundraisers still set in motion the same contact strategies they have for years.

• For every 100 donors you gain, 99 are lost. What are you doing to protect your donors?

As the nonprofit landscape continues to become saturated with more and more organizations, nonprofits are falling into these two categories.

INnovators and UNnovators

UNnovators, also called 'laggards', are just holding on.

• Dependent on a very small segment of donors to maintain revenue growth. Think about this – for every 1,000 active donors on file, you will convert 2 to a major donor level. Can’t we improve this?

• Mindset is outdated. Doing the same thing will yield the same results.

• Fundraising methods are increasingly inefficient and costly. There is a better, more effective way to allocate your marketing budget, but most are too scared to buck the status quo.

INnovators - the future of fundraising

• There is hope, some out there that are applying smart, math-based logic to meet today’s challenges head-on. Learn from each other. Stop wasting time and money.

• Using technology to optimize their fundraising efforts.

• Engaging their donors.

• We need to inspire our donors. Anger, excitement, and passion translate into engagement. How are you going to motivate and instigate your tribe?

Improve the state of your fundraising. Take action:

1. Know your numbers. Understand the vital signs / metrics that matter most.

2. Evaluate efficiency. Are you contacting the right donors?

3. Uncover donor lifetime value and assess investment strategy. [you can calculate this in minutes]

Do something today to impact revenue, response, and retention. The state of the fundraising union depends on it.

Topics: Lifetime Value, Retention, Trends, Action Strategies, benchmarks

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Fundraising Superhero,

We know how many capes you have to wear. Fighting the good fight, trying to raise money to fund critical programs. We're here to help. We're using this space to collect tips and trends that will help strengthen your fundraising superpowers.  Together, we'll fight Fundraising Foes like donor attrition, downgrading, and rising costs. 

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