Yes, “why are nonprofits losing half of their donors?” is an important question that fundraisers need to reflect upon. But it’s not the only question they should be asking themselves, and certainly not the most important.
Yesterday, an article I wrote discussing the value of donor feedback was published on The Grow Report. I know for months I’ve been talking about the value of donor feedback, but this article sums it up nicely.
We’ve been promoting the first phase of Rapport services to our clients — solutions focused mostly on undeliverable mail and our ability to help organizations minimize mail that doesn’t reach its intended recipient and maximize the results of their fundraising campaigns.
As an industry, we are sitting on the precipice of momentous change. I am hoping that nonprofits see this as an opportunity to transform their current approach to donor cultivation, and begin leveraging and utilizing the resources that have always been at their fingertips. Merkle RMG has taken its first step to begin its own transformation with the launch of Rapport last month. Rapport is a suite of strategic solutions that focus on building deeper and stronger relationships between a nonprofit and its donors to improve donor retention and lifetime value.
The reason Merkle RMG is critical is because we are the eyes and ears for a nonprofit. Think about it — we are the first to engage with a donor. Whether it is processing a donation, flagging a piece of comment mail, responding to an email, or answering a phone call — we are first to react to a donor’s behavior.
We polled a number of our nonprofit clients earlier this month to take their temperature on the year-end giving situation. While these results are by no means statistically significant, anecdotally they support what we all believe (and want) to be true.
Aside from this being the time of year that I daydream about the pie bar that my mom and aunt meticulously plan each year, it’s the time of the year that I begin to reflect on the past year. Measuring myself against the goals I set out to accomplish, taking stock of the current state of affairs nationally and globally, and trying to make sense of the man-made and natural changes that have transpired.
Sorry folks, I’m just going to come out and say it. Nonprofit organizations do not practice true personalization. While many nonprofit organizations profess that they are providing experiences and communications that are “uniquely relevant” to existing and potential donors, the truth is — they’re not quite there yet.