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.
Switching gears a bit this month, I want to take time to reflect on some current events. I also want to remind us all that what we do matters, and that innovation and out-of-the-box thinking must continue in order to propel our industry forward and enable the missions and work of the organizations we support.
Finally, organizations are using technology to complement and strengthen their fundraising program. But is this really the case? I’m not sure. In one conversation, I heard about how excited an organization was that it could marry its online and offline sustainer programs.
Whether or not you have money to burn, no one likes to waste money. And anyway, the government frowns upon burning their paper. So why are so many nonprofits squandering their resources on mailings to bad addresses?
Just about everything. Well, at least for me. “To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It’s not about winning and losing; it’s about every day working hard and about thriving in a challenge.
Sustainer. It’s the buzz word in nonprofit fundraising for the past few years. And there’s good reason for it — sustainer programs are one of the most valuable segments within a fundraising program because of the compound effect of the gifts.