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.
A data breach at your nonprofit would be devastating to your donor relationships and ability to fundraise. When donors see that their gifts are handled responsibly — with speed, accuracy and security — it builds their confidence in your organization. To successfully retain them, you must be able to assure and demonstrate to donors, first and foremost, that their data is safe.
When nonprofits think about how outsourcing can help their donation processing, they probably have some standard advantages in mind. In a typical outsourced solution, the benefits are mostly tactical; the donation processor receives the mail, puts money in the bank, captures data, delivers it to the client, and then starts all over again, always serving as the last link of the chain. This kind of solution supports the core competencies of caging and data capture, but it’s missing a strategic element.
With the 2016 presidential election campaign in full swing, many Americans are now more focused on the issues that mean the most to them. Naturally, election years bring surges in donations for political candidates and causes. So if you’re a non-political organization, how should that affect your fundraising this year?
At Merkle Response Management Group, we know trust is the top factor in client and donor relationships. When a donor gives to a nonprofit, they’re entrusting that organization with their money and personal information. That’s why our clients must have complete confidence in us as a service provider to handle donor gifts and personal data with absolute security, accuracy and efficiency. In Merkle RMG’s mail processing department, we work to earn and keep this trust every day.
The Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation held its latest semi-annual conference in Washington, D.C. February 18 and 19 at the Renaissance Hotel (the other is held in New York City in the summer). More than 700 fundraisers and representatives from the companies that serve them gathered for the two-day event that featured a keynote speaker each day, a jam-packed schedule of education sessions, and lots of networking as usual morning, noon and night.
In an earlier post, I highlighted some best practices for using contact centers to strengthen donor relationships. At Merkle Response Management, we help clients apply those best practices by offering complete service packages designed to support specific contact center activities. Our customizable solutions are built on frameworks proven to positively impact donor retention, response rates, and gift amounts. Today, I’ll provide a bit more detail on these product offerings.
Sustainer programs offer a win/win for both donors and nonprofits, but in order to maximize the benefits, it’s important to establish an effective processing and management system for receiving and managing sustainer gifts.
This month’s blog focuses on a survey commissioned by Merkle Response Management Group on nonprofit direct mail donation processing. Market Connections, Inc. conducted the blind online survey, asking non-profits what methods they use to manage their direct mail responses, how well they think they are addressing key areas, the importance of specific attributes when evaluating current or potential outsource service companies, and perceptions of the benefits of outsourcing. 157 non-profit organizations responded, and all use direct mail as a fundraising tool.