How do you decide which channel works best for you and integrate all channels in your fundraising and marketing campaigns? Here are a few suggestions.
Which channels do your supporters prefer?
How do you know which channels your supporters like? You ask them. Conducting surveys a couple of times a year can be very helpful. You might find out your supporters prefer print newsletters or they are glued to their mobile devices. What works best will be different for every organization, and it will often be a combination of channels.
Once is never enough
If you only mail out a fundraising appeal, your success rate will be much lower than if you also send out appeals through email and social media. According to a study by Convio (now part of Blackbaud), dual channel donors give an average of $123.29 annually, which is 46% more value to a nonprofit than direct mail only donors.
In addition, we are all very busy and have to contend with messages from a variety of sources. We might miss a fundraising appeal when it comes through the mail or email, but have our aha moment when we get a reminder on Facebook. On the other hand, some people never use social media or email and respond better to direct mail.
Quality vs. quantity
How often you send out messages depends on the channel. Because of the cost, smaller organizations may only send out direct mail pieces a few times a year. Generally organizations send out email once a week and post on social media a couple of times a day.
But make sure you have something good to say. Don’t just put something on Facebook because it’s been a few days since you posted anything. Make your messages clear, concise, conversational, and compelling. The 4 Cs of Writing Good Content
When you are communicating across channels, make sure your messages and look are consistent. If a donor goes to your website after receiving a fundraising letter, your donation page should have the same message, along with your logo. It’s okay to use exactly the same messages. Just alter them for each channel – e.g. your social media posts will be shorter. Everything you send out needs to look like it’s coming from the same organization.
All paths lead to your website
Often when you send out a letter, an email, or a social media post, you are directing people back to your website. Use this checklist to ensure that whatever web page you are sending someone to is effective and engaging. A Website Checklist
These are a few examples of ways to help you navigate the