The fundraising landscape has already changed. The problem is that many organizations haven’t yet accepted it. Right now your donor is being barraged with messages from every angle. Television, radio, and the mailbox? That’s the least of their worries. Email boxes are overflowing, banners ads are everywhere, and let’s not even get started on social media.
Outbound efforts simply are not enough to acquire and retain donors. You don’t need donors. You need raving fans.
What’s the difference, you might ask? A donor responds to one or two appeals that you send them each year (out of 12, 24, or more…) They send you a check, and they’ve done their part. Don’t get us wrong, there's nothing wrong with that, and for some that’s all they can or want to do.
The emerging reality (especially for smaller organizations) is that you simply can’t afford to keep up this type of relationship and expect to grow. A raving fan is different. They are invested in your cause emotionally. They fundraise for you, they hold clothing drives for you, they volunteer for you, and then they tell their friends about you.
Unfortunately, these people don’t exist on a mailing list that you can rent. They must be created over time, starting with the very first interaction, and you better believe they are going to do their homework before money changes hands.
Today’s up-and-coming donor base wants transparency and human interaction. Most of all, they want to know what you are doing with their money. Today’s donor isn’t making a donation, they are making an investment and they expect to see a return.
The good news: You can give them the report on their investment.
Transparent fundraising isn’t a campaign strategy or a simple fundraising tactic. It’s a culture within an organization that requires fundraising, programs, and accounting (yes…especially accounting) to become united towards the mission of the organization.