While Giving Tuesday has proven to be the best donor acquisition tool for younger donors, ministries are finding that it’s the best tool period, and this year’s event, which is November 27, will be no exception.
Along with the shift in the way people think about their giving, they also view non-profits differently, which is why traditional approaches to donor acquisition have become ineffective.
This is especially the case for direct mail prospecting, which now generates returns of about 0.65%, compared to twenty years ago when the standard was 4% to 6%. The monumental climb in the success of broadcast email solicitation has plummeted almost as fast as it started, which has actually backfired on many organizations that invested big in the trend due to the negative attitudes about spam. Just because a donor supports one ministry does not mean that they will support another one like it, not to mention the nefarious methods used to acquire email addresses.
Hopefully, no ministry has been stupid enough (yes, I think Jesus would call this “stupid) to join in on the bandwagon of robocalls that target cell phones.
Trying to acquire donors by relentlessly mailing or emailing people with no known connection to the ministry is more than impersonal but passe’ and lacking any real influence.
Giving Tuesday is a much better donor acquisition strategy for these reasons:
1. It is new. Yes, Giving Tuesday is now five years old, but it is still on the upside of the bell curve as more not-for-profits across the country jump on board;
2. It happens across all giving and communications platforms – online, mail, text, social media, even phone in some cases – a diverse execution strategy which can only be called logical in 2018;
3. It attracts young donors, a demographic largely overlooked by more traditional fundraising programs which are slow to accommodate younger donors’ preferred communications methods;
4. It runs on a concentrated timeline – one day – making it easy for the media to get behind it with promotion, sponsorship, and personalities. Whether on purpose or by accident, Giving Tuesday emulates one of the most important design features of the best Capital Campaigns – raising a lot of money in as little time as possible.
Ministries should utilize Giving Tuesday to encourage current financial partners to help promote your ministry to their family and friends, which helps those that have been faithful to the ministry feel part of the strategy and not hit upon to engage in what some see as a gimmick.