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Multichannel Fundraising: Magic or Myth?

Multichannel Fundraising: Magic or Myth?



Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that multichannel fundraising, i.e. enabling your donors to give via postal mail, your website, telemarketing, social media, etc. is the answer ...

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that multichannel fundraising, i.e. enabling your donors to give via postal mail, your website, telemarketing, social media, etc. is the answer to all of your fundraising woes.

But what if you don’t have the budget or staff to focus on eight (or eighteen) different giving channels?

And, what if you are “firing on all cylinders” but you’re still not seeing magical multichannel results?

We can help!

Join us on Wednesday, June 29 from 3:00 – 4:00ET for Multi-Channel Fundraising: Magic or Myth?

In this webinar, fundraising experts from Union of Concerned Scientists, Blackbaud and Care2 will analyze the most significant results of the newly released 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmark Report. This report analyzes data from some of the biggest national nonprofits in the U.S. and includes transactions for over 15 million donors and $1 billion in revenue.

We’ll share the facts and fallacies about online giving. We’ll also talk about the importance of multichannel fundraising for your nonprofit. Finally, we’ll do our best to answer your questions, including:

• Online donors? So what and who cares?
• How can I leverage online and offline giving for better fundraising results?
• Where should I invest my limited budget?

This webinar is free but there are limited spaces. Please register now!


Allison Van Diest, Internet Solutions Architect, Blackbaud

Allison has been a marketing professional for more than a decade. Over the course of her career, she has made the transition from marketing “artist” to marketing “scientist” by uncovering ways to measure the impact of marketing in the organizations she serves. Recently, Allison has been involved in marketing the Blackbaud Internet Solutions division, which provides Internet solutions, marketing strategy and creative assistance to a wide variety of nonprofit customers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University and a master’s degree in business from The Citadel.

Karla Capers, Online Director, Union of Concerned Scientists

As the online director at Union of Concerned Scientists, Karla Capers manages the organization’s online outreach, advocacy, fundraising and marketing. She works with program staff to develop effective, creative online advocacy campaigns that support policy goals and build the organization’s base of activists, scientists and donors. She develops goals and strategies for, and oversees implementation of, the organization’s online marketing, social media, and supporter engagement activities and works with development staff to create and implement annual online fundraising plans and budgets. Karla joined the UCS in 2005.

Prior to her work at UCS, Karla worked for nine years at Boston-based Corporate Accountability International. In her role as creative director, she oversaw the organization’s website, online advocacy and fundraising, print publications, email communications, and film production.

Jocelyn Harmon, Director of Nonprofit Services, Care2

Jocelyn is passionate about helping nonprofits succeed online so that they can change the world! As Director of Nonprofit Services at Care2 she is responsible for connecting charitable organizations to Care2's 16 million + members and helping them to acquire new donors, members and advocacy supporters online. Jocelyn has worked with some of the biggest and most respected nonprofits in the U.S., including ASPCA, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, the Carter Center, American Legacy Foundation, and Meals on Wheels Association of America.

Jocelyn is a recognized blogger and speaker on online marketing for social change. Her personal blog, Marketing for Nonprofits, is top-ranked on Alltop. She also writes for Fundraising Success. In 2009, Fast Company recognized her as on



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  • Most of our income comes from individual donors. We have email addresses for about 40% of our current members We are an advocacy organization, so we have a large online list of activists, most of them (85%) have never given us money and we consider them a great prospecting list. Because we do a lot of online actions, we have mailing addresses for everyone on our list. I would say we are a little constrained by staffing. Our Membership Director oversees all our individual donor fundraising and works with our mail and phone consultants as well as working with me to coordinate our online fundraising program. I am 50/50 split between advocacy and fundraising. On the fundraising side I pretty much create and implement our online fundraising plans by myself.
  • Overall, our online income isn ’t a huge percentage of the organization’s overall budget. Last year we raised just over a million dollars online. But we ’ve been steadily growing.
  • Most of our membership income is still coming in through the mail, so this is still a very important channel for us.
  • When we look at where our new donors are coming from, a large percent are coming in online. Almost 40% of new donors last year gave online. So that ’s a big reason why we’re focusing on integrating our fundraising.
  • When you look at revenue per donor numbers, you can see that people who give through multiple channels give a lot more. That ’s another reason why we want to focus on integration.
  • People who give through multiple channels also retain at a higher rate.
  • If you ’re an offline donor to UCS you receive (max) about 16 snail mail appeals a year from us (mix of renewals, special appeals, and pitches to join monthly giving.) And you ’ll get about two phone calls. If you ’re an offline donors to UCS and you’ve given us your email address, you’ll ALSO receive (max) 17 email appeals from us throughout the year. Again, mix of renewals, special appeals, and pitches to join monthly giving. If you ’re an online activists who has never made a donation to us before, you’ll receive 20 email appeals (7 series) AND if you joined recently, you ’ll receive 4-5 snail mail appeals. We pull a list of the 10,000 most recently joined non-donors from our email list and put them in direct mail prospecting. Everyone we have an email address for also gets cultivation emails. If you are a donor those emails may be different than if you are a non-donor.
  • For a number of years, we ’ve been integrating the topics and timing of some of our online and offline appeals. Not all. We ’ve sent emails like this one alerting people to an appeal they’re about to receive in the mail. (24% open rate, 0.06% response rate) We ’ve coordinated topics for both appeals to prospects and appeals to donors We send all donor event invitations via email and mail We offer donors an email version of our two member publications if they don ’t want it by mail.
  • Phoning online prospects– considering calling new email list members to try to get them to convert to donors Pitching monthly giving more aggressively to online prospects– through welcome series of emails, phone, mail… Integrating cultivation and appeals for $1000+ donors– although we ’ve done a good job integrating online and offline communications to $1-999 donors, our higher level donor cultivation and appeal strategy is still largely executed offline. This is problematic, especially for donors who made their first gift online. Testing and reporting– although we ’ve tried a lot of stuff, we haven’t had the staff capacity to truly test these tactics to see how a pool of donors treated this way might respond compared to a pool treated a different way. In addition, having an online donor database and an offline donor database that are difficult to integrate makes running true analysis very time consuming so it ’s often something that doesn’t get done as well as it should.

Multichannel Fundraising: Magic or Myth? Multichannel Fundraising: Magic or Myth? Presentation Transcript