Storytelling is the currency of fundraising. In the digital environment of email, social media, and mobile, we can use storytelling in innovative ways to inspire supporters and donors — and raise more money. Photos, videos, selfies, and personal stories allow us to embed emotional content in fundraising campaigns and invite our supporters and donors to be more deeply involved.
Many fundraisers (including me) were eager to understand how the emergence of the Trump Presidency last year may be affecting the giving landscape, particularly at the individual giving level. The annual Giving USA report is the longest-running report of charitable giving in the United States. The latest report, covering the year 2016, sheds some interesting light on philanthropy trends that may continue to affect nonprofits during the Trump era.
A recent study published in May 2017 by digital tool provider EveryAction reported that over 18 percent of nonprofit fundraising emails ended up in junk folders in 2016. That number jumped to 36 percent during #GivingTuesday, seriously hindering fundraising campaigns during the biggest giving season of the year. This issue of email deliverability — the percentage of email that actually makes it into inboxes and not spam folders — is becoming a critical issue for nonprofits of all sizes. Nonprofit staffers across the country are taking notice.
Many donors express "fatigue" from the over-messaging or clumsy communications they receive from nonprofits they support. Those nonprofits often neglect to properly acknowledge appreciation for the donors' support, or to cultivate their ongoing interest.
For nonprofit fundraisers, donor fatigue and donor retention are some of the biggest challenges we face. The reality is that donor retention has been terrible for decades among U.S. nonprofits, but direct response managers are focusing on how to address it. This article explores factors that have exacerbated the issue of falling donor retention over the past few years.
While plenty of people are out in the streets holding rallies and visiting their elected representatives, the digital landscape has become ground zero as a prime organizing and engagement channel. Nonprofit organizations are pushing the envelope on their digital efforts to engage activists, grow the size of their email lists, and raise money online.