Posts tagged fundraising
Two years ago in April, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission saw a dramatic drop in donations simultaneously with seeing a dramatic increase in homeless cases.
Based on advice from its marketing agency, it learned that the days of single-channel marketing were over. Donors now function in a multi-channel mode. Even if a direct mail acquisition piece is sent with a response mechanism, 40% to 60% of donors will elect to do further research online, according to Masterworks.
According to a 2010 study by Convio, most nonprofits continue to apply a traditional direct mail centric acquisition model to target Baby Boomers and other younger donors who make it onto available rental lists. For many, the answer has been to augment their direct mail with an online push. Internet fundraising has grown strongly, but most major mailing nonprofits have reported almost a 20% decline in new donor acquisition over the last five years. “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”
Reversing Dwindling Donations by Pulling Out All the Stops
Union Gospel Mission built a multi-channel campaign to reverse the trend of declining donations. By building a campaign that included radio, direct mail, print (posters and press releases), promotional items, telemarketing, email, and landing pages, Union Gospel Mission grew donations by 2% and has continued this increase year after year.
The campaign slogan Union Gospel Mission crafted was “One Meal…One Hope.” One meal spoke to the needs of the poor and homeless while one hope offered the outcome donors wanted – a promise of a future through the mission’s work rebuilding broken lives.
SOURCE:Masterworks, Seattle-based integrated marketing firm
SOURCE:The Next Generation of American Giving, Convio, Edge Research, Sea Change Strategies, March 2010
The direct mail letter solicitation spelled out clearly how far the donor’s dollars would go in helping the homeless – $1.98 would feed one person and $19.20 would feed 10 people.
The landing page you see below helped put a face to the cause by thanking the donor for feeding Don and turning his life around by getting him off the streets and back into society and into church.
Multi-Channel Campaign Generates Huge Lift
Union Gospel Mission’s campaign exceeded expectations by making 7 million impressions. Website traffic to the mission grew 57% at a time when other missions were losing traffic and seeing income declines. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission grew its donation by 2% and continues to see this upward trend now that it’s using multi-channel campaigns.
Six Rules of Multi-Channel Marketing
Are you implementing multi-channel marketing programs in your organization or nonprofit? If so are you sticking to these six requirements outlined by The Nonprofit Times below?
- The optimal deployment of media should be driven by voice of the customer (VOC) learning to ensure both relevance and effectiveness.
- Key elements of the multi-channel mix must be deployed according to the individual opt-in preferences of customers and prospects.
- The multi-channel mix must provide customers and prospects with choices so they can communicate with the marketer via the media mix of their choice.
- The channel mix must meet requirements 1 through 3 in accordance with the timing and frequency determined by that individual’s opt-in preference.
- The channel mix must offer a completely integrated experience. All the elements must complement each other, support each other, and send coordinated messages to customers and prospects.
- The channel mix must be responsive. If the organization alienates or abuses a consumer, we can expect to hear about it in a public forum if we do not resolve it privately.
The Da Vinci Code took the world by storm in 2003 grossing $758 million worldwide at the box office. Also seeking higher numbers, churches are turning to QR Codes® in an effort to increase donations and tithing.
Do you see the irony in the movie’s star character Robert Langdon being a symbologist and the possible saving grace for churches today being a QR Code®? Perhaps history does repeat itself.
Recession Causes Churches to Adopt High Tech Donation Practices
According to the Religion News Service, the recession has caused church contributions to drop by $1.2 billion even though membership remains relatively the same.
Unity Temple on the Plaza is run by an old-school board that is willing to try new-school things when it comes to raising income for the church. The board at Unity knew that statistically donations tend to increase about 15% with churches that offer online donations to its congregations or parishioners (through QR links or direct web access).
Unity’s bulletin announcement below simply directed people after the service to its Tech Table to learn how they could make donations quickly and easily by swiping the QR Code® in the bulletin or posted in the temple.
If passing the plate is coming in light on funds, perhaps QR code® swipes will stimulate more generous giving because it’s quicker, easier, and perhaps an electronic way to amp up generosity. And let’s face it more and more people live a credit or debit card life.
More Ways to Incorporate QR Codes into Your House of Worship (or business)
1. Save space. Put a QR Code® next to each bulletin item to save space by directing members to links for more information.
2. Provide a digital bulletin. Put the bulletin info on the website and place QR Codes® on signage leading into the service area. Allow parishioners to access information in the way they desire.
3. Attract attendees. If your church building has different rooms for different ministries such as AA meetings, put QR Codes® on the signs outside the door that links to info about that ministry, meeting, or specific event schedule.
4. Attract new members. Use QR or other 2d mobile barcodes on coffee mugs to give first-time visitors or on t-shirts for the youth group wear with text that says “Got God?”
5. Reinforce the message. Savvy ministers and pastors are linking members and guests to the sermon notes through QR Codes® that lead to a podcast, video, or blog post.
Has your church or temple used integrated marketing, including QR Codes® in its communications or marketing materials? How about in its alternative methods to tithe? Perhaps you can volunteer to assist them in this new terrain. It can be part of your pro bono contribution to help close the gap on diminishing returns in this recession.