Engaging Today’s Donors

Kelly picA Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

We have this really cool event at the Embassy but it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. It’s called the Embatini, a really terrific name. At the Embatini, we provide a special drink and a classy meal and we have it in an exclusive place – on the Embassy stage. We’ve made it intimate and singular. Guests routinely tell us they love it. We want it to be a very extraordinary fundraiser for the Embassy. But it doesn’t raise a lot of money.

Do you have events like that? Where, despite the hardest of work and the keenest of ideas, it just never takes off as a fundraiser?

There appears to be a disconnect somewhere in our event. How do we better link it to our donors? Perhaps this has something to do with how donors think today about philanthropy and what they are expecting from us as nonprofits.

Remember the truly original Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 that generated millions of dollars and free publicity for ALS? While hugely successful in many ways, the majority of Challenge donors were one-time givers: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/als-and-the-ice-bucket-challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge reminds us that the ways people learn about our organizations are evolving. And the ways people give to us are changing. The good news is that the amount of giving is growing.

If there is a silver bullet to excellent fundraising, it is steady, ongoing attention to people, to individual relationships. We still have to find personalized and relevant ways to connect. As for the Embatini, we continue to evaluate it, to figure out how to create a better link to our donors.

For some information on fundraising trends, go to:

http://www.gailperry.com/top-10-fundraising-trends-and-predictions-for-2016/

https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/news-events/news-item/giving-usa:-2015-was-america%E2%80%99s-most-generous-year-ever.html?id=202

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

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