The Missing Ingredient in Your Year-End Online Fundraising

Here’s some pretty interesting info from this weeks Fundraising Success E-Newsletter. Here’s some data  just released by the “eCampaigning Review Study” that looked at 2 million donors to 50 nonprofits around the world.

iStock_000009805524XSmallThe study found that 70% of the nonprofits didn’t send a followup email within one month.  And – can you believe this – 37% did not send a thank you email.

This shows where nonprofits stand in developing their e-fundraising skills – they are only doing the very basics. Apparently nonprofits are learning how to successfully raise money online.  BUT. . .

They are missing the followup! I can’t imagine how they could neglect the thank you and the followup. If they don’t followup, then the donors are most likely to never give again!

There is a lot of research out there indicating that first time online donors are less likely to give again than first time donors by mail. If there was ever an urgent “to-do” in any fundraising office – it’s being ALL OVER first time online donors – and thank thank thanking them.

The Fundraising Success article suggests that a nonprofit create a “welcome route,” – a series of communications to first-time donors.  I love the idea of a Welcome Route. But it’s hard – I know it’s hard – to plan for the followup when you are under so much pressure to bring in new gifts.

But the investment in welcome packages is an investment in next year’s campaign. You are laying the groundwork for NEXT YEAR’s fundraising. You need to engage your donor NOW while she is still excited about her donation and she is really interested in your work.

We all know that developing long term relationships with donors is the KEY to long term, sustainable fundraising. But just because we know it, doesn’t mean that we do it.

This needs to be one of our new-year’s resolutions for 2010 – loving our donors and thanking them in every possible way!

To your fundraising success,

Gail