What We Can Learn from the Haiti Fundraising Effort

Let us all be thankful at the outpouring of generosity from donors in response to Haiti’s crisis. The people of Haiti need and deserve our help.

From my standpoint also, I am looking carefully at the fundraising and donation techniques that are being used to raise (or collect) these funds.  What’s particularly amazing is the number and quantity of donations by text.

The Red Cross’s texting campaign is making history.

Apparently they now have over two million donors who have made $10 gifts to the Red Cross Haiti relief effort. Of course the real question is whether these donors will become repeat givers. And that depends on whether the Red Cross is able to establish real communication with them, and convey the ultimate impact their gifts made on the ground in Haiti.

And in a way, this is really “gift receiving” and not “fundraising” because it’s an outpouring of gifts that are not necessarily being solicited. BTW, the Agitator blog has a great entry today about the difference between “gift receiving” and “fundraising.”

Will there be followup?

The true test of all this gift collecting and/or fundraising is in the followup to donors.  Studies show that donors who give on line are less likely to renew their support than those who gave via check in the mail.

Will recipient organizations be able to convert one-time donors over to a longer-term relationship? How will they handle thank you’s?  How will they go forward communicating with donors?

I’ll be looking at renewal rates on these gifts to see what happens after that first gift.