Roger has laid some heavy-duty reading on the table this week with his posts here and here on sustainer programs. And those are just the Cliff Notes on the exhaustive Sustainers in Focus report prepared by Blackbaud, which you can download here.

The Agitator can’t think of much that’s more critical to your fundraising success than building a solid monthly giving program.

So here’s some information that’s a bit lighter to end the week — a great infographic regarding social media use by generation from Personal Money Service (an online lending service). The Facebook numbers are astounding — 293,000 statuses are updated and 136,000 photos are added every minute. If that’s not keeping social media addicts busy enough, there’s the 350,000 tweets per minute. Or Instagram’s 95,000,000 photos and videos added each day. Or the 3,000,000,000 (yes, billion) video views each week on YouTube.

This is the consumer attention nonprofit communicators must compete for … or against.

If you’re thinking ‘not of concern’ because you still have years of fundraising from Boomers ahead of you, think again. You’re only partially right. Yes, Boomers are still devoted users of mail and email (these days, I’m now calling the latter ‘traditional media’ too!). However, Boomers are substantial users of social media as well (see above).

And as Pew Research shows us in the following graphic, Boomers are losing their market dominance, already exceeded in numbers by Millennials, and to be overtaken by Gen Xers in a decade.

Sustainer programs are far and away today’s challenge. Therefore, perhaps a high priority for fundraising use of social media should be innovative use of those channels to support sustainer giving, heeding the warning from Blackbaud cited in Roger’s post about not putting the donors in sustainer programs on autopilot:

“…there are two aspects of sustainer giving that can limit its potential for even greater value. One is the arm’s length nature of automatic credit card or monthly EFT giving, and the other is the ‘set-it-and-forget- it’ implication of making the initial monthly commitment. The combined impact of these factors and their implication that the sustainer program is a sort of annuity can lead to taking the program and its donors for granted.

“Our study of sustaining donor programs therefore also focused on the value of practices that counter the inclination to take sustaining donors for granted.”

Give this challenge to the social media mavens on your team: How can we use social media to reinforce our monthly donors and avoid putting them on autopilot?


This article was posted in: Communications, Donor retention / loyalty / commitment, Innovation, Media usage / trends, Online fundraising and marketing, Social media.
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