OK, maybe this is a bit of a stretch. But think about it … what exactly is the ‘status’ or ‘standing’ you want your nonprofit to have in the hearts and minds of your donors?

I suspect your answer to that question will say a lot about you feel about them!

Are they cash machines?

Are they a ‘necessary hazard’ of raising money?

Are they a nuisance?

Are they a data set?

Are they a source of inspiration?

Are they a co-conspirator?

Are they members of a tight-knit community to which you also belong?

Are they a partner or a best friend?

The farther down this list you go, the more likely you are to be succeeding at your fundraising.

Here’s a white paper from the commercial world (Silverpop, a digital marketing firm), Are You a Best Friend Brand?

Silverpop interviewed 4,000 consumers in the US, UK and Germany, looking in particular at their online shopping habits and opinions on brand correspondence.

The study says that the average consumer has only 4.5 brands whose email correspondence they always open. Do you fit that pattern? What are the 4-5 brands to which you always respond? Are any of those nonprofits?

The study also says that consumers on average only purchase from three brands online within the space of three months. Again, how does that square with your online behavior?

What the respondents to this survey want most is personalization and relevance — offers based upon previous behavior.

Trust is also key. 64% say they will open an email simply because they trust the brand. And in the online space, trust in how the brand will handle personal data is paramount. See this separate study on consumer privacy concerns just released by TRUSTe.

In its study, Silverpop exhorts marketers to be one of the five brands that wins entry into the consumer’s “circle of trust”.

Is this an aspiration you have for your nonprofit? Or is it enough to just meet the numbers?

What would it take to get into your circle of trust?




This article was posted in: Donor retention / loyalty / commitment, Online fundraising and marketing.
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