Yesterday I offered a hypothetical New Math for Fundraisers scenario where very committed donors (only the 15% who are self-described missionaries) are matched with an easy-to-use tool (assuming, per Pew Research, that one-third use sites like MySpace or Facebook) to conduct a whopper of a personal fundraising campaign. I further assumed that half the donors who met these two criteria would actually solicit donations from their online friends.

A few readers commented publicly or privately that they thought my assumptions were too rosy. Here’s some pushback.

When you work my math through, I posited that 2.5% of the active donors of my hypothetical nonprofit would participate in my campaign. With that assumption, it yielded about $210 per participating donor.

Too many missionaries? I submit that any nonprofit that is not generating recruiting-level enthusiasm from 15% of its active donors needs to re-think its communications program … or its acquisition strategy.

Too many social net users? OK, Pew says that only 19% of internet users ages 45-54 have social net profiles, 10% of those ages 55-64, and 7% of those ages 65 or older have one. So adjust my scenario to reflect that many current donor files have an older age profile. You still wind up with an extraordinarily successful fundraising campaign.

Too many actual participants? To me, this is the big unknown. But remember, I’m starting with a very select pool — the small group of donors who say they are missionaries for my nonprofit — and I’m asking them to use a tool they are already comfortable with. I’m not just throwing a net out on a social networking site and hoping someone swims into it (more on that tomorrow).

But my most important point: instead of listening to me hypothesize, you can "wet-test" each and every assumption in my scenario in your organization … assuming you have some donors who have shared their email addresses.

Get started … The Agitator would like to award some raises!






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This article was posted in: Fundraising analytics / data, Nonprofit management, Online fundraising and marketing, Social media.
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