Resolving the tug of war and internal conflicts

Maybe it shouldn’t be so, but often you’ll find fundraisers from different departments within an organization fighting over the same donors. Are they medium or major, annual or continuing?

It need not be so, and during the recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference,

Jennifer Vanderveld of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation (MCHF) and Lisa Maska of Lautman Maska Noll & Company presented information and tips about everyone playing nicely in the sandbox.

They offered the following:

Most donors are direct marketing (DM) acquired. The majority of mid-level and major donors were acquired through mass mailings. They have responded well in the past to direct mail efforts.

Mail and email can help educate, steward, retain and upgrade the support of both mid-level and major donors.

“Major” is different in each organization, so an organization’s direct response donor pool should provide a pipeline of robust prospects for upgrade at each level. So, create tiers and act accordingly.

Plan the organization’s annual communication calendar. Plan touch points regularly throughout the year. Vary the opportunities to connect. Thank the donor often. Ask several times throughout the year.

Remember that cultivation begins in acquisition.

Let the direct response do the heavy lifting. Mail or online can offer a variety of opportunities to give and can be a crucial part of donor communication.

Information in the database can tell a lot.

Outside data can enhance what is inside.