Clean Data Is Required In A Digital World

Since fundraising tactics have been forever altered through the evolution of digital technology and changing platform preferences of prospective donors, fundraisers must take charge of their strategies to engage the most donors.

Combining first-party data data collected and owned by a company or nonprofit on purchase histories, preferences, digital interactions, app use of individuals – and omnichannel marketing to edge past the competition in fundraising campaigns is one potent way.

That was a main recommendation of presenters promoting the theme “First-Party Data for the Win! Successful Omnichannel Campaigns with Co-Op Data,” during the 17th annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference in National Harbor, Md.

Presenters were Jennifer Ingram, senior vice president of Niwot, Co.-based Wiland’s nonprofit digital division, Brenna Holmes, principal and senior vice president of marketing firm Chapman Cubine Allen + Hussey in Arlington, Va., and Jennifer Walsh, development director of the World Jewish Congress in New York City.

Their presentation listed the travails of advertising trends in 2021 and this year: increased costs, unreliable data from platforms and pixels, less individual engagement on Facebook, more aggressive policies surrounding social issue advertising, and a slowdown in peer-to-peer fundraising efforts.

“With all the changes being made by Apple, Google, Facebook and others, fundraisers can no longer rely on third party data and look-a-like audiences for strong returns on their digital campaigns.  We all need to start thinking outside the box.” Ingram told the audience.

An alternative, the presenters suggested, is leveraging first-party data by using cooperative databases, which can provide enhanced insights into prospective donors and predictions of their future giving based on comprehensive donor data. That way, through omnichannel marketing using all types of channels and platforms through which potential donors learn brands, givers can be more precisely targeted.

Case studies of nonprofits were presented, one involving the World Jewish Congress that used first-party data and a multi-channel strategy to see a significant return on investment (ROI), including increasing gross revenue by 14% across channels from 2020 to 2021, among other successes.  

Key takeaways from the presentation:

The digital landscape and how fundraising occurs has forever changed.
First party data is more important than ever.
Data Co-ops can be a great resource of high-value, first party data.
Omnichannel marketing improves fundraising results.

The presenters injected a bit of humor into the power point, using two memes – a character declaring “Good News Everyone! We’re Changing Everything” and a marketer surrounded by flames – to illustrate how brand promotion has changed since Apple added a function to its iPhone to stop brands from tracking users across apps.