I’ve got a brief blog post for you today. Give is managing the email marketing, communications, and fundraising programs for a few nonprofits. During the past few months, we’ve deployed dozens of tests. I’d like to share our findings with you.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
I love seeing other people’s pictures. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing the faces of my friends’ kids. I get a meaningful glimpse into the lives of people I care about.
I hate social media for all of the junk. The irrelevant sponsored posts. The never ending spam (the bane of open accounts). But, I’m also a marketer. I know somebody has to pay for these websites. Advertisers pay for our attention.
All of this is to say, it takes something special in the social media space to get my attention. Why? Because I guard it so fiercely. SoMe has to #EarnMyLove.
I love young people. Let me explain, I love their energy, optimism, and confidence.
Give’s first hire was a young person, Nicole The Intern. Nicole is studying Digital Enterprise Management at the University of Toronto. She’s smart, creative, and a hard worker. But most importantly, she knows in her heart that she wants to build a career in the non-profit sector.
In her own words, this is how Nicole came to realize her direction:
2015 was a fascinating year for me. I had opportunities to test a handful of fundraising theories that I thought to be sacred.
I should’ve known better. A former colleague of mine used to say, “Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.” To truly break through in fundraising (or anything else for that matter), we’ve got to ask two important questions:
- Why do we do it this way?
- Can we do it better?
About two and a half years ago, I had a client (the second largest in my roster) tell the agency that they were going to suppress all 13+month donors from direct mail, opting to treat them differently.
What happened? It revealed something about the nature of sacred cows, be it broad strategies, design, copy, or data protocols: you have to challenge the status quo, even if it hurts, to get at what’s best for donors. The client’s strategy (yes, credit where credit is due) helped skyrocket retention rates and net revenue. Mail less, raise more. Go figure. We didn’t.