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What’s happening to Christmas 2013 fundraising campaigns?


The seasonal campaigns have been dropping on our doormats for a few weeks now  and we’ve noticed a few things that seem to be different from last year:

  1. The number of ‘traditional’ direct mail campaigns is falling
  2. The number of items in the packs we are receiving is getting silly
  3. The lead asks seem to be getting lower
  4. Getting the data right is still key to making the recipient respond positively

We’ll post a thought or two every couple of days and it would be great to hear your experiences too.  Here’s the first…

1.   Traditional direct mail not as popular?

As unscientific as our office and circle of contacts is, we reckon we’re down by about half in terms of the number of packs received.  This could be due to the increasingly short-term ROI targets we’re seeing amongst our charity friends, increases in postage costs or a desire to attract a younger audience using other channels.  That said, we’re not seeing a significant increase in email campaigns hitting our inbox or my social media accounts either, and we’re still in the contact groups.

What does appear to be increasing is the number of non-traditional campaigns which are less direct marketing but still feel very personal to the supporter, without being personalised.  Look at the 2013 Big Give Campaign, for example.

  • It’s an interactive campaign with site users deciding where the money goes from various funders as well as The Big Give 2013 Christmas campaigncollecting donations
  • A resource for the selected charities to get engaged with and drive their supporters towards in order to secure increased, matched funding
  • So if I’m referred there by a charity I like or support and can then interact with the site and funders to get that charity even more donations, I somehow feel it is personalised, without it being direct marketing…

On a linked note, I’m a little surprised we’ve not received an appeal from two charities for which I’m already a regular giver.  I know some charities have a policy of not ‘appealing’ to regular givers but an annual appeal for a bump in donation or a one off used to be a worthwhile tactic.

Is this your charity’s experience?  What’s your policy on cross-campaigning between contact lists?  I know charities that ring-fence certain types of givers which can seriously hamper the overall fundraising potential even though that was never the intention.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 29/11/2013 1:14 am

    As time goes by, changes are already too big that even simple mail have change. Traditional direct mail maybe gone in the near future and fundraising in that kind of form will be gone…

    • 02/12/2013 6:45 pm

      That may be true… but I wonder how older folks (the Dorothy Donors as they’re often referred to in the UK) will be able to continue to give. Smartphone giving simply isn’t an option that appeals to this group.

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