To Have and To Hold

To Have and To Hold

Looking back over the past year, one of the most interesting things that I heard came from a very sharp client at a meeting at the beginning of December. We were talking about whether Direct Mail is still viable and valuable in today’s fundraising climate. She quoted to me the 7 P’s of Marketing and stated that Direct Mail is not dead because of the 7th P – Physical Evidence. Donors have more trust in an organization if they have something that they can touch and feel. Something that proves to them that the organization is real and does good work. A recent Agitator article also quoted a study from the Royal Mail saying that one of the biggest reasons that direct mail continues to work is… Touch! “Yes”, they said, “humans still like to touch stuff.” Based on these theories, Direct Mail will never go away. People still like to have something to hold in our hands, something tactile. Something that we can touch and feel and that proves to us that the organization is real and not on just our screen. Email, social media and other online communications – for all their benefits – will never be able provide...
Let’s Get Small?

Let’s Get Small?

As we kick off 2016, I have a question for you. Let me set the context. In the past decade, we’ve witnessed many of our clients migrate from micro-computer based fundraising databases to CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) cloud-based databases. And for 10-years we’ve seen many of these organizations’ ability to leverage their data for insights decline. Rather than the CRM serving the nonprofit, it seems like the nonprofit now must serve the CRM. I still find this so ironic and frustrating. I know it’s not any one CRM or any one client. I think most every organization underestimates the commitment of undertaking migrating to a CRM. They also underestimate the cultural change required to harness the power of CRM – which includes adding highly trained (and highly salaried) fundraising professionals to run it. Most organizations understand the need for CRM and are willing to swallow the expense of the database infrastructure, but in my experience, too few organizations have been willing to cover the cost to train their people adequately or add CRM professionals who know fundraising to their payrolls. It’s like building a fancy new library, filling the library with books, magazines and periodicals, and then not hiring any librarians. OK, that’s my long-winded setting of the context. Here’s my question: Do you think organizations will one day abandon their failed CRM adventures and return to micro-computer fundraising databases? Love to hear your...