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Multichannel: The New Reality of Fundraising

Anyone trying to sort out the new world of fundraising in the digital age should consider the research and findings of The Next Generation of American Giving:  A study on the multichannel preferences and charitable habits of Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Matures. It sorts out by age segment how people learn about charities, get involved, and decide to give. The big lessons: “Fundraising is profoundly multichannel,” and “The younger the donor, the greater the number of ways they give.” To be effective, organizations have to reach out to all generations in multiple ways and provide a variety of paths to involvement and donation, including traditional direct mail, but also encompassing newer social media channels. It also means that organizations have to structure internal fundraising, communications, and technology operations in ways that integrate those functions toward shared goals, and that fundraising database applications have to be able to track all of the different ways organizations are connecting with donors. It gets harder and harder to tell which solicitation a donor is responding to in a multichannel model. Where did they hear about us? What message connected with them? These questions can leave us scratching our heads. But the study also points out the eternal fundraising truth that, “There is not a single tactic or giving channel that is nearly as important as the quality of your message and your ability to inspire, arouse, and engage the hearts and minds of your donors.”  We live in interesting times.


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