What’s The Best Way To Communicate With Donors?

Adaptistration People 052It’s no secret that you’ll get better conversion rates by customizing your appeal message to the recipient. An existing donor who gives $50 per year almost certainly needs a different message than someone who gives $5,000 per year.

But should you craft those messages based solely on giving levels?

That’s the intriguing question presented in a recent Medium post by Ceci Dadisman on this topic.

In fundraising, when we communicate to donors, we love to put them in neat little groups, and more often than not that is by their giving level. Whether you look at it as their last gift or cumulative giving, it all centers around the dollar amount and this is killing our fundraising communications.

I won’t spoil where the article goes but there’s a great deal of food for thought content to chew on. Whether you’re in the development department or the executive who is accountable for their performance, this is an excellent conversation.

Dadisman presents some options for breaking out of the giving level confines and while they require a new approach, they have the dynamic benefit of improving other challenges that plague the field (marketing/dev silos).

Read Unpopular Opinion: Stop defining donors by giving level at Medium.com

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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