Raise Funds by Personalizing Public Outrage

“This issue has lit a fire under a segment of the American population” – Farhan Memon, board chair of the Connecticut Chapter of CAIR, referring to President Trump’s executive order banning refugee admissions and travellers from seven Muslim majority countries.

Over the weekend of January 28-29, the ACLU raised about $24 million online from about 350,000 people, a record for such a short time span. Oxfam America took in $77,000 over the weekend, much more than usual for a non-donor appeal period.

While leveraging public outrage is an excellent way to boost short term giving, it is not particularly effective in stimulating long term, sustained contribution. Anger subsides, the media forgets, and people move on

One way to build long-term relationships is by following up with donors periodically in order to keep everyone abreast of progress, maintain interest, and continue raising much needed funds. That very same weekend, for example, ACLU communications staffers began informing supporters about a lawsuit it had filed with other civil rights orgs on behalf of two Iraqi men detained that Friday at JFK International. This is exactly the sort of progress update that sustains excitement among donors and the ACLU did an outstanding job promoting its short-term legal victory on social media. On its twitter page, the org posted the comment “ACLU Blocks Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban” and created a ‘donate’ link on its home page.

The next step for ACLU would be to create a large-scale direct mail campaign targeting each of its individual donors. A well thought out personalized appeal would go a long way in locking in new monthly and annual gift givers, and would ensure that each of them receives individualized content that resonates with them. There are two takeaways here. The first is recognizing the need to follow up with supporters after a surge of interest using direct mail as online channels quickly become saturated. Moreover, every supporter connects with an org’s cause in her own way. It is therefore imperative to find every donor’s “trigger issue” and personalize every outgoing communication accordingly. Data driven intelligent direct mail is still the best medium for personalized content delivery. Remember, whether it is a tweet or snap or post, every screen in the world is still seeing the exact same message.

See article https://www.philanthropy.com/article/In-Wake-of-Travel-Ban/239046