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April 18, 2018

How to Match the Right Fundraising Channel to the Right Offer

If you’re using multiple channels — everything from direct mail to email to online to events and more — you’re doing the right thing to engage donors.

And although your messaging should be consistent across channels, you can’t use the same fundraising offer or call to action. You have to tailor it according to the channel if you want the best results.

Here’s how it works:

  • Direct Mail
    A simple, high-impact, lower-involvement channel. The offer must be simple and urgent, and it must be calibrated to the gift amounts you expect.

    An example offer is: $25 to provide food for a family in Ghana.
  • Email
    A simple, low-involvement channel with greater urgency than direct mail. Email also generates an average gift about twice that of direct mail.

    An example offer is: $50 to provide medicine for a child with malaria.
  • Online: Website & Social Media
    More-complex channels that are more interactive and more content oriented — especially with video. The offer can be higher dollar, and you can use social proof, making donors aware that others are giving.

    An example would be donors banding together to generate $1,000 to dig a well for a village in Zimbabwe.
  • Phone, Radio, and Direct-Response TV
    Highly engaging and emotional channels that create a strong donor connection, especially in long format. The offer can be more involved and higher dollar.

    For example, a monthly sustainer offer to sponsor a child in Darfur.
  • Events
    A longer-format, greater-involvement channel that attracts motivated donors. So a multifaceted offer can be explained fully, and dollar values can be higher.

    Sample offers include: $5,000 to build a community water system or $10,000 to help build a clinic in Ethiopia.

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