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2013 will be the year of renewed risk-taking in fundraising was the overarching theme at the recent Direct Marketing Association 2013 Washington Nonprofit Conference.
More than 20 sessions were featured this year. Speakers throughout the meeting emphasized that since the recession the fundraising industry retrenched but lately it is "slowly peeking out and getting more bold." "We are past the fear and doubt and getting back to the forward risk-taking," one presenter said.
But educating the board is the first, important step of investing in change. "Present the why's and what's of the ROI."
The latest trend is monitoring how donors migrate between different sections of your organization and gauging their experiences. To maintain donor relationships, more organizations are paying attention to how they are inviting donors to engage with them and how the donors want to respond. This, in turn, will produce data that can guide organizations on improving integration.
Today's success can't be measured in terms of just meeting budget, one presenter said. "It's about surprise and delight." Offer "killer deals," but a smart strategy is to "don't ask [the donor] to marry you on the first date…wait three months."
Also at the conference, Lynn Edmonds, president of LW Robbins, was honored as the recipient of the 2013 Max L.Hart Nonprofit Achievement Award. Details: www.thedma.org.