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Here are 7 tips from the education sessions at the DMA Nonprofit Federation Conference, last week at the Renaissance Washington hotel in DC:
1. The most important paragraphs in a direct marketing piece are one through three. Don't bother fighting over paragraphs four through 10, as no one will read them, anyway. Make the marketing piece look personal; for instance, have the handwriting look imperfect.
2. In year one, donors are happy, they want to give, they want to know how their money is being spent. Year two is the most difficult - donors are least satisfied in year two, which makes it an important relationship building year. By year three, you must have all of a donor's information correct, they expect that level of service, now that you have built a relationship that kept them coming back.
3. If you're not doing multichannel fundraising, you're not in the game. If your social media does not including marketing, you're not in the game. You must have a mobile strategy that taps in to your donor base.
4. You can't work in silos within your organization. Everyone must work together on all campaigns. Kick off campaigns early so staff gets used to working together and in different ways.
5. Storytelling remains important to a fundraising campaign, but broaden the story so that it can be used across all channels, and don't overcomplicate the story. Thank you cards always work well.
6. Social media is the space to be in, but it's not necessarily where you raise money. Social media is about communication.
7. But use social media to mobilize your base, especially around a fundraising event. It's about storytelling and learning. Use social media to spread awareness and impart something of interest to the audience.