Building a fundraising platform is an important but complex undertaking. There are many systems, processes, and elements needed to be effective. Once the necessary structure and machinery is in place and a sound strategy is employed, the big thing needed for success is synergy.
According to the dictionary, synergy is the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.
Every piece of a fundraising campaign is important – the appeals, thank you letters, nurturing communications, social media, acquisition program, partnership program, welcome program, lapsed program, television initiatives, public relations, customer service, fast fulfillment, etc. But to succeed, there needs to be synergy. Each element needs to work in concert with the others, here are three reasons why:
Perception – When every touchpoint is consistent, and you are seen across multiple avenues, your ministry appears professional, active, and legitimate. The more avenues through which people see your message, the more significant your work is perceived. People want to support non-profits that are organized, diligent, and effective.
Repetition – It usually takes multiple touches before someone makes the decision to give the first gift, perhaps some research, maybe even some monitoring. Reaching them multiple times through multiple channels helps potential donors through that process. Also, people have a habit of forgetting things. Many times, a donor has decided to give, but they get busy or distracted and could use a few touches to remind them and give them a convenient method to donate.
Accumulation – It’s not true to say the more ways you have for people to give the more gifts you will receive. But the more active campaign elements you have, the more momentum you can build. If you only have one fishing line in the water, your odds of success are lower than five fishing lines. However, ten fishing lines with unbated hooks will not produce anything. But if you have active acquisition, communication, conversion, partnership, receipting, lapsed, and social programs, you always have something working for your organization.
Some organizations will only do one thing, maybe they send a monthly email appeal, and that is all. They are not just limited to the response that one thing generates, but they are limited in how donors will perceive their ministry, they are limited in reaching people who are forgetful, and they are limited in their ability to use other channels that are more effective in that season.
Having multiple complementing avenues enables you to mitigate risk, build momentum, and create synergy.
In the morning sow your seed,
and in the evening do not let your hand rest;
because you do not know which activity will find success,
this way or that way,
or if the both will be good.
~ Ecclesiastes 11:6
If you would like help creating synergy in your fundraising, let’s talk today!