3 Tips for Combining Multichannel Fundraising Strategies

As a non-profit professional, you know that a multi-channel approach helps reach more people, familiarizes organizations, and makes the giving process that much easier for supporters. It lets you meet your donors where they are in the virtual sphere or physical. 

Now that we are moving out of the COVID-19 era, we can implement digital and physical marketing approaches. Here at GivingMail, we’ve seen great success in fundraising, especially when integrating physical strategies with a digital one. 

For your next fundraising campaign, we’ve put together some of the most effective practices for how to ask for donations:

  • Take a multichannel fundraising approach
  • Include direct email appeals in your fundraising strategy
  • Consider the benefits of face-to-face fundraising

Let’s get into the best ways to implement these tactics into your fundraising approach.

Take a multichannel fundraising approach

A multichannel fundraising approach involves marketing your fundraising efforts on platforms in both the physical and online space. This method of communication is perfect for reaching a wide audience both online and in person. 

You’re able to meet constituents where they are. For example, you can make your appeal through face-to-face tactics and with an Instagram post, and you’ll cover a broader range of potential donors in one marketing push. 

Again, the best way to go about this strategy is to pay attention to the most popular platforms for your multichannel approach. We’ll start with the digital space and jump into physical methods in the following sections.


Your Website

Your organization’s website is likely the first step your donors take to learn about your mission and campaigns after interacting with your initial outreach material. For this reason, include a link to your website in every fundraising push you make, whether it’s in your social media bio or in the form of a QR code on a physical piece of mail. 

Because it’s so essential for your fundraising efforts, here’s what you should include on your website:

  • Event registration page
  • Customized, yet simple donation form
  • Contact information

When you create an information hub from your website, your constituents will likely keep returning for updates and ways to get involved.


Social Media

Social media is an engaging and multifaceted aspect of any multichannel fundraising campaign strategy. Regardless of the platform you use, you can create pages and profiles for your constituents to follow and like so that your updates are in their daily feeds. To choose the best platforms for your cause, be sure to look into your donor data or send out a survey to get a better idea of how to reach your supporters.

Let’s unpack a few of the most common social media platforms for nonprofit organizations:

Facebook- Facebook is a prevalent route for nonprofit organizations. With this tool, you can make long-form text posts, configure photo albums, and create event pages. Most importantly, when your constituents interact with your post or respond to one of your events, their entire network sees it on their feed and is more likely to check out your page. For more tips on leveraging this specific tool as a part of your multichannel fundraising plan, find more on Good United’s guide to Facebook Fundraisers. 

Twitter- With Twitter, you can make short, quick updates to your loyal followers. This is an excellent platform for fundraising goal progress, links to event registration pages, and any other internal organization updates. While Twitter can often be overlooked by many because your messages will have to fit in 280 characters, this is an excellent option for your messages.

Instagram-  Instagram is a tool for posting images, videos, and other visual content that can catch your donor’s eyes and engages them online. Let’s unpack a few of the best practices for leveraging Instagram as a part of your multi-channel fundraising strategy:

  • Use the polling feature on your Instagram stories for feedback.
  • Follow and engage with your donors on this app.
  • Repost images and videos your constituents tag you in.

This platform is perfect for giving new donors a good idea of your community engagement and gives them a look into what it’s like to be a part of your organization.

The majority of your donors are probably using social media already, so take advantage of meeting them where they are. This way, you’re involved in their everyday lives and create deeper connections as a result. 


Email

Email is a great resource to gauge your recipients’ engagement rates with the outreach that you send them. Unlike physical mail, you can track data such as opens, link clicks, and time spent reading. 

Here’s why many organizations are implementing email marketing into their multichannel strategies:

  • It’s an inexpensive method of communication
  • Provides data otherwise not collected from other platforms. The recipient can click directly on your link to donate from where they are.

Email is so important as a part of a robust marketing strategy. However, it cannot stand alone. Sometimes your constituents will not check their inboxes, or perhaps your messages will go into spam. Luckily, that’s why a multi-channel approach is so beneficial!


Include direct mail appeals in your fundraising strategy

Integrating direct mail into your fundraising outreach plan has proven to be incredibly effective. In GivingMail’s statistics on direct mail for nonprofits, it’s reported that sending mail accounts for over 90% of direct response revenue to charities. Direct mail attracts a response rate up to 10x higher than digital outreach platforms for nonprofit organizations.

So why is direct mail an integral traditional fundraising method that holds strong throughout time? Here’s what we found:

  • Your letter or brochure will stand out from what people see online. They’re dealing with a lot less clutter in their mailbox versus on a busy social media feed.
  • Physical mail has a high visibility rate. People leaf through the mail they receive and are highly likely to see your content.
  • Mail leaves an impression on the reader. They’ll keep your appeal around if they want to save the date and likely see it a few more times.

Direct mail works well for nonprofit organizations taking advantage of a multichannel approach. However, your mail needs to be visually appealing and stand out to readers. To get the most out of your direct mail, consider partnering with a fundraising platform specializing in this area. 

One of the most considerable benefits of doing so is using effective appeal templates such as these. By leveraging customizable templates effectively, you can make the most out of your efforts in a cost-effective way. Just be sure to direct donors to your website and consider including a pre-paid envelope in your appeals.


Consider the benefits of face-to-face fundraising

According to this face-to-face fundraising report, this traditional fundraising method has been the leading source of donor acquisition since 2016—with a 30% increase in multi-year recurring donors. 

So, what qualifies as face-to-face fundraising, and how can it help your multi-platform outreach strategy? This fundraising method involves members engaging with the public to ask for campaign support or simply provide more information about their mission. This can look like: 

  • Door-to-door fundraising
  • Street canvassing
  • Business-to-business solicitations
  • Tabling at an event

Face-to-face fundraising can be safe and effective as a part of your campaign strategy, even during our current COVID-19 climate. Some best practices for interacting with potential donors in real life must include masks, social distancing, and local health code compliance. Although those are a few obstacles, there are massive benefits to face-to-face canvassing. Let’s discuss how it can help your team:

  • Verbal and nonverbal communication: By interacting with a member of your organization directly, your potential donor receives a clear message about your mission and passion behind what you do. These cues cannot exist in the digital world, as both parties can establish a connection and trust with such communication signals.
  • Positive first impressions: When your team interacts with supporters with a smile and professional demeanour, your organization will convey a positive message to those they want to connect with. It’s crucial that your team remains authentic, genuine and communicates their passion for your cause positively. This can open the door to an incredible relationship with potential donors.
  • Memorable interactions for both donors and members of the organization: When you supplement your digital and traditional fundraising efforts with a face-to-face element, you’re able to interact and engage with potential donors. With an excellent conversation and interaction, you can develop lasting relationships through this method of outreach.

When you implement face-to-face fundraising as a marketing strategy, you’re able to convey the exact message and hold a conversation that would otherwise be impossible online. If you choose this route, assemble a team of friendly volunteers, and look for opportunities to chat with your community.

Going forward, consider best practices for combining digital and traditional fundraising outreach by leveraging multiple platforms virtual and physical spaces. This is crucial for reaching a broad audience as well as meeting your donors where they are. Happy fundraising!

About the Author: Grant Cobb is a fundraising specialist with over 6 years of experience in the nonprofit space. Currently the head of marketing and analytics at GivingMail, he is a huge proponent of data-driven decision-making and the push to bring high-level analytics and fundraising to all.

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