Why You Should ‘Get Bored’ With Your Fundraising

In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker.

I have proof that marketing works.

I’m wearing it.

I bought AllBirds shoes—pricey, but incredibly comfortable—after a seven-month buying decision. What did they have to do to convince me?:

  • Deliver me targeted Instagram ads on repeat.
  • Watch me put a grey pair in my cart and then leave.
  • Remind me that I had a grey pair in my cart.
  • Turn my boss into an advocate who wore her AllBirds to work one day.
  • Serve me more targeted Instagram ads.

I consistently saw the grey pair I wanted displayed in the same setting with the same price. Over seven months they served me (the right buyer) impactful content (the right message) and eventually found the calendar tipping point (the right time).

Are you as patient as AllBirds with your marketing? Here’s a simple way to think about fundraising from the fundraiser’s perspective: Get bored.

What does “boredom” sound like for planned giving fundraisers?

  • You have a laser-focused elevator pitch on your brand’s mission that you can do by memory.
  • You keep using your control package until your control package stops winning.
  • You rerun bequest language across your messaging. (Related: You present the idea of a gift in a will with every broad appeal since nine out of 10 legacy gifts will come from this source.)
  • You repurpose the same impactful story on all your marketing channels.

My favorite example from a client was a $75,000 CGA gift from a donor who received messaging for three years before committing. They were the right person getting the right message and the donor decided when it was the right time.

With AllBirds, they didn’t change their marketing tone or core messaging; they were simply persistent. They may have been bored on their end, but my behavior told them that I was interested…I was just going to dictate my own timeline to lace up.

Do you have a personal example of marketing that just needed to find you at the right time?

5 thoughts on “Why You Should ‘Get Bored’ With Your Fundraising

  1. The dozens of OverTone hair dye ads that I’ve seen over and over on Facebook! And hearing some friends talk about it and try it out themselves. Finally broke down and had my partner get me some for a holiday present (he likes ideas & it would have felt a bit silly to buy with my money, ha!).

  2. Hate to change the subject back to Planned Giving, but I look at all of the donors who leave a bequest who have never notified the organization. And when you look at their record, you can see that they received material for years, but just never thought to let you know.

    1. Bruce

      We hear this comment ALL THE TIME! This is why it’s critical for charities to continue to find the right balance of print vs digital outreach and not put all their eggs in one basket. Especially, as typically only 1/3 of all planned giving donors will ever notify of us of their plans during their lifetime, 66% of donors keep their decisions private and thus we must consistently stay in front of them.

      I look at this as building your marketing with two critical themes in mind…’air cover’ (for the 2/3 that won’t tell us) and ‘conversion-based’ for the 34% that may be inclined to share their intentions. That way you’re consistently creating awareness, sharing stories of impact and engaging your best prospects, while also providing timely and relevant offers to give the ‘hand raisers’ a reason to tell you about their plans.

  3. I concur with the battle of not putting your eggs in one basket. Just because we have an email address for someone, doesn’t mean they still check it. Case in point – my sister, not terribly old (but older than I), has over 14,000 unopened emails in your account (I know since I saw it when helping her do something online). Another donor called me, asking if we had received his gift – it was a donation via his IRA. I found the gift processing team emailed him his receipt. He’s 82 and doubtful he reads his emails. There still is a place for the written, mailed word. While we may get bored repeating ourselves, our donors hear this only occasionally, not every day from us. Now….if I only had the budget..

    1. Spence, great points. I’d also note that while it’s easier to send email only, it’s equally as easy (not only to just ignore as you shared) but to delete emails as opposed to mail. Add to that the fact that email service providers continue to get smarter and smarter as it relates to stopping ‘spam’ and mass emails and it makes the world of ’email only’ a very dangerous place to spend all your time, energy and resources.

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