Remember the days when we received a direct mail from non-profit organizations asking for donations to a certain cause, or when trays were passed around church pews for the weekly offering/pledges? Yeah, it feels like ages ago and there are newer and better alternatives, however, organizations are still employing these traditional methods in their fundraising efforts and as a millennial, this begs the question: are these methods still effective?
Well, let's dive into these methods and explore them from both sides- a millennial donor and the fundraiser. For the sake of argument, let's clarify what methods are considered traditional relative to this day and age. Direct mailing, phone solicitations, cash donation envelopes, basically, anything that's not done online- falls under this category of traditional fundraising!
Fun fact, I am always with my phone but rarely with my wallet and this puzzled my mum for the longest time; it was convenient for me because I had an online wallet with all my cards...so, why carry a wallet? According to a consumer behavior study, 87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis. But, more importantly, what does this mean for a church that only accepts cash donations on Sundays? Or, for a charity that only provides envelopes for cash/cheque donations? Well, the answer depends on the demographics of the targeted congregation/donors.
On one hand, most of these methods are easy to use but more expensive to maintain in the long run. For instance, direct mail can be an effective fundraising tool (depending on the audience) but what does that mean for organizations in the long run? On the other hand, organizations that adopt online donation platforms or text-to-give, allow their donors to give easily and at their convenience but what does that mean for not-so-tech-savvy donors?
As you strategize how to manage your donations either as a church or even as a fundraiser, my advice is to look past the myths and focus on a giving solution that is aligned with your strategy.