Fundraisers must mix different approaches to survive, conference told

Delegates at the International Fundraising Congress told that some charity YouTube material is 'the dullest on the planet'

Tony Elischer, director, Think Consulting Solutions,
Tony Elischer, director, Think Consulting Solutions,

Fundraising that uses only one method to communicate with donors is dead, delegates at the International Fundraising Congress have been told.

Tony Elischer, director of Think Consulting Solutions, told delegates at the fundraising conference in the Netherlands that they must mix forms of fundraising because people of all generations were used to multi-channel approaches.

"We’ve got to hit different senses," he said. "These channels are modes to inspire people."

He said that it was an era of the caring consumer and charities needed to take advantage of this by offering consumers value products such as affinity cards.

Elischer said donor acquisition was also becoming more competitive. He said one method to combat increased competition could be to do what he labelled the "fundraiser two-step".

This involves drawing people in by asking them for single cash donation and, once they have got to know the organisation, trying to convert them into becoming regular givers, he said.

Charities must also become more creative, he said. "Some of the most turgid, boring material on YouTube is by charities. It’s the dullest material on the planet."

He suggested charities might have been to blame for people’s slow response to the Pakistan appeal.

"When this happens, I think it is up to us," he said. "We’re not reaching out enough and using enough brain power. Have you ever thought it might be our fault?"

- Read more news from the International Fundraising Congress 2010

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