2010 fundraising outlook: lessons from the Haiti response.

I’m amazed by the generous outpouring by Americans in response to the Haiti earthquake last month. What can nonprofits learn from the Haiti response that will translate into success for the rest of the year? I’d like to take a minute to look at an article by Peter Schoewe about the fundraising outlook for 2010. By looking at his predictions in light of the Haiti earthquake, you can sharpen your fundraising over the next 11 months. Schoewe says that nonprofits will have a greater opportunity to upgrade donors through frequency of giving instead of size of gift, especially because donors respond to urgent needs.

Do you see a link to Haiti? An urgent tragedy presented itself and a nation trying to climb out of recession responded with record giving. Many of the gifts were small. Thousands of $5 and $10 gifts came in via text message. He also predicts that there will be “fewer arguments about the viability of different fundraising channels.” Text message giving proves the point. 14% of all money donated for Haiti relief came via text messages. That, combined with the 28% that gave online and via email, means that 42% of gifts so far have been through Digital Marketing channels according to the Pew Research Center.

It’s still too early to measure how the percentages will morph as direct mail results come in. But initial returns affirm that Digital Marketing channels can raise substantial funds. That’s why it’s more important that nonprofits work to integrate both traditional and Digital Marketing channels to maximize income. The challenge now is to take these two lessons from the Haiti earthquake and build on them in your nonprofit throughout the rest of 2010. Remember to create urgency in your fundraising efforts. Don’t discount Digital Marketing fundraising channels. The future of fundraising is multi-channel integration. To read all of Peter Schoewe’s article click here.