There is more incompetence in the field of political consulting than in any field other than TV psychiatry. And that’s especially true these days when it comes to campaign fundraising.
Many self-proclaimed “experts” would have you believe the secret to fundraising success is new-fangled online media options (digital ads, social media, email, etc.), rather than a strong message and targeted market.
Reminds me of this quote by Ronald Reagan: “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”
Here are 6 fundraising myths floating around these days that just aren’t so, courtesy of the Abeja Solutions Blog…
- We need to focus on Millennial donors. We don’t. Donors are overwhelmingly over age 60. Young donors give less, give less often, and have the lowest retention of all donors.
- Online channels drive most of today’s fundraising revenue. Not quite. Online giving is about 8% of total giving. It’s growing, but still far from dominant.
- Email is a cheap way to raise money. While it lacks the rising costs of paper and postage, email is a tough place to succeed. Doing it right takes a lot of time and technical expertise. And even at best, response rates to email are low.
- No one responds to direct mail anymore. Direct mail response rates are generally lower than they used to be, but it’s still a strong response medium.
- Social media is a great fundraising channel. There are bright spots, but in general, social media is better at generating engagement than revenue.
- We should only “bug” people once a year to give. Once-a-year fundraising loses donors at a much higher rate than more frequent fundraising. By far.
If you and/or your campaign have bought into any of these “things that aren’t so,” you might want to reconsider your fundraising strategy.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
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* Psephology (see-follow-gee): The study of campaigns and elections