What's old is new again

Posted on Sep 13, 2014 by Jon Dize - Funding the Mission

In the fundraising world, we're often encouraged to "try something new," to "keep it fresh," or "don't do it like we've always done it." While these are great concepts to keep in mind, in many instances, we're finding that the "tried-and-true methods" are called that for a reason: They work!For instance ...1. Millennials: They were the future of giving! The "future" part appears to be correct, but as in "their future," or "when they get older." Reality shows us that those 55 and older have the greatest proportion of available assets to donate, and are still our prime constituency for long-term, Cheerful Giver support for organizations with limited resources to devote to fundraising. Not to discount the abilities of the Millennials' impact on the future, but not until the house is paid for, the cars are paid for, the kids are out of college, and there's more available time to devote to their causes will the impact truly be known.2. Text giving: Seems like only yesterday that donations by text was going to change everything! Do you know of anyone that's still giving to his or her favorite organizations by text? I don't. Online giving is certainly increasing, but so are credit- and debit-card donations (I don't carry a checkbook except to buy scrip), and online giving is a natural progression of this change, but donations the ol' fashion way with checks still dominate the options.3. How about the "death of the mailer"? When was the last time you received a newsletter, request letter, or save-the-date postcard? Yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow! While our email inboxes are certainly populated with more e-newsletters than ever (like this one!), studies are showing that the tried-and-true method of mailing requests and information are still the most effective way to gain a donor's attention.Extra: Speaking of "going old-school," one of our Partnership schools, Emmaus Lutheran School and Church on the southwest side of Fort Wayne, recently finished the first phase of another "old" effort: the brick walk. They provided donors with a way to honor or memorialize loved ones with engraved pavers. Along with names of the school's current families and congregational members, they connected their future with their past by also installing one of the bells from their old bell tower at their previous address on Broadway. They'll be holding a dedication service on Sunday, October 5, at 9 a.m. Stop by and show your support. And if you want a paver of your own, they'll be collecting new orders for Phase II!