Blended Fundraising Strategy Raises $300k in One Month
Integrating communications channels is one of the best ways to maximize your message’s impact and save time. Beta Theta Pi, an international college fraternity with a mission of developing men of principle for a principled life, runs the annual Beta Leadership Fund appeal, which combined with planned gifts from alumni, undergraduates, parents and friends, allows the Foundation to subsidize current and future educational activities of the Fraternity.
Beta Theta Pi used the Informz email marketing platform as a part of a blended fundraising strategy to raise $300,000 for their annual fund in one month. Their targeted, integrated email strategy coincided with other fundraising efforts such as direct mail asks, social media outreach and phone-a-thons. I recently spoke with Ryan King, Director of Advancement at Beta Theta Pi, when putting together It’s Easy Being Green, an eBook for organizations who are looking for new, innovative ways to create efficiencies that will save them time and bring more green (money!) to their bottom line.
Alex Mastrianni, Informz: Why did you choose to go an integrated route?
Ryan King, Beta Theta Pi: We chose to integrate our database with email marketing because it allows technology to handle the day-to-day data management of contact information that oftentimes can be overlooked without an integrated system. Our electronic communication efforts are also more tailored to our constituents and allow them to take actions, such as updating contact information, making a donation, registering for an event, or even managing personal communication preferences.
AM: Besides saving you time and maximizing the impact of your communications, what other benefits did you find from integrating your different channels?
RK: The overall experience for our constituents is more user-friendly and personally customized with an integrated system. Using various “constituent sub-sets,” we are able to target our strategies to specific audiences, which ensures we limit unnecessary overlap in communication and the end user receives a more personal message from us. Using a preferred name, donor history information, and/or references to one’s school of graduation are things that an integrated system allows us to include in both our messages, and in auto-populated giving or event registration forms (which again improves their experience). In the end, an integrated system helps us instill confidence in our members that we have our act together and that we try to ensure their experience as a user is as personalized and efficient as possible.
AM: What advice would you give to other organizations that are looking to be more efficient with technology?
RK: Always prioritize integration in technology purchase decisions. Yes, the initial implementation will be more difficult, but will pay for itself more times over. Make sure you’re taking advantage of any tax-breaks or non-profit discounts that IT vendors offer. Look for opportunities to consolidate services and vendors wherever possible (e.g. can your Internet Service Provider also provide your voice telephone lines?). Spend time on training that is customized to staff’s specific job and make sure they are able to help themselves for lower-level questions. Don’t forget this when there’s staff turnover. Maintain metrics (volumes, outages, usage) on all IT services. Use this to spot trends and anomalies as well as be prepared to take advantage of any surprise opportunities that vendors may present. Document everything.
Pretty impressive! To learn more about how Beta Theta Pi has justified the importance of integrated email marketing, check out their Informz Client Success Story or download your free copy of It’s Easy Being Green, an eBook full of 50+ ideas to help you generate non-dues revenue, a ROI tracking guide, communications calendar template, real-life success stories, mobile meeting info, and more! Check out the eBook today.