Escaping the Death Spiral
We’re all familiar with what is happening to online fundraising. Expectations and budget targets continue to rise, which inevitably leads to more aggressive fundraising, which in turn leads to list burnout.
This being an election year, the shock and awe approach to email fundraising practiced by our political party brethren will make it impossible not to step up your own email cadence just to keep your head above water.
So here is my modest proposal to escape the spiral. Do not budget for low dollar income online. In other words any money that comes in through the web or via email under $100 goes into a contingency fund and no expectations are placed on the amount raised.
Instead, the focus should be on upgrading those low dollar donors to mid-level or even higher. Over time, organizations should be able to accurately project income from these higher-level donors (whom at the moment you’re ignoring at the long-term expense of your fundraising program).