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The Multichannel Renewal Campaign

If you don't have a renewal plan in place, you're missing the boat big time.

November 2012 By Roger Craver
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A fundamental or "bedrock" element of all annual giving programs — regardless of type of organization — is the annual renewal effort. In most organizations, the renewal effort accounts for as much as 80 percent of all net income.

No wonder. The concept of renewal is so powerful because it focuses on the donor's sense of responsibility and accountability. Implicit is the tacit understanding in the donor's psyche that "I made a commitment to support this organization last year, and now it's time to renew that commitment."

No matter what other programs you currently have in place, if you don't have a renewal channel — and especially a multichannel program — you're missing the boat big time. So, let's start by looking at an ideal renewal framework and then move to the multichannel dimensions.

Basic framework

If you have a life insurance policy, subscribe to a magazine or belong to a club, chances are you participate in one or more renewal efforts on the for-profit side of your life. Nonprofit renewal programs work on the same dynamics. The key characteristics:

  • Renewal efforts should be designed to operate separately from all other promotional efforts. By this I don't mean ignoring other programs. Rather, the renewal effort has a life of its own with a message stream and schedule designed for a single purpose: to renew the basic annual support gift.
  • Renewal efforts are, well, efforts. Plural. As in Renewal Notice No. 1, Renewal Notice No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, and on to even No. 10 or No. 12. The general rule is that as long as you're renewing an existing donor at the same or lower cost than you spend to acquire a new donor, keep doing it.
  • Renewal efforts are, in many ways, successful exercises in billing and collection. Of course, there's no obligation on the part of donors to renew their annual support. But remember, you have an implicit obligation of responsibility and accountability working for you in the donor's mind. And, often, all that obligation needs to trigger it into life is a "reminder," as in a renewal notice indicating that the time has come to once again re-up support for the cause. This is why so many renewal efforts take on the appearance of invoices or statements.
  • Renewal efforts operate on proven principles and formulae. In addition to using the format of an invoice or statement in many of your renewal notices, experiment with the use of long and short copy to accompany the notices. While a simple, one-sheet invoice with nothing else may work quite well, often a bit more is required. Test. Test a short vs. longer message. Regardless of the length, the essential message ingredients in a renewal notice involve both past and present: Tell them what their gifts made possible over the past year; then outline the challenges ahead making the case for why continued support in the coming year is so important.
  • Renewal efforts are great opportunities for upgrading, showcasing accomplishments and letting donors know they're not alone. A fundamental need that must be met in all fundraising lies in answering the questions: Why do you need my contribution? Did it make a difference? The renewal series is the ideal platform for answering those questions plus reinforcing the case for support by not only showing what the contributions helped accomplish, but also highlighting some of the donors and volunteers who made a difference.

In short, "yes, your annual support really does matter, and you're not the only one who feels that way and is acting on those feelings."





(PDF Download)

Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars.  

<b>In <i>"The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising" </i> from DirectMarketingIQ, the roadmap to that "perfectly integrated mix" is thoroughly laid out in over 130 pages -- <u>it's specifically created (and priced) for nonprofits</u>. </b>
First, 9 chapters from leading fundraisers give you the latest best practices in multichannel fundraising, including how to:  

• Choose the right channels for your campaign 
• Develop creative that works across multiple channels 
• Revitalize the direct mail component of your multichannel mix 
• Make sure email plays its increasingly important role perfectly 
• Seamlessly integrate mobile marketing into the fundraising campaign 
• Boost your online strategy with social media 
• Create a multichannel donor renewal campaign 
• Figure out that you're doing right — via testing and results measurement 
• Use all the pieces of the multichannel puzzle  

Second, in 8 robust case studies, find out the secrets behind multichannel fundraising campaigns that worked.

About DirectMarketingIQ
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ ( is the marketers’ go-to resource. Publishing books, special reports, case studies and how-to-guides, it opens up a new world to those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data – including the world’s most complete library of direct mail as well as a massive library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories – and producly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

<b>Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read , The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising which is in PDF format.</b> The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising

(PDF Download) Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars....


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