Since November and even before that, our donors have been gripped by the need to take action. GQ magazine first coined the term in its article on "rage" donations here. ACLU, Meals on Wheels and Planned Parenthood are just some of the organizations that have been flooded by donations reacting to the current political climate and decisions made. Not only have they been flooded by one time donations, they now have a large group of monthly sustaining donors that will retain for years to come.
Place your politics aside for mere moments and understand that this phenomenon may directly impact your fundraising and donor relations. Also understand that with a finite amount of charitable giving and an ever increasing number of nonprofits, the dollars simply cannot stretch equitably to everyone. Meaning that if one nonprofit experiences a windfall, like the ACLU raising $24 million dollars in one weekend, six times its yearly totals, that this money comes from another nonprofit's bottom line. It could even come out of yours. Is your nonprofit making itself a relevant cause or just fundraising like it always has?
If you're behaving the same way you have in fundraising and donor relations in a pre-Trump era than you are now, you need to recalculate your planning. Also, donor relations becomes a more and more important endeavor to get right. Providing meaningful impact and engagement, filling their lives with gratitude is your competitive advantage in a sea of nonprofits.
We are seeing our worlds collide,, lines are blurred between social causes and money now more than ever. Take for example a new app that capitalizes on rage or episodic giving. It's called WeCanResistit, and every time President Trump tweets, it makes a donation to a relevant cause. I'm interested in the capture of data and information and also interested in donor relations efforts.
For example, you have an incident that causes a flood of donations, what is your donor relations approach? Do you throw them in the same exact communication stream as everyone else? WHY? Don't these new first time donors have different reasons for giving than your traditional base? How are your capturing the momentum and delivering impact?
Have you made an episodic donation? How did it go? Has your organization discussed this phenomenon and are you planning for it? I would love to hear your thoughts.