Many people don’t realize that fundraising is really just a subset of marketing. Therefore, fundraisers are marketers that raise funds.
Fundraising isn’t necessarily special. It doesn’t stand on it’s own— separate from marketing. It just requires some different strategies and tactics.
Having said that, it’s important to recognize that marketing experts don’t think in terms of pyramids. And that includes me! Instead, they think in terms of funnels. So I say it’s time to declare the fundraising pyramid dead. Let’s bury it!
Traditional fundraising pyramid below:
Why? Among many reasons, one of the biggest is because it puts planned gifts at the top of the pyramid. That doesn’t make any sense because non-donors, one-time donors, staff and volunteers can plan gifts for your organization. So why put planned gifts at the top as if it’s the final step in a long climb to the fundraising zenith? True marketers would encourage the promotion of planned gifts to everyone that comes in contact with an organization. How? With awareness, lead generation and cultivation strategies.
So if we bury the fundraising pyramid, should we replace it with something else?
Yes! I recommend using the fundraising marketing funnel found below instead.
Simply turn the pyramid upside down and put a hole at the bottom. Now it’s a more like a traditional marketing funnel. But let’s use words like “first time donors”, “repeat donors” and “major donors”. What do you think?
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