Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, March 19, 2021

While non-profits often score one-time cash donations via the Web — especially when top-of-mind events like natural disasters hit — they can’t seem to convert that into a regular online habit of annual contributions.

While online giving continues to be a major growth engine for nonprofits there are some concerns around retention and donor loyalty. Over the past three years of analysis, online donors have consistently renewed at rates slightly lower than traditional donors. Online-acquired donors have significantly higher lifetime value in aggregate than mail-acquired donors because their larger initial gifts and greater gifts in later years compensate for their lower levels of loyalty. But online-acquired donors are actually underperforming their mail-acquired giving-level equivalents. By contrast, multi-channel donors have much better retention rates for organizations in the analysis.

And like any other professional organization, a non-profit relies upon repeat business to function, given that customer acquisition costs are so high. The problem seems endemic to online marketing:

“Direct mail may not be a Maserati, but it’s very effective because it is very highly evolved,” said Lori Held, membership marketing director at Trout Unlimited. “We know how to ask for money using the mail, but most organizations are still trying to figure out how to do that online.”

Nonprofit groups face a number of challenges in trying to reach donors electronically, Ms. Held and others said.

For one thing, they must have a team dedicated to fine-tuning and improving their Web site and another team for e-mail marketing, both of which are added expenses. Nonprofit solicitation materials often get caught in systems that trap spam and other unwanted e-mail. Other systems eliminate the compelling images that are so effective in direct mail.

But really, it’s nothing some optimization wouldn’t solve. Since these charities are so adept at multi-channel marketing, they can be educated to adopt multiple online modes of outreach: IM, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It all runs toward the idea of communicating with potential donors on their terms, i.e. what’s most convenient and least obtrusive. That dedicated team for Web operations (ditch that second “email marketing” crew — it should all be under one umbrella anyway) can start paying back dividends quickly with a concerted effort.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 03/19/2009 05:19:32 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, Society
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Well, maybe not so much against humanity, as against some of the Rust Belt habitats:

International leaders of Habitat for Humanity, an organization more than three decades old, say their focus is changing to meet the demands of a changing economy. In cities where so many homes sit empty, the group is leaning away from building new houses and instead fixing up old ones, said Ken Klein, the vice chairman of the group’s board.

In recent years, about 100 of the organization’s affiliates around the country have done the same, removing recyclable items, like cabinets, floorboards, plaster and light fixtures, from condemned houses and, in a few cities, even razing some structures.

Teardowns to home the otherwise homeless? As long as it all circles back to Habitat’s primary mission, I guess it’s all good.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 03/19/2009 04:29:01 PM
Category: Society
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I happened to catch Modest Mouse on the tube late last night, during their appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman”.

They sucked. No surprise.

But that’s neither here nor there. What stood out for me was the number of members in this band: Six, count ‘em, six. (Which was actually a little difficult for me to confirm, as I count seven on that “Late Show” performance, and neither their official site nor their record label site bothers to include basic “About Us” information; I had to go to their MySpace page to get the official headcount of six.)

Isn’t the half-dozen mark a little oversized for modern-day rock bands? It’s like a throwback to a typical ’70s band-slash-commune, where half the members played the actual music, while the other half provided tambourine back-ups and scored weed.

I recall some mention from last decade, probably regarding Nirvana, that three guys/girls is really all you need to produce a rockin’ collaborative sound; any more than that and you’ve basically got unnecessary passengers along for the ride. I’m not saying that’s why Modest Mouse sucks, but I imagine a little downsizing couldn’t hurt.

UPDATE: Hmmm. Seems that Modest Mouse and/or their webmaster didn’t appreciate my critique. Take a look at the embarrassingly self-serving hatchet job they did to the trackback sent from this post to their site:

I took the above screenshot just in case they later decide to delete it. In similar vein, here’s the text, just for further posterity; compare and contrast:

By Fun in Numbers on March 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm
I happened to catch Modest Mouse on the tube late last night, during their appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman”.
They ruled. No surprise.
But that’s neither here nor there. What stood out for me was the number of members 7, what a great idea.

I mean, how insecure can you be? Note that this involved more effort than simply unapproving the trackback and thus keeping it off their site altogether. For a band with “modest” in its name, it screams vanity.

If you can’t tell, I’m more amused than offended. I’m wondering if the “Fun in Numbers” rewrite is supposed to be a play on “Population Statistic”, or more in reference to the post topic of band-member size…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 03/19/2009 03:42:42 PM
Category: Pop Culture, TV
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