As the charity sector reels from accusations that it is bombarding vulnerable consumers, a new study reveals that the humble – and often derided – DRTV ad is the most engaging way to get consumers’ attention to good causes.
The research project, Fundraising Media DNA 2015, carried out by FastMap, asked donors about the “engagement”, “personality”, and “action” they associate with eight fundraising channels. It then compared these views with those of fundraisers.
The remarkably positive findings include the fact that DRTV is regarded as the most attention-grabbing of all fundraising channels, with donors seeing the medium as authoritative and trustworthy.
When it comes to direct mail campaigns, which have borne the brunt of recent criticism following the apparent suicide of a pensioner in Bristol, the study found that its top two attributes are that it is retainable and trustworthy. It is also much more engaging for 18- to 34-year-olds than fundraisers predicted.
Meanwhile the study found women are more likely than men to hold onto an email campaign and the most popular action from donors in response to an email is to research further.
Other findings include men say they are more likely to engage with SMS than women; social mediacampaigns attract lower-value donations, donors say the two most likely actions from a telemarketingcall are to share and research further; door-to-door is viewed by donors as being easy to respond to and convenient; and street fundraising has high levels of engagement with donors aged over 55.
The study was co-sponsored by the Institute of Fundraising and The REaD Group.
IoF head of policy and research Daniel Fluskey said: “This project provides a unique overview of interaction and engagement with different fundraising channels. It picks up on the nuances and less obvious aspects of donor engagement that can sometimes be lost if all that is looked at from a campaign is a donation response rate.
“We hope it can be both a useful addition for charities that have their own facts and figures, as well as a starting point for others, particularly smaller charities were conducting in-depth research is less feasible.”
For a full copy of the report, visit the FastMap website>
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