effective fundraisers know their audience

By Diogenes (articles - email) | Jul 27, 2007

"Segmentation"-- that's the buzz-word in fundraising these days. You've got to know which audience you're addressing, and then know how to push the right buttons. If you're looking for support for a gun-control organization, better steer clear of deer-hunting territory. And if you want to support the social teaching of the Catholic Church, then...

Here: Let's try a practical example:

The Bay Area Reporter ("serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities since 1971) had a nice positive piece about a fundraiser for Catholic Charities in San Francisco. But the piece did include a disclaimer, noting that Catholic Charities:

...operates as an independent nonprofit organization, and neither receives funding from nor contributes funds to the Archdiocese of San Francisco or the Catholic Church.

All funds raised at this wonderful event, the Bay Area Reporter assured its readers, "go directly to the agency's HIV/AIDS programs." So donors could rest easy; their money wouldn't be used to advance Catholicism or some icky thing like that.

Good fundraisers for charitable groups know that they'll bolster confidence in their target audience if they include a few positive news stories about their work. So it would make sense-- wouldn't it?-- for the San Francisco office of Catholic Charities to inform potential donors about how much confidence the Bay Area Reporter had in their work. And especially to tell them why.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: michaelwilmes - Feb. 03, 2010 12:01 AM ET USA

    After what he did to Mother Angelica.....let him squirm. Another mill of justice grinds exceeding small.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 02, 2010 9:33 PM ET USA

    Perhaps a spot will be quickly found in Rome for Mahony to serve at Santa Maria Maggiore as an assistant to Bernie Law.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 02, 2010 8:31 PM ET USA

    The saga of Archbishop Mahoney has captured my interest several times. It has made me wonder about a diocese that had amassed such an outrageous fortune. How, and why, and cui bono? The "how" I can imagine, but the "why" and for the benefit of whom still puzzles me. With Charity being such a handy virtue, was there no need for those sums among the poor? This story reminds me of the huge treasuries in the control of bishops, archbishops and cardinals throughout America. Why?