Haji: Integrated Efforts Boost Donations

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WASHINGTON -- The benefits of using an integrated marketing campaign were highlighted by Sheeraz Haji, CEO of GetActive Software, in a session at the Direct Marketing Association of Washington's annual Bridge conference this month.

Geoff Handy of the Humane Society of the United States and Kira Marchenese from Environmental Defense also spoke on how GetActive Software helped their nonprofit groups.

Mr. Haji defined three main components for integrated marketing:

· Integrating data to personalize the experience for donors so they will be giving to keep their individual interests alive.

· Sending the same message across all channels of marketing.

· Having an integrated system across all departments in the organization.

Groups using these methods have seen a threefold donation increase and a dramatic rise in response rates, Mr. Haji said.

The goal of integrated marketing is for the client to define, but it should not be based solely on the group's bottom line. Organizations have the chance to consolidate and spread their information over any channel.

The Humane Society saw a large increase in online donations using integrated campaigns. This was especially true following the Indian Ocean tsunami, where 65 percent of donations were received online.

"Integrated marketing allows nonprofits to drive traffic from other outlets to the Web," Mr. Haji said. "It allows for a coordination of methods."

Organizations can use e-mail to improve their direct mail response by sending before and after messages to potential donors, telling them to expect a package and then following up to ensure they received it.

Mr. Haji cited the challenges of integrated marketing as organization, complex data and small staffs and budgets.

"We need basic requirements from the staff to implement messages, such as copywriting [and] time and development to see what worked and what didn't," he said. "Nonprofit organizations often lack the money, staff and resources to do all of that."

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