Back from Bridge: the Highlights

Monica and I recently returned from our third year at the Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference. It’s a worthwhile trek to D.C., and I love their concept of “bridging” the most effective strategies in direct marketing and fundraising. Not to mention the chance to see east coast friends, clients and colleagues.

There’s no way of course to recap an entire conference in a blog, but here are some of the high points:
  • There is a cost to fundraising that shouldn’t be viewed as shameful or unethical. The CEO of Wounded Warrior, Steven Nardizzi, encouraged nonprofits to rise up and defend investing in growth.
  • Content development continues to reign supreme. Many sessions covered the need to provide different content tracks for the user experience. The U.S. Holocaust Museum employed a new strategy along these lines and saw great gains in engagement and fundraising.
  • Donor engagement by generation—Session encourages attendees to find ways to involve every generation of giver by providing philanthropic opportunities that are relevant to them (by lifestage).
  • Acquiring monthly donors was a hot topic. Speakers suggested looking for ways to infuse a sustainer appeal at communication points you might not have considered before (thank you messages and reply forms, for example).
  • Gamification—The rise of gaming is influencing philanthropy more than you might think. Its sophistication and interactivity ups the bar on technical fundraising efforts and what donors enjoy and expect. You can use this to your advantage by creating simple, fun experiences.
Check out a quick recap from this terrific conference and follow Bridge on Twitter.