Lift and Keep

Lift and Keep

In my last blog, I talked about the Public Religion Research Institute study that detailed the changes in the demographic landscape of America. But before the full measure of those changes take place, we still have a few years to maximize the fundraising techniques that we know works best. We are urging our clients to maximize their investments into these tools while they are still working. The leading sign that these demographic changes are happening is the decline in effectiveness of direct mail acquisition. At some point, the cost to acquire a new donor will be ROI prohibitive. Our company’s focus is to help you raise more funds to fuel your mission. There are only three ways to do that: Win new donors to your cause. Lift current donors to give more, and Keep more of your donors active. As this is already happening, we are starting to recommend that organizations shift their “Win” budgets towards “Lift and Keep” budgets. Two of the things you will want to start doing, and many of our clients are doings this now, is to invest in predictive models. First, models that identify those donors who should be targeted for mid-major cultivation efforts. Second, models that priortize who should be targeted for reactivation. These models pay for themselves quickly, and help you to maximize your Lift and Keep revenue. Part of any good strategic plan is to have your contingency plans in place. We believe that one of these contingency plans is the gradual shift from “win” budgets to “lift and keep” budgets. At least until the next big thing in new donor...
The Times They Are A Changing

The Times They Are A Changing

The Public Religion Research Institute recently released a study that found for the first time in the US, “white Christians” were a minority in 19 States. In the study’s own words: “Hawaii and California stand out for having the smallest white Christian populations of any state (20 percent and 25 percent, respectively). White Christians also make up a relatively modest proportion of the residents in other western states, including Oregon (43 percent), Washington (42 percent), Nevada (36 percent), and Arizona (38 percent). Conversely, no state has a greater proportion of white Christians living within its borders than North Dakota (72 percent) and South Dakota (77 percent).” One of the things we regularly do for clients is to append demographic characteristics to their donor files. And time after time, their files are disproportionally older white Christians. As fundraisers we have had a hard time creating offers that engage a culturally diversified audience. And really, since we have had plenty of success with the traditional audience, we haven’t needed to. In the short-term, I have good news. People don’t become donors until they are in their 50s. And we have a big cohort of the traditional audience moving into their prime giving years. The bad news is that the cohort immediately behind them is going to be much more diversified. On top of that their media usage habits are vastly different. So not only will our offers have to adapt, but we will have to communicate in different ways. All this to say, time is short. If you aren’t maximizing the current fundraising methods that are still working, woe to...
The Buzz – From the DMA Nonprofit Conference

The Buzz – From the DMA Nonprofit Conference

Last week I was in Washington DC at the DMA Nonprofit Conference (http://dc.dmanf.org/). There was a lot of energy and a lot of great discussion among the participants. One of the things I heard buzz about (besides Season 3 of House of Cards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Cards_(season_3)), it was DC, after all!), was talk about Sustainers. How do we find more of them? How do we convert annual givers to Sustainers? How much should we spend to do it? What’s the best channel to convert someone to a sustainer – mail, phone, online? How do we cultivate these donors once they become Sustainers? Recent research for one organization here at Analytical Ones shows that the 10-year value of a Sustainer is 7 times that of a regular donor, $2100 vs. $300. That means even if you spend a significant amount, let’s say $200, to find that donor and convert her to a Sustainer, you’re still ahead by $1600 over a regular donor. The consensus at DMA was if you can break this code your organization can build for the future. Without it, you’re stuck in the cycle of constantly having to find more new annual donors to replace the ones you lose each year. So, what’s the best way to find a new Sustainer? At Analytical Ones, we believe it’s by taking all of the possible attributes and instead of guessing which one or two variables will best predict who will be your next sustainer, use ALL of the predictive variables to find your best sustainer prospects. In other words, build a model. So, if your fundraising program has a solid base...