Any of us who have studied donor behavior can tell you that your best prospect for a sustainer or monthly pledge donor is someone who has been on your file for several years and has averaged 3 or more gifts a year. And the best recruitment should be done in January.
Or is it?
This year we have studied pledge conversion for several different files, and a very different narrative than the one above is emerging.
For both of these organizations, which have mature files built on direct mail, the most likely convert to a pledge program was a single-gift donor who has been on the file a year or less.
This is actually exciting news. This means organizations can (and should) start recruiting new donors to their pledge programs right away. But not in January.
For most organizations, they are pulling the select for the January pledge recruitment long before the majority of the fall acquired donors are on the database.
I know it may sound crazy, but we recommend waiting to send your pledge recruitment package (supported by TM) in February or March. You want to hit those new donors ASAP.