Here’s the kind of “case history” I love to see … fundraising practitioners sharing hard data about a successful approach with their colleagues.Is it a “commercial” for the firm that devised the program? You bet! And good for them. This kind of concrete advice, with hard data to support, lifts the game for all of us.In this case, Fundraising Success reports (and before them, NTEN) the online cultivation and conversion program designed by Common Knowledge with their client International Fund for Animal Welfare.The strategy involves using an intensive email communications stream in the immediate weeks after a new “supporter” signs on (ten messages over five weeks), ultimately aiming towards a fundraising ask. The premise underlying the strategy, based on plenty of evidence from online retailers, is that you must interact early and often to capitalize on that initial — perhaps fragile — expression of interest if you wish to build a bond with the customer” and make a sale. The tactics and results are detailed here.Bottomline: 83% increase in conversion to donors. Wouldn’t you like to see that result in your online fundraising program?!Now there’s a lot about the IFAW experience that you would want to test for your own nonprofit in terms of pacing, frequency and messaging. Plus, you should do your testing against a control group. If there’s a “flaw” in what Common Knowledge reports, it’s that results of their program are benchmarked against a year-previous time period when no intensive communications stream was applied. Arguably other factors could be at work given this time lapse and the different fundraising climate and messaging that might have existed.Still, the conversion results are impressive in their own right, and the data is there for you to see.So, we’re going to give Common Knowledge and their IFAW client a raise!Tom

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