Abny Santicola of Fundraising Success recently filed a useful series of stories on channel integration … using direct mail, telemarketing and online channels (as well as other “customer touches”) to optimize donor retention and value.

Nowadays any nonprofit fundraiser worth her salt should be integrating. But marketing creativity, good intentions and good theory too often run afoul of competing internal bureaucracies (silo organization), separate databases, budget processes that lock in yesterday's tactics, and “get it out the door yesterday” time pressures … all of which lead to same old, same old.

But consider the following math. If math like this works for you, and you aren't at integrating at least your direct mail and online campaigns, you oughta be fired.

1. Suppose you can capture qualified leads online (i.e., email and snail mail addresses, with expressed interest in your cause) for $1 per lead. E.g., through an online petition drive.

2. Suppose you can over several (essentially no-cost) efforts generate a cumulative online fundraising response rate of 0.5% with an average donation of $50.

3. Suppose you can over three efforts (at $250/m cost each … remember, no list rental cost) generate a cumulative direct mail response of 4% with an average donation of $35.

4. For each original 1000 online leads, you've now acquired 45 donors, costing $1750, whose first gift value is $1650 … an acquisition subsidy of $2.22 each.

5. Moreover, presumably your online petition campaign had authentic programmatic value, so it might have been funded, or jointly funded, out of program advocacy dollars, not just the fundraising budget … stretching your fundraising dollars even further.

Now isn't that an integrated campaign you'd run forever?!

Challenge them if you like, but I know from experience that these numbers are doable … if you have a hot issue and run with it aggressively … and explode the internal silos and barriers.

If you run a campaign like this, let The Agitator know about it. We'd like to give you a raise!

Tom

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