Acquisition: Premiums, Crack Cocaine and Nonprofit Suicide

Almost every direct-response fundraiser who can count eventually comes to the realization that reliance on premiums to boost short-term acquisition response rates is a long-term prescription for poor retention and lousy lifetime value. Many are unaware of the ample evidence in behavioral science for why premiums not only delude fundraisers but, far more importantly, destroy donor motivation and loyalty.

Choosing to ignore the “premium problem” is far too often the option selected in the drive to keep acquisition rates high and CEOs happy.

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