2014 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence Telefundraising ($10 Million and Over) Winners
Recipients: 25,860 contacts
Response rate: 7.13 percent
Total cost: $373,251
Income generated: $1,821,628
Average gift: $988.94
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.20
What’s a political fundraiser to do when an election ends and supporters had truly given until it hurt?
While the impulse might be to hang back and let the spent donors chill a while, the Democratic National Committee knew it couldn’t ease up too much; high-dollar donors are a cornerstone of the organization’s annual income. The goal of this campaign was “to communicate person to person with major donors about the DNC’s priorities in the coming months, using the importance of early money to build a foundation for election victory as a touchstone for multiple gifts,” writes Lon Chapman, executive vice president at Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey.
The series grossed more than $1.8 million from an audience of just more than 10,000 people — about $70 per conversation. More than 72 percent of that came in via credit card, providing an immediate and steady income and allowing funds to be directed as needed as soon as possible. The overall series had a 7.13 percent conversion rate.
“Our success was no accident,” Chapman writes. “Going into the cycle, we knew our donors felt weary and ready to rest. However, extensive caller training, highly refined and up-to-date messages, and strategic timing and data targeting kept this high-value track of donors ready to support Democrats in the critical months ahead.”
Additional Telefundraising ($10 million and over) Winner
SILVER: EMILY’S List — Majority Council Telemarketing Series (Submitted by Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey)
Response rate: 12.39 percent
Total cost: $69,294.38
Income generated: $233,790
Average gift: $604.11
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.29
In its 2012 cycle, EMILY’s List donors gave in unprecedented numbers. Going into 2013, CCAH recognized that midlevel donors would need a highly targeted, high-touch approach to get energized for the next giving cycle. This campaign was conducted by callers who were highly skilled at communicating with high-level donors and who dialed the leads by hand. While scripts varied throughout the year, the messaging consistently emphasized the “danger” of the GOP agenda and the importance of early giving to help elect pro-choice Democratic women to all levels of government.
Roughly 1,200 midlevel donors were solicited at least once a quarter, and over the course of 10 months, they generated $235,000 with a 12 percent conversion rate. More than $200,000 of the revenue was raised on credit card, so more than 80 percent of the dollars raised was available the next day. This campaign is an example of some of the most important components of any successful telefundraising campaign — meticulously tested messaging, intensive training for callers, and ongoing monitoring and feedback.