30 Ideas for Fundraising Success in 2011 and Beyond, Part 1
[Editor's note: This is part 1 of a three-part series on the session "Getting Back to Growth: 30 Ideas for Success in 2011 & Beyond" held at the 2011 Washington Nonprofit Conference.]
During the past three years of economic struggles, many fundraisers have been operating with the hope that funds simply remained flat. In an era of recession, flat was the new growth. But every nonprofit organization would love to grow its fundraising initiatives and dollars raised, and now may be the perfect time to do so.
To wrap up day 1 of the DMA Nonprofit Federation's 2011 Washington Nonprofit Conference, five fundraising professionals offered ideas for success and growth for this year and beyond. Jennifer Bielat, VP of direct marketing at Easter Seals; Neoma Harris, marketing director at St. Joseph's Indian School; Lane McKinney, senior director of production and analysis at ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Sherry Minton, director of direct response at the American Heart Association; and Kim Walker, director of direct mail at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, joined Larry May, SVP for strategic development at Infogroup Nonprofit, in the day 1 closing session, "Getting Back to Growth: 30 Ideas for Success in 2011 & Beyond."
Here are the first 10 ideas shared.
1. Mine your database
- Invest in lapsed donors — they're more valuable than new donors.
- Use models to identify best responders.
- Warm prospects.
2. Bond with your new donor
- Use thank-you packages.
- Mail second-gift packages.
- Go back with similar premium/themes that grabbed those lapsed donors in the first place.
3. Model to optimize acquisition
- Household-level models identify best and worst responders.
- Cuts out 10 percent of the least responsive names.
- Provides a 5 percent to 10 percent lift per campaign.
4. Manage your in-house prospecting
When the direct-response team took control of selecting in-house prospects for acquisition at the American Heart Association, response increased 9 percent.
5. Invest in analytics