Driving Home the Point
Part three: Memorial giving
“Believe it or not, MADD is about remembering and honoring loved ones, but we’ve been terrible about asking people to give in memory of a loved one,” Heard says, noting that the irony didn’t escape him. To change that, MADD partnered with the National Association of Funeral Home Directors to launch an aggressive memorial-giving program.
Part four: Major gifts
Direct marketing had built MADD a base of about a million donors, but those names didn’t come cheap. And to make matters worse, there was no strategy for segmenting donors and personalizing relationships.
“Every single one was treated in the same way,” Heard says. “They were all in the same donor stream, which means you got 12 mail appeals a year no matter how much you gave, how many times you gave or how many years you’ve been giving.”
To offset its history of cookie-cutter donor relations, MADD hired a director of donor relations and now pays special attention to long-time donors and those who give more than a thousand dollars — basically “providing more care and love for the people who have supported us in big ways,” Heard says.
Part five: Planned giving
One of the surprising things Heard discovered as he evaluated MADD’s development plan was that the organization had never done an age overlay on its file. When it did, it uncovered 241,000 active donors age 71 and older.
“These supporters should know about MADD’s planned-giving opportunities, and we took steps to ensure that occurs,” Heard says.
MADD’s new quarterly direct-mail appeal for bequests, which mailed 25,000 to 30,000 pieces in its first year (2004), has done “remarkably well,” he says, and flagged hundreds of people who want information about putting MADD in their wills and about a hundred others who already had done just that.