Case Study: Building a Donor Base Through E-mail, Part 1
[Editor's note: This is part 1 of a two-part series.]
In the fall of 2010, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview — a ministry of BreakPoint, the worldview ministry associated with Prison Fellowship Ministries — created its own entity and was looking to build a brand-new donor base.
So the organization, whose mission is to seek the transformation of believers as they apply biblical thinking to all of life, went to KMA, the branch of full-service fundraising agency Pursuant Group that handles Christian ministries and conservative advocacy groups, with a list of e-mail subscribers — but no actual donors — in hopes of cultivating a donor base.
"[The Colson Center] had an initial list of some e-mail names … and said, 'Here's what we have: we have a list, we have this new cool brand and this really exciting, strategic focus. What should we do?'" says Tim Kachuriak, senior vice president of innovation and optimization at Pursuant. "… We talked about a membership-based program. We said becoming a part of the Colson Center is in essence joining a movement, and if we think about how we want to communicate that, what actually has a greater sense of value — is it donating to something to support a cause, or is it becoming a member of something, becoming part of a larger movement of people who are focused on taking this Christian worldview and applying it to their lives?"
The Colson Center agreed on the membership route, and with KMA, a comprehensive e-mail program was designed to do three things:
- acquire new names for the organization;
- convert subscribers and ministry friends into donors and members; and
- inspire donors to give to multiple opportunities.
One thing KMA and Pursuant learned through past experiences with other clients is that short-form e-mail content that focuses on getting recipients to click in the e-mail and then get the full value proposition on the landing page typically seems to work best.