Broadening the Appeal
Individual contributors: Numbering 13,830 (direct mail): 55 to 60 years old, two-thirds women, one-third men, arepresent joint households, attuned to issues of domestic violence, child abuse and education.
“Increasingly, as we reach out, we are attracting more 30- to 40-year-olds who are single. They are different from our average donor in that they look to find out more about [CAS], if we belong to the Better Business Bureau, for example. They do their research and are skeptical of direct mail.”
In FY 2003, CAS received an average gift of $60 through acquisition mail, with an overall average gift — not including new acquires and major donors — of $90. In FY 2004 thus far, acquisition has pulled in an average gift of $70; overall, $100.
“Historically, we’ve received second gifts from roughly 35 percent of new individual donors,” Grayson says. “So far this year it’s down to 20 percent. The interesting thing, however, is that we are still up. Each year we lose about 30 percent of our donor base and must replenish it with new acquires. In spite of that trend, our average gift has increased significantly to $336 [all individual donors], up 33 percent from last year. The number of gifts, however, is down 32 percent. We’ve seen this trend since Sept. 11, 2001: fewer donors and larger gifts.”
Additional insights: “In the last three years, the New York metropolitan area has seen a lot of high-profile cases involving child abuse, [child] homelessness and the shrinking foster-care system. The media have been instrumental in bringing some of these problems to the public. As a result, a number of corporations have started giving more to children’s programs instead of, or in addition to, the culture and arts programs that they normally fund.”