ProFile: Christine Carroll
The key is you need to get in front of donors and to connect with whatever it was that motivated them to give the first time. It's just become more important because donors are most likely to give to those organizations that touch them the most often, but not just touching them most often but with the best message. [We've all been] victims of the direct-mail fundraiser who sends you the same appeal five times in two months, and that doesn't seem to be effective.
FS: You've had tremendous success in helping to increase revenues at the organizations you've worked for — for instance, increasing the private-sector revenue at the National Center for Missing ?& Exploited Children from $1.6 million to more than ?$8 million annually. What ?tactics and techniques have you employed to do that?
CC: Especially looking at the Center for Missing & Exploited Children as one of the ones where I worked a lot on growth, to be able to define and place value on an organization's assets is probably the starting point of building a really good fundraising plan. In the case of the center, they didn't have a long-term corporate fundraising strategy; they had not been very consistent with how they had priced sponsorships of their different programs and events in the past.
They had some really valuable data about where the issues they worked on ranked in the minds of certain demographics like moms and grandparents, women vs. men, ages and income levels, and it ranked very high in certain demographics.
And then they also had done a different study to see what the name recognition and the feelings that were evoked around the organization's brand were, and it came back very positive, that people found it to be a very credible brand.