NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — When nonprofit organizations launch fundraising campaigns, it’s not as simple as ready, set and go; hitting that target goal isn’t a one-two punch. Whether it’s for raising funds, acquisition, retention or whatever, fundraising campaigns can be much like for-profit marketing campaigns. Think about it: What’s the difference anyway? Both nonprofit and for-profit organizations have the same goal in mind—they want to bring in dollars.
One of the most important things about marketing campaigns is the creative copy. What brings in the results? In the breakout session titled, “Where Data Meets Design? Getting Noticed With Creative That Works!” presented at the Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference, Merrie Beth Nauman of Ocean Conservancy, Jamie Wharton of PETA Foundation and Peter Schoewe of Mal Warwick Donordigital encourage audience members that effective creative comes from testing. And this is where data comes in and provides a helping hand.
According to the session speakers, data testing can help creative design by knowing what and how; measuring results; building your knowledge; testing for the future; and moving beyond the A/B testing. Testing will help nonprofits understand their audience. While not every organization will benefit the same way, testing optimizes fundraising techniques.
Before any organization decides to test, they have to ask themselves one question: why? Nauman stresses that organizations should not test just to test—they have to make sure the test will provide meaningful and actionable results. Another thing that organizations should consider before performing a test is the cost. Ask yourselves these questions: Can you afford the test? If it wins, can you sustain the cost?
Schoewe advises for organizations to test the cadence of the entire communications effort, not just individual efforts, because it’s not optimal. “Evaluate test performance by audience, as well as by overall results,” he said.
Have you implemented testing into your strategy? If so, what have you found has worked? What hasn’t?