Back to School ... Back to Acquisition
At a minimum, your strategy should include a very timely receipt (mailed within 72 hours of the gift being received is the minimum goal) and, for online gifts, an immediate — and friendly — acknowledgment. (For some reason, acknowledgments often sound like they were written by a robot. Let’s ooze a little love and gratitude here.) You also need to have a welcome mailing of some sort; this is a good place for the educational material, but include an ask, too. Finally, the first few appeals new donors receive should focus on your most appealing projects.
My experience shows that if a new donor doesn’t give a second gift in 90 days, statistically it’s unlikely he or she will ever give a second gift. So, you have a three-month window to work with. Have your plan ready to go before your acquisition letter drops into the mailbox or you click “send” on your e-mail — and you’ll be more likely to acquire donors who become long-term partners.
Pamela Barden is the creative juice and the copywriting machine behind PJBarden Inc., a consulting firm focused on helping small to midsized nonprofits see big results in fundraising. You can follow Pamela on Twitter @pjbarden.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.