FOCUS ON: LISTS Feeling Exhausted? Your prospecting lists — and you — can get a much-needed pick-me-up with an influx of nams from commercial files.
7. Test magazine and catalog blow-ins. Let the catalogs and magazines pay for postage, and your appeal can go along for the ride. For much less than the cost of the list and postage, you can reach the right kind of buyers and readers for your cause.
8. Negotiate … and then negotiate some more. Most commercial lists already offer a reduced fundraiser rate. It can’t hurt to plead your case for greater reductions. Then ask for selections to be waived too. Commercial list owners need some successes in the fundraising arena and are willing to work with those willing to give it a try.
9. Co-op with like-minded marketers. Some marketers give a percentage of their proceeds to causes they support. This might require some real out-of-the-box creativity and networking, but there are synergies to be found.
10. Develop Internet traffic. Many of today’s donors aren’t sealing envelopes and
mailing them. They’re using PayPal and submitting credit card numbers online. The Web is a cost-effectivetool for new-donor acquisition. Bring people to your portal, and they will join the cause.
If you examine usage on the top fundraising lists, it begins to get redundant fast. Everyone is mailing the same files. In some cases you’re paying double or triple the base rate after the merge-purge. Then when you get a donor list to work, you might find the list owner restricts usage to only one turn of the file per year.
Retention rates are dropping because there is so much competition for the proven donors. How many causes is one person going to support? Plus, more expensive premiums are becoming increasingly necessary to attract and keep donors. Now factor in rising paper and postage costs.
All of this works against the primary objective of continually recruiting fresh members to the mission. The organization’s effectiveness is directly correlated to the ability to find new people willing to take up the cause, send money and influence others to do the same.