Pssst … Don’t Tell the Big Guys
• Employ an inexpensive, but seamless and focused multi-channel fundraising campaign. Have volunteers make telemarketing calls, utilize inexpensive e-mail blast software or, if your e-mail file is small, send individual e-mails.
One thing is for sure: The big nonprofits don’t have their fundraising programs in cruise control. Testing, changing and improving is a way of life for these behemoths. Just about every decision made when conducting a campaign will be measured or analyzed to provide valuable information for future efforts. Testing doesn’t come without cost, but there are ways to test that minimize expense and still provide valuable information.
How you can do it:
• For direct-mail campaigns, use variable laser copy to test lots of things: a different P.S., different gift ask amounts, keywords within a letter, a more religious tone vs. less religious, etc.
• For e-mails, test the items above as well as when you e-mail. Try before a mailing then try after a mailing.
• Telemarketing can be tested as well. Vary the script or test voice tones to convey different levels of urgency.
• Include at least one or two test lists with every acquisition campaign. The cost is nominal when compared to the overall investment. Finding a new, productive list for any fundraising medium is extremely valuable.
• Build the idea of investment into every fundraising campaign. Commit to learn something from each and every mailing, telemarketing campaign or event. This way the cost to learn is spread evenly throughout the program, not just focused on one or two large acquisition initiatives that don’t yield a net gain in revenue.
• Analyze results. Analyze results. Analyze results. It’s that important.
Saving money, working efficiently and finding new ways to raise money effectively are everyday goals that large nonprofits work to achieve. Smaller organizations should manage their program with these same goals in mind.