Geared Up for Growth
5. If someone gave you more money, if they took that upgrade path, did you take them out of the communications stream that got them to that gift and suddenly place them in a new one that no longer makes them feel the same way or makes them act the same way that they did when they gave the gift that got them to that level in the first place?
MP: That was awesome, Ellen. … I don’t want people to lose that because I’ve seen the power of it just last month when I was facilitating a retreat and the organization had put together profiles of donors — major givers, regular, small annual givers — and they did an entire binder, a multi-inch binder with all of the communications, printing out the e-mails,
samples of all the direct mail, the invitations to events because their leadership was saying, “We’re doing too much direct mail and overcommunicating with donors.”
They went through and looked at the different scenarios; how many touches did they get? And some of them were getting 34 or 42 touches, but when you start looking at it, it made sense because they were giving. They were also so relieved that their voice was consistent pretty much throughout and that they weren’t overcommunicating to donors. But they wouldn’t have known that if they hadn’t printed it all out and compiled it like that.
AM: That’s a great point. I want to switch a little bit to the other side of this formula, which is around the metrics and ROI. Kristin, I know you have thoughts on this.
KM: One of the things that I wanted to share with the group today to take us from the art over to the science is to look at how we measure ROI for these high-value segments. The changes that have happened in the last couple of years have created, in many cases, a less scientific approach for a lot of organizations in how often they speak to their midlevel donors and what the content of those conversations really includes. So I think it’s really time for a lot of organizations to set a new benchmark, specifically for their midlevel groups. But this really applies for everyone.