Focus On: Lists: Digging For Donors
Anyone who works in direct mail donor development can tell you that it’s a challenge to find ways to bring in new donors while operating under an ever-tightening budget. With so many organizations mailing to the same lists of donors, fewer new lists being brought to the market and expenses always on the rise, creativity and willingness to take calculated risks will help you reach your new donor goals.
In a perfect world, mailings would breeze through the post office and land in potential donors’ mailboxes without competition from other charities. Then, prospects gleefully would open the letters, feel a connection and send in donations using their own stamps.
These new donors would give repeatedly and generously for years — always, of course, using their own stamps. Eventually, after decades of loyal support, an envelope would arrive from some attorney’s office. A notice would be enclosed that Loyal Donor bequeathed his or her estate to your organization.
Until scientists figure out how to create and clone Loyal Donor, your best action is creative action. How do you do that? Maybe some of the things that other nonprofit professionals are doing to bring in new donors and control expenses will give you some ideas.
Reach out to the Hispanic market.
Today, more than one in eight people in the United States are of Hispanic origin. The U.S. Department of Commerce projects that by 2050, one out of every four people will be Hispanic.
To add nearer-term perspective, by 2010, Hispanics will become the second largest race/ethnic group —second only to non-Hispanic whites. The time to start thinking about marketing to this growing audience is now.
Large commercial mailers such as Bookspan, Reader’s Digest and Rodale Press recognize the fact that the Hispanic population is growing but grossly underserved. They create offers that speak the language and appeal to the likes and interests of Hispanics in America. Between the three companies, they’ve pulled in hundreds of thousands of Spanish-speaking customers.