International Voices on Fundraising: Second Gift Syndrome
Last week I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Director of Fundraising of a large France-based NGO with many fundraising offices all over the world.
He was talking to me about something they call “consolidation,” which is effectively a specific strategy for securing a second gift from a newly acquired donor. I was interested in this as it is not something that I have generally come across in the UK and yet when you think about it, it seems very obvious.
We spend a great deal of time, not to mention money, on donor acquisition programmes by a whole variety of different mechanisms. Lots of blood, sweat and tears spent developing compelling concepts, propositions, and creative gems aimed at persuading someone to part with their cash for a good cause.
And then what? Well too often, dumped straight into an existing communications programme with barely a thank you or a welcome (and if you think I’m being harsh, trust me, I’m not. For proof, download our free mystery shopping report from www.johngrainassociates.com). This means, depending on when they gave, a donor could get any number of different communications in a very random kind of way.
Some better programmes offer a welcome process, but again after that it is usually straight into a “appeals/newsletter/Virtual Gift” cycle of communications.
It is an obvious truth that in many respects, a donor’s first gift is their most important, and so by the same logic, their second gift is not far behind. Surely it indicates the beginning of some actual engagement with the charity (rather than often just an emotive response to a cause) and a willingness to trust that organisation to deliver on their propositions. Best of all, an indication that they could potentially go on to become a loyal donor to the charity.