Rapid Donor Cultivation: Getting the First Online Gift Faster
As nonprofits escalate their focus on the Internet for fundraising and base-building, there is, increasingly, a recognition that the online channel can be a constituent-friendly, cost-effective means of building relationships and raising money from individuals.
New online fundraising programs, however, bring new challenges:
* How to acquire new constituents?
* How to cultivate this virtual constituent community?
* How to produce fundraising revenue (quickly)?
* How to reduce the payback period for the program investment?
For nonprofits with growing online fundraising programs, there is a similar set of challenges:
* How to continue to grow the base?
* How to keep program costs in check?
* How to increase revenue?
* How to increase net proceeds (revenue less costs)?
Rapid donor cultivation
To address these questions, Common Knowledge developed a program we call Rapid Donor Cultivation, inspired by best practices in the online retail industry. In this sector, savvy retailers noticed that online prospect affinity is typically highest for the first 30 days after the visitor opts in to the retailer’s e-mail list. This honeymoon period — the high-affinity phase — is characterized by higher e-mail open, click and conversion rates. It turns out that this behavior is also demonstrated by new nonprofit e-subscribers.
You can capitalize on this high-affinity period by sending a stream of carefully crafted e-mails with select content and calls to action to the new subscriber over the first 30 days. We typically use a 10 e-mail stream, ending with a targeted fundraising ask.
Via this process, you’ll be able to realize direct benefits, including:
* decreasing the elapsed time to the first gift;
* maximizing the size of the first gift;
* maximizing the lifetime value of a new subscriber; and
* reducing the cost of fundraising by using an automated e-mail queue.