Why So Many New-donor Acquisition Efforts Stink
Getting an immediate second gift from a new donor is the most important factor in the success of your acquisition program. If you don’t believe me, closely examine the chart on Page 22 (below). Donors who give multiple gifts in their acquisition year are three times more likely to give the following year than those new donors who had only given once.
If you want your new-donor acquisition efforts to pay higher dividends, dramatically increase your organization’s revenue and spur significant donor-file growth, then pay very close attention to what you do with new donors.
Five easy steps to getting second gifts
1. Within 72 hours of receiving the gift, send a gift-acknowledgement package via First-Class mail to all new donors. Use this package to strongly affirm and thank your new donors. Reinforce your acquisition message, and explain why your new donors’ continued support is vital to your organizational mission.
Include a second-gift reply option. Remember that donors who gave most recently — including your new donors — are most likely to immediately give again.
To increase your chances of getting a second gift, include a promise to double your donor’s gift through a matching-gift fund. Like all of us, donors appreciate a good deal. If you don’t have a matching-gift fund set up by your major donors or corporate partner, get one started today.
Give your new donors control over their relationship with you. Include a communication-preference options card in your acknowledgement package with multiple choices so contributors can indicate what they want to receive from you. Provide an opt-in opportunity for e-mail communications, and capture new donors’ e-mail addresses.
2. About a week later, send your donors a special-appeal package that, once again, recognizes their first gift, reinforces your original acquisition message and explains a new, urgent financial need. This package is crucial to your eventual success in getting that second gift.