Confessions of a Fundraising Copywriter
She stood and walked toward my door. She opened it, stopped and turned around. Her look softened.
"I came on a little strong," she said.
"I noticed that."
She closed the door, came over and sat back down in the chair in front of my desk. She looked at me for a time. No aggression. Just taking notice.
"Ever work in any consumer advertising agencies?" she said.
I nodded. "The nose?" I said.
"More around the eyes."
"Very observant," I said.
"The nose has been broken," she said. "I can see that, but it's not flattened."
"I got out before it got flat," I said.
She glanced at her briefcase a few times before opening it, reached in and handed me a couple sheets of paper.
"I need you to help me find someone. Well, actually, several thousand someones."
"Our donors. They're lapsing. A lot of them. And we want you to help us get them back."
"What have you done so far?" I asked.
"We just keep mailing them our regular appeals," she said, "hoping they'll eventually give."
I glanced at the spreadsheets she handed me and noticed a couple of things right away.
"Listen," I said, "I can help. But I don't risk my neck like this for free."
"What do you charge?"
I told her my rates and she agreed.
"Have you done any predictive modeling,?" I asked.
"I'd like to start there. I've got a guy. He'll handle it."
Her eyes widened, "He's not going to hurt the file, is he?"
"Trust me. He'll cut your file into segments, but they won't feel a thing. The segments will have scoring trends. We can then reduce or eliminate mailing appeals to the lower-scoring segments."
"Do we then delete them?"