‘What does the donor want?’
2. Can you pinpoint donor preferences in mission focuses? Are you using that information, or are the next points of contact decided by a fixed “marketing-appeal plan?”
3. Which donors prefer being contacted by direct mail? E-mail? Which ones wait to give until they get a phone call?
4. Are you asking people to give and upgrade in a manner consistent with their other response patterns? Are you basing renewal strategies around techniques that successfully achieved the first or last gift?
5. Are creative strategies properly focused on donor need (versus organizational need)? Does your message properly transition from the last point of donor contact?
Think about it. You have X thousand donors that have made a gift within the last 12 months. Unless your nonprofit has a single mission/focus, chances are good that each donor has his or her own reason for making those gift(s).
The key is to find out why. What made that donor make that last gift? Armed with these answers, the challenge of using today’s technology to work for you becomes much less daunting.
Think of it this way: You’re not managing a fundraising program. You’re managing relationships.
Your donors already have provided key insight into what makes them tick. Ask for more information, and then use the information you learn when you plan the next “ask.”
It’s all about donor needs. If you take care of their needs, chances are good they’ll take care of yours.
Mark Jacobson is vice president of the not-for-profit division of DMW, a full-service, direct-response advertising agency with offices in Wayne, Pa.; Plymouth, Mass.; and St. Louis.You can reach him at 774.773.1200 or via e-mail at MJacobson@dmwdirect.com.