A Well-calculated Risk
May 1, 2005

For almost 200 years, the American Bible Society has provided Scripture to needy individuals in almost every country in the world. Like many nonprofits in the 1990s, ABS was using elaborate, premium-based acquisitions to attract new donors via mail. Renting several million names each fall, ABS would mail a single acquisition and garner several hundred thousand new donors at a crack.

Unfortunately, the organization spent the rest of the year wondering if those new donors gave because they felt connected to the mission or because they liked the premiums.