The Great Budget Excus … um … Debate
- If you are going to stop a particular effort (acquisition, lapsed, etc.), what is the impact (cost and revenue) for the first year of the change? What is the impact of the decision in years two and three?
- How much will making this decision take you off your current revenue trajectory and if you wanted to maintain that trajectory, what would you have to do to recoup revenue and/or donors in the future? In other words, if you do this to solve this year's problem, are you just digging a larger hole for yourself next year?
- Based on the answer to No. 1, have you fully vetted this one- to three-year year impact with your leadership? In other words, have they agreed that solving year one's problem is worth having continued issues in years two and three?
- Are there data science tools/models you can use to help identify inefficiencies? Identifying inefficiencies is not the same as cutting high CPDR programs. What can you do to identify areas where you might be driving too deeply into your constituent portfolio and the lifetime value of that investment is not paying off? Where could you actually identify segments that are not only costing you money in the short-term but also not benefiting you in the future? Yes, these might cost money, but a good tool will guarantee its results (inclusive of its costs). Find those, and then spend that money on other areas to raise your revenue higher.
- Is there a core strategy that is missing from your portfolio? Do you have a monthly giving program, do you have a matching-gift challenge using one of your corporate sponsors, do you use magic amounts to help your donors understand how their money can be used? You must continue to measure risk — but if you could spend some money to create a new creative theme that could motivate your donors in a greater fashion, don't fall into the trap of not wanting to spend any testing money.
Budget management and budget cuts are never easy, but becoming stagnant and not trying to change is not the answer.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.