Fishing for Donors
As I stood there on beach, still waiting for something to bite (even a little nibble would have been nice), it occurred to me that evolutions in direct response technologies and analytics now provide fundraisers with similar capabilities. I wouldn’t go so far as calling it a “donor finder,” but it’s getting there. What’s most exciting to me is that tools are being developed to give us advanced insights by which we can enhance our contact management strategies. Soliciting money from prospects and donors is very much akin to casting a line into the ocean. But nonprofits in search of more revenue believe they have no other option but to continually mail their donors—hoping they will respond.
I’m excited to say that help is on the way! Continued refinements in contact cadence models are being successfully tested in the nonprofit space to determine the optimal contact cadence for each individual donor. These tools provide direct response fundraisers with greater insights into how many times to contact a donor, when to contact them, what campaigns to mail them and what offers they will most likely respond to at that time.
I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first, but I’m beginning to believe what I’m seeing. Contacts are down (by as much as 25 percent in some instances) and net revenue is up, as is ROI (up 38 percent in one example). There is still much to discover in the area of contact cadence, including its impact on loan-to-value and overall donor satisfaction, but I’m convinced that technology will continue to pave the way for fundraisers to create more rewarding experiences possible for their donors, while also protecting organizations financial integrity.
There is a large ocean out there and plenty of fish to catch! And, thank goodness I chose to become a direct response fundraiser and not a fishermen.