Are you getting ready to do an acquisition mailing to look for those valuable new donors? Are you thinking about doing the mailing early this year due to elections and all those election mailings and messages?
You are probably like me when you look at your budget and realize how much you’re going to have to spend to do that acquisition mailing and know that your return is going to be minimal! But is it?
On the one hand, if you fall into the national average, for acquisition, you spend 115% and get a negative 15% return. Ugh! Add to that less than 20% of those new donors are ever going to give to you again! (from NFP) WHAT????
But wait! If you can get those new donors to give again, those new donors are of maximum value, especially if you can turn that one-time gift into a loyal supporter. If you get that second gift, you’ve got a 63% chance of them giving again! So how can you do that?
Here are 4 tips from JoeGarecht of The Fundraising Authority that I totally agree with! One of the tips is something you may have never thought about and will want to get your volunteer manager involved to help.
First, CALL THE NEW DONORS! Call and thank those new donors and thank them right away! Do not wait over a week and get help from other staff members if you are too busy. Make sure that you have a few questions to ask on the call enabling you to gather information to build a connection and get invaluable feedback. Ask why they decided to give at this time, what is it about your organization that they identify with and do they feel like this gift they made will make a difference? What difference would they like to make? Record the answers and if you have staff, board members, or volunteers helping you make these calls, ask the same questions and keep notes! These notes are your connection to a lifetime donor!
Secondly, stay in touch ! Don’t let the next time they hear from you be a year-end giving request! You have some information from your calls that allow you to reach out and get in touch when you have information that will interest them or make them feel good about their previous gift! So reach out, via mail, email, call!
Thirdly, get them involved with your organization with service in areas in which they have interest. This is where your volunteer manager will be of great help to find the right fit. If the new donor gets involved with your organization, they feel connected and become more interested in helping and advancing your cause.
Lastly, ASK FOR ANOTHER GIFT! Even for Development Officers, this is sometimes really difficult and everyone agonizes about what is the right amount of time to wait to ask again.
Here’s a great answer from Ron Rescigno.
“Ask again — quickly! If yours is like most nonprofits, you wait too long to make the 2nd Ask. Research shows that the earlier you acquire a 2nd gift, the higher the lifetime value of a donor is. The ideal 2nd Ask happens within 3 months (or 90 days) of the original gift. Why not try for a smaller recurring unrestricted annual gift that deepens the donor’s connection to the organization?
My answer is to ask again within 45 days. It is fine if it’s a follow-up ask in relation to their particular interst (that you now know what that is from conversations). Why not try for a smaller recurring additional gift that deepens the donor’s connection to the organization?
Remember that if you can get that second gift, your chances of them giving again to your organization is 63%. That’s worth the try, don’t you think?
Good luck! Let me know if you need help or advice!