Tuesday 10 June 2014

The acquisition and retention of donors

One of the biggest challenges facing Charities today is the growing reluctance of new donors to provide contact details. They know that if you know where they live, you will undoubtedly send letters asking for more help.

Direct mail accounts for nearly three quarters of all advertising spend and is justified by its relative level of returns. Donors are gauged by the lifetime value because the return on above the line advertising investment is usually much less than the initial spend. One large charity averages an almost immediate return of 30% on its conventional advertising spend and without the possibility of further attributable donations has to find other justification for continuing the process. Awareness building is one. However since the overall aim is attracting more regular donors, list building remains a priority.

When advertising in conventional media like the press, usually the most cost efficient after Direct Mail, consider asking permission to stay in touch with donors. Thank the reader for the time spent and always say please. Promote your cause and stress the urgency behind your appeal. New donor acquisition will be difficult so the more attention paid to the copy and coupon the better. Enlisting the support of well-known people with a vested interest helps. And don’t waste money even in justifiable media if your appeal is placed where it will not be seen. Many charity ads are buried in advertising ghettoes, which encourage the turning of the page.

After acquisition of donors, retention is very important. You have already segmented your list to make your mailing programme more effective. Some donors will only want to be mailed once a year, others are happy to be approached more often.

The sort of residential neighbourhoods they live in can identify valuable donors and the Royal Mail will help you appeal to their neighbours.

Then have a direct response expert like Drayton Bird audit your mailing package. He is probably the best marketer equipped to make the improvements to retain donors and improve their responsiveness. 

Campaign Magazine named him one of the fifty most important individuals in UK advertising during the previous twenty-five years. 

David Ogilvy also rated him highly and he wasn’t one to scatter praise. 

Contact Drayton directly:

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