Every week, we run into clients and partners who ask the same question. The pandemic allowed the cadence of the question to decrease a bit, but every organization wants to understand how to drive new donors to their database.
Some believe it must be attributed to how well your main donation form performs. Others believe it must be tied to direct mail. And some believe it must be because of the effectiveness of one particular campaign.
What if we told you that donor acquisition involves way more than that?
If you’ve been in the business long enough, you’ve heard the story of matching donor data to big data. While important, we understand that element to be table stakes these days. Knowing the age of your donors, their occupation and the like is certainly critical.
But have you discovered the commonalities of donors that gave to each kind of campaign, and the calls-to-action that were included with each of those campaigns?
You can analyze hundreds of data points all day long and get to some conclusions. But for the most effective acquisition campaign, most efficient spend, most accurate targeting, dive much more into those who gave for the first time for each campaign and start to discover micro-level commonalities you can use to scale each kind of donor.
Are you stuck in campaign-level mode all the time? Monthly campaigns work for driving cultivation, but organizations really have to take a step back and look at the data when it comes to driving donor acquisition.
You may get somewhere just by targeting general lookalikes as one segment for each already-existing cultivation campaign. But we’ve seen time and again that you can drive a more valuable dollar per visitor when you dig into what motivated your existing donors to give for their first time, which channel the gift came from, and the touchpoints involved.
When you can come close to replicating that journey for future prospects, you’ll begin to win new donors at levels perhaps you’ve not consistently seen before.