Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Fundraising Letters Should Raise Donors, Not Donations, When Mailed to Strangers

Are you willing to spend $1.25 to raise $1? To lose money to make money? You should be. Most donor acquisition mailings never pay for themselves. They lose money. And rightly so.

Acquisition letters (letters designed to acquire new donors) should be a vital part of your development program. Current donors fall away. Some lose interest in your mission. Some lose their jobs. Other leave the country. Some die. You need to be mailing fundraising letters to people who have never supported your cause in order to replace the donors who fall away every year through no fault of yours.

But to be successful at acquiring new donors, you need to ignore one set of numbers and fix your eyes on another. The numbers to "ignore" are the costs of getting your first donation. According to James Greenfield, in his excellent book, Fund Raising (second edition), you can expect to pay anywhere from $1.25 to $1.50 to raise $1 with an acquisition mailing. That doesn't sound like a wise use of your resources, does it?

But with acquisition fundraising letters, you need to have your eyes fixed on the lifetime value of your donor, not the short-term value of their first gift. You need to remind yourself (along with your board members, key volunteers and inexperienced colleagues) that your goal with acquisition mailings is to acquire friends, not funds.

Let me illustrate.

Let's say you mail a fundraising letter to a list of 10,000 strangers. These are people who have not supported your organization before but might. Assume that your costs for writing, design, production and postage come to $0.60 a piece. Your mailing costs are thus $6,000. Let's say you receive a 1 percent response rate. That's 100 gifts. Further assume that the average gift is $30 Your income is $30 x 100 donors, namely, $3,000.

Your costs are: $6,000
Your income is: $3,000
Your net loss for the campaign is: $3,000

Are you in trouble? No. Here's what you tell your executive director. "We gained 100 new donors. And up to 80 percent of them will give again, provided we follow up properly and solicit their gifts in the right way in the future."

Each of these new donors effectively cost you $30 each (your net loss divided by total new donors). Are you willing to spend $30 today to raise a friend who will likely give your organization hundreds of dollars in gifts in years to come? You should be, provided you can remember that your goal with acquisition letters is to raise a donor, not a donation.

My thanks go to Stanley Weinstein and his book, The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management (second edition), for his insight into the economics of donor acquisition.

About the author
Alan Sharpe is a professional fundraising letter writer who helps non-profits raise funds, build relationships and retain loyal donors using creative fundraising letters. Learn more about his services, view free sample fundraising letters, and sign up for free weekly tips like this at http://www.fundraisingletters.org.

© 2005 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the "About the author" message).

In The News:

'I don't trust anyone': The British women who married IS jihadis
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 17:28:00 +0000
Reema Iqbal is talking to us from behind the plastic sheeting which marks the tented area which is now her home in Roj camp in northeast Syria.

Militants using civilians as shields delay capture of final IS enclave
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 16:14:00 +0000
Hundreds of civilians still living in Islamic State's final enclave have emerged and are being used as human shields - forcing US-backed troops to delay capturing the village.

Nigeria postpones presidential election at last minute
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 03:16:00 +0000
Nigeria's presidential election has been postponed just hours before polls were due to open.

'Eternally in our hearts': Sala's hometown prepares for funeral
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 01:23:00 +0000
The funeral of Emiliano Sala is set to take place in Argentina following his death in a plane crash over the English Channel.

India vows 'crushing response' to Kashmir bombing
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:50:00 +0000
India's prime minister has warned Pakistan of a "crushing response" to a suicide bombing that left at least 41 soldiers dead in Kashmir.



tikatoshop.it

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

What Is Better Than FREE?

Oh come on! FREE is free. Zero, zip, nada, zilch.... Read More

Using a Contact List Profitably Part One

In previous articles, we discussed the generation of a contact... Read More

Forward Thinkers Stay Ahead of the Curve

What is it like from a marketing perspective to be... Read More

New Years Revolution

No, that's not a typo in the title. Resolutions are... Read More

Itchin For Some Nichin

The whole idea of Niche Marketing is exciting! The possibilities... Read More

Freebie Seekers? Turn Them Into Clients and Referrers - or Turn them Far, Far Away

Many service business owners these days are "giving away" their... Read More

Reach Thousands of Your Prospects, Absolutely Free

I'm big on getting maximum marketing exposure at the lowest... Read More

How To Bond With Customers So That They Stay With You Longer

How many of your customers are loyal customers? More importantly... Read More

A Look at Color Brochure Printing

Brochures have become vital in today's workplace, serving a wide... Read More

Translation and Your International E-Commerce Strategy

Most businesses realize that they are simply a click away... Read More

Budgeting for a Postcard Mailing

If you've never done a postcard mailing, you're probably wondering,... Read More

Stretch Your Marketing Reach

One of the most cost effective marketing strategies you can... Read More

What You Must Know When Marketing Your Business

Marketing is both an art and a science. Anyone who... Read More

Increase Sales With Travel Incentives

Today's business environment has changed dramatically over the past 10... Read More

Time for Marketers to Clean Up Their Act!

Some years ago, a prominent Australian hi-tech company... Read More

Good Marketing Pays for Itself

Most companies ask themselves this question: "How much will this... Read More

The Most Powerful Marketing Strategy Available To Small Businesses

Most small business owners want to generate huge profits, with... Read More

Client or Customer? There Really Is A Difference

Some people use the words "client" and "customer" interchangeably or... Read More

Keeping your Business Card visible

Famous quotes that keep you thinking.Have you ever listened to... Read More

Making Your Mark With The Millennials

Generation Y--The second-largest crop of young people in America's history,... Read More

Dont Use Yourself as Your Pricing Yardstick

"I wouldn't pay more than what I charge now."If you... Read More

Stop Searching - Joint Ventures are the Solution to Doubling Your Business

First, define the end user (or ideal client) of your... Read More

Marketing Effectively to More Than One Audience

What's a small business owner to do if they have... Read More

15 Ways to Promote eLearning Programs

Pre-note: In this article, teleclass is an example used to... Read More

Five Deadly Small Business Marketing Mistakes

Here are some marketing mistakes that take a heavy toll... Read More