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:

Merkel 'doing well' after visibly shaking at ceremony
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 14:04:00 +0100
Angela Merkel sparked concern after she began shaking vigorously as she greeted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Berlin.

Trump's defence secretary pick resigns amid 'painful' family situation
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 22:08:00 +0100
Donald Trump's preferred candidate for defence secretary has announced his withdrawal from the nomination process for the top Pentagon job. 

I was used as human guinea pig, Caster Semenya says
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 20:55:00 +0100
Caster Semenya says the global athletics governing body has used her as "a human guinea pig" by forcing her to take medication that would limit her testosterone levels. 

Platini questioned on suspicion of Qatar World Cup corruption
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 09:20:00 +0100
Former UEFA president and French football legend Michel Platini has been released after earlier being detained for what his team described as "technical reasons".

UN calls for inquiry into death of ex-Egyptian president
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 16:43:00 +0100
United Nations officials have called for an independent inquiry into the death of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.



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.

Starting Small Business Promotional Campaigns

So you're starting a small business. You figured out what... Read More

Buzz Word

Offline, it's called word-of-mouth advertising. Online, it's known as viral... Read More

Trade Show Promotional Products ? Boosting Booth Traffic

I was about seven or eight years old when I... Read More

Free Marketing Tips

Dumb Excuse #1"I'm not sure I want to invest any... Read More

10 Effective Ice Breaking Questions

Whether you go to a Chamber of Commerce event, a... Read More

How to Save Thousands on Your Marketing

Marketing can be expensive. It doesn't have to be, but... Read More

Marketing To Women

Recent studies concerning the "new world of women" have been... Read More

50 Benefits Of Joint Venture Marketing

What Is A Joint Venture?A joint venture is an agreement... Read More

More Scams! Do you Really Believe It?

Quit spreading those chain letters, nothing is going to happen... Read More

Great Marketing is Like Making a Great Movie

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCEThe Oscars will be handed out soon, and... Read More

Mortgage Marketing - How to Write a Mortgage Marketing Sales Letter That Gets Results!

Have you ever sat down to write a sales letter... Read More

How to Magnetize Your Business

Do you ever wonder how some businesses always seem to... Read More

The Mighty Marketing Brochure

"Brochure" is French, and it comes from brocher, meaning to... Read More

Do You Really Know Your Prospect?

I'd like to introduce you to someone. I don't actually... Read More

Pricing Strategies in Marketing

Price is an often overlooked marketing strategy, as many tend... Read More

Make It A Threesome

What if -- every time you had a networking appointment... Read More

Joint Venture: 50 Power Secrets Of Joint Venture Marketing, Exposed

What is a Joint Venture?A joint venture is an agreement... Read More

Hold Onto What Youve Got

You probably spend a great deal of your time looking... Read More

Dear Friend: Dont Start Your Non-For-Profit Fundraising Letters As A Stranger

Dear Friend:Don't do it.Don't start your fundraising letters with "Dear... Read More

How to Connect Features and Values

"Buy this magazine or we'll shoot the dog," went a... Read More

Are Your Prospects Walking Out on You?

After 11 years in sales, I've put together and delivered... Read More

Are You a Marketing Octopus, or a Marketing Worm?

One of the greatest challenges to effectively marketing a business... Read More

Do You Get Attention With Your 30-Second Introduction?

I went to a networking event the other day where... Read More

Marketing Operations Elevates Public Relations and Communications Professionals

Is your marketing department taking advantage of MOM and MRM?... Read More

Maximize Your Lead Generation Efforts by Recycling Your Leads

The basic lead generation process is pretty much the same... Read More