Getting the Right Donors

December 18, 2018

Acquisition is the ongoing effort to grow your customer/donor base and to fortify and replenish that base over time. Historically, Summit Marketing’s nonprofit, commercial and governmental clients have relied on direct marketing to help them attract, retain and increase engagement of customers and donors.

Today, new technologies in digital and social media, data collection and analysis add power to our acquisition programs. Our proprietary analytics allow us to model, assess and improve the effectiveness of audience targeting strategies, lists and creative tactics.

Smart acquisition runs deeper than sheer numbers of new donors or customers.
We continually audit and evaluate data to help you identify and capture the right customer/donor mix for the strongest initial gift revenue as well as the highest lifetime value and return on investment.

Summit SONAR® helps nonprofits maximize profitability. 
Even a nonprofit organization must pay attention to the profitability of its acquisition efforts. The success of your mission requires making the most of your time, money and opportunities. Evaluate the needs of those you serve before you build programs to provide the greatest benefit. Similarly, we use Summit SONAR to analyze a market for the right donor mix, the right message and the right channels to deliver the greatest return on your investment. The wrong message, channel or list will result in the wrong donor mix. It is entirely possible to drive huge numbers of new donors but still produce financially strained outcomes. In fact, it happens all too often.

Cast your net on the right side of the boat.
Acquisition is like fishing. You need to know what you’re trying to catch, how to read the conditions of the weather and the water, which lures to use and where to cast your nets. Just as important, you need to know which fish to keep – and which ones to release.

We wish it to be clearly understood; we do not fault or disparage the donors of small gifts. They cared enough to share and made it a point to do so. But, analysis of this donor group over many years demonstrates that they do not contribute at high enough levels, or for long enough periods, to offset the cost of bringing them onto the donor file. The problem lies entirely with misguided marketing strategies that actively pursue a greater number of smaller fish – wasting your time and resources, starving your mission and ultimately forcing reductions in valuable programs and services.

It’s time to ask yourself; what’s in your net?

Our analysis over the years shows that a donor’s first gift to an organization is a significant predictor of lifetime value, retention and the degree of likelihood a donor will upgrade their gifts.

Lifetime Value. 

Our data shows that when measuring gross revenue over a three-year period, it takes 154 new donor gifts of < $10 to equal the gross income value of 12 new donor gifts of $50 – or one new donor gift of $250 or more.

Is your average first-gift size smaller than you would hope? Do you often find it difficult to get a second gift from a new donor? We can help.