Challenge: Break the Acquisition Barrier
As every nonprofit knows, direct mail acquisition isn’t what it used to be. While it remains a cost-effective means of acquiring new donors, the economics have become increasingly challenging. Competition is fierce, available names are diminishing, and response rates are declining while production costs are increasing. How can a nonprofit improve its cost per dollar raised (CPDR) in the face of these obstacles?
Approach: Develop Innovative Offer and Package Format
Our goal was the holy grail of acquisition: to increase the value of each new donor without decreasing response rate. THD developed a new offer and package format with a number of objectives. By tying a specific price point to a symbolic gift, we wanted to make the donation feel more tangible to prospects. The symbolic gift utilized was mission-centric; designed to enhance the donor’s awareness of and loyalty to our client’s mission. Plus, the package size and format was designed to stand out in the mailbox.
Over time, we refined the package offer to incorporate several price points and symbolic gifts to give prospects even more choices to suit their interests.
Results: Impressive Growth in Dollars & Donor File
- Increased new donor average gift by 57%
- Decreased production unit costs (from prior premium-centric acquisition packages) by 6%
- Maintained response rate
- Generated a constituency with better first-year retention rates and greater long-term value