Give more get more

“T-Shirt Premium Jazzes Up Public Radio Fundraising” by Michele Donohue and Mark Hrywna (The NonProfit Times, 15 September 2009). Good stuff. Who doesn’t love a success story? And a premium? But as you read this please keep these AU caveats in mind:

— Why was the KCSM-FM promotion only offered to “lapsed” members?

— The article says that there was over $42k raised from 577 donors with an average gift of over $100. Simply put, that math doesn’t add up.

— There is not mention of a control group for the KCSM-FM promotion. And while the results sound impressive, the true effectiveness is impossible to analyze. Maybe it just a better looking mail piece?

— While the fulfillment vendor isn’t specifically mentioned, AU wonders if Zazzle.com (or a similar service) might have been a better, more cost effective choice.

— Since when are mailing labels considered a premium?

Last but not least, maybe the concept of donor should be put to rest already? To a certain extent,  donor implies a sense of one-and-done. However, member and membership not only gives the guest a sense of belonging to a community but it should also force the NPO to not see every warm body as a dollar sign. Perception and words matter.  Needless to say, donor, in a world where expectations are formed by Web 2.0 does not inspire an appropriate “UX” (user experience).

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1 comment to Give more get more

  • Mark,

    — Sorry, I mixed up some #s in my original story. The totals are correct but I should clarify the averages. The $100 avg gift I cite was the avg of 200 donors who gave $80+, not the overall avg, which was ~$73 ($42k/577). [Avg for donors who gave <$80 was ~$54]

    — Only offered to lapsed members (15mos w/o giving) b/c they were looking to see if they could stimulate them to give. Renewal efforts are sent to KCSM members reaching expiration of membership (one year from last “give”). Once a member surpasses 15 months without giving, KCSM tests new ways to get them to join.

    — No control was mailed but past lapsed efforts have yielded <1% response. This package had 6+% response.

    — They considered Zazzle but too expensive (they cited $18+ for Zazzle), and they also were looking for a high-quality shirt. The agency worked with one of their preferred premium vendors.

    — Mailing labels: I've heard that's how some nonprofits dip their toe into premiums before trying other items. If they're not considered premiums, albeit low-end, it's news to me.

    Hope that clarifies a bit. Apologies for the confusion on avg gift, etc. Thanks!

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