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BONNIE CATENA, CONNECTOR-IN-CHIEF, CATENA CONNECTS
LARRY MAY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT, INFOGROUP
J...
Myth #1
Too much communication will drive people away!
Jann Schultz
Don’t ask again!
They just gave, “rest” them!
Don’t co...
Fact:
Many next gifts come one to four months after the first gift.
Giving drops
when 6-11
months have
passed.
Jann Schult...
Fact
The more you connect with your donors, the more funds
you raise.
• More net revenue
• Better retention
• More complai...
Truth
It’s not quantity,
it’s quality.
Relevance.
Validation.
Appreciation.
Jann Schultz 5
Myth #2
You are your
target market.
Bonnie Catena 6
MYTH: Direct mail goes right to my
recycling bin…
• FACT: According to Blackbaud’s 2014 Charitable Giving report, only 6.7...
YOU
Are entrenched in your
organization’s cause,
day-in, day-out.
8Bonnie Catena
YOUR DONOR
Has a life!
Work.
Grandchildren.
Children.
Volunteering.
9Bonnie Catena
YOUR DONOR
Meet her where it’s
most convenient for
her to meet you—and
direct mail is one of
those places.
10Bonnie Catena
YOU
Think of your
organization’s cause in
a business, not an
emotional, context.
11Bonnie Catena
YOUR DONOR
Thinks about your
organization in an
emotional way. She
gives because she is
moved to do so.
12Bonnie Catena
Janet Catena:
“I read the story of
that sick little girl and
just had to help.”
13Bonnie Catena
But even if you are
your target market,
you’re not, because…
14Bonnie Catena
YOU
Are entrenched in your
organization’s cause,
day-in, day-out.
15Bonnie Catena
YOU
Think of your
organization’s cause in
a business, not an
emotional, context.
16Bonnie Catena
MYTH
We should communicate
with our donors the way
THEY want.
FACT
Listening to donors generally
hurts income.
Myth #3
Lar...
•“If we can figure out which donors give to which
campaigns, we can mail less and stop aggravating them
with so many appea...
•Few donors follow any real giving patterns.
•Donors who give to a particular appeal are more likely to
respond to that ap...
•Given the option, many donors will ask for fewer
contacts.
•Fewer appeals = less income.
•Many donors will say “Just cont...
•Donors who ask for just one annual appeal will often
respond to that appeal at a higher rate than all other
donors.
•Mayb...
•But if you don’t keep sending them mail, that’s it – you
got 10% to respond.
•Your goal for overall retention should be 6...
•What people say they want and what works for
fundraising are usually opposites.
•Focus groups are usually wrong.
•People ...
•Donors hate telemarketing, but it works.
•Everyone hates telemarketing.
•Even telemarketers hate telemarketing.
•But it w...
Myth #4
Educate your donors and they will give.
Jann Schultz
25
Fact
Donors don’t want to solve a problem because it is big.
They want to solve a problem because it is solvable.
Jann Sch...
Truth
Giving is emotional
Jann Schultz
“Thank you for making this
opportunity available by
sending an email and an easy
we...
Myth #5
Marketing is
Fundraising.
28Bonnie Catena
MYTH: You can’t say that —
it’s off-brand!
• FACT: Marketing is about your organization.
• FACT: Fundraising is about your...
Mythbuster #5
Effective marketing
communication puts
the organization
front-and-center.
30Bonnie Catena
Effective fundraising
puts the donor
front- and-center.
31Bonnie Catena
Your donor wants to
help a person in need
or advance a cause
she’s passionate
about.
32Bonnie Catena
“Think a little.
Feel a lot.”
Need vs.
Empowerment
33Bonnie Catena
Myth #6
MYTH
We know what our
donors want.
FACT
Your opinions have little
value in fundraising.
34Larry May
•“We all loved this package, but it bombed.”
•“I know lots of successful organizations mail those
types of packages, but t...
•We are not our donors.
•The fact that we are all here at a fundraising convention in
Manhattan should be evidence enough....
•Most of us here today probably identify as “liberal.”
•But fewer than 20% of Americans do.
•“Liberal” causes like environ...
•People who call to complain are not typical donors.
•They are weirdos with too much time on their hands.
38Larry May
•The small number of comments and complaints you hear
don’t represent the majority.
•Only testing really tells what donors...
•My colleague Graham Hunter: “Don’t turn your
complainers into your focus group.”
•The late, great Don Kuhn: “Lots of comp...
Myth #7
We need younger donors!
Jann Schultz
41
Fact
Project HOPE is focused on acquiring more donors in their
50’s and 60’s.
Jann Schultz
42
Truth
For fundraisers, age 55 is young!
Jann Schultz
43
Myth #8
Long letters don’t
work.
(Neither do long
emails.)
44Bonnie Catena
MYTH: This letter is way too long.
No one will read it.
• FACT: Testing — decades’ worth! — shows that longer letters
win....
Mythbuster #8
Tell your story first.
Consider length
second.
46Bonnie Catena
A long letter lends
an air of credibility
and authenticity to
your organization.
47Bonnie Catena
This maxim is
carrying over to
the online
channel.
48Bonnie Catena
Exception: Brand-
name charities
Exception: Your
organization?
Rule: Test!!
49Bonnie Catena
MYTH
Our program is unique.
FACT
Within categories, most
programs are very much
alike.
Myth #9
50Larry May
•Categories such as health, children, international,
environmental have predictable, similar patterns.
•Unless you are doi...
Within organization category:
• Approximately same average gift
• Approximately same maximum donor base size
• Approximate...
Virtually all good programs have…
•55-65% retention of current donors
•30-35% first year conversion of new donors
•50% or ...
•Increase first-year new donor conversion a few
percent upward…
•Increase year-to-year retention a little…
•Increase the a...
Myth #10
Direct Mail is dying!
Jann Schultz
55
Truth
Direct Mail is the best way to drive online giving.
Jann Schultz
56
If I use a P.S., it looks like I forgot something.
Myth #11
57Bonnie Catena
MYTH: Underlining, bold type and bullet points are
gimmicks and donors know it. Take it all out.
• FACT: There’s a method ...
Mythbuster #11
Donors don't read the
whole letter. They read
the lead and the P.S. and
skim the rest.
59Bonnie Catena
Accordingly, the best
fundraising letters are
structured as a map of
the story you are
telling.
60Bonnie Catena
We call out the most
salient points with short
paragraphs, bullets,
underlining and the P.S.
61Bonnie Catena
More Gospel:
Envelope:
Make it look personal
Reply device:
Repeat the offer
Inserts:
Reinforce the story and the offer
62B...
MYTH
Our lapsed donors
have lost interest in
our cause.
FACT
Lapsed donors still care
and you need to make
more effort wit...
• Stop comparing your lapsed donors to your best
donors.
• Start comparing lapsed donors to prospects.
64Larry May
• Most organizations don’t invest nearly enough in
lapsed reactivation.
• Good Goal: reactivate as many lapses as you gain...
• Almost half of the new donors you acquire never
make a second contribution.
• Those who do are more valuable than a grou...
• Every lapsed donor who renews is at minimum a two-
time donor.
• Renewed lapsed donors often have 50% greater LTV
than n...
• Use basic RFM segmentation on your 24- to 60-month
lapses.
• As you lose recency in older names, increase the
frequency ...
• Match the names that don’t make your RFM cut,
and all older names, to one or more co-op
databases to find recency.
• App...
Speaker Contacts:
Bonnie Catena
bonnie@catenaconnects.com
646.678.0207
Larry May
larry.may@infogroup.com
914.330.7900
Jann...
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2015 FRDNY MythBusters: Direct Response Edition!

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2015 Fundraising Day in NewYork

Published in: Marketing
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2015 FRDNY MythBusters: Direct Response Edition!

  1. 1. BONNIE CATENA, CONNECTOR-IN-CHIEF, CATENA CONNECTS LARRY MAY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT, INFOGROUP JANN SCHULTZ, SENIOR DIRECTOR INTEGRATED FUNDRAISING & COMMUNICATIONS, PROJE CT HOPE LISA MASKA, PARTNER, LAUTMAN MASKA NEILL & COMPANY 1 Track Sponsored By:
  2. 2. Myth #1 Too much communication will drive people away! Jann Schultz Don’t ask again! They just gave, “rest” them! Don’t contact your sustainers, they will cancel!! Be afraid!!! 2
  3. 3. Fact: Many next gifts come one to four months after the first gift. Giving drops when 6-11 months have passed. Jann Schultz 3
  4. 4. Fact The more you connect with your donors, the more funds you raise. • More net revenue • Better retention • More complaints* Lots of contact Much less contact • Less net revenue • Worse retention • Better ROI Jann Schultz 4
  5. 5. Truth It’s not quantity, it’s quality. Relevance. Validation. Appreciation. Jann Schultz 5
  6. 6. Myth #2 You are your target market. Bonnie Catena 6
  7. 7. MYTH: Direct mail goes right to my recycling bin… • FACT: According to Blackbaud’s 2014 Charitable Giving report, only 6.7% of overall fundraising revenue was raised online. • FACT: Direct mail still accounts for the majority of fundraising revenue contributed by individual donors. • FACT: Direct mail drives online giving—as much as 25% of an organization’s new donor online income is contributed by people who receive direct mail acquisition appeals. Bonnie Catena 7
  8. 8. YOU Are entrenched in your organization’s cause, day-in, day-out. 8Bonnie Catena
  9. 9. YOUR DONOR Has a life! Work. Grandchildren. Children. Volunteering. 9Bonnie Catena
  10. 10. YOUR DONOR Meet her where it’s most convenient for her to meet you—and direct mail is one of those places. 10Bonnie Catena
  11. 11. YOU Think of your organization’s cause in a business, not an emotional, context. 11Bonnie Catena
  12. 12. YOUR DONOR Thinks about your organization in an emotional way. She gives because she is moved to do so. 12Bonnie Catena
  13. 13. Janet Catena: “I read the story of that sick little girl and just had to help.” 13Bonnie Catena
  14. 14. But even if you are your target market, you’re not, because… 14Bonnie Catena
  15. 15. YOU Are entrenched in your organization’s cause, day-in, day-out. 15Bonnie Catena
  16. 16. YOU Think of your organization’s cause in a business, not an emotional, context. 16Bonnie Catena
  17. 17. MYTH We should communicate with our donors the way THEY want. FACT Listening to donors generally hurts income. Myth #3 Larry May 17
  18. 18. •“If we can figure out which donors give to which campaigns, we can mail less and stop aggravating them with so many appeals.” •Nice idea, but it doesn’t work. 18Larry May
  19. 19. •Few donors follow any real giving patterns. •Donors who give to a particular appeal are more likely to respond to that appeal again, but most don’t. •The donors most likely to respond are those who just made a gift. 19Larry May
  20. 20. •Given the option, many donors will ask for fewer contacts. •Fewer appeals = less income. •Many donors will say “Just contact me once a year.” •Then they won’t respond. 20Larry May
  21. 21. •Donors who ask for just one annual appeal will often respond to that appeal at a higher rate than all other donors. •Maybe you’ll get 10% of donors who responded to that package last year to give to it again, versus 5% for the mailing overall. 21Larry May
  22. 22. •But if you don’t keep sending them mail, that’s it – you got 10% to respond. •Your goal for overall retention should be 60%. •You have turned many of your best donors into lapsed donors who will be much more difficult to reactivate. 22Larry May
  23. 23. •What people say they want and what works for fundraising are usually opposites. •Focus groups are usually wrong. •People lie on surveys. 23Larry May
  24. 24. •Donors hate telemarketing, but it works. •Everyone hates telemarketing. •Even telemarketers hate telemarketing. •But it works. 24Larry May
  25. 25. Myth #4 Educate your donors and they will give. Jann Schultz 25
  26. 26. Fact Donors don’t want to solve a problem because it is big. They want to solve a problem because it is solvable. Jann Schultz 26
  27. 27. Truth Giving is emotional Jann Schultz “Thank you for making this opportunity available by sending an email and an easy website for donation. I deeply appreciate your efforts toward Nepal as well as your outreach to folks like me, who feel so powerless to help. This gives me the chance to contribute in some way.” –Donor, 4-26-15 27
  28. 28. Myth #5 Marketing is Fundraising. 28Bonnie Catena
  29. 29. MYTH: You can’t say that — it’s off-brand! • FACT: Marketing is about your organization. • FACT: Fundraising is about your donor. • FACT: Your donor is the super-hero. Your organization is the side-kick. 29Bonnie Catena
  30. 30. Mythbuster #5 Effective marketing communication puts the organization front-and-center. 30Bonnie Catena
  31. 31. Effective fundraising puts the donor front- and-center. 31Bonnie Catena
  32. 32. Your donor wants to help a person in need or advance a cause she’s passionate about. 32Bonnie Catena
  33. 33. “Think a little. Feel a lot.” Need vs. Empowerment 33Bonnie Catena
  34. 34. Myth #6 MYTH We know what our donors want. FACT Your opinions have little value in fundraising. 34Larry May
  35. 35. •“We all loved this package, but it bombed.” •“I know lots of successful organizations mail those types of packages, but they won’t work with our donors.” •“I talk to our donors all the time, and they hate that direct mail stuff.” 35Larry May
  36. 36. •We are not our donors. •The fact that we are all here at a fundraising convention in Manhattan should be evidence enough. 36Larry May
  37. 37. •Most of us here today probably identify as “liberal.” •But fewer than 20% of Americans do. •“Liberal” causes like environmentalism and fighting poverty are also supported by “conservatives” and “moderates.” •Have the imagination to know not everyone is like you. 37Larry May
  38. 38. •People who call to complain are not typical donors. •They are weirdos with too much time on their hands. 38Larry May
  39. 39. •The small number of comments and complaints you hear don’t represent the majority. •Only testing really tells what donors respond to. 39Larry May
  40. 40. •My colleague Graham Hunter: “Don’t turn your complainers into your focus group.” •The late, great Don Kuhn: “Lots of complaints right after you mail means you’ll have a great response.” 40Larry May
  41. 41. Myth #7 We need younger donors! Jann Schultz 41
  42. 42. Fact Project HOPE is focused on acquiring more donors in their 50’s and 60’s. Jann Schultz 42
  43. 43. Truth For fundraisers, age 55 is young! Jann Schultz 43
  44. 44. Myth #8 Long letters don’t work. (Neither do long emails.) 44Bonnie Catena
  45. 45. MYTH: This letter is way too long. No one will read it. • FACT: Testing — decades’ worth! — shows that longer letters win. • FACT: Psychology is at play. • FACT: There are exceptions, so you should test! 45Bonnie Catena
  46. 46. Mythbuster #8 Tell your story first. Consider length second. 46Bonnie Catena
  47. 47. A long letter lends an air of credibility and authenticity to your organization. 47Bonnie Catena
  48. 48. This maxim is carrying over to the online channel. 48Bonnie Catena
  49. 49. Exception: Brand- name charities Exception: Your organization? Rule: Test!! 49Bonnie Catena
  50. 50. MYTH Our program is unique. FACT Within categories, most programs are very much alike. Myth #9 50Larry May
  51. 51. •Categories such as health, children, international, environmental have predictable, similar patterns. •Unless you are doing things really wrong, the basic dynamics don’t change much. •BUT – small changes for the better have huge long-term impact. 51Larry May
  52. 52. Within organization category: • Approximately same average gift • Approximately same maximum donor base size • Approximately same number of gifts per donor, per year 52Larry May
  53. 53. Virtually all good programs have… •55-65% retention of current donors •30-35% first year conversion of new donors •50% or greater ultimate conversion of new donors •15-20% of new donors still active in 5 years 53Larry May
  54. 54. •Increase first-year new donor conversion a few percent upward… •Increase year-to-year retention a little… •Increase the average gift a few dollars… •And you have a very big long-term impact. 54Larry May
  55. 55. Myth #10 Direct Mail is dying! Jann Schultz 55
  56. 56. Truth Direct Mail is the best way to drive online giving. Jann Schultz 56
  57. 57. If I use a P.S., it looks like I forgot something. Myth #11 57Bonnie Catena
  58. 58. MYTH: Underlining, bold type and bullet points are gimmicks and donors know it. Take it all out. • FACT: There’s a method to the madness of the anatomy of a direct mail letter. • FACT: Ditto for the envelope, reply device, inserts…. • FACT: Yes. It’s counter-intuitive. That makes it fun! 58Bonnie Catena
  59. 59. Mythbuster #11 Donors don't read the whole letter. They read the lead and the P.S. and skim the rest. 59Bonnie Catena
  60. 60. Accordingly, the best fundraising letters are structured as a map of the story you are telling. 60Bonnie Catena
  61. 61. We call out the most salient points with short paragraphs, bullets, underlining and the P.S. 61Bonnie Catena
  62. 62. More Gospel: Envelope: Make it look personal Reply device: Repeat the offer Inserts: Reinforce the story and the offer 62Bonnie Catena
  63. 63. MYTH Our lapsed donors have lost interest in our cause. FACT Lapsed donors still care and you need to make more effort with them. Myth #12 63Larry May
  64. 64. • Stop comparing your lapsed donors to your best donors. • Start comparing lapsed donors to prospects. 64Larry May
  65. 65. • Most organizations don’t invest nearly enough in lapsed reactivation. • Good Goal: reactivate as many lapses as you gain new donors. 65Larry May
  66. 66. • Almost half of the new donors you acquire never make a second contribution. • Those who do are more valuable than a group of new donors, even if they have lapsed. • Donors don’t keep track of how often they give to you. 66Larry May
  67. 67. • Every lapsed donor who renews is at minimum a two- time donor. • Renewed lapsed donors often have 50% greater LTV than new names. 67Larry May
  68. 68. • Use basic RFM segmentation on your 24- to 60-month lapses. • As you lose recency in older names, increase the frequency and monetary (gift amount). 68Larry May
  69. 69. • Match the names that don’t make your RFM cut, and all older names, to one or more co-op databases to find recency. • Applying co-op recency activity can let you identify good prospects even among very long lapsed donors. • Match your long lapses, even 10+ years, to a donor co-op and find those still active. 69Larry May
  70. 70. Speaker Contacts: Bonnie Catena bonnie@catenaconnects.com 646.678.0207 Larry May larry.may@infogroup.com 914.330.7900 Jann Schultz jschultz@projecthope.org 540.837.2100 70 Lisa Maska, Lautman Maska Neill & Company lmaska@lautmandc.com 202-296-9660 ext 206 Moderator:

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