It’s Donor Acquisition Week

The Agitator

Many fundraisers –regardless of the size of their organization—tell us that donor acquisition is one of their biggest problems. To help answer this question The Agitator is devoting this week’s posts to some of the most critical elements involved in planning and analyzing donor acquisition.

Breaking Down Your Acquisition Silos

The Agitator

You can spend money on anything. That’s why it’s called money. People have sophisticated mental jars of money earmarked for different purposes. It advocates breaking your mental jars of acquisition money and (shockingly) using them where they can do the most good.

There Are Only Three Ways to Raise More Money


Every nonprofit organization needs more of two things: time and money. Hey, now that I think about, I could use more of those two myself… Time and money are the most valuable resources in the world , and for nonprofits the impact of having more of either can be immeasurable.

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Acquisition: Asking The Wrong Question

The Agitator

At the time Lisa Sargent worried that our intense focus on retention might be interpreted as damning acquisition in general, and she urged us to do more on the flip side of the ‘retention’ coin, namely acquisition. Money loses its identity when it reaches the bank.

Retention Is The New Acquisition

The Agitator

As acquisition costs rise and response rates plummet, Tom and I have stepped up our rants on retention. In our view, retention is the new acquisition. And, it all comes with a 30 day, 100% money back guarantee. Lots of folks pay lip service to the importance of donor ‘retention’.

Acquisition: Its Costs And ROI – Part 2

The Agitator

You can do the calculation on the back of an envelope … [Gross income from donor over whatever period of years you choose MINUS the cost of Acquisition + the per donor costs of file maintenance, overhead, cultivation, appeals and renewal = Lifetime Value].

Acquisition: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The Agitator

Before we wade into the nuts, bolts, techniques, pitfalls and opportunities in our Acquisition Series, we want to once more remind everyone of the climate in which today’s acquisition efforts are conducted. That we really don’t care about money.

Acquisition: Direct Mail Testing – Part 1

The Agitator

Given the ever-worsening problems with acquisition and the long-term stakes involved in dwindling donor files, the time has come to drastically change the way direct mail testing is done.

Acquisition: ‘Social Media Is B t’

The Agitator

Here at the Agitator we touch a lot on the use of social media (see Tom’s post of yesterday or search our category, social networking), so I decided to include Mendelson’s insights as part the Agitator Acquisition series. It’s important differentiate the use of social media for acquisition from its ongoing and reinforcing use in dealing with already-acquired donors and supporters. If nothing else, the author of the iconoclastic Social Media is B t writes great teaser copy.

Acquisition: The ‘Less Cost Is Best’ Fallacy

The Agitator

Many donors balk at an average fundraising cost as high as one-third of the money raised. Then go re-thing your acquisition strategy and budgeting. Acquisition Don't Miss these Posts fundraising marketing metrics nonprofit management nonprofitsBy now you’ve shown your CEO, CFO and Board the famous Dan Pallotta TED presentation — The way we think about charity is dead wrong. If you haven’t, you deserve a scolding.

Acquisition: Premiums, Crack Cocaine And Nonprofit Suicide

The Agitator

Almost every direct response fundraiser who can count eventually comes to the realization that reliance on premiums to boost short-term acquisition response rates is a long-term prescription for poor retention and lousy lifetime value. Choosing to ignore the ‘premium problem’ is far too often the option selected in the drive to keep acquisition rates high and CEOs happy. Acquisition charities direct marketing Don't Miss these Posts DonorVoice fundraising research

Acquisition: Innovation, Risk, Cowardice And Failure

The Agitator

We’re now about half way through this series on Acquisition. Many suppliers of services who have invested substantial money and time are willing to put their wallets on the line. Acquisition Don't Miss these Posts fundraising innovation nonprofit management

Acquisition: Direct Mail Testing – Part 2

The Agitator

Money is lost. Acquisition database marketing direct mail direct marketing Don't Miss these Posts DonorVoice fundraising marketing metrics nonprofitsOne of the biggest pitfalls in direct mail testing is the ‘baby & the bathwater’ problem.

Starting Over #10: Understand Money

The Agitator

Nowhere is this myopia more noticeable and dangerous than when it comes to donor acquisition and retention. “Oh Board Meeting Swipe File Direct mail Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising analytics / data Nonprofit management Starting Over premium

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WANTED: Fundraisers With Merger, Acquisition and Investment Banking Experience

The Agitator

The desirability of debt, of equity investment, of mergers and acquisitions. What about divestiture, mergers and acquisitions? Why is a nonprofit’s usual and, generally, only source of money for growth limited to either ‘stealing’ from operating funds, or some rich guy or gal committed to funding the growth of a favorite cause? If the program fails to meet its targets (the University of Connecticut Health Center will evaluate it), investors can lose all their money.

Fundraising letter for acquisition mailing

Fundraising Coach

Last week, I received this question about a fundraising letter acquisition mailing. Hi Marc, We are doing an acquisition mailing to patients of Local Community Clinic on behalf of Local Community Clinic Foundation, a 501c3 that offers support to the Clinic and the Community. Actually, I’ve been told (and experienced myself) that acquisition mailings lose money. acquisition mailing fundraising letters questionmarc

Who Will Get The Money?

The Agitator

Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Fundraising philosophy/profession Nonprofit management premium

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TEST RESULTS: You Raise More Money When You Listen to Donors’ Preferences

The Agitator

” The American Diabetes Association tested this in acquisition. Donor acquisition Donor Centricity Donor Identity Research Testing Uncategorized premium

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Are fundraising tricks and gimmicks worth doing?


Smart fundraisers know that the point of acquisition fundraising is to get people into the funnel so they can take a donor journey that leads to a major gift (including a legacy gift). An old book filled with timeless lessons.

#FUNDRAISING: Paul Jolly Inspires The Big Ask To Raise Big Money

Non Profit Marketing 360

If you ask for less, you'll get less (and work harder on fundraising than on your projects). We welcome back Paul Jolly, Director of Jump Start Growth, Inc. , a nonprofit fundraising and consulting firm in Washington DC. Today, Paul tells about the importance of breaking the sound barrier.

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Susan Emfinger Discusses The Difficulties and Faulty Assumptions of Raising Money

Non Profit Marketing 360

Susan Emfinger of UMBC. In my last blog post, I said that I would spend some time exploring questions that to my mind are important to fundraisers from both the charity and the education sectors.

Facebook Versus Real Money

The Agitator

We tested on two different clients in both an acquisition and a renewal and while both saw minimal boosts from this formatting (6% revenue boost on an acquisition and 3% revenue boost on a renewal), neither had the overall performance to make the results statistically significant or to rollout for future mailings.&#. And if you take file size up a few notches, to 100,000 or 300,000, it would seem that there’s really big money to be made with this tool.

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24 Reasons Why Board Members Won’t Ask For Money & What To Do About It

The Agitator

So it figures that in the course of his guiding, goading, and persuading board members to seek funds for the organizations they serve, Jerry has heard a lifetime’s supply of excuses from board members about why they simply can’t — or shouldn’t — ask for money. Board Meeting Swipe File Donor acquisition Fundraising philosophy/profession Major donors Nonprofit management premiumAccording to his publisher Jerry Panas’ ASKING is America’s top selling fundraising book.

We’re In It For The Money

The Agitator

There’s a niche group of companies that use online petitions to generate acquisition leads for nonprofits. Frankly, I would have written the matter off as a tempest in a teapot, but this situation is grist for a good debate among Agitator readers. Here’s the situation.

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Watch The Money

The Agitator

In a post called Watch the money , marketing maven Seth Godin asserts: "If you work for a non-profit and you don’t give money to charity, what exactly are you doing in this job? Money is more than a transfer of value. " So can practicing law for a human rights group or legal aid versus a mergers & acquisitions firm.

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How Much Money Should You Be Raising Online?

Marketing for Nonprofits

One of the key questions, I get from nonprofits is, "How much money should we be raising online?" Go beyond organic growth and invest in paid acquisition to build your email file. Invest in online acquisition. In addition, budget for ongoing acquisition.

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#DEVELOPMENT: How Much Cash Is Required To Land A Donation?

Non Profit Marketing 360

Did the time and money spent developing a program or launching a campaign prove to be worth the support? “Unless you have a bucket of money to throw at advertising then you probably want some idea of whether the advertising is bringing in customers for less than they are worth long term.

EveryAction Acquires DonorTrends


The acquisition empowers EveryAction’s clients to raise more money and furthers EveryAction’s strategy of bringing innovation in revenue generation to its SaaS products. “We DonorTrends uses actionable data and analytics to empower nonprofits to raise more money and retain more donors.

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What Your Board Should Learn from Starbucks

The Agitator

Ignorance about what “acquisition” is, how it should be measured, and when or whether its costs should be considered acceptable. Because the acquisition of new donors is essential to maintaining and growing virtually every organization, we all need to get much better at both understanding and explaining this essential process to the leadership and financial decision-makers in our organizations. And, in truth, the kind of donor acquisition as generally practiced is easier.

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What we learned about multichannel fundraising from raising money at year-end


Multichannel giving analysis allows us to identify donors’ origin source which informs our recommendations for acquisition investment. Although it seems like eons ago, our team at Mal Warwick | Donordigital is still taking stock of what the year-end giving trends mean for our client programs, and for nonprofit fundraising as a whole.

5 thoughts that might lead your supporters to feel donor remorse


Here are some of the thoughts crossing your donors’ minds while you’re asking them to support your cause: Will they say thank you or just take my money and run? Will I now get flooded with lots of spam or junk mail asking for more money? Will they call and badger me for more money? Will they tell me what they did with my money and whether or not the impact was achieved?

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Getting The First Gift

The Agitator

Although The Agitator harps incessantly on the importance of donor retention (after all our job is to alert readers to where the real money is), the challenge of acquisition continually simmers on the back burners of our minds. Donor acquisition premiumIt jumped to the front burner of my brain on Friday while I was decompressing in preparation for the Fourth of July weekend by perusing Tom Ahern’s eclectic blog Luggage is My Life.

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Catch EveryAction at NTC 2019


We have panels on everything from fundraising automation to donor acquisition and vendor client relationships. We'll also have three live demo sessions in the exhibit hall on how EveryAction can help you raise more money! Want to meet EveryAction at this year's NTC?

More On 2nd Gifts – Part 1

The Agitator

Our job [as fundraisers] is to protect the acquisition investment. . In short, as Caity notes, true ‘donor acquisition’ involves far more than simply getting the initial gift. PROBLEM AND OPPORTUNITY STARTS WITH ACQUISITION. Incomplete Acquisition Metrics.

Why Good Enough Is No Longer Good Enough: Part 1

The Agitator

No area of the fundraiser’s work is more deserving of serious exploration than the process of donor acquisition and the essential next steps of proper thanking, onboarding and learning the donors’ identities and preferences.

#Philanthropy: Could Text Messages Circumvent Apple’s Restrictions On Charity Apps?

Non Profit Marketing 360

has been unwilling to allow fundraising/donation-soliciting software for the iPhone to be developed and sold through The App Store because Apple’s contract expects a cut of the profit and expects some control of the money flow. Apple Inc.

#Interview: Sandy Rees, Owner of the “Get Fully Funded” Blog and Fundraising Consultant

Non Profit Marketing 360

A former Development Director for nonprofits, she has written Fundraising Buffet and co-wrote 7 Essential Steps to Raising Money by Mail. Don’t stop asking for money.

REVEALED: Jerry Panas’ secrets of attracting wealthy supporters


Is Your Job Really to Raise Money? Fundraising Major Giving Planned Giving strategy charity blog donor acquisition strategies examples of how to ask for donations fundraising tips how to find donors online how to find major donors how to get donors to donate Jerry Panas list of donors for charity list of donors for non profit organizations Philanthropy potential donors non profit organization Strategy wealthy supporters

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Where are your donors going if not to you?


Hoping they’ll finally find a charity that reports what they did with the money. Fundraising donor acquisition donor cultivation donor retention engagement fundraising fundraising tips Lead generation for planned giving losing donors major gift marketing nonprofit marketing

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Paying to Acquire Advocates

The Agitator

But you, like many others, are having challenges scaling advocate acquisition. So, to learn more about how to scale an advocacy acquisition program, I talked to Randy Paynter, CEO of Care2. or what you care about, but we do want your money.

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Level Three Feedback: Using Feedback to Model

The Agitator

You had an acquisition package that beat your control like the control owed it money. When you look at the reasons, you see the culprit: a poor second-year retention rate of donors from your new, premium-laden acquisition package. If only you could have determined the quality of donors at the initial point of acquisition. Retention begins at the point of acquisition.

#DEVELOPMENT: Social-Networking Is Good, But Conversation-Building Is Better

Non Profit Marketing 360

By so doing, their relationships with your organization will grow stronger, and they will be more likely to commit time and/or money when asked. Difficult to say that social networks have already grown to be mature means of communication.

Can Your Monthly Donors Be Held Hostage?

The Agitator

Holding your money hostage as the next month’s bills come due. Breaking Out of the Status Quo Donor acquisition Donor retention / loyalty / commitment Media usage / trends Nonprofit management Online fundraising and marketing Transparency Uncategorized premium