I often get asked by nonprofit organizations, what is the value of conducting a donor acquisition campaign?
Well, if you are looking to make money, you probably will not at first.
Donor acquisition mailings frequently do not pay for themselves. It is only when donors renew and increase their contributions that the donations from mail can grow to significant levels.
So, the next logical questions is, why I should I spend money to lose it?
Well, any in-house donor list will suffer from attrition over time. Donors lose interest in your cause. Some move away. Some die. But, in order for the number of donors and contributed income to increase, non-profit organizations must actively promote their donor acquisition program. Without new donors, a development program will shrink.
When you start to run the numbers, donor acquisition doesn’t seem to make great economic sense. In fact, many board members and staff have turned down donor acquisition as the results to not appear to justify the cost.
But, don’t let quick thinking dissuade you from starting a program. The fact is, you might actually lose money but gain new mail-responsive donors. With an aggressive renewal program, these costs can be recouped and you will be on your way to a robust development program.
Acquisition campaigns are designed to attract new donors, not dollars – in the short term. As you add more and more donors to the organization and engage them, after several years, your net income should increase dramatically.