Charity's Acquisition Effort Puts Donors to Work

Share this article:
WASHINGTON -- It wasn't surprising given the economic climate that a session on donor acquisition strategies was standing room only here yesterday at the Direct Marketing Association's Nonprofit Federation's 2003 Washington Nonprofit Conference.


Nancy Jo Houk, direct marketing manager at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, discussed a direct mail campaign her organization uses to acquire new donors. Called Helping Hands, it involves soliciting existing donors to send appeals to friends and family members.


The society began using the campaign in 1996 and has done it ever since. A telemarketing firm calls the house file donors to get volunteers. For those who agree, the society sends them a kit of preprinted appeals and envelopes to send to five to 20 people of their choosing.


The 2002 campaign yielded gross revenue of $3 million and 78,000 new donors with an average gift 15 percent to 20 percent higher than the society's usual average gift.


Houk said the group plans a similar campaign online soon.


Session speaker Chris Paradysz addressed the topic of using the Web to acquire new donors.


"The good news is that there is more good news than bad news regarding online donations," said Paradysz, CEO of list brokerage firm ParadyszMatera. He said 9/11 raised awareness of what the Web can do as a medium for donations.


Paradysz suggested things fundraisers can do to develop the online channel, such as using search engine optimization to get prospective donors to their Web sites. He also advocated getting cost-per-donor deals for those services as well as buying Spanish-language keywords to get Spanish speakers to the Web sites.


Once someone signs up at a charity's Web site, the next step is conversion into a donor. Paradysz said the techniques used in direct mail are also effective online such as sending newsletters via e-mail.


In other conference news, Lee Cassidy, former executive director of the Nonprofit Federation, received the Distinguished Service award from the DMA at a dinner Wednesday night.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in News

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

SAP Names New CMO and First CDO

SAP Names New CMO and First CDO

Maggie Chan Jones, who helped Microsoft transition to the cloud, takes over from new chief digital officer Jonathan Becher.

Toshiba Business Solutions Names Melo CMO

Toshiba Business Solutions Names Melo CMO

The 23-year content management veteran will lead new product and service development.

The Risk of Taking Email Full Throttle: Answers

The Risk of Taking Email Full Throttle: Answers

As VP of marketing for the fledgling Targeted Outreach, Tony Smith's charge was to help grow the company—but his gut felt he was walking the ethical line. How should he ...