Modeling Lets Nonprofit Save on Mailings

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Concerned Women for America, a Christian women's nonprofit organization, began a database marketing program that has improved its donor response, revenue and the net lifetime value of donors.

The group said the newly integrated Constituent Relationship Management technology was central to the campaign's success. StrategicOne, a firm that helps nonprofits with donor relationships, developed the technology.

"We are running this campaign to improve performance with the new donor conversion strategy and increase lifetime value," said Mike Rogers, president of StrategicOne, Kansas City, MO.

The campaign targets donors who have not responded to direct mail in the three months after acquisition. The typical Concerned Women for America donor is a woman 55 or older.

"Our goal is to reach those donors who do not respond through direct mail and reap economies of scale," Mr. Rogers said. "We accomplish the latter by moving that segment into a telemarketing campaign that is already in progress."

The new technology is based on StrategicOne's 36One solution, which looks at donors from multiple perspectives for better understanding of their needs, motivations and preferences. StrategicOne's CRM-based modeling showed that if a donor did not give during the first three months, then she typically never would, regardless of how many mailings received.

Concerned Women for America previously mailed those unresponsive prospects repeatedly, but StrategicOne's program recommended moving them into the telemarketing channel once the 90-day window expired. This produced savings for the nonprofit by avoiding wasted mailings.

StrategicOne described the campaign's cost as minimal.

"We wanted to generate greater ROI on these donors, and direct mail alone was not accomplishing this goal," Mr. Rogers said.

The campaign also is integrated with Concerned Women for America's scheduled and performance-based communication plans for direct mail and telemarketing channels.

Concerned Women for America  rents names for acquisition. The donors involved in this particular campaign are newly acquired donors.

"We wanted to increase the longevity with each donor," Mr. Rogers said. "Research on this database shows that if we get a second gift within the first year of giving, the donor has a 181 percent greater chance of giving in year three."

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