Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why you should also ask your monthly donors for onetime cash gifts

The data below proves that the oft talked about and equally oft misunderstood fundraising myth that 'you shouldn't ask monthly donors for additional cash gifts', is just that. A myth.

See below the results of a 12 month cohort test with one of our clients. We split test two groups, the group entitled included received cash appeals throughout the course of the year, the group entitled excluded, did not.

The upshot?

The attrition rates were almost identical - those who received appeals had a lower attrition (Although not statistically different), but disproves the first suspicion people have that mailing appeals to monthly donors will tick them off. Wrong.

Note the figures are in HKD. 1 HKD equals around 0.12 USD.

You'll then see that by including - and asking - the test group for onetime cash gifts, this group generated around $1.2 HKD in additional income - that's almost $100,000 USD. Not bad, huh?

So what?

Mail your monthlies, and ask them for cash (ensuring you don't forget to give them great donor care in between asks). But before you go on, note there are some exceptions to this. Namely that younger audiences (specifically street and sometimes TV recruited) don't respond to cash requests well and I'd suggest testing within these groups, should the volumes allow.

Rock on again monthly donors...



John B. said...

Hi Jonathon

Quick question. The attrition rates of 8.3 to 8.5% are pretty low. Was this cohort group made up of longer term RG, signed up 25 - 36 months ago perhaps? If so what are are thoughts on asking newer RG for cash. Would you give them 6 or twelve months to settle into the program, or hit them up at the very next available opportunity?

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Hi John

It was a mixture, which included a chunk of DM recruits/phone converts so about average year on year attrition for that group.

The short answer is test (if volumes allow). Our experience is if they have enough great donor care early days - quick and proper thanking, feeding back, reaffirming decision made - then you can go back quickly with a cash request.

But testing this is the way to go. I'd suggest probably 6-8 weeks after sign up to monthly/RG is around the right time to ask for next cash gift.