Stretch Your Nonprofit Acquisition Budget

in Acquisition & Prospecting,Copywriting - Nonprofit,Direct Mail,Email

I continue to be surprised at the number of nonprofits who don’t have a control. I’m referring to a direct mail letter (or email) for acquisition of new donors or members.

Having a control has always been the wisest approach. And this is especially true in tough economic times.

Controls help stretch your budget

Nonprofit Acquisition Budget StretchedYou’ve probably implemented several cost cutting measures over the past few years in order to stretch your budget.

Hopefully you have NOT cut back on donor acquisition. The price you pay for cutting acquisition efforts is high and it can take 5 to 8 years to recover.

Instead of cutting back on how much or how often you mailed acquisition packages and emails … perhaps you stopped testing. This too can cost you money in the long run. Keep some testing in the budget to maximize results.

Incremental increases in response (e.g., number of new donors and members; average gift size), can lead to significant increases in revenue. A fraction of a percent is all that’s needed.

But you can’t test unless you have a control.

You can’t know with confidence what’s working and what isn’t working without comparing it to a control.

You can’t know if you’re effectively and efficiently spending your acquisition budget without a control as the benchmark of comparison. Without a control you’re left with a lot of guesswork.

Can you afford to guess when it comes to how you spend your budget?

Test against your control

Regardless of the size of your nonprofit, you can establish a solid control (direct mail and email). Then start testing elements – one at a time. Re-test any significant change.

You must also track the data meticulously and analyze it in writing. The results of your testing will guide changes in your creative strategy. And keep using your control until you beat it. Finally, keep on testing.

Often a short term gain from slashing the budget (e.g., stop acquisition; or stop testing against your control), can lead to a long term loss in overall revenue. Effective use of a control can stretch your acquisition budget. It can help the financial health of your nonprofit.

Related posts:

Acquisition – To Hunt or Not to Hunt for the Masses … another way to stretch your acquisition budget

Holy Acquisition Batman … 8 fundamentals for boosting acquisition response