I stutter, so I’m an expert in “repeating myself.”
But what’s amazing, with Major Donors at year-end, if you send a simple reminder of the Major Donor Proposal we talked about last week, you can often generate 60%, 75%, or even 100% or more income on top of what you raised from your initial impact.
We’ve also found that the same appeal at the same time of year, with very few changes if it was successful the year before, will do just as well in succeeding years. But we often get pushback when we propose repeating a message or the creative on a package.
My point . . . repeating can be effective and save unnecessary expense.
Three worst reasons for not repeating yourself:
“We can’t afford another impact at calendar year-end.” The logic behind this reasoning is either “our production budget is stretched” or “our donors will get tired of hearing from us.” Dollar-wise: Why would you not send another impact in prime fundraising season (year-end) when, for Major Donors, a follow-up to the Proposal can raise almost as much as the original Proposal itself – at a fraction of the cost? Donor-wise: At year-end, donors are primed for generous giving and “prey” for many charities. If they hear from them and not from you – who do you think will get the gift?
“We can’t do the same thing again this year. Donors will notice.” The truth is, we remember what we do much more than donors ever will remember. And, if they responded positively a year ago, it makes sense they will respond positively again. It’s been 12 months. What do you remember about July 2011? Probably not the topic and offer of a ministry that you support. Even if you love that ministry deeply and they are on the top of your charity priority list, you have moved on and long forgotten the specifics of an appeal.
“Donors want something new and exciting.” That’s true. And certainly we should be presenting new opportunities throughout the year that raise interest and encourage broader involvement. But popular, proven offers can be presented in new ways to build something even greater in the minds and hearts of the donors.
Great artisans find their style and technique and then they play off it in various themes. Great ministries do the same.