Donor Insight. Fundraising Action.

Strings Attached.

Posted by Caity Craver on 08/2018

Fundraisers: once you get a donor inside the envelope, how would you rank the importance of these package components:

___ Remit Envelope

___ Reply / Ask

___ Letter

8 out of 10 will rank Letter as #1.

If you ranked the Ask as most important, count me with you. Science has proven that fundraisers cannot afford to ignore behavioral economic principles and their impact on donor decision-making process. [learn more: 5 BE principles]

Do you really know the best “ask amount” for each donor? Traditionally, organizations have built their ask strings [arrays / ladders / suggested gift] based on one of the following formulas:

Highest Previous Contribution [largest gift on file]

☐ HPC ☐ HPC x 1.5 ☐ HPC x 2 ☐ $_______ as much as you can give

Most Recent Contribution

☐ MRC ☐ MRC x 1.5 ☐ MRC x 2 ☐ $_______ as much as you can give

 Exact Ask Reply Form Get Started

In addition to HPC and MRC, I've worked with organizations who use:

Fortunately, we no longer have to rely on traditional techniques and tribal wisdom.  Thanks to behavioral science research and predictive analytics no more guessing!

I'm excited to announce the release of OptimizedAsk - a system of predictive analytics for creating ask strings for each individual donor. DonorTrends has been using this science since 2015 to produce increases in revenue from 17% - 300+% while protecting response [read case studies on upgrading donor value].

I am asked daily, "Can you tell us how much to ask our donors for?" I'm thrilled to say, "Yes! I come with strings attached!"

There is an optimal ask amount for each donor to maximize retention / response, upgrades, and lapsed reactivation. As we approach year end, now is the time to focus on upgrading donors. I encourage you to append OptimizedAsk™ to target 'upgradable donors' to increase average gift and feed the mid-level / major donor pipeline.

The science behind pricing / ask amount if fascinating. Here are links to my two favorite resources:

The Art and Science of Ask Strings

Opening a donor's wallet: The influence of appeal scales on likelihood and magnitude of donation

Additional research and testing results are always welcome. Post a comment or reach me directly caity.craver@donortrends.com

Topics: Mail Strategies, Moves Management, Upgrade Strategies, mid-level upgrade, Ask Strings, Ask Strategies, Behavioral Science

Join the Movement! Subscribe to receive must-have fundraising insight.

Fundraising Facts, Stats, Tips, and Tactics for brillant marketers [like you!]

Fundraising Superhero,

We know how many capes you have to wear. Fighting the good fight, trying to raise money to fund critical programs. We're here to help. We're using this space to collect tips and trends that will help strengthen your fundraising superpowers.  Together, we'll fight Fundraising Foes like donor attrition, downgrading, and rising costs. 

Recent Posts