A big question remains for nonprofit marketers as to when it's best to make the first donation appeal: do you hit up new subscribers for money immediately or wait and cultivate them first.
Common Knowledge's Rapid Donor Cultivation (RDC) program attempts to wed these two strategies by focusing on both the long-term ROI and the elapsed time to the first gift.
Inspired by the best practices of the online retail industry, the RDC program attempts to maximize the ROI of a nonprofit's email subscriber acquisition efforts. The program automatically runs for the first 45 days immediately following a subscriber's opt-in and cultivates him or her with high-quality, pertinent content. So far, Common Knowledge says the RDC program has demonstrated a 15% increase in average gift size and an 83% increase in donor conversion.
In her recent white paper, "Rapid Donor Cultivation: Getting the First Online Gift Faster," Jenny Miller shares the experiences Common Knowledge clients have seen after implementing this email fundraising program. You can download it here (free registration required).
Overall, Jenny reports the program also reduces the time to the first gift, increases the number of subscribers who give, and - in initial estimates - increases the lifetime value of new subscribers. With RDC, Common Knowledge says the rate of conversion of subscribers to donors increased by 83% for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) compared to the previous year.