3 Tactics for Marketing to Faith-Based Lists
2. Use Response-Based Files
Response-based lists are the most accurate lists available in the religious donor market. Kehoe says compiled lists are not as accurate, because they use ethnic overlays to pinpoint a donor's denomination. "Names have changed so drastically within the United States. You can have a last name that's Italian and you could be a Protestant, or you could have a last name that's Japanese or Korean and be Catholic," he observes. Ethnic overlays are only about 60 percent accurate, which Kehoe describes as pretty low.
If you already have a religious donor file, you can further segment by asking constituents to provide their religious affiliations. "We have, in the past, asked whoever we worked with ... to identify which church or parish they might belong to. And so they self-identify as Presbyterian, Lutheran or Methodist," Meyer explains.
3. Develop Recession-Proof Renewals
While acquisitions might be tough in this flagging economy, Meyer says he hasn't noticed any falloff yet in donor renewal. In his recent research for Presbyterian Church USA, Meyer found that 87 percent of donors said they'd continue to support their congregations at the same level that they had in the past. "I think finding new donors is very challenging, and particularly more challenging right now in this environment. But regular donors and historic donors have tended to be very loyal," he says. Meyer adds, "Most donors have a hierarchy of giving to various organizations, and in almost all cases, their local church, synagogue or parish is No. 1 on their lists." So in difficult times, a religious donor may stop giving to some cultural organizations, but for religious and humanitarian causes, they will continue to give.
"Show a need for their donation, and show that they are doing something that is helping society with their donation," Kehoe recommends.