Prospecting for Donors
For some sage advice on how to find new names to successfully prospect for donors in today's market, Target Marketing's Alicia Orr Suman talked with Joanne DelGiorno, managing director of direct response marketing at the American Diabetes Association.
Target Marketing: Please describe for us the current prospecting environment for fund raising. How has it changed in the past year?
DelGiorno: The environment for prospecting has been a challenge. Of course, there always are outside factors that you can never account for when you're planning your annual budget. However, this year has been like no other in recent memory. Luckily, the methodology we've used for prospecting has been flexible enough to adjust to the environmental pressures we've faced this fiscal year.
An ongoing challenge is keeping lists fresh while maintaining our large mailing volumes. In a program as large as ours, burn out on lists due to over-saturation can become an issue. This is an area where your list broker's knowledge and expertise is key to your program's success.
TM: From a list perspective, how has your donor solicitation strategy changed since Sept. 11?
DelGiorno: Because our strategy has been sound and our forecasting thorough, we've maintained the same list strategies we had in place before Sept. 11. We haven't made any special adjustments to our list selections due to the events; however, we did a special insert in all of our mailings (acquisition and renewal) that addressed the national crisis.
TM: How important is working with a list broker to your new-donor prospecting efforts?
DelGiorno: I consider our list broker, Listworks, an integral part of our marketing team. Our list broker's services are required as early in the process as our strategy sessions for each mailing. We discuss list issues such as new lists, past list performance, projections by list, seasonality, etc.