Prospecting for Donors
A really good list broker becomes fully immersed in the list-selection process. The broker should be able to analyze your data and come to the table with recommendations based on the big picture of your program.
TM: How do you find a knowledgeable broker, one who will do more than just get you lists?
DelGiorno: Network, network, network. Talk to other direct marketing professionals and ask about brokers you've heard about from agencies and other organizations. Interview your candidates to see which broker best fits your program's needs.
A successful acquisition program is very much a team effort, so you want to be sure your team members are a good fit for your organization based on an overall strategic plan. Ensure that your list broker knows about what's happening in the industry and can give advice based on trends. Also look for a broker who has flexible methodology that will allow you to make changes to your program based on the data you get from analyzing results.
TM: What information does your list broker need from you to best serve your needs?
DelGiorno: A list broker needs to know up front what our expectations are for revenue, expense ratio and number of new donors by mailing and by fiscal year. We've found that keeping close communication and an open working relationship has been the key to our success in a brokerage relationship.
TM: What are you finding to be the best new sources of names now?
DelGiorno: They come from our broker's ability to research new lists based on information we provide them about diabetes and diabetes-related diseases. Our brokerage team then finds lists that match these ideas. The team effort has paid off, and we've uncovered new categories of successful lists using this method.
TM: Have any non-traditional sources of names been recommended and worked for you that you'd recommend other fund-raisers consider testing?