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Four great tips for donor target marketing

publication date: Nov 3, 2014
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If you think you understand target marketing, think again. The latest issue of Philanthropic Trends Quarterly from KCI will turn your conventional wisdom upside-down. Here’s a sample of their insights on target marketing – insights that leading charities have applied with great results.

Segmentation is not targeting 

Segmentation is based on “internal programmatic dimensions” such as gift size, giving frequency and giving channel. Human beings don’t find affinity with one another through any of those factors. Start looking at your donors as people first, givers second.


Donor satisfaction is not the same as donor retention 

People may be satisfied with the interaction arising from a gift, but that alone will not necessarily motivate them to give again. Authentic, personalized relationships are much more likely to trigger succeeding gifts.


Create “intelligent segments” based on donor behaviour

What are donors giving to? Why? Plan Canada, for example, found that while individual child sponsorship appeals emotionally to some donors, other, more globally minded supporters believe projects that improve a whole community bring greater benefit. The charity now has different conversations with those groups, and a suite of giving options to target their different interests.

To boost retention, pause acquisition

If you are losing current donors as fast as you are gaining new ones, put your acquisition efforts on hold and invest in donor care tactics. Siloam Mission adopted that strategy, and after creating a donor care position and mobilizing volunteers to thank donors and seek feedback, Siloam’s donor retention rate has soared, while mail response rates are in some cases three times as high as previous rates.

To read the full report from KCI Philanthropy, download here.



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