Source: The NonProfit Times

It is said that myths are the ways by which a society defines and identifies itself.

If that is so, what do the myths it accepts say about the nonprofit sector?

At the DMA Nonprofit Federation conference, Shannon McCracken of Special Olympics and Karin Kirchoff of Mindset Direct addressed and debunked several myths about donor acquisition.

  • Myth Number 1: (With a nod to Humphrey Bogart) We don’t need no stinkin’ tests! In fact, the best time to test is when your control is working great. Watch what competitors are doing, but test.   Check your house file for great new ideas when something is working well,  but don’t just roll out with it.
  • Myth Number 2: List testing: one and done. Validate  your metrics of success. Campaign return on investment (ROI) vs. long-term  value. Set goals on a category/subcategory level. Are your test cells    large enough to be valid? Are you testing too many changes at once?
  • Myth Number 3: Telemarketing is too costly for  acquisition. Telemarketing is no longer a stand-alone channel.  Strategically integrate it and it will work.
  • Myth Number 4: Donors acquired online will only ever  renew online. This becomes reality for many organizations if they never  fold these donors into a multichannel renewal program.
  • Myth Number 5: Premiums can really increase my file size.
  • Myth Number 5½: Premiums are way too expensive to use.   Either way, premium donors tend to become planned givers, can often be  converted to monthly donors, and extend your brand by wearing or using the premium.