publication date: May 6, 2011
author/source: hjc new media
Some time ago in the office at hjc
, a few of our consultants and senior staff were talking
through how we approach multi-channel acquisition campaigns for our clients. We
needed to fit our bespoke program onto a PowerPoint slide and have everyone in
the room understand our approach. We'd been doing this for years, but had never
coined a name - and so it was born - our BEGS model.
BEGS is our paradigm for successful donor acquisition. If
you are running an acquisition campaign, make sure you are focusing on each of
these key areas: Branding,
Here are a few thoughts on each stage. (And yes we know that BEGS is funny - us
being fundraisers and all!)
You face increasing media competition for your prospects'
attention. That means you need to have your brand front and centre in their
minds. Whether you are a huge brand and everyone knows your name, or you're a
tiny brand and no one knows your name, you could probably use some branding.
Often, what your marketing department puts out in terms of
your brand has no connection to the fundraising campaigns you run, and no
connection to why someone should give to you. If you are about to start an
acquisition program, consider doing some branding work first to lay the
foundation of who you are and make the case for giving, perhaps without
directly asking for gifts. Whether you do it through paid media, social media,
earned media or public relations, a strategic integration of branding will
positively impact your acquisition rates.
More and more, we're finding that the warmest list you have
for acquisition comprises people who have already had some kind of non-monetary
interaction with you. They may have attended your event, or signed a petition
on your behalf, or perhaps just signed up for email from you. Whatever the form
of engagement is, just make sure you have ways for people to get involved
before you make an ask. You'll see much higher response rates from people who
are already engaged with you.
Your best donors are your multi-channel donors - and this is
increasingly becoming the norm. It's true whether donors are young or old. And
it means that you need to have multiple giving options in your acquisition
Online forms, direct mail, in-bound and out-bound calling,
and face-to-face solicitation are some of the channels you might already be
using. If you are, do they all look the same? Does your pitch in the mail sound
and look like the pitch on the street? Is your online giving form easy to
understand and user-friendly?
This portion of your acquisition campaign is key. So spend
some time on it. Test your giving options with focus groups and make sure you
have something that is interesting, tangible and emotional.
is all about the customer experience - the donor experience. Starting an
acquisition program before you have the best stewardship program for your
organization won't pay off in the long term.
about the Four Seasons hotel chain
as a brand that's been created from the bottom up. It's a brand that can charge
30% more for each hotel room because of the customer experience, the brand
experience. Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons Hotel
Group founder, explains
how he ensures his customers get the best experience - and how this can help
know, the Four Seasons doesn't hire anyone with hotel experience, except for
the senior management level." It hires people who are natural problem solvers
and like direct contact with others. Then they train them how to give a great
customer experience and a great brand experience.
we hire people with these qualities as fundraisers? As a committed
philanthropist, he finds that nonprofits are just terrible at concentrating on
the customer experience. He says, "If they could just have a better commitment
to training, to staff, to give a better experience, they would probably raise
more money and be better respected."
in integrated fundraising, brand building, and campaigning. Since 1992, we have
worked with nonprofits to bring online and other channels together. hjc's strategic consulting team brings
together some of the most innovative thinkers in the nonprofit sector. And our
in-house production team of designers, programmers and copywriters can do it
all - delivering complete programs. For more information, www.hjcnewmedia.com or email.