I've been spending a lot of time recently looking at donor recruitment and trying to develop a strategy to attract new support.
One of the questions I've been working through is whether to concentrate our limited budget on high volume, low average gift donors or low volume, high average gift donors.
Take the following scenario:
For the same recruitment cost you could either recruit 5,000 donors giving a first gift of £5 or recruit 250 donors giving a first gift of £100.
What would you prefer?
The relationship fundraiser in me instinctively says take the 250 donors giving £100, as you should be able to engage a higher percentage of them to give larger gifts and they could potentially become major donors. If you get it right, then the upside is large and the lifetime value is likely to be a lot higher than the high volume route.
However, it is probably a higher risk strategy as it relies on you being able to provide personal comms, have a good relationship manager and be able to inspire the donors to increase their donations and engage with your cause. Get this wrong and you'll quickly lose a high percentage of those 250 donors.
The high volume strategy is probably more predictable and less reliant on personal communications and staff, but the long term lifetime value is likely to be lower as average gifts won't increase significantly.
I'm currently testing both approaches and looking at the short and medium term ROI projections to decide where to concentrate our limited budget.
If you could only take one of the routes, which would you take and why? I'd love to hear from you...