The number one reason people do not give to nonprofit organizations is because they are not asked. Fundraising is even more important in today’s heavily regulated environment. Privacy concerns, shrinking exchanges and increasing government regulations have put more pressure on nonprofits to raise money. In fact, our friends in the U.K. recently experienced tighter regulations through changes in the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice. Regulatory efforts in the U.K. now mean that charities are unable to rent other charities donor data. Charities must also implement a clear opt-out option on all communications to donors. With one click, a donor can cut all ties with a nonprofit.
Direct marketing programs often succeed, in part, based on the merge strategies on which they depend. Unfortunately, many donor marketing circulation plans are outdated and rely on a “prioritized list strategy,” which may fail to provide the insight you need to grow your returns. Using a prioritization strategy may not be as profitable as it used to be. In fact, it can be a dangerous way to rob you of your return. Today, the segmentation, analytics, and merge technologies used in direct marketing have become more complex. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies and database technologies have changed. But more importantly, donor marketing has evolved. As such, you need to adapt your merge strategies to take advantage of new technology and new list sources. For direct marketing success, it’s important to look beyond a prioritizing methodology in your merge strategies and embrace a randomization strategy. Only then can you maximize your growth potential and capture a better investment return from your donor marketing. This paper explores the most used merge strategies and weighs the pros and cons of each.