once is not enough

You focus on your donor communication. Your donor doesn’t. Won’t. Can’t.

The rookie mistake is to think that a single impact or a single email or a single phone call will connect powerfully enough with the donor for them to make a good giving decision.

It won’t.

The rookie mistake is to evaluate a single impact alone on the results attributable to impact.

“What was the ROI?”

“Why was the Response Rate lower than other impacts?”

“Why was our click-thru rate off?”

Good questions but only if the greater context is seen, as well. Most (almost all) donors won’t respond to every letter, email, call, impact or visit. Donors need multiple touches for them to make the decision and even REMEMBER their decision to give.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of assuming that every impact will connect with and motivate the donor. It won’t. One of the reasons that Oneicity thinks in campaigns and seasons is that we’ve seen over and over how donors require multiple impressions before they will act. Or even remember to act.

And yes, you should evaluate individual impacts to increase effectiveness. But, never forget that staying top of your donor’s mind is a desperate battle. You can’t back off.

What do you think about this idea that it takes multiple impacts to motivate donors? Candidly, I think most of us agree in principle but have trouble applying when budgets are evaluated. I’d love to hear what you think.


Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: Alisha Vargas)

Picture of Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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