The Study That Opened My Eyes – and Itll Open Yours Too

The Study That Opened My Eyes – and It’ll Open Yours Too

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There’s something new in the fundraising world – though it isn’t really new. It’s more of a new insight into something we’ve known about for a long time.

This insight comes from a study of a group of long-time donors to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, a leading cancer center in Melbourne, Australia (affectionately known as “Peter Mac”).

They looked at one “class” of donors – people who first gave to a direct mail campaign at Christmas, 2009 – and followed what those donors have done since. (This study is something any organization with good donor data going back a decade or more can do.)

Here’s what they uncovered:

  • Number of new donors in the group: 2,909
  • Those donors gave a total of $145,000 to the appeal for a return on investment of 69¢ on the dollar. Not bad.

In the years since, that group of donors has given a total of $1.25 million dollars. Looking good, right?

But here’s where it gets interesting:

Among those 2,909 donors who came on board in 2009, 28 of them included Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in their will – and have since then died. The total of those bequests from those 28 lovely and dearly missed people: $2.8 million.

Those 28 people gave nearly twice the amount given by all the rest of the donors.

And that’s not all: There’s another 30 people from the group who are still living, and have pledged a gift in their will to Peter Mac. The projected value: about $3 million.

All told, it turns out that about 80% of the donation value from people acquired in the Christmas campaign 2009 will be from gifts in wills.

The $1.25 million that group of donors has given in normal donations is nothing to sneeze at. But it’s small potatoes compared to the total value of the bequests they’ve given.

That kind of revenue boost is available to you. But it won’t “just happen.” You need to do what Peter Mac has done:

  • They are, and have been all along, excellent at raising funds. They connect with their donors, treating them as partners in the cause. Showering them with love. Thanking and reporting back consistently.
  • They are, and have been, very good at promoting legacy giving with their donors. They know how to find and communicate with donors most likely to consider making a bequest donation. They consistently seek donors willing to consider that kind of gift. Then they care for those donors through the years. Because most of the time years pass between the time someone is thinking about making bequest and that bequest actually happening.

You can be like Peter Mac and get these kinds of results for your organization. It’s not difficult, but it requires ongoing commitment.

You can see the results.

Here’s your first step:  Register for Sean Triner’s blockbuster online workshop, A New Hope for Successful Donor Acquisition. Discover the clear path that leads from new donors to breakthrough legacy gifts. Workshops happening this week! Sign up now and get (FREE!) Your Ready-Made Donor Communications Calendar sent straight to your inbox, too!

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