The power of repetition in fundraising

It’s the one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your fundraising bottom line: repetition. Or, as Willis Turner in FundRaising Success magazine says, If It’s Worth Saying, It’s Worth Saying Again.

Repetition — mailing or emailing the same message again — works:

Despite what many people think, simple repetition is one of the most powerful tools in your creative arsenal. The savviest fundraisers use it all the time to ratchet up emotion — and results — from their donors.

I saw a study once of new direct-mail donors. On average, these donors had received the direct-mail acquisition piece six times before they responded to it.

Direct mail is a low-attention environment. Email is even lower. Most of our recipients do not read most of what we send them. But attention is sometimes cumulative. Recipients may progress from barely noticing what we send, through being slightly aware of it, on up to full attention. If you send something only once, the message can never move up that ladder.

Repetition also works within a message: Your call to action should be repeated five, ten, or more times. If you just ask once, you’ll hardly be heard.


Comments

2 responses to “The power of repetition in fundraising”

  1. This has got to be some of the worst advice I have ever seen. Sending out multiples of the same mailpiece does not make people want to give your charity more money. I makes them question how you are using your budget. Every week I get multiples of the same mailpiece (sometimes on the same day!) Do you think I forgot about the mailpiece I got yesterday?
    As to repeating your message over and over, that tells me you are trying to get money from a person of diminished mental capacity, who can not remember what they just read. Like an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The exact type of person who is on a fixed income who can not afford to give to a charity.
    If you want to see what this fundraising theory looks like in practice please read my blog http://drowndinginmail.wordpress.com/

  2. This has got to be some of the worst advice I have ever seen. Sending out multiples of the same mailpiece does not make people want to give your charity more money. I makes them question how you are using your budget. Every week I get multiples of the same mailpiece (sometimes on the same day!) Do you think I forgot about the mailpiece I got yesterday?
    As to repeating your message over and over, that tells me you are trying to get money from a person of diminished mental capacity, who can not remember what they just read. Like an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The exact type of person who is on a fixed income who can not afford to give to a charity.
    If you want to see what this fundraising theory looks like in practice please read my blog http://drowndinginmail.wordpress.com/

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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