Two smart approaches to testing in fundraising

Testing Tuesday: A weekly series on how to get the most of direct-response fundraising tests

Smarttesting

There are two very different types of testing in direct-response fundraising. If you are able to test, you should be doing both:

Test big

Test whole new packages against current packages. New offers. Completely different packaging. Wild new ideas.

That’s where breakthroughs come from.

The downside of testing big is that it is more likely to fail than to succeed. The bigger you test, the more likely you’ll get a bad result.

But it’s in that danger area where you will find breakthroughs. It’s important to spend some of your energy there.

Test small

Test careful, incremental changes, where you change one variable and keep everything else the same.

You’re unlikely achieve breakthroughs this way, but small improvements matter too. An 8% jump here and a 4% boost there really add up over time.

When you test big and test small, you maximize your efforts and build a sustainable, always-improving fundraising program.

Read the full Testing Tuesday series


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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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About the blogger

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.