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If you were to line up 100 Chief Development Officers and ask them what their top three development needs are, you’d probably find “acquisition” on 90 percent or more of their lists. However, acquiring new donors has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Not only has the economy affected people’s ability to give, but today’s donors are changing.

 Overcoming the new challenges of donor acquisition is going to require nonprofits to think differently. Nonprofits can’t rely on the same acquisition strategy of the past to engage today’s donors. It takes an intentional effort to engage them in a way they prefer. However, developing a thoughtful approach to donor acquisition premiums shouldn’t be a guessing game.

3 Essential Ingredients of an Effective Acquisitions Premiums

If you want to improve results of your donor acquisition pieces, here are three things you should know in order to make them successful:

  1. Donor acquisition premiums must be accessible.  Each piece should be easy to read and understand. Despite the temptation to share every piece of information you believe a potential donor should know, keep it simple.
  2.  Donor acquisition premiums must be relevant. While the content you share is important, the context in which you share it is even more important.  Potential donors want to know how your cause connects with them. Each acquisitions piece should apply directly to the personal experiences and environment of your potential donors. The secret lies in your ability to use data to drive the donor acquisition process.
  3.  Donor acquisition premiums must be educational. Each potential donor has a different level of awareness about your organization. The key to maximizing each acquisition premium is to educate them about your organization through every interaction. What this doesn’t mean is sharing the same elevator pitch each time. Instead, educate them about your organization by highlighting the work that you’re doing and the impact that is being made through that work.
Are you ready to redefine acquisition?

 You may be able to get away with pieces that are not as strong in one or more of these categories with existing donors. However, for people who are getting acquainted with you for the first time, each of these elements should be a priority.

What are some tangible ways you are including each of these three elements into your donor acquisition pieces?