2015 M+R Benchmarking Report


We have told you time and again about our deep, abiding love for data. We have demonstrated this by posting every possible variety of benchmarking report for you to diligently digest, not to mention producing our very own (and not-to-shabby) quarterly ROAR reports for public TV and Radio stations. Now, you may call this overkill but some additional food for thought is here and it’s the 2015 M+R report, produced jointly with the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). More benchmarking, you ask? But let us tell you why.

This is a report that looks at trends in digital across all sectors of nonprofit fundraising. We’re talking about data compiled from heavy-hitters like the American Red Cross  and the Nature Conservancy, plus 82 more very well-known organizations. The participants are broken down both categorically and by size to look at trends in all aspects of email marketing and online fundraising, a segment of fundraising CDP is watching pretty closely these days.

This year, data submissions from the Cultural and Domestic Hunger/Poverty sectors were up so significantly that for the first time they were able to create them as distinct categories in the benchmarking. No, public broadcasting was not included, but do not let that stop you from benefiting from the insights contained here. Comparisons can certainly be drawn from the S/M/L organizational categories and trust us: within these 60 pages you’ll find a fun, informative read. This is data that has been brought to life with bold graphics and just the right amount of humor.

Have we piqued your interest? M+R is free with the submission of your name and email address. Get your own copy of the 2015 report here.

More about M+R and their mission can be found here.

What’s Your Story?

CookieMonsterAre your donor communications conveying the desired message in a way that engages and grabs the reader?

While we know that donors appreciate details when it comes to fundraising, how you share those details is as critical as what you share. Donors want to know what impact their donation will make, so your aim is to blend specifics along with artful storytelling.

A March post from the Nonprofit Marketing Blog titled “Rich Details for Record-Breaking Results” highlights an excellent appeal excerpt from WBGO, a NYC jazz radio station. The author outlines some steps to making your fundraising messages more memorable, and she also includes a link to a Harvard Business Review communications case study (The Curse of Knowledge). For $6, the HBR study discusses methods of translating experience to customers into concrete language that the customer can feel and understand. (You can read the abstract free of charge.)

How are you conveying your station story to donors? Share your examples of powerful engagement with us!

Do You Know NACHA? CDP Webinar Today

Please join CDP for a webinar discussing specifics you’ll need to handle both marketing and back-end operations so you can be certain your station is processing EFT payments correctly. We may or may not be eating Nachos as we deliver the presentation, stay tuned:

EFT /NACHA Update Webinar
March 25, 2015 at 2pm ET
Link to meeting:
Conference # 1-888-205-5513 Code: 532167

**No need to pre-register for this webinar. Just click the link to join.

Of course if you can’t join us you will find the recording of this webinar under the Station Resources>Webinar Links header. If you forgot your password, contact us.

Canvassing Spotlight: Wisconsin Public Broadcasting

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Canvassing continues to be a successful method of fundraising for stations. Wisconsin Public Broadcasting is one of 14 stations currently running a CDP canvassing operation nationwide. They were featured on their local news station last week and the clip linked below features a canvasser going door-to-door. The goal is to find new donors for participating stations, with the focus on increasing sustaining, or monthly, donors.

Click here to view the spot on WISC-TV.

If you’d like more information about CDP Canvassing or any other project, check the project header on our blog or contact us.

Sustainer programs are growing, but still show room for improvement | Current.org

Sustainer programs are growing, but still show room for improvement | Current.org.Current-Sustainer-graphic

Did you know that a sustaining donor is worth an average of $56/year more than a non-sustainer? Sustainer programs are a profitable, valuable part of any thriving fundraising operation. In fact, in data collected from CDP participating stations (TV, Radio, and joint licensees), the percentage of donors who are sustainers has risen to 10% on average, with the very top-tier stations achieving much higher than that. This percentage is up from just 2% (on average) several years ago and is a significant factor in improving the overall retention rate at stations. With the cost-to-acquire a donor being variably high, it makes good fiscal sense to put membership’s collective energy behind strengthening your station sustainer program.

The picture above is taken from Current’s website and is sourced from Greater Public’s Benchmarks for Public Radio Stations.

CDP has created a checklist of practices gathered from top-performing stations in this metric. The checklist is meant to be exhaustive and includes literally everything we have found to work toward improvement; don’t be overwhelmed by this. Making even just a few key changes will have a measurable effect. This, and all other checklists, is located on our blog behind a password and linked here. Do contact us if you need a password reminder.

Monthly File Delivery

Did you know that CDP is now delivering monthly preliminary reports in-between the quarterly ROAR reporting? The preliminary reports are two small .csv files that are sent to the designated data contact at your station two weeks before the end of each quarter. Now your station will receive these reports every month, not just in ROAR production months. Getting your files to us on or before the 25th of each month will ensure you’re included.

These files are a “sneak peak”, if you will. They allow you to check your 12-month revenue totals and file source coding ahead of time so that you can receive the most accurate ROAR report possible.

Should you see something that doesn’t look right in the preliminary reports, simply make corrections to the source coding in your station’s database – that way, the fixes are permanent. If you’re not sure how to do this, or have any other questions regarding what you see in the preliminary reports, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone on our team. Once corrections are made, re-trigger another file export to our FTP, and when the time comes we will use the most recent set of files to produce your ROAR report.

Living in a perfect world? Lucky you! These preliminary reports are for your review only, and if all looks well then you need take no further action.

If you’ve never seen these reports, it’s possible that they are being sent to the wrong contact at your station. Let us know, and we’ll be sure to update the CRM with the correct person.

How Charities Can Get More Out of Their Donors


An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal queried, “What gets people to give?” Ask and you shall receive – there is some new research out from Yale and Harvard Universities that help answer that very question.

One of the tests done leveraged the value of big-name donors, not as a Major Gift but as a gift that keeps on giving – literally. Mentioning a major donor or a foundation gift (in the test example the Gates Foundation was used) in direct mail to a potential contributor not only made them more likely to give, but also give more. Experts in the article said that big-name donors gave new donors the comfort of feeling that a charity had already been “vetted” and was a “safer bet” than others who made no mention of their major supporters.

Spotlighting donations publicly has always been popular, but the practice is typically reserved for those with, shall we say, a higher capacity to give. While most of us don’t have the kind of funds that puts our name on a wall, research shows we still benefit from positive strokes. Being acknowledged was a big motivation to give, and in a test run by Harvard University, the acknowledgement need not be grand. The promise of a simple newsletter mention was enough to raise the likelihood to give as well as the average gift amount significantly.

Read more about these tests and others at WSJ.com. Be sure to watch the video content as well – the interview with TinyGive co-founder Clarence Wardell is 4 minutes of very educational content.