What We Do
CBA’s Cycle of Services Engenders Fundraising Success
Carl Bloom Associates offers a full suite of direct marketing fundraising services that begins the marketing cycle with a review or audit of our new client-partner’s current annual giving program, followed by preliminary new strategy and planning to initiate a fresh new fundraising program. New innovative strategies lead to the design for testing of key concepts for improving campaign performance and increasing revenue. Prospect research leads to new universes of support. Studying your database of supports teaches you how to maximize income from donors on all levels of giving.
The outcome of testing, so critical to improving performance becomes the foundation for building and expanding a universe of supporters and more revenue. The cycle comes full circle.
Strategy and Planning
CBA begins the consultation with a client by conducting a thorough analysis and evaluation of current fundraising efforts. We advise on whether your current program should be enhanced or a new program created. If your organization does not yet have an individual giving program, CBA will design and launch a new program customized specifically for you. Taking into account a realistic assessment of resources and budget, we will create the most individualized plan to fit your needs, giving you the best opportunity to successfully build your donor capabilities, both for the short and the long term.
Prospect Research & Selection
Reaching the right prospects is the most important component of building a successful fundraising program. It doesn’t matter what you say or how good your fundraising appeal looks, if you send it to the wrong person, it won’t work. CBA has the resources, the experience and the expertise to help you identify the people most likely to respond to your cause, and to become your best supporters over time. A high degree of creativity as well as research and targeting methodology, such as special demographic and lifestyle formulae, will yield positive results.
A targeted audience will respond to appeals that “move” them to take action. There are many ways to create a fundraising appeal, but the goal is to find ways to lift response without spending too much and to make it appropriate to the organization. To find that best performer – your “control” – we have to test different approaches: messages, offers, incentives, formats and so on. From careful planning of color, size and format of a direct mail package … to skillful crafting of message … to effective use of attractive design … CBA’s creative is well known for generating high results. Our focus is on engaging your prospects and donors through their eyes and ears, to speak, most importantly, to their hearts. And, of course, once we have found a winning creative formula, we do not stop there, we continue to test new creative approaches until we beat the old control and produce a new one. It is, of course, best to have several working control packages.
With strategy and goals set, audiences chosen and creative prepared, it’s time to put all the pieces together and get the campaigns out to the audiences. The most economical way to produce affordable fundraising mail – and to stretch your limited non-profit dollars – is to work with an agency whose production managers know exactly what they’re doing. The CBA production, traffic, and creative staff are top professionals with a total of 127 years’ knowledge of postal-accurate formats and production techniques to help you trim costs and avoid waste. They are tough negotiators, because they are thoroughly familiar, not only with fair pricing, they know the businesses of the vendors we work with. You can count on us to find ways to produce the most effective mail at the lowest possible cost, and, of course, to get the mail out on time.
CBA doesn’t just make mail – we’re experts at integrating every channel available. Not only do we stay on top of constantly changing postal regulations, we’re also busy mastering the latest email blast software and advising you on how to make the most of social media. Most importantly, we guide you towards using the most effective fundraising tools while realizing savings across the board.
And in today’s increasingly digital world, we are skilled in how to use all forms of digital media to speak with a “Single Voice” and to increase your fundraising revenue. We create and deploy email to support direct mail and work on their own, and we understand how to integrate the best timing to maximize your returns. When your website needs a fundraising-friendly makeover, you can count on CBA to help you offer your supporters a quick and easy way to make online donations. And we can also integrate social media like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and more into the fundraising program to leverage the internet in today’s highly competitive fundraising market.
Reporting and Analysis
Now comes the most enjoyable part. You have sent your campaigns, and the checks begin to come in, first as a trickle, and then, as a stream. As soon as the first responses start returning, we begin to compile campaign statistics and prepare early reports looking for trends and winners. After about three weeks of returns we can make projections of the final outcome. We prepare informative individual campaign promotion reports and – over time – issue cumulative, comparative Budget vs. Actual reports to see how our predictions and budgets are doing. We relate the results of integrated mailings, email campaigns and telemarketing to see how each medium contributes to the whole.
Based on this information, we continually fine-tune your fundraising program for maximum effectiveness. This is when the cycle continues with revised further strategy and planning. The overall goal is to constantly increase your revenue, improve the health of your donor database and fundraise smarter.