Drakes Bay Fundraising
A Next Generation Fundraising Company

Archive for June, 2012

Mind the Gap, National Fundraisers

Posted by Christopher Dann
Tuesday June 19, 2012
Categories: Fundraising, Modeling

While we value economies of scale as much as anyone who has thought about the concept, there are points of diminishing return that must be diligently identified. Donor base modeling, for example, has been very useful in helping fundraising find these points.

A recent study produced by the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program and reported May 31 in the New York Times suggests a point of diminishing returns national fundraisers should study carefully, especially those heeding the cry to provide better marketing communications support of their increasing expensive programs.

The study shows a widening gap in education attainment among the country’s largest 100 metropolitan areas, the areas one would focus on for media support. As education, second only to age, is a prime determining factor in both giving capacity and disposition – particularly for nonsectarian charity – paying attention to the emergent divide in educational attainment across those 100 metro areas makes economic sense.

The report shows that in 1970, while on average 12% of adults had college degrees in those 100 largest metro areas, only one fell 5 percentage points below the average and four rose 5 percentage points above.

But in 2010, while the overall average – thanks to what David Brooks called the democratization of American higher education – the overall average had risen to 32%, just half of the 100 metro areas were within the 5 percentage point rage of average, more were above, but a great many more were beneath it.

Donor base modeling may still be the best bet for finding points of diminishing return in broad-base, wholesale fundraising. But data like these will prove essential to in two respects: to making economical use of limited advertising and pr campaign dollars in support of fundraising campaigns and in targeting most productive markets for special high-dollar fundraising attention.

Next Generation Fundraising and Drakes Bay Fundraising merged in the fall of 2013, bringing the longstanding professional acquaintances of their four principals – Tim Oleary, Carol Leister, Cindy Germain, and Christopher Dann – into a single company and combining the special resources and experiences of each to provide clients greater breadth and depth of service.

For more information about Next Generation Fundraising, click here.