How much budget should you spend and on what? Ask prophet.
“The predictive modelling work that the data experts at beautiful world developed for us was really important in building our confidence around fundraising acquisition. It hasn’t taken the difficulty out of getting donors on board of course, but it does mean we can invest sensibly and understand very early on which channels are and aren’t working for us.” James Huitson, Associate Director of Fundraising, Rethink
The big question for many fundraisers is: How should I invest my budget?
What if you need to try new channels for fundraising but don’t know which to start testing or what might happen when you do? Which channels bring the best long-term donors and can they get new donors in sufficient volumes to make investment worthwhile?
If you find yourself needing to acquire new donors and develop existing ones then you will find prophet, the budget and forecasting model we built for one of the top ten charities, really, really useful to help you plan your strategy.
It will show you which channels your best long-term donors come from, so you know what to do more of.
(Here’s a little tip for you – get your development team to speak to your acquisition team more. You need the right type of donors, not lots of names and addresses on your database – that is no indication of a healthy acquisition strategy.)
We’ll help you at every stage of the process; we’ll crunch the numbers and put the guesswork to one side for you. We can then present you with some options and give you some likely scenarios based on your overall long-term strategy depending whether you are concentrating on acquisition, testing new channels, investing in tested channels, looking to develop your existing donors or a combination of all of the above.
If you have data on which we can base some predictions on, then great, we can calculate some very accurate figures for you. If not, we can still find a way forward for you. We have figures that can form the basis of your forecast, which have been calculated from a huge dataset to predict what your new and existing donors will be worth over the next five years for all of these channels:
- Cold Mail
- Door to Door
- Face to Face
- Press adverts
- DRTV (direct response TV adverts)
- Door Drop
- In Memoriam
prophet is based on a set of assumptions, which can be tweaked for your circumstances, and there is a scenario planner that allows you to change these factors to predict what would happen if any of the variables go up or down.
It’s a great tool to help plan your investment period, but most importantly, it will tell you before you start what you would need to achieve to know if it is even worth the investment. And it will tell you when to stop testing a channel and reinvest in something else.
For example, if you wanted to invest in Face to Face, you would know in advance how much your cost per acquisition upper limit would have to be in order to make the long term investment worthwhile. You can also predict what your attrition rates would have to be and your average payment value before you spend anything on face to face. If the figures don’t look realistic or don’t stack up over the long term – then you can avoid making a very expensive mistake.
prophet also has a budgeting element that will allow you to set your budget and then plug in the actuals to compare how you are doing once testing has started.
Fancy a chat and a live demo? Contact Adam