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2-Step Express: How to start finding prospects for regular givers

2-Step Express: How to start finding prospects for regular givers

— Written by Dan Geaves, Strategy Director at Marlin Communications.

The Benchmarking Project analysis (2022 Report) reveals that the regular donors recruited via 2-step fundraising deliver significantly better 3 year Retention than those recruited via face to face.

Marlin has been helping many organisations to uncover their winning mechanics for 2-Step – focusing on high quality prospects, at a reasonable cost. Here Dan Geaves, our Strategy Director describes the approach.

The 2-Step Express process is a rapid way for our charity partners to quickly identify different mechanisms that can be used to generate a list of prospective regular giving (RG) donors, who can be nurtured and then converted via telemarketing.

The mechanism is the thing that is used to persuade the prospect to provide their data. It has to be valuable enough to motivate them to ‘raise their hand,’ but it also needs to be sticky enough for the audience to be considered good prospects for regular giving (RG) conversion.

Marlin’s experience and research has revealed that four factors need to intertwine to create a successful 2-Step mechanism. These are:

    Great donor acquisition helps prospects see that this is an organisation who is prepared to do what it takes to change the world. This should push fundraisers to challenge their organisation/ brand to do something that will work despite being outside of the charity’s usual business-as-usual. For example some organisations might say they “don’t do advocacy” or that they  “don’t provide direct advice to the public.”  Those restrictions have to be challenged.
    Digital attraction has to “stop the scroll”. This should push fundraisers to create something with personality or a stance on the causal category that a charity works on. This enables even familiar mechanisms to be framed in ways that are distinctive. 
    Digital attraction involves testing and optimising based on what the audience’s reactions are. This means that 2-Step campaigns should feature the dexterity required for testing multiple mechanisms and different messaging ingredients. This requires a plethora of ideas to be developed, rather than just one.

Marlin’s 2-Step Express process has been created to enable those three factors to be developed whilst being smart about the development of the fourth:

  • MVP
    The more time that is spent creating candidates for testing, the longer it takes for a charity to discover what their audience wants in a live market test (the laboratory where the best ideas are discovered and optimised).

To reduce the time taken (and the investment in up front development) Marlin has created the Express Methodology. By setting up an intensive “single day” for idea generation, we unlock more candidates for the mechanic that can then be used to generate a shortlist for testing in an online “nursery.”

If this seems like something you are interested in then please get in touch. By sharing past results and client testimonials we can help you build the confidence needed to try this quality approach to developing unique mechanic ideas that will keep giving.