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#13 Finding the balance between revenue and relationship

Many regular giving managers will frequently assess the health of their program by running reports that measure the cost effectiveness of their RG program.

These will include, but are not limited to, the breakeven points, CPA, CPL, CPT, average gift and attrition/retention reports that produce a list of figures and graphs to indicate which supplier, team, product, price point, donor journey, and channel is performing at the best levels, and which ones need to be tweaked or need wholesale changes.

Your agency, you may be surprised to read, do not do these checks. They are looking at their two main drivers – Volume of Staff and Sign Up/Pledge Rate. Anything outside of these levers are secondary and are often viewed as ‘likes’ not ‘needs’.

However, they will use other qualifications to decide whether you are a charity that they can work with. Fee is obviously a key motivator, but location and channel limitations, ability to pay invoices on time, brand awareness and ease of working relationship are the other main areas they consider. Our charities could take a leaf out of the agency book on the latter point.

Ease of work shouldn’t mean that you never have to call or train your agency, but instead means that they have a dedicated account manager who answers their phone and emails when you need them to, they respond to complaints responsibly, and cares as much about the product that they are supplying as you do. Not just a numbers game, but an investment in your cause.

Once you’ve run your next batch of reports to find which agency you need to slow recruitment with, and which one you can reward with more budget, find a balance between the impact of negative feedback on your charity’s resources (time, money and good will) and reputation as well as the dollar value, and check which supplier is committed to making a difference in partnership with you.

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