Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

How do Virtual Gifts affect supporter income?

If it’s nearing Christmas it must be A Time for Virtual Gifts. You know the kind of thing, not a merchandise catalogue, but one in which people are asked to gift the charity’s ‘products’ to friends and family, instead of a buying them a Christmas present.
And the question is, ‘Do they work?
If you ever wondered what effect asking supporters to buy Virtual Gifts might have on the future performance of your donorbase, you may be pleased with the answer, uncovered by a piece of research by TW CAT using our proprietary benchmarking tool, BenchMach®.
TW CAT developed a Virtual Gift Catalogue for an international charity and mailed it to a random split of donors; one group received the Virtual Gift Catalogue and the other did not but both groups were selected for the next two mailings: a traditional donor appeal and a thank you reminder.
People responded differently; some bought a gift, some didn’t (and some weren’t sent the Virtual Gifts Catalogue).
But what happened afterwards when we plugged the numbers into BenchMach® is the most interesting thing.
Nothing changed.
Donors who’d bought a gift responded to the subsequent donor mailings no differently to donors who hadn’t bought a gift or donors who didn’t even receive the Virtual Gifts Catalogue.
Overall the BenchMach® report showed that the result of the Virtual Gift Catalogue mailing wasn’t noticeably different to an appeal mailing in that it was the best-performing donors who responded.
Consequently it therefore proved a useful way of adding another mailing into a programme that would continue to deliver donations, income levels and a return on investment, exactly as if the catalogue had never been mailed nor the additional income received.
You might call it bunce. (Please contact me if you’d like a copy of the report).