5 Proven Ways to Use Premiums to Drive Fundraising SuccessThis past year, my organization has helped nonprofits raise hundreds of millions of dollars using premiums.  Simply put, these nonprofits are using premiums because they work.

With premiums, envelopes get opened.  Awareness is elevated.  Appreciation for the missions of nonprofits grows.  More donations are made.  Increased net proceeds are derived.

Despite this success, the use of premiums has its detractors.  Naturally, everyone would prefer that more money be spent on a nonprofit’s mission, not on the use of premiums.  Yet thousands of smart, prudent charities have reached the conclusion – after rigorous testing – that premiums can drive significant, incremental fundraising success in donor acquisition, reactivation and retention programs.

Assuming you are interested in testing or using premiums in 2015, what can help you better succeed?

5 Steps to Fundraising Success With Premiums

  1. Do What WorksWho’s Mailing What provided a list of top premiums used for non-profit fundraising.  Premiums that offer strong mission based tie-ins worked the best.  Also, a nonprofit that has a mission-based ask that can be supported by a creative premium is often a home run.
  2. Consider The Premium Top 10 – The best performing premiums are books, tote bags, water bottles, certificates, travel bag, blankets, umbrellas, windbreakers, calendars and greeting cards.
  3. Consult With an Expert – Some agencies focused on the nonprofit sector do many premium tests every year, across a wide array of clients.  Capitalize on their knowledge to help increase your chances of success.
  4. Source Premiums Carefully – Buying premiums directly from a manufacturer, can save significant dollars that can be directed to the nonprofit’s mission.
  5. Test – While we have seen premiums work in thousands of circumstances, it’s always smart to test their appeal.  To be fiscally responsible, you might want to start testing among a select group of consumers more likely to be responsive.  If the premium test works for them, you can expand the program’s reach.

The debate about using premiums in the nonprofit sector might continue, but there should be no debate that if premiums help nonprofits do more good work, they should be carefully considered.

Michael Kulpinsky is Innovairre’s SVP of Global Services.  For more information about premiums or Innovairre, contact us at Answers@Innovairre.com.