Understanding Door-To-Door ROI — Why It Works

Category: Solutions

Most not for profit organizations understand the basics of return on investment (ROI). After all, it’s a simple calculation – money raised divided by total fundraising costs. While this might work in some situations (such as an event where the ask is a one-time gift), calculating and comparing ROI across channels isn’t quite as simple and it’s important to understand the unique value proposition that door-to-door offers.

For example, let’s look at a digital campaign. You’ve defined your goals, target market and budget. You’ve optimized your media mix. You have compelling creative. You launch, carefully monitor the campaign performance and optimize accordingly. The campaign wraps up and you’ve hit your target! Good news? Of course! But it doesn’t always end that way.

While digital can seem less expensive than a door-to-door campaign, there is no guarantee how many donors you will acquire and, if there is a recurring and one time gift option, what the campaign revenue will be. If campaign results are soft, the ROI will be less than optimal. On the other hand, a door-to-door campaign with GFD is guaranteed. If we acquire a donor on your behalf and they don’t fulfill the first month payment, there is no cost to you. Simply put, it’s risk free. On top of that, factor in our monthly guarantees and your ROI is looking strong.

Additionally, we know that people give to people. While powerful creative may entice people to click through on impulse, a door-to-door campaign is the most effective channel to acquire quality recurring donors. Fundraisers are provided with comprehensive brand training and can address issues and answer questions that potential donors may have about your cause. These conversations increase brand awareness and create thousands of brand impressions every day. They build a personal connection leading to donor loyalty, trust and improved long-term retention. A door-to-door campaign is the most effective way of getting donors to not only see your brand, but to feel it as well. Donors acquired through door-to-door have heard your message customized based on their questions and feedback that was provided to the fundraiser. We create deep, meaningful and lasting connections that create a loyal donor base.

Speaking of donor loyalty, it’s also imperative to consider long term donor value when evaluating your fundraising channels. Door-to-door has one of the best long-term retention rates of all acquisition programs. The initial cost to acquire may be lower on some forms of acquisition but if the connection to the charity is broken when the campaign ends, the likelihood of them continuing to donate is slim.

Let’s take a deeper dive into how you should be evaluating your ROI for your door-to-door campaign and the three key takeaways you should understand.

  1. Door-to-door provides an immediate and lasting connection to the brand. We focus on the neighbourhoods where your potential donors live. We look a demographic data and match our fundraisers with that data for the best chance of success.
  2. Stewardship is key. Speaking to your donor as an individual rather than taking a cookie cutter approach will increase long term donor value. Customizing the donor journey = increased ROI, that starts at the door when we set donor expectations.
  3. Our integrated approach. While a traditional door-to-door campaign can convert 2% of doors knocked, when you combine it with outbound telemarketing, the conversion can increase up to 4%. This lowers the timeline to break even and increases penetration of each territory giving you more donors per 100 doors knocked.

There is no doubt that a strong channel mix with an integrated approach is the key to a successful fundraising campaign. That said, it is always less efficient to focus on simply hitting a target than it is to concentrate your acquisition efforts on acquiring and retaining quality recurring donors year over year.

At GFD, we provide a turnkey approach that starts with highly targeted demographics and quality conversations that create brand impressions. We guarantee retention at three months with an anticipated break even point of 18-24 months. At the end of the day, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make yours count by starting your door-to-door campaign today!