How does the process work?
A non-profit joins the co-op and gives the list company its member/donor transaction data. The list company removes any unique names — to keep those donors who don’t get much mail from seeing a huge increase in mail, and because donors with multiple transactions across many organizations are much more likely to give elsewhere. The compiled list company then creates the best model for the non-profit’s needs, based on that organization’s performance goals and giving data. The data analysis may conclude that people who subscribe to magazine A and purchase products from store B, AND also donate to non-profit C will be your best bet to bring in valuable donors on the front end (acquisition) and for the long term (overall ROI). The list company has a big incentive to create effective models so that their clients receive the best names for the best results – especially since model building is a time-consuming process, and they want your repeat business to make back that investment.
How often are compiled list names mailed?
It’s nearly impossible to pin down the exact frequency a given name will be mailed, but there’s very little difference between the mailing frequency if you’re part of a co-op or simply on an exchange file.
What’s the difference between an exchange and a compiled list?
Like an exchange, a non-profit puts names into the compiled list co-op. But unlike an exchange, the compiled list doesn’t contain unique names, because the point is to add more and more information to the donor’s giving profile. So with the compiled lists, you’re not providing names that the co-op doesn’t already have.
Sounds like it’s simply a list of multi-buyers or donors. What makes compiled lists so successful?
The sheer volume of names (for example, 245 million, according to Wiland) and transactions that are already in these co-ops means they can be extremely selective in who their models pull in; if you hardly ever donate, subscribe or purchase anything, you’re not a good candidate…and that’s why co-ops have been so successful. So unlike a typical list order in acquisition, in which you are receiving a few thousand names of people, some of whom have given only one gift to the organization, with a co-op you’re essentially guaranteed that the name will have demonstrated multiple affinities that could make that person a good donor for your organization. Most compiled lists don’t use a name until it’s matched with seven or more transactions so they have enough information for an effective model to be built that might pull that donor into the list you’re renting.
How much does it cost to use a compiled list?
The industry standard is about $65-85 per thousand, with a negotiable net name agreement, and discounts for volume usually available.
Will my donors’ specific gift information be tied to the records in the co-op – for example, gift amount?
Yes, specific gift information (like amount, date, and channel) is part of the transactional data needed to build an effective model, as a single bottom-line number like highest previous contribution has limitations for demonstrating capacity or likelihood to give.
If my organization decides to pull out of the co-op, is our data removed from the co-op?
Yes, if you decide to pull out of the agreement – which you should be able to do at any time — your data goes with you. We don’t recommend signing an agreement that doesn’t state this.
Why should I use a compiled list?Bottom line: the overall universe of people who donate to non-profits is contracting, and cooperative databases are one good way to sustain and grow your file by closely targeting the people you solicit. Compiled lists are a relatively inexpensive method for acquiring, retaining, and profiting from potential donors. Give it a try!