CDP in the News: Innovation Comes from Stations

In the June issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy (subscription required for some articles) writer Nicole Wallace features one of the projects the Contributor Development Partnership has scaled up for stations: canvassing.

It was the resounding success of Rocky Mountain PBS’ pioneering work in door-to-door, face-to-face canvassing that demonstrated the efficacy and effectiveness of this acquisition technique that prompted CDP to build our own program.

CDP’s approach to project development, which involves gathering best practices from multiple fundraising channels across the system and sharing them with stations, has a goal to help diversify and grow revenue streams. CDP executive director Michal Heiplik is straightforward about the use of data to drive strategic decisions. From the article:

Nonprofits need to be flexible and willing to experiment, he says. And they must pull the plug on fundraising efforts — old or new — that aren’t working.

When a vendor pitches a new fundraising idea, Heiplik’s response is simple, he says. “Hey, we’re absolutely willing to test it, but expect us to be really ruthless in evaluating the data.”

Initially, the cost of putting a canvassing team on the ground was within reach of a small number of stations; however, with the development of techniques, teams, and digital targeting tools, CDP has developed canvassing and training for small to mid-markets, including seasonal canvassing.

Someone asked me the other day to articulate the ways CDP helps stations. CDP is a convener and promoter of best practices tested by stations and then rigorously proven by the CDP in our lab. Canvassing is an excellent example. More than 320,000 new members, including a large percentage of young families and sustainers, have joined stations in 14 cities through the canvassing project.

Sharing of practices and data-driven decision-making are hallmarks of the Contributor Development Partnership. Ask about any of our projects at the CDP booth at PMDMC!

Barry NelsonComment