The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: New approach leads to huge prospecting gains

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) is an independent, non-partisan research institute focused on social, economic, and environmental issues. Their goal is not just to analyze problems in society, but find solutions for them that benefit all Canadians.

The Challenge

The CCPA had seen their direct mail prospecting results falling over the past few years, and needed to turn things around so they could continue to grow their donor base for the future.

The Solution

Knowing HMA had been successful in helping many other progressive causes, the CCPA approached HMA about coordinating a prospect mailing for them. HMA reviewed what they had done, and what had worked for them in the past, and recommended a new approach to prospecting. HMA’s goal was two-fold – first, to bring in new donors, and second, to bring in new ‘supporters’ with a very small monetary contribution. These supporters can be stewarded over time and with good stewardship will eventually develop into regular donors.

The Results

The results of HMA’s first prospecting mailing with the CCPA far exceeded even our highest expectations. The response rate to the first campaign, mailed in BC, was nearly 4%, and the cost to acquire each donor was less than $15. These figures were substantially better than previous prospecting efforts where CCPA struggled to reach a 1% response rate.

Since the first mailing HMA has coordinated additional prospect mailings for CCPA and seen similar results. The most recent campaign, mailed in Ontario, brought in new donors at a cost of just over $16 per donor.

For most organizations that HMA works with the cost to acquire a new donor through the mail will be in the range of $40 – $60, so seeing figures under $20 is excellent. This shows the value of trying something different in prospecting.

And with such a low cost to acquire it’s likely that CCPA will be able to break even on these new donors within 12 months, which is a very short timeframe when compared to most other charities today.

To find out more about how HMA can help you boost your prospecting, please get in touch with us at

Client: The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Services: Direct Mail, Data Analytics

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