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Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports Rates Fundraising Results as Top Notch with Target Analytics

Consumer Reports, published by Consumer Union, is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empowering consumers to protect themselves. Founded in 1936, it maintains its independence and impartiality by accepting no outside advertising and no free samples. Instead it employs mystery shoppers and technical experts to buy and test the products it evaluates.


  • Print and online direct marketing form the core of Consumer Reports fundraising strategy.
  • They needed to determine who was most likely to make a gift before contacting potential donors.
  • The staff at Consumer Reports knew that subscribers to their publication and other services care about consumer protections and the importance of unbiased information, but they didn’t know who in that large constituency had philanthropic inclinations and the means to act on them.


  • The Consumer Reports’ database of over seven million active subscribers was overlaid with philanthropic data from Target Analytics’ unique Nonprofit Cooperative Database, which includes demographic, behavioral, and other data, enabling predictive models to be developed.
  • Individual subscribers in several categories were rated from one to 30 on how likely they were to give.
  • Given the results, they decided to pursue a test to 215,000 newly identified prospects, and in January 2011, they launched a targeted direct marketing campaign.
  • Had better than a two percent response from the group of new contacts, and made had a positive return on their investment. Including the cost of Target Tags, it cost seventy-nine cents to raise one dollar


  • Pleased with the January results, Consumer Reports conducted a direct mail appeal in April to test the newly acquired donors via the philanthropic overlay against the organization’s other active donor base.
  • The new donors outperformed the existing active donors by three to one.
  • Consumer Reports realized a nine percent increase in fundraising net revenue over the previous year.

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