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Measuring and Managing Donor Commitment to Raise More MoneyPrepared and Presented by:Josh Whichard, Donor VoiceJann Schultz, Operation SmileOverview:Lots has been said about the need to create, maintain and grow donor relationships. What has been missing is an empirical, proven framework to measure the strength of the donor relationship AND identification of the touch points and actions your organization can take that influence donor attitudes. New insights are a requirement for organizations to plug the increasing number of holes in their “”leaky bucket”" in order to re-establish a path of sustainable long-term revenue growth.Learning Outcomes:Why non-profits need to start measuring and managing donor attitudes with the same focus and energy used to measure and manage donor behavior?Why Donor Commitment is the best framework for measuring and managing donor attitudes?HOW to identify key insights from primary market research which can be used to inform a better set of donor experiences that will positively impact the donor relationship with your organization and lead to higher retention and long-term value.Case study from a Nonprofit organization who is leveraging these new insights to inform their marketing strategy.
4 +/- 1 Philosphy
“The good ole days” -- More Water – Less HolesToday:Rising costIncreased competitionSlow growth in YOY givingMail on Saturday
FIX THE RED BAR
Need a blind OE
The need for “direct attribution” has caused this…
Marketing View -- Start focusing on what is causing the holes – issues are more about what you DIDN’T DORelationship View – Solution is more obvious than you may thinkStop being a “direct” marketers and “relationship” marketers – this is the long game
To get into the “relationship” business we have to do 3 things:Ask better questionsListen to the answersAct on themThis is done through SURVEYING your donors
Not every experience matters Equally (Or at All)
A Data Reduction Exercise15 questions6 buckets5 Key experiences
Enough theory…Expert to talk real life
Part 2 – Real Life Relationship Building – Jann Introduction to Operation Smile (Ngan triple image, 30th Anniversary Image)Mission: Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives around the globe. One of the largest volunteer based medical charity in the world, providing free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery for children in need.Have a presence in over 60 countries.Celebrating our 30th Anniversary.For the next few minutes I want to share with you:Our organizational goals and challengesThe question we were askingThe process we have followed on this journey to define “Donor Commitment” What we have learnedAnd what we are doing about it
So let’s talk about our goals and challenges - Operation Smile has been successfully acquiring new donors through Direct Response marketing for over 10 years. The program began as a direct mail only acquisition program with cultivation and solicitation through the mail of those donors.However, it wasn’t until we launched direct response TV and multi-channel marketing that we began to see significant growth of new donors.This graph shows ONLY donors who have given a single gift under $10,000 – our direct response universe.(Point out highlight years on the graph – launch of TV in 2004, multi-channel in 2008.)As you can see, we have had over 371% growth in our general donor file from fiscal year 2003 to fiscal year 2012 as a result of our direct response efforts.
During this time of growth, we have been challenged by the corresponding difficulty surrounding retention of donors within the Direct Response universe. Our emotional, urgent appeal successfully moves donors to give to Operation Smile. When we look at retention, we are specifically challenged by our Single Surgery donors who give at the $240 level. We recognize that some are impulse donors driven by the emotion of appeal.Donor feedback indicates that when they give $240, they feel they have “completed the ask”And for many, that $240 -1st gift may be a stretch, and we have found through our mid-level program testing, that a gift at that level may not have same value as other organizations who have donors giving over $200Our challenge has been to move our donors beyond the “one and done” motivation. Our traditional efforts through mail, phone and other channels to reactivate donors have been moderately successful. But I’m not satisfied. We need to do more. But more of WHAT?
So for those donors who have come onto the file and remained with us – who demonstrate they are our committed donors - the question became for Operation Smile…who are YOU? Why are YOU committed? What are we doing RIGHT that makes YOU stay with us? And what are we doing wrong - that we can change, so we retain YOU and many more donors. That’s where our partnership with Donor Voice and Kevin, Josh and Angie began.So what steps have we taken in this process?The first step was to form a cross functional team – direct response, donor services, marketing, PR, digital and online, and our agency partners – to work on this project together. Operation Smile surveyed our donors in August – a very comprehensive survey, as Josh will tell you. We may have even pushed the limits just a bit. The Donor Voice team completed the analysis and presented our Donor Commitment Study results in September. So what were some of the things that we learned through the study about our Highly Committed donors?
What did we learn?First and foremost, we validated something that we already knew – that the images of children before and after surgery and the opportunity for our supporters to make that transformation possible, resonates with our committed donors. <CLICK> Our Highly Committed Donors told us that a key experience is the opportunity as a donor to provide “immediate, life-changing results.”
We also learned, however, that in our effort to explain our ENTIRE MISSION – <additional photos automatically load>to serve the whole child and provide comprehensive careand post operative careAnd helping children in need of burn and dental careAnd providing training to doctors and nurses And researching the cause of cleftsAnd sharing our awards and honorsAnd more…We had become focused on adding other things that are important to our branding and our programs team - and as a result - diluting our key messages that resonate with highly committed donors.
So a Key Takeaway for our from the study – to grow our file of highly committed donors – to both acquire and cultivate them, we must streamline our messaging and <CLICK>share how the impact of their donation provides immediate, life-changing results.
This grid shows experiences from our study in the area of Engagement - along the axis of importance and performance. As Josh shared, the upper right quadrant is high importance and high performing – where we want to focus on refining and scaling. So this is an example of where we also discovered some interesting facts that we thought we knew, but didn’t have proof. The study identified that offering photos and video of patient success stories was both important and we performed highly<<show where it falls in the upper right quadrant>> but we also found that we were not performing well in the area of sharing those video’s and images outside of specific channels. This is an area we want to repair and refine. <<show in the lower right quadrant>>
Another area of Engagement we discovered was the value of Social Media to Operation Smile.The study identified that 3 out of every 4 people who are high commitment are engaged with us on Social Media.Internally it validates our investment in the resources we put towards Social Media. Currently we have a presence on Facebook (53K) and Twitter (40K), as well as a presence on Pinterest, LinkedIn and FB causes.We know that Social media is really a conversation with our donors. A sharing of information. It can be a very visual experience – sharing images and video - so our supporters can immediately see the difference they are making in children’s lives. Validating that key experience!It also is an area where we need to refine and scale – for example, we need to do a better job of leading our new donors to engage with us on social media – to bond with the organization and build towards high commitment.
Here is another dimension grid - which identifies key experiences for our donors in the area of program messaging and ranks them on the axis of importance and performance.We have clear opportunity to refine and scale the use of these key messaging points in the upper quadrants and to repair and refine in other areas.
As you can see, the Commitment Study gave us lots of great direction – and I’m sure you’re thinking “This is great Jann, you learned lots…but what are you DOING about it?!” So let’s talk about this…<CLiCK><transition to a single road sign pointing in one direction.>To get us all going in the SAME DIRECTION we held a workshop in November. We asked our vendor partners to come to the table and the Donor Voice team led us through the Donor Commitment analysis and helped facilitate a discussion of what we learned and what steps were we going to take immediately, in the short term and in the long term. In addition, we defined the success metrics that we would use to track and report results.
Based on the results of the survey, we immediately began to change our messaging across our channels and incorporate the language that resonates with our high commitment donors. One of the first places we could make changes was at our call centers – scripts have the flexibility to change quickly and test new language.We identified that we have clear opportunity to increase the use of our messaging about Delivering Safe Surgery to Remote Places, as this falls into the area of high performance and importance and is a key differentiator for Operation Smile.<CLICK>We learned that our messaging about our Global Standards of Care is maybe considered important – but underperforming. Does anyone know what Operation Smile’s Global Standards of Care ARE? Hmmmm….well guess what. Our Donor’s don’t either! That’s an example of using an internal term or jargon that is important to US…but does not translate to our donors. <CLICK>So we have moved to “Having the highest standards of safety, hygiene and care” (which is what our Global Standards of care delivers…) as that language was higher performing and of more importance to our high commitment donors. That’s because it is in language that everyone can understand! So this is being incorporated into our call center scripts, copy and other messaging points.
As you can see we are in the process of implementation, so we are still analyzing performance and starting to report back. I wanted to share with you an example of applying what we learned that demonstrated immediate improved results.The commitment study indicated that the use of celebrities was not as important to our high commitment donors.This prompted changes to our Holiday Catalog Email CampaignIn 2011 – we utilized many of our Smile Ambassadors to promote the catalog to promote the purchase of holiday gifts – including the use of video imbedded in the email. (Banner shown)<CLICK>In 2012 – we focused on the donor (not the organization) and used the key experience messages. (The copy was written by M+R – who had attended our workshop and were leveraging the learning from the study.) Let me share with you some analysis from this online appeal.Catalog emails have traditionally performed poorly compared to our other online campaigns and appeals. This year’s first catalog email, in contrast, was a very strong performer. This email outperformed last year’s email by a long shot, with more than $10k increase in revenue. In addition, there were 517 clicks on the banner, then another 265 clicks on the “featured” items in the body copy (bottles, surgery, antibiotics). What’s interesting is that, beyond that, there were 472 clicks spread relatively evenly among the 16 product features at the bottom of the email. So people clearly did NOT stop reading at the lift note and banner – they browsed the email and clicked on products that intrigued them.
As mentioned earlier, an immediate takeaway was to improve how we share the key experience messaging across channels, as well as guiding donors to engage with us on Social Media. Our next task is getting more photos and video into the hands of our donors who come in through off-line channels - through the use of DVD, photo albums or other methods.To do this, we are currently reviewing and preparing to redesign our new donor welcome kitsAnd we’re evaluating our donor onboarding process – both online and offline, to insure we get images and video to our new donors and to reinforce the messages that drive high commitment.Another important change will be to incorporate our “Donor First Commitment” - a key differentiator for Operation Smile - more prominently during onboarding. We will add it in our acknowledgement series and begin using it in other areas where we want to raise awareness of our commitment to our donors. For example, we have already started to use it on gift forms with our Special Gifts and Major Gift Team.
We will continue to improve our feedback channels, to allow us to better engage with our donors, capture their feedback and utilize the information to make adjustments to our fundraising programs.We are going to work with my Donor Relations team, our inbound and outbound call centers to begin to capture commitment scores “on the fly” and allow us to improve our performance models.Utilizing Target Analytics/Loyalty Insights and Donor Commitment Scores for better insight and understanding of our donors.Part of the process as we continue to implement our identified repairs, refinements, and scale – will be to define where we are going to focus our spending – which of course will on our high commitment donors. If I have a choice to spend a $1 on a low commitment/transactional donor vs. a $1 on a high commitment donor – what would you do? The same as I would - I bet - I want the processes in place to be able to make those decisions and redefine my budget for the highest return.The Goal being: improving retention and generating higher revenue from our best donors.
Part 3 – Where Do I Start/Key Takeaways Feedback is priceless and you have a lot of it alreadyComment mailInbound callsTalk to individual donors Your mission isn’t your offerLWR There is a short list of key experiences that have the greatest impactGet your house in order – customer service matters