How to become a fundraising organisation not an organisation that fundraises


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Lucy Caldicott (Director of Fundraising) and James Spears (Head of Direct Marketing) discuss how to become a fundraising charity rather than a charity that fundraises.

This presentation was given at the NCVO 2013 Evolve event.

Find out more about NCVO Evolve:

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  • This is what I wrote in the blurb about the session.“CLIC Sargent supports children and young people with cancer. It is a charity with an extremely engaging cause which relies almost entirely on voluntary income. However when we joined five years ago there wasn’t a long-term donor communications programme in place. There was no robust customer relationship management tool or a supporter care team. They will share what they’ve done to put that right and what the results have been so far”Would like to kick off by having a discussion about what made you choose this session. What issues are you facing in your organisations?What I’d like to do is make sure that I capture them to make sure I cover the right sort of things in the session
  • Mis match between expenditure and income.Expenditure monthly, income spiky – big spike in December.December 2007- third of total annual income
  • First FR strategy 2008Services strategy 2011FR strategy for serious investment in 2011/12By this time had proved case for investment and had reliable acquisition channelSet out to dramatically increase proportion of income from regular givingFirst Fundraising strategy was about risk management. Second one followed Services strategy so was about growth
  • Weathered recession and growingStability of team has contributed. Both James and I have been at CS since 2007 – think sticking with a strategy is a factor. Also longevity supports trust and confidence Worked with what we had because didn’t have deep pockets for investment.Cut poor performing eventsFocused on cost effective fundraising streams such as trusts and corporatesBut maintained big mass participation and community activities – important to maintain diversity which has been a factor during the recession. Large number of fundraising participants and supporters are former service users, families and friends
  • One key area that had not achieved its full potential in recent years was Individual GivingTrustees were reluctant to invest – some activities had been unprofitable, hadn’t seen results from others Financially the charity was not in a place to be able to invest significantly First warm mailing in June 2008 to donors had raised over £100,000 against a target of around £30k. On 15th September Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. In the same week we sent our second mailing – it failed.DM team consisted of 6 people covering campaigns, supporter care, data selections, analysis and management and legacy admin and marketing. (one of the six was working part-time on a Tribute Funds type product). Although we were covering these areas there was limited structure. E.g. the Supporter Care line was managed across the team.Contact plan was not robust or reliable and lack of structured budgets. E.g. no ownership over the newsletter and no ambition to drive donations from itThe database was out of date and was not able to fulfil the necessary analysis needsAcquisition had been trialled in recent years- Cold mailings for cash and regular giving and face to face. These were key to making initial decisionsThe potential was, and still is, huge. We were a £18.5m charity with a Direct Marketing team bringing in less than 10% of income so there was a bedrock of income from other sources maintaining the charity. The passion of the staff and supporters was amazing The case for significant long-term investment was built up over several years – begun in 2008, regular reporting back to trustees.
  • These are some of the key challenges we faced.To build trust with the trustees in a difficult economic environment was key. Understandably, trustees needed to limit risk. ‘What is the point in Direct Marketing?’Taking a Marketing team and focusing on Direct Marketing. A renewed focus on long-term income generation with a more analytical approach but still holding some delivery of service for other teams.Put in place a contact plan retaining donors but also raising more money was the challenge. Effectively communicating with supporters on a large scale from across the organisation driving income and retention of donors at the same timeSupporting the database team to implement a new database across Fundraising including all regional teams. With an aim to make income growth more achieveable.A supporter care team that could be a key part of driving income growth. The challenge was to create a team that generated demonstrable income improvement whilst answering phones and managing complaints.
  • Reducing risk – Focussing on key areas that were performing and tweaking them e.g. face to face, door to door and venue, removing areas that were underperforming or risky. e.g. cold mailAchieving budgets - The key thing in these years where the economy was underperforming was to build trust whilst showing the ability to hit income targets. Net income was all important and then growing gross incomeForecasting predicted return from regular giving recruitment and actively showing the increases in Direct Debit income. Lucy and I used the previous experience and contacts we have on regular giving recruitment as a sense check around what could be achieved. E.g. Shelter spend and income.Reports were given to trustees and SMT on performance with detail so that it could be seen that decisions were being made for the right reasons.In 2011-12 we had been at the organisation for 3.5 years. We put together a more comprehensive 5 year strategy which gave trustees a better long-term view of the direction and potential of the activity that was being undertaken. The strategy began to be implemented in June 2011.Including profiling and analysis of our current database and the market place
  • Structure – We outlined the desired structure of where we wanted to go but considered constraints on financial support so couldn’t be straight away. Approximate order of development of additional resource – Campaigns, database, supporter relations, campaigns, database, legacy and supporter relations. Looking back this seems intuitive and there has been steady recruitment.Campaigns – Focus on getting the job done (raising money) and working well with suppliers internally and externallyDatabase – First recruitment was crucial. Due to the diverse implementation of the new database we needed a role that would be people focused rather than purely concentrate on data. There was also a database manager in place in the IT team.Legacy – Increased legacy marketing capability to help ensure income past 5 yearsOne learning is to ensure that other teams are considered when building plans for growth including Finance and Marketing Communications because there will be an impact. E.g. more income processing and more materials
  • No specific supporter relationsUnder-resourced database teamLimited legacy marketing
  • Introduced a plan that was agreed at the start of the financial year for key, large scale DM activities for DM, Regional, National Events and Trading. Have recently expanded this to the Corporate and Major Donor teams. Result was significant increase in cross-selling opportunities and visibility Introduced regionalised newsletters, supporter reviews and e-newsletters to keep a national approach but with regional content. E.g. Outer is specific to NI, Scotland or England and Wales and inside is national content. E-newsletters contain regional stories. Result is much more relevant communications.We have taken a cross-team approach to Gift Aid activity which means that we use the data selection skills within the DM team that then go on to benefit other Fundraising teams. Ensures efficiency and a ‘fit’ with the contact plan.
  • Question for the audience: Thinking about all organisations (not just charities) on average how many new CRM projects succeed?Average is 50% so this isn’t an easy thing to do. These are some key recommendations.Resources scoped out. Include roles and responsibilities of people involved and create a project initiation document to tell you what is and what isn’t in scope.Processes- Ensure consistency and that they are done to a high standard. Project planning is crucial to ensure people are kept up to date.Technical Development – Ensure the team is resourced for this. Accept that you may need external help. Ensure you know what is included in the core product and what will need additional development.Communication - Assign responsibility for implementing a communications plan at an early stageIt is better to communicate too much than too little. Be open and no conversations in the server room!User Testing - Assign a team of testers and someone to manage it,Give yourself time to implement and fix all the issues between testing, Beware of the link between testing and trainingUser Training - Have a dedicated manager of this area and dedicated training,Get support from your CRM supplier but don’t rely on it, we found all teams needed standard and bespoke training,Use support materials,Use a range of training methods (online and face to face)Using it - Phase the implementation,Stick to your project plan and budget (if possible!),Communication with teams at this stage is really important,Use a helpdesk to help you manage queriesAfter implementation - Keep the energy, plan upgrades and improvement projects in detail, create a database strategy linked to your aims, encourage other teams
  • BackgroundSupporter care line covered by a rota but no ownership. Knew that we wanted Supporter Relations to be at the heart of what we do because the strategy is to build a large supporter base. Therefore it is critical to minimise attrition / maximise engagement engagement.Did the basics first – answering the phone, responding to emails promptly and monitoring etc..Supporter Relations generates huge amounts of income – the unsung heroes of the Fundraising world. It is just difficult to quantify. Took a decision recently that we wanted Supporter Relations to be proactively income generating – Direct Debit rolling reactivation through telemarketing is now the 3rd biggest source of regular givers for the charity. Team is close to the data which makes a massive difference. Sit next to the campaigns teamThe team is in the process of taking on a bigger role around processing Gift Aid. To date Gift Aid activity has been undertaken by the team across Fundraising and this has helped to dramatically increase income. DD income processing currently sits with this team as we took a decision to bring it in-house. Ensure that the organisation is ready for this and that it could help save costs and get you closer to the data to help understanding around attrition.Set and monitor KPIs and key reports including – Calls answered, call missed, time it takes to pick up the phone, response times to communications. Reporting – look at month on month volume and response to which communications, monitor volume of complaints
  • Now in a period of consistent growth. We have set a limited target growth in net income enabling more investment in Direct Debit giving as gross income increases.The investment has been self-generated but the ability to limit net income growth whilst other areas have grown net has been critical to increasing the pace.
  • Successes beyond individual giving:Established as a main player in the running arena and won the 2010 VLM raising over £1.5m (to date still the most money any single charity has ever raised)Northern Ireland Homes from Home capital appeal has raised £2.4m since the appeal started – well on the way to the target of £3.7m Major EventsProgramme well established with annual events, such as Sunningdale Golf day, Windsor Race Evening, St Nicholas Children’s Party, and the Christmas Celebration. Developed partnerships with event organisers for events such as Masterpiece (2011 & 2012), Olympia Arts and Antiques Fair (2013) A full cultivation and stewardship programme is now developed with a couple of multi-year commitments by major donors, and a good prospect list in place.  Trusts – Have secured multi-year funding commitmentsIn 2010 we were selected as Tesco’s Charity of the Year – raising over £7.2m which has funded new Nurse key workers who can co-ordinate clinical and nonclinical care as well as provide some nursing support so that children and young people can spend as much time at home as possible during treatment.In December 2010 we were selected to benefit from ITV’s This Morning Appeal, raising £430,000 in one month – almost twice as much as the previous year’s charity.In 2012/13, the Corporate Partnerships team generated over £40,000 additional value to the charity, through gifts in kind and cost saving initiatives such as free train tickets for service users In May 2013 our partnership with J D Wetherspoon reached the £7 million markGift Aid on Stock Donations fully integrated, resulting in 11,000 donors being signed up and generating over £250k extra income in three years
  • How to become a fundraising organisation not an organisation that fundraises

    1. 1. How to become a fundraising charity rather than a charity that fundraises Lucy Caldicott – Director of Fundraising James Spears – Head of Direct Marketing
    2. 2. NCVO Evolve 2013 This session How to make a case for long-term fundraising investment and build support throughout the organisation This session will provide real life examples of the challenges faced putting together a robust long-term donor acquisition and retention programme and how CLIC Sargent fundraisers tackled them 2
    3. 3. Intro to CLIC Sargent 2005 merger of CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood) & Sargent Cancer Care 4,000 children and young people diagnosed p.a. We provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life £25m turnover 13-14 (from £18m in 09-10) NCVO Evolve 2013 3
    4. 4. Post merger All income voluntary fundraised Majority of services costs are staffing ( e.g. social workers) Range of unpredictable income sources – events Income profile seasonal (Christmas, Dec financial y/e) Reliance on non-repeatable income sources: - charity of the year partnerships - appeals surpluses NCVO Evolve 2013 4
    5. 5. Improve predictability of income Grow income Improve profitability Manage risk Services strategy to grow YP service – agreed 2011 Fundraising strategy NCVO Evolve 2013 5
    6. 6. Fundraising strategy Strengths and weaknesses of existing income streams Areas of most potential identified Cross selling Cost efficiency Diversification Regular giving, multi-year relationships with companies, individuals, charitable trusts NCVO Evolve 2013 6
    7. 7. Background to building a case for individual giving investment NCVO Evolve 2013 7 Huge potential and passion Couldn’t prove long term case and some poor results – Trustees loathe to invest Limited affordability The recession had taken hold No structured Direct Marketing Team No established contact plan Ineffective supporter database Some acquisition testing already
    8. 8. Challenges To build trust To create a Direct Marketing team To communicate effectively with supporters To implement a new database To improve supporter care NCVO Evolve 2013 8
    9. 9. Building trust NCVO Evolve 2013 9 Showed that budgets could be achieved Forecasting using industry measures, other charities’ and internal data Regular reporting June 2011, more detailed and ambitious strategy approved by trustees Significantly reduced risk
    10. 10. Creating a DM team NCVO Evolve 2013 10 Structure - long-term ambitions but realistic about short-term. Data LegacySupporter Relations Campaigns
    11. 11. DM team 2008 Head of Direct Marketing Direct Marketing Manager Marketing Assistant Donor Development Officer Legacy Admin Manager Funds Manager Database Executive NCVO Evolve 2013 11
    12. 12. DM team 2013 Head of Direct Marketing Direct Marketing Manager Senior Direct Marketing Executive Direct Marketing Co-ordinator Legacy Marketing Executive Direct Marketing Executive Direct Marketing Data Manager Senior Direct Marketing Database Executive Direct Marketing Database Executive Legacy Manager Supporter Relations Manager Supporter Relations Executive Gift Aid Executive NCVO Evolve 2013 12
    13. 13. NCVO Evolve 2013 Contact Plan and Cross-team working Introduction of more visible and shared contact plan Cross-selling - Regionalised newsletters and e-newsletters Gift Aid Activity 13
    14. 14. Implementing a new database Resources Processes and project plan Technical development Communication User testing User training Using it NCVO Evolve 2013 14
    15. 15. Supporter Relations Cover the basics Income generating Gift Aid DD income processing KPIs & reporting NCVO Evolve 2013 15
    16. 16. Results £0 £50,000 £100,000 £150,000 £200,000 £250,000 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 NumberofDirectDebits(thousands) Month Monthly Direct Debit income and number against time Number of donors Income including Gift Aid NCVO Evolve 2013 16
    17. 17. 0 20 40 60 East West North Gross Income v ExpenditureMillions Results from Fundraising as a whole NCVO Evolve 2013 17 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Gross Income Expenditure
    18. 18. Discussion