Online Fundraising Success- Care2 and the Sierra Club


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A presentation by Care2 and the Sierra Club about converting online activists, acquired using Care2, into donors and supporters.

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Online Fundraising Success- Care2 and the Sierra Club

  1. 1. Online to Offline – Does It Work? Ashley Hansen, Director of Non-Profit Services, Care2 Vicky Barrett-Putnam, Senior Director Donor Development & Acquisition Strategies, Sierra Club #Bridge14
  2. 2. About Care2
  3. 3. What’s new at Care2? • Dona&on ask in pe&&on flow • Custom Auto Reply – client branded • And, we’re growing faster than ever
  4. 4. About the Sierra Club • Founded in 1892 by legendary conserva&onist John Muir • The na&on's largest and most influen&al grassroots environmental organiza&on • More than 2.4 million members and supporters
  5. 5. About the Sierra Club • Our successes range from protec&ng millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act • Today, we are leading the charge to move away from the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disrup&on and toward a clean energy economy
  6. 6. Background A few years ago Sierra Club received a grant from the Bloomberg Founda&on to work on our Beyond Coal Campaign. A percentage of that grant went to growing our email ac&vist file and acquiring one million new ac&vists. This gave the Sierra Club a unique opportunity to also try and convert these ac&vists to members and donors. Our two main vendors we used to help us recruit the 1 million ac&vists were Care2 and
  7. 7. Care2 Acquisi=on Email
  8. 8. A Sierra Club Pe==on on Care2
  9. 9. Email Ac=vist to Member Online to Online
  10. 10. When email ac&vists are acquired, they receive three emails to on-­‐board them into the program. • First email is an engagement survey with a membership ask on the back end. • Second email is an ac?on alert with a dona?on ask on the back end. • Third email is a straight up appeal for an addi?onal dona?on.
  11. 11. 1st Ac=on Via Acquisi=on Source (The goal is to get a new ac=vist to take their first ac=on within the first month) 0.14 0.12 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 All Lists CARE2 CHANGE. ORG Month Ac=on Rate
  12. 12. Timing of 1st Dona=on 6 months is a sweet spot Sierra Club found that regardless of the date a new ac&vist was acquired, the most common &me to get a gi^ was at the 6 month mark.
  13. 13. Welcome Series Message 1: Engagement Email I'd love to hear what you think. Please take our quick, five-question survey now. I am so grateful to you for becoming one of our newest supporters. People like you are the heart and soul of the environmental movement -- and our ability to protect the animals and places that are close to our hearts depends on harnessing your ideas and passion. Are you passionate about a particular issue affecting our planet? What strategies do you think will bring the most success in our fight? Please take a moment to let us know what you care most about by taking our short survey. Your answers will help us chart a course for the coming years. Endangered wildlife and wild places are constantly under threat from things like oil and gas drilling and the effects of climate disruption. We have so far to go to ensure we can stop the catastrophic destruction of our environment.
  14. 14. Welcome Series Message 2: Take An Ac=on My name is Donna Branham and I live in Mingo County, WV -- smack dab in the middle of coal mining country. I'm a registered nurse and I've seen firsthand how mining hurts the health of my community. I've seen how it is making my community sick1 and year after year it's only getting worse. Mountaintop-removal coal mining blows off the tops of mountains to extract the coal that fuels our nation's power plants. It has already leveled 500 mountains and buried over 1,200 miles of streams2 -- but it gets worse. It raises my community's risk of birth defects, cancer, and heart disease. Right now, dozens of permits are pending for new mines and the Obama Administration could approve them any day. If they get approved, it will mean more people get sick and more mountains get destroyed. I don't know about you, but I don't want any more families to suffer the effects of Big Coal's pollution. Send a message to the White House before it's too late. I'm tired of seeing families get sick just so Big Coal can increase its profits. Tell the Obama Administration to put our health first: no more mountaintop-removal coal mines. A few years ago, Island Creek Coal Company opened a mountaintop-removal coal mine two miles from the house where I grew up and where my Mom and Dad still lived. Because of the danger, my parents had to leave their home so that they could have a reasonable life. My Mom never felt at home again. After that, I knew I had to act. The coal companies are putting a burden on us, and it isn't fair. I've got grandchildren, and I want them to live in a better world. That's why I'm calling on the Obama Administration to put our health first, and why I'm asking you to take action. Send a message to the White House today, and let them know that families, like mine, need them to stand up to and say no to any more mountaintop-removal coal mines. Our health depends on it. There have been many times where folks, like us, worked together to make change happen. If it weren't for mothers demanding a right to vote, women would still not be allowed at the polls. It takes people like you and me who get fed up enough to take action to make a change. I can't do it alone, but I know that if we stand together we can create a better life for our children and grandchildren! Tell the Obama Administration to protect families from mountaintop-removal coal mining today. Thanks for all you do to protect our environment! Sincerely, Donna Branham Sierra Club Volunteer Mingo County, WV P.S. After you take action, forward this message or spread the word on Facebook or Twitter by clicking our handy share buttons below:
  15. 15. Welcome Series Message 3: Straight Up Ask Dear AdmAllison, Thank you for teaming up with us to help protect the environment. As we undertake this tremendous fight, the Sierra Club and its members have proven time and again that we have the strength and commitment to stop efforts that undermine our public health and destroy our natural heritage. AdmAllison, that is why I am asking you to join our cause and become a member of the Sierra Club today. Thanks to the grassroots support of people like you, we’ve had some amazing achievements. We've stopped more than 150 new coal plants since we began our campaign to move beyond dirty coal. We've kept ground from being broken on the northern leg of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline for 5 years. And we saved more than one million acres in Grand Canyon National Park from new mineral exploration and mining. Each of these accomplishments was possible because of the dedication of our loyal members and supporters. But our work is not done. We are fighting a Congress that wants to roll back landmark legislation like the Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act. And while each victory we achieve is important, this movement is much bigger – it's about getting off oil and coal as quickly as we can and replacing dirty power with clean energy as soon as possible. We used people power to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and to prevent 150 coal plants from coming online. Now let's use that same power to lead our nation toward a clean-energy future. Please join the Sierra Club today and help us make a lasting difference for our environment! Thank you in advance for your support. Sincerely, Michael Brune Sierra Club Executive Director
  16. 16. Ongoing Messaging Strategy Ac&vists are targeted 1-­‐3 &mes to par&cipate in campaigns based on a combina&on of region, past ac&on history, type (e.g. social sharer), and topic (e.g. Wild America). If they take ac&on, they will see a secondary ask or ac&on on the thank-­‐you. They will also be entered into a campaign arc and receive follow-­‐up asks designed to move them up a ladder of engagement (from online signer to making a call to abending an event, for example). The specifics vary according to campaign goals. Everyone also receives the bi-­‐weekly newsleber which includes a mix of content, ac&ons, offers and asks.
  17. 17. Data Hygiene: When do we remove email ac=vists from our file? When they’ve been on our file for 24 months with no opens, clicks or online ac&ons.
  18. 18. Email Reengagement Tes=ng • Since discovering that 6 months is the sweet spot for new leads to donate, leads who have taken no ac&on in 6 months are sent a specific email with the best performing ac&on from the past month. • This email get about a 2.1% ac&on rate, which is almost the same as the ac&on rate off of the ac&on in the welcome series. • Some&mes it is also effec&ve to take “Sierra Club” off the sender name of the email and to send an ac&on different from the ac&ons they’ve been gehng. Ex: “Save the Bees” rather than a Beyond Coal ac&on.
  19. 19. Email Ac=vist to Member Online to Direct Mail Conversion
  20. 20. Mailing Online Ac?vists: Background/History In 2012, we had a budget surplus that allowed us to mail a large por&on of our email ac&vist file The following data demonstrates what we found out. We were somewhat surprised by the results.
  21. 21. Mailing Online Ac?vists: Women Significantly Out-­‐Performed Men # Mailed % Responded Average Gi^ Men 252,043 0.46% $21.15 Women 321,967 0.63% $20.33
  22. 22. Mailing Online Ac?vists: Care2 Significantly Out-­‐Performed # Mailed % Responded Average Gi^ Care2 100,562 0.68% $20.37 225,092 0.37% $20.19
  23. 23. Mailing Online Ac?vists: Looking at How Long Ago They Signed a Pe??on has Mixed Results # Mailed % Responded Average Gi^ 0-­‐3 Months 299,288 0.58% $21.22 4-­‐6 Months 140,662 0.48% $20.60 7-­‐12 Months 106,370 0.47% $21.19 13+ Months 2,235 1.07% $19.83
  24. 24. Mailing Online Ac?vists: It Did Not MaTer How Many Ac?ons They Took # Mailed % Responded Average Gi^ Took 1 Ac&on 92,885 0.58% $22.16 Took 2-­‐3 Ac&ons 50,006 0.62% $21.53 Took 4+ Ac&ons 79,846 0.57% $21.91
  25. 25. Mailing Online Ac?vists: We Also Tested Messaging Since these email ac&vists first became involved through Beyond Coal and Clean Energy ac&ons, we were hopeful that they would perform well to direct mail appeals on these issues, which we have not been able to make work in the mail. We were wrong. They liked the animal and wildlife direct mail beber.
  26. 26. Sample of Coal Packages
  27. 27. Sample of Wildlife Package
  28. 28. Our Current Tes?ng Strategy • Once the Bloomberg names stopped coming in, we decided to segregate the names depending on whether they came in from Bloomberg or more recent sources. • We tested NON-­‐Bloomberg sources as a force-­‐in. So we took 3 panels of 10,000 names based on recency and the number of ac&ons taken. And we mailed them with actually good results. • We highlight the URL to give online in all of our direct mail.
  29. 29. Results from Current Tes?ng Strategy % Responded Average Gi^ 0-­‐3 months 1 ac&on 0.80% $21.24 0-­‐3 months 2-­‐3 ac&ons 0.78% $29.29 0-­‐3 months 4+ ac&ons 0.69% $21.32 Based on these results we will be tes&ng larger panels of the non-­‐Bloomberg Names.
  30. 30. Email Ac=vist to Member Online to Telemarke?ng
  31. 31. What is Working for the Sierra Club • Calling only super advocates – those who have signed at least three (preferably 5) pe&&ons in a 12-­‐month period. • The ask has to be a monthly donor ask. We have found that approximately 2.5% to 3% of the people you contact will become a month ly donor. Another 6% to 9% will give an addi&onal gi^. These gi^s will be lower than your other TM programs. • Program pays for itself in less than 2 years.
  32. 32. What is Working for the Sierra Club • You cannot manage the script. Callers need to be able to talk about what is happening now. • It is good to have more than one firm call this program. Results are not always stable and you need to move the program or split it more o^en than a normal program.
  33. 33. Monthly Donor Reten=on by Source Percentage of Monthly Donors Acquired S&ll Ac&ve A^er 24 Months: Email Ac&vist: 56.5% Canvass: 29.1% Online (self selec&ng): 61.9% Check box for monthly gi^
  34. 34. Email Ac=vist to Member Other Sta?s?cs
  35. 35. 21% of ALL Welcome Series Ac?on Takers have become members of the Sierra Club. 4,389 Monthly Donors will be acquired through our email ac&vist telemarke&ng program in 2014. 171,141 Members (12%) give both online and offline gi^s to the Sierra Club. 40% of Members Acquired through the Welcome Series are renewing their membership.
  36. 36. Ashley Hansen Vicky Barrett-Putnam Don’t forget to visit the Solutions Showcase! Many of the ideas discussed today are on display at the Solutions Showcase! #Bridge14 Thank You!