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When it rains, does it have to pour?


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Bryan Evangelista at #Bridge18 Washington DC

Published in: Marketing
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When it rains, does it have to pour?

  1. 1. When it rains, does it have to pour? Moving donors from transactional to philanthropic giving
  2. 2. TODAY’S CONVERSATION • What is the value of a premium based program? • When and why make a change? Should you? • Where and how to do it?
  3. 3. WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO THIS EARLY?! Bryan Evangelista Vice President Tricia Benson Senior Director of Individual Giving James Weisman President & CEO
  4. 4. The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives.
  5. 5. Compass Community Partnerships CF Peer Connect Community Voice Advocacy Basic Research Care Centers Clinical Trials Individual with Cystic Fibrosis Chapter Programs Tomorrows Leaders Grandparents CF Cares Great Strides and Other Events Other Gifts Individuals Corporations Foundations Bequests Donors Volunteers
  6. 6. United Spinal Association is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, and providing support and information to loved ones, care providers and professionals. We believe no person should be excluded from opportunity based on their disability. Our goal is to provide people living with SCI/D programs and services that maximize their independence and enable them to remain active in their communities.
  7. 7. Our reach in the community … • 53,000 members • 52 chapters • 160 support groups • 100+ hospital members Distributed $500,000 in microgrants to those affected by storms of 2017 in South Florida, Houston, Puerto Rico/U.S. VI
  8. 8. • Publishes New Mobility magazine (85,000 per month) • Operates interactive resource center (phone/email) • Answers questions about healthcare and equipment, accessibility and civil rights – all things disability related • Operates VetsFirst – program of United Spinal that operates resource center for veterans, especially those with disabilities.
  9. 9. • Operates Accessibility Consulting Services (ACS) – a fee-for-service program of United Spinal that ensures developers of real estate projects that their designs will be consistent with accessibility laws (local, state, federal, even international). • Operates government policy office in Washington, D.C. on disability/veterans issues. • Runs national grassroots advocacy program and brings 100 wheelchair users to DC every year for lobbying visit – Roll on Capitol Hill
  11. 11. SHOULD WE OR SHOULDN’T WE? PROS • High response rate • More gifts per donor • Larger pool of donors • Increased brand awareness and recognition CONS • Low average gift • More Expensive (need volume) • Smaller margin of error • Transactional Relationship
  12. 12. HOW DO YOU DECIDE? • Determine what you want • Agree on what to change • Assess level of risk tolerance • Consider all elements of your program • Test, Analyze, Repeat • Keep your eye on the prize
  13. 13. A CASE STUDY
  14. 14. PROGRAM SNAPSHOT • DM started in the early 80’s (prior to many of our chapters) • Premium acquired and renewed • 65 Roses ® Story prominent • Millions of donors on file, with roughly 250,000 currently active (0-36 month) • Appeals mailed monthly • No Acquisition (suspended in 2016) • Integrated Digital Program
  16. 16. WHERE WERE WE? • Relationship purely transactional • Front AND Back End Premiums • Heavy mail volume, churn and burn donor file • Version overload – Male, Female, Spanish
  17. 17. WHERE DID WE WANT TO GO? • Move to a more mission-focused donor and message • Reduce dependence on premiums • Convert donors to sustainers • Build pipeline for Planned Giving A paradigm shift …
  18. 18. THE OLD VS. THE NEW
  19. 19. MESSAGING SHIFT Using current success to inspire donors Showing donor’s how their gifts matters Including stories of real people impacted by work
  20. 20. CHANGE IN PACKAGE STRATEGY • Immediate end to back end premiums • Only two front end premium mailings remaining (Calendar and Notepad) • Address labels mailed bi-annually • Mission focused, non premium special appeals added And, most importantly, introduced a renewal series …
  21. 21. RENEWALS Five part renewal series that begins before year-end While not a membership organization, focuses on renewing annual support 1. November Member Card 2. December Member Card Follow Up 3. January Invoice 4. February Address Labels 5. March Decal
  22. 22. KEEP WHAT’S WORKING “SIXTY FIVE ROSES” theme remains prominent throughout all packages
  23. 23. CALENDAR CAMPAIGN Three mail campaigns accompanied by an integrated email series
  24. 24. SUSTAINER POTENTIAL • Premium responsive donors give smaller gifts, multiple times a year • Donor file was ripe for sustainer asks, with a clear case for support (and branded Club) • Prior to new efforts, less than 200 donors giving monthly One road block … telemarketing was off the table
  25. 25. SUSTAINER STRATEGY High touch Sustainer Invitation package mailed three times a year with two part email series Mailed mid month to supplement appeals, targeted to most recent, 2-3X+ multi donors
  26. 26. Dual asks tested (successfully) within nearly every appeal and implemented as part of Acknowledgments Stewardship and upgrade opportunities when mailing premiums or donor appreciation elements SUSTAINER STRATEGY
  27. 27. SUSTAINER RESULTS • To date, more than 850 sustainers (more than quadrupled in 18 months) • By year-end, 1,300 anticipated and over $200K in sustainable revenue • Average gift is just under $19 (nearly triple the $6.50 symbolic ask)
  28. 28. PLANNED GIVING Survey Mailing, Conversion Newsletter, and Acknowledgment Insert Approximately $1M in PG annually from DM 1,000 prospects identified through mass marketing efforts in DM
  29. 29. PLANNED GIVING 59 74 221 348 519 Goal 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Legacy Society: Living Donors Approximately 1/3 of our current living Legacy Society and our estate gifts are from DM donors
  30. 30. GLENNIE: A PLANNED GIFT TO CFF • DM donor from 2000-2014. • 14 years – 22 gifts totaling $2,745 • Gifts ranged from $15 to $250 • Wrote her last will in 2006. She was 95. • Glennie died just before her 104th birthday in 2014. • “…she initially had several other charities in her will. In 2006, she wrote her final will. She took out several…I don’t think she had a connection at all with CF…she had no children of her own and never mentioned anyone with the disease…I am not sure why she chose you, but I was there when she did because I drove her to the lawyer’s office.” –Walter, PR and Trustee
  31. 31. GLENNIE: HER LEGACY Residual gift of $623,465 to CF Foundation 8 specific gifts to family members totaled $50,000 2 charitable gifts of $50,000 each
  32. 32. A CASE STUDY
  33. 33. PROGRAM SNAPSHOT • Long, rich (and confusing!) brand history • Two logos, two fundraising tracks • Premium acquired and renewed • Millions of donors on file, with roughly 275,000 currently active (0-36 month) • 15+ Appeals, 1-2 Acquisitions • Limited Digital Integration
  34. 34. WHERE WERE WE? • Relationship purely transactional • Low ask, low average gift • Could not afford Acquisition at volume needed • Retention efforts could not keep pace with expenses
  35. 35. WHERE DID WE WANT TO GO? • Reduce dependence on premiums • Lower costs, improve net income • Renew a more valuable donor • Slow donor file attrition Incremental changes only – risk too great otherwise on cash flow!
  36. 36. ADJUSTED MAIL SCHEDULE • Removed more expensive premium packages with lower net/m • Developed announcement packages • Included more follow- up/reminder packages • Added non premium emergency appeal to best donors
  37. 37. CAN LESS BE MORE? • Sending fewer notecards (5 vs. 10 cards) • 30% drop in revenue, 16% less net income • Sending fewer address labels (3 vs. 6 panels) • 11% drop in revenue, 10% less net income • Sending fewer notepad pages (30 vs. 20 pages) • 9% drop in revenue, 13% less net income The answer was a resounding NO … but, as long as the premium wasn’t changed, some cost savings could be achieved.
  38. 38. KEEP WHAT’S WORKING! Premiums anchor program at quarterly intervals Calendar campaign raises over $1 million (30% of annual revenue)
  39. 39. RELAUNCHED ACQUISITION • Re-entered market as United Spinal • Tweaked Calendar Package (old control) • Letter content, ask string, components • Tested Address Label Package (new control) • Cost savings and timing impact New Quarterly Reinstatements rolled out this year with lapsed modeling being tested in the Fall of 2018
  40. 40. A NOTE ABOUT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS • Previously, only $100+ gifts were acknowledged (and managed internally) • With mail volume so high, subsequent gift was considered “acknowledgement” • In FY18, all $15+ gifts were acknowledged through partnership with caging company To date, 4,500 gifts and $130K raised! Plus, pending credit card test, dual ask soon to be added to promote monthly giving.
  41. 41. IN CLOSING … AGAIN … • Determine what you want • Agree on what to change • Assess level of risk tolerance • Consider all elements of your program • Test, Analyze, Repeat • Keep your eye on the prize
  42. 42. Thank you! Bryan Evangelista Tricia Benson James Weisman