For a charitable organisation such as World Vision Canada, forging a lasting connection with a donor is as critical as attracting a donor in the first place. That’s why the decision by Canada’s largest child sponsorship agency to revamp its first official touchpoint with donors – its direct mail “welcome pack” onboarding package - was the focus of an intense collaboration between the group and its expert partners.
Rather than simply brief its agency partners about its expectations for the new welcome pack, which would be personalized to each individual donor, World Vision was determined to be engaged at every step of the creative process.
World Vision also wanted to transition from using a large inventory of pre-printed welcome pack materials to a more customised, print-on-demand schedule. To ensure that the charity could make the shift seamlessly, it included its fulfilment partner, Bassett Direct, in the process. The new approach avoided situations where the charity and its partners “dream up and fall in love with an idea – that we were going to have variable print on demand – and then find out that it’s either way too expensive to do or technically is impossible,” says Carroll.
World Vision has charted the success of its new Welcome Series with continuous donor measurement statistics that show donor engagement and satisfaction are higher than they have been in decades. Specifically, the direct mail campaign raised donor satisfaction by more than 15% and raised first-time donor understanding of the sponsorship experience.
Better engagement through data
Data is key to driving engagement and measuring success for the charity. That includes fine-tuning and utilising donor information to maximise the impact of its appeals.
“The only way we can drive engagement is to be more customised
and to be more personal. We can speak to someone on a one-to-one level.
We can go beyond printing someone’s first name, we can regionalise it.”
For example, World Vision would customise the information presented to donors down to the child, his or her community and the specific initiative of that community (such as clean drinking water) versus presenting more generic information from the charity. Carroll believes that too many non-profits mistakenly avoid tapping the substantial benefits it offers. “I think the misconception that direct mail is expensive can be dispelled by engaging the right partners that have access to technology and can introduce partnerships to the organisation.”
Source: Canada Post