Strategic approach breathes new life into fundraising

After RKD’s first full year of managing the program, year-over-year highlights include:

10%

increase in gross revenue

14%

decrease in expenses

4,372

new donors through direct mail

THE CHALLENGE

A new vision for the future

RKD became the agency of record for the Operation Smile direct-response program in Canada in late 2018 and took over both the acquisition and retention work. At that time there was a new CEO joining the organization, who brought a new vision and a drive for better results, more efficiency and out-of-the-box creative thinking.

THE SOLUTION

Development of projects that support acquisition, retention

We conducted a full analysis of donor performance and overhauled the segmentation based on new insights. We also revamped the communication calendar to include a balance of hard-working and seasonally-relevant fundraising appeals alongside donor-centric stewardship materials. RKD developed a family of control appeals and instituted rigorous offer, creative and segmentation testing in an effort to continually optimize. We reintroduced engaging stewardship pieces that brought the impact of donor giving to life while priming the audience for the biggest gift-giving season of the year.

We launched fresh, emotional creative that supported rich storytelling and innovative engagement materials such as bouncebacks and premiums. We reintroduced acquisition—both through direct mail and DRTV efforts—and introduced highly-personalized, middle-donor materials, efficiently leveraging regular donor materials. Finally, we recommended an addition to the calendar in late 2019—a simple, crisis appeal focused on a funding shortage in a particular region.

breakthrough

Driving revenue, new donors

The crisis appeal alone generated an incremental $350,000 in gross revenue. In addition, overall program year-over-year highlights included a 10% increase in gross revenue with a 14% decrease in expenses. Our work generated 4,372 new donors through direct mail.

The crisis appeal alone generated an incremental $350,000 in gross revenue. In addition, overall program year-over-year highlights included a 10% increase in gross revenue with a 14% decrease in expenses. Our work generated 4,372 new donors through direct mail.

Multichannel package beats revenue projections

Our multichannel package achieved:

7.75%

response rate

$207

average gift

80%

higher than net revenue goal

THE CHALLENGE

Building a compelling fundraising offer

In our new partnership with UNHCR Canada, our first goal was to begin building a portfolio of hardworking, successful fundraising campaigns that could be refreshed and executed on an annual basis. We started this by gaining a deeper understanding of their field program work so we could translate it into a compelling fundraising offer.

THE SOLUTION

Multichannel package

Together, we chose to launch the cash assistance program for Syrian refugees living in urban areas of Jordan and Lebanon as the primary offer for their initial fundraising campaigns. We worked to design a multichannel campaign featuring a distinctive package tailored for the $500+ middle donors. The main package mailing included an oversized envelope, personalized label, photo card and a lift note. It was followed by a simple but effective reminder mailing. These mailings were also supported by a digital reminder email that directed donors to a unique donation page.

breakthrough

Successful anchor campaign

The first mail drop of the main package achieved a 7.75% response rate and $207 average gift – beating the net revenue goal by 80%. The reminder mailing was equally successful, with a 5.25% response rate and $150 average gift. This campaign has become a successful anchor in UNHCR Canada’s annual fundraising schedule and is a winning package to successfully acquire new donors to the organization.

The first mail drop of the main package achieved a 7.75% response rate and $207 average gift – beating the net revenue goal by 80%. The reminder mailing was equally successful, with a 5.25% response rate and $150 average gift. This campaign has become a successful anchor in UNHCR Canada’s annual fundraising schedule and is a winning package to successfully acquire new donors to the organization.

Stewardship campaign improves new mid-level donor program

RKD’s new stewardship campaign led to:

Over $1 million

in revenue

$30.64

average gift size

The Challenge

Donors were not previously contacted throughout the year with updates

RKD Direct Point was selected as the Heart & Strokes Agency of Record for their newly minted mid-level donor program. As we began to review past efforts, it became apparent that donors were not effectively stewarded or provided with updates throughout the year about how their donations were making a difference.

The Solution

Donor-centric messaging that reinforced the effects of donor gifts

We developed a new stewardship campaign that began in October – right before the biggest giving time of the year. The campaign included tailored donor messaging along with a soft ask strategy. The primary objective of the campaign was to report back to donors on the impact of their contributions. Stories were told from multiple perspectives – researcher, donor and survivor – and the bulk of the messaging centered around research since H&S donors react to clinical research results.

Breakthrough

Appreciation calls and over $1 million in revenue

The stewardship campaign was an extreme success, generating appreciation calls while raising over $1 million in revenue. Most importantly, year-end giving revenue remained at historical levels while increasing lapsed donor re-activation rates.

The stewardship campaign was an extreme success, generating appreciation calls while raising over $1 million in revenue. Most importantly, year-end giving revenue remained at historical levels while increasing lapsed donor re-activation rates.

Holiday catalog re-work boosts growth

RKD ran a competitive analysis, leveraged the learnings and developed a package that led to:

500%

increase in catalog revenue
since 2009

Only 50%

increase in expense budget

5

catalogs produced per year
at minimum

The Challenge

A holiday catalogue plateau

Save The Children USA’s holiday catalogue had previously enjoyed several years of growth but had begun to plateau. RKD Direct Point was challenged to boost growth in the catalogue and reach new levels of revenue and segmentation expansion. In 2008, we became the Agency of Record for STC’s Gifts of Joy holiday catalogue. In this role, we provided overall strategic direction, creative design and print-production management for the new and improved catalogue.

The Solution

A new online and offline approach with corresponding communications

As a part of the solution, we produced catalogue versions for donor acquisition, house-file cultivation and mid-level donors. This included product selection and development, original photography and video assets and graphic design elements.

Breakthrough

Catalogue revenue increases 5 times

Today, STC’s catalogue revenue is five times higher than in 2009, with only a 50% increase in expense budget. Currently, we produce a minimum of five catalogues each year across a variety of segments, which include regular, middle, sustainer and emergency-acquired donors.

Today, STC’s catalogue revenue is five times higher than in 2009, with only a 50% increase in expense budget. Currently, we produce a minimum of five catalogues each year across a variety of segments, which include regular, middle, sustainer and emergency-acquired donors.

Integrated video campaign increases revenue from mid-level donors

RKD Direct Point’s integrated video campaign (IVC) led to:

21%

Response rate

$667

Average gift size

$46,644

over expected revenue

The Challenge

Lack of significant revenue from mid-level donors

Hope and Healing Canada approached us and asked us to help them generate more revenue from their mid-level donors. Up to this point, the only engagement with this important group was through a direct mail program.

The Solution

Well-developed donor communication

To optimize this high-value segment of donors, RKD Direct Point developed a donor-communication treatment around a powerful offer, breakthrough creative and an appropriate dollar-handle strategy. We introduced a proprietary IVC that utilized targeted communication efforts that were creatively designed to build excitement and urgency. This spoke to the sensibilities of the higher-value donor segment.

Breakthrough

Video campaign
is a hit

This unique video campaign is now the annual anchor fundraising event of the year for Hope and Healing Canada’s most engaged donors. We have now also successfully integrated this concept into many mid-level donor programs.

This unique video campaign is now the annual anchor fundraising event of the year for Hope and Healing Canada’s most engaged donors. We have now also successfully integrated this concept into many mid-level donor programs.

A comprehensive donor acquisition brings in revenue

RKD's competitive analysis and package development led to:

4.06%

increase in response rate

$30.64

average gift size

The Challenge

Donor acquisition program previously not prioritized in budget

STCC’s acquisition program had been put on hold for several years. However, the fundraising team acquired additional budget to make an investment in donor acquisition. RKD Group went to work immediately to develop a new comprehensive donor acquisition program.

The Solution

A comprehensive competitive analysis

Our first step was to perform a competitive analysis within the market to determine what was working and what was not. We then developed the package on what offers, premiums and trade lists performed best in the industry, while incorporating the Save the Children brand.

Breakthrough

Success results in two additional prospect campaigns

The appeal received an increase in response rate and average gift size, which beat STCC’s revenue goal significantly. This success resulted in dropping two additional prospect campaigns as a part of Save the Children Canada’s annual calendar.

The appeal received an increase in response rate and average gift size, which beat STCC’s revenue goal significantly. This success resulted in dropping two additional prospect campaigns as a part of Save the Children Canada’s annual calendar.