Charity uses postcode analysis to select doorstep fundraising areas

The National Deaf Children's Society tells conference on face-to-face that it identified the best and worst-performing areas from its previous year's campaign

Doorstep fundraising
Doorstep fundraising

The National Deaf Children’s Society is using a data analysis of postcode areas in the UK to decide where to carry out doorstep fundraising in order to sign up better-value donors.

Speaking at the Institute of Fundraising’s face-to-face fundraising conference yesterday, Ben McNaught, the charity’s head of supporter marketing, said the NDCS used a system that identified the best-performing areas in its 2011/12 doorstep fundraising campaign.

The system is based on UK postcode sectors and was developed using geodemographical data such as age, income and population density, plus information from the charity’s own database about previous supporters recruited in those areas.

Findings from the campaign showed that the charity’s return on investment in the better-ranked areas were 11 per cent higher than in the worst-ranked areas, said McNaught.

Gift Aid sign-up was 8 per cent more in the better-ranked areas and the average gift was 3 per cent higher than the worst-ranked areas, he said.

"It demonstrated that the model was working," he said.

Chris Wishard, head of licensing at the fundraising company Fundraising Initiatives, which worked with the charity on the campaign, said donors in the top rank out of 10 were more likely to be the most valuable supporters, whereas those in the bottom rank were those more likely to cancel their gifts within 12 months or fail to make the first payment. 

The agency’s fundraisers were given maps that showed in red the worst-ranked areas so they could cut out the territory least likely to produce quality donors, he said.

Supporters were signed up using iPads so that Wishard could monitor in real time where they were being recruited.

"It meant we could take prompt action with offices that were doing too much in the bad areas," he said. "We were reporting back to the field the improved quality statistics from the good areas, and those from the bad, to demonstrate to the fundraisers why we were asking them to stick to those areas."

The charity is working on how to get more from the lowest-ranked areas by testing lower-value asks and different welcome packs.

It is also piloting a "premium product" in the top-performing bracket that asks for more money.

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