Charities spend a lot of time and effort signing up donors and it can be just as tricky keeping them. With that in mind, Care International UK introduced an online initiative that reduced by half the number of donors who stopped giving within the first three months of signing up, compared with the previous year. It also reduced by three-quarters the number that made no first payment. How? By getting personal.
The charity, an aid agency that works to tackle poverty in more than 70 countries, launched MyCareZone, a website with a special page devoted to each individual donor. The page has blog-like updates on the work that the donated money is being spent on, and donors can use it to change the amount they give. They can also use the page to ask the charity questions or give feedback. Donors are emailed when their web page is updated and receive welcome messages when they log in.
The charity also sent donors stickers on which they could write a personal message for the children in one of Care International's projects. The children were filmed receiving the stickers, and a video of this will be uploaded to MyCareZone.
Care International decided donor participation was vital. Research suggested that street and doorstep recruits cancelled early because, after an initial engaging conversation with a fundraiser, communication dried up. Text messages, emails and phone calls were initially used to connect with donors recruited by face-to-face fundraisers. These methods of communication were then used to encourage donors to sign up to MyCareZone. Care International says the resulting savings made by this scheme are likely to run into thousands of pounds.
Award judge Leah Williams, community and social media manager at Breast Cancer Care, said: "This is a solution to a problem that a lot of charities have when recruiting through face-to-face fundraising."
For the most innovative use of digital media
Dan Dufour, senior planner (brand specialist), The Good Agency
Gobion Rowlands, chairman, Red Redemption
Diana Tickell, director of communications, Barnardo's
Leah Williams, community and social media manager, Breast Cancer Care
The King's Fund