What To Do When The Numbers Stink

What do you do when numbers look good but somehow aren’t?

That was the problem faced by Amnesty International, as outlined during the Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference at National Harbor, Md., by Tricia Hart of Amnesty International USA, Julie Wilson of Integral and Joe Manes of ABD Direct.

The organization faced lower donor counts and income in 2013, as well as staff turnover and negative donor feedback, even though revenue had been stable for almost four years and more than 85,000 new donors had been added to the rolls.
Surveys showed that current and lapsed donors liked the organization but there was a perceived lack of clarity about its mission.

The challenge was to map a donor’s journey that matches message to mission. Here are the steps they took and now suggest:

  • Re-engage with movement messaging;
  • Create a narrative arc to engage and educate donors;
  • Combine fundraising techniques with greater program content;
  • Identify and time pillar appeals;
  • Create a year-end fundraising drive featuring a year-in-review report, and a match;
  • Have an integrated membership drive;
  • Maintain a coordinated advocacy campaign.

You’ll need to monitor:

  • Campaign performance – daily;
  • Cash flow – daily;
  • Donor counts – weekly;
  • Retention – weekly;
  • File composition – quarterly;
  • New donor activation – quarterly; and,
  • Reinstated donor activation – quarterly.

The result was the retention of active donors is now at or above industry standards, and donor value has increased.