BY ROB MCGOWAN, STRATEGY DIRECTOR
Communications planning: solving the battle between frequency, efficiency & ethical fundraising
We have been overwhelmed by the subsequent feedback and interest in our 2 years’ worth of research into charities’ communications with donors, which was released last week.
The overall objective of our secret-giving programme was to establish and understand the true impact that charity communications have on donors. It is no secret that the charity sector has experienced some of its most turbulent years yet, and on the whole they have experienced much scrutiny in the media for their communication efforts. Our research highlighted just some of the challenges that charities face, which include the need to operate in a commercial environment, whilst being mindful of the potential impact on the donors themselves.
No one can deny that charities are trying to make positive changes in the world - and we become donors for that very reason - however with our research finding that 33% of the 25 charities we donated to asked for another cash donation within 8 weeks, it is clear improvements must be made to ensure they work within a moral framework and maintain positive feelings towards their organisations, which ultimately is what charities rely on to retain donors.
So with the recent legislation changes and the sector being viewed through a magnifying glass, how can charities adapt successfully during this time of evolution?
After considering the findings of our research and after much deliberation, we are very proud to launch our Kaleidoscope NFP solution. Kaleidoscope NFP is specifically developed to provide solutions to problems identified within the research through intelligent use of data assets. The main purpose of the solution is to serve as a bedrock of effective communications planning for charities, improving the supporter experience and marketing ROI. The framework relies on making use of the data assets charities hold; analysing it and producing insight to answer key questions that charities are struggling to answer.
For example, as a direct result of this research our ‘Optimal Frequency’ solution answers the question, ‘How much communication is too much?’ The research also clearly highlights the need for integrated communications planning which led us to develop our ‘Attribution Modelling’ solution which goes a long way in answering the question, ‘What role do different media touchpoints play in influencing the decision to donate?’.
The hurdle that charities face is no doubt a big one. Change is daunting, however we hope that the outcome of our investigations – once revealed in full - alongside the launch of Kaleidoscope NFP will encourage charities to re-evaluate their position and create true value in their communication strategy by putting the donor first.