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Collaborate offers improved acquisition and retention through combined supporter data

Collaborate offers improved acquisition and retention through combined supporter data

Direct response media agency Medialab has partnered with consumer and insight specialist Epsilon Abacus to bring ‘Collaborate’ to UK charities.

The tool lets charities enhance their understanding of their own supporters’ likelihood and propensity to give, and find relevant individuals who are likely to want to support their charity for the first time.

Collaborate presents a large volume of data on people in the UK, with their transactional data across 508 brands and charity donation history, to help charities focus on the most responsive donors. It helps charities go beyond their understanding of donors from their own database by overlaying the data with that from other sources, including other charities’ databases.

By modelling action purchase and donation history Collaborate helps to predict future behaviour, whether for or acquisition campaigns. The data can be used for direct mail, email and digital campaigns.

Four datasets

Collaborate combines the four main datasets used by charities – lifestyle, home shopping, publisher and donor. It consists of regularly updated data on 26 million individuals and 18 million households, 540 million transactions and £20 billion spend. The data is gathered and processed, say Medialab and Abacus, in accordance to UK data protection legislation, and is run against data cleansing solutions such as Mortascreen.

The result is a market-wide picture of millions of individual donors, which can be used to reduce charities’ expenditure by communicating only with the best prospects and most likely donors.

Contribute to share

To take part in Collaborate charities have to contribute their donor database to the system. However, this does not mean giving away data. A charity’s supporters’ unique names aren’t used, and supporters will only be shared if other sources have already contributed them to the database.

Charity supporters’ names will never be selected for mailing if they are unique to that charity or they have opted out of sharing data with third parties. Typically, 90-95% of a charity’s supporters’ households will match with the data, meaning that the majority of its supporters will already be receiving marketing communications from other brands.

Medialab describe Collaborate as “a fresh approach” and a contrast to concepts such as listing swapping from single charities.

Indeed, the model has been in use in the USA since 2009 and over 350 US nonprofits use it.

Membership is free and there is no contract commitment. This means that charities can withdraw their data at any point.

Collaborate was launched last week at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Fundraising Convention.

Lara Bonney, UK Country Director, Epsilon Abacus, said:

“Having seen how Epsilon Abacus donor targeting solutions transformed the effectiveness of direct marketing channels for US charities over the last 6 years, we are excited to join forces with Medialab to bring the solutions to Charities trading the UK.

“We are confident that the combination of an unrivalled source of UK consumer data, experience of delivering high performance solutions to UK cataloguers for over 17 years plus Medialab’s in-depth knowledge on the uniqueness of the UK charity market will make Collaborate a valuable new way of engaging with donors for long term success.”

How Collaborate works



Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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