International animal welfare charity Brooke has introduced a new approach to inspiring and retaining its mid-value audience of supporters. Until recently it had experienced declining response rates from this group of supporters, sometimes down by a half.
The charity asked GOOD Agency to help improve its approach to engaging with this audience.
GOOD’s research found that many of these supporters did not like:
- to feel that they were “ringfenced” into a club together with people they didn’t know
- to be given a label
- to be given particularly special treatment
Instead, they said that they wanted:
- the opportunity to feel part of something where they could make a significant difference to the suffering animals they cared passionately about.
- direct communications that made them feel closer to the work in the field, and closer to the team
- and to feel part of a collective endeavour.
Tribe funding campaign
Based on this research GOOD and Brooke have introduced a ‘tribe funding’ initiative that invited mid-value supporters and prospects to choose which of three Brooke projects they wanted to fund.
This had the added benefit of driving more donors online, a secondary objective of Brooke’s brief to GOOD.
The first of the new communications was a teaser email, sent in April 2017. This was followed by a pack that invited supporters to pick from three projects to support from three different countries. In each of these the case for support was made by the key members of the team who could make change happen for the animals if they joined them: owners, local vets, community champions and Brooke staff.
Supporters were then directed online to the tribe funding pages for more project content and a running total of the project funding. Finally, a reminder mailing included photographs with handwritten notes from Brooke staff in the field to bring supporters even closer to the cause.
Annie Moreton, Senior Fundraising Planner at GOOD, said: “With tangible objectives and items their donations could fund, supporters could make an informed decision in addition to those which struck a chord with them emotionally.”
Jane Bond, Direct Marketing Manager at Brooke, said: “This project is all about providing supporters with updates on the work in action, and connecting them directly to the impact that their support will make and the people that will make it happen. We are thrilled with how it has been received. It has been our most successful appeal in the past two years; receiving an average response rate of over 9% for the main pack and is on track to double the target by campaign close; raising over £130,000.”
The charity is planning to run a similar campaign in 2018. Meanwhile, existing donors are continuing to receive tailored email updates on the projects that they fund.
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