Médecins sans Frontières: ‘field partners’

Exhibited by
SOFII
Added
September 06, 2009
Medium of Communication
Direct mail
Target Audience
Regular gift
Type of Charity
Healthcare, international relief/development
Country of Origin
Australia
Date of first appearance
February, 2007

SOFII’s view

Without doubt all fundraisers want regular givers and lots of them. The best place to start is with your existing supporters and a well-phrased, powerfully argued request to convert from random one-off gifts to planned regular giving, hopefully by direct electronic funds transfer. MSF’s creation of ‘field partners’ was very successful at this.

Fundraising manager (MSF) – John Burns. Account director (Pareto Fundraising) – Dan Geaves. Account manager (Pareto Fundraising) – Vanessa Byrne.

Name of exhibitor

Pareto Fundraising.

Specific objectives for the regular giving conversion pack were:

  • Conversion of cash donors to regular givers at a rate of 2.22 per cent.
  • Safeguard gross cash income of $491,000.
  • Create a positive communication with donors.

Background

Recruiting regular givers is an extremely difficult challenge for most charities. But of course it is recognised that regular givers help to generate long-term growth for a charity. Existing supporters are the perfect potential regular givers as they often feel an affinity and loyalty to the cause, but they are also the providers of vital cash injections. The challenge was whether the correct balance could be achieved.

Special characteristics

  • Careful segmentation of the supporter base to separate cash ask from RG ask.
  • Tested a new RG conversion proposition that recognised that this was about changing behaviour not attitudes: ‘change the way you give by becoming a field partner’.
  • Explained why regular giving is so important to MSF’s work.
  • Target amount was tailored to suit the ask. The letter said that 642 new regular givers were needed to provide AUD X guaranteed funds over the coming 12 months. The target amount was then worked out to be their ask amount x 12 months x 642 regular givers.
  • Strategic use of images and copy to reflect benefits of regular giving.
  • Highly personalised copy that referred to donors by name and acknowledged how long they had been supporting MSF.

Influence / impact

  • 915 new regular givers to MSF.
  • Identified a strong and successful RG conversion pack that can be rolled out

Costs

Costs shown are exclusive of GST.

Agency fees $28,853
Print & production $23,169
Postage $8,894
TOTAL $60,916

Results

  • Achieved 3.5 per cent response rate to the RG ask.
  • $281,814 first year regular giving income.
  • Gross cash income $666,114.

Merits

  • Achieved results above and beyond those targeted.
  • Provides an example of how charities can change the giving behaviour of existing supporters.