How RFDS Vic’s data-driven approach has lifted their fundraising to new heights

Dataro have been working with Royal Flying Doctors Service Victoria since 2020 to help them implement data-driven fundraising strategies that deliver more donations and better fundraising ROIs across appeals, recurring giving and major gifts.

As a not-for-profit aeromedical organization, RFDS Vic rely on the generosity of their single, recurring and major donors to keep the Flying Doctor in the air and on the road. Investing in Dataro’s technology has improved their fundraising ROI and helped them consistently raise more in their appeals (from less outreach), convert and retain more recurring givers and increase major gift revenue by 15% year on year. 

Dataro’s fundraising technology has become an integral part of their long-term fundraising strategy and day-to-day practices. Using Dataro’s AI-donor predictions their fundraising is more targeted and helps them deliver donor-centric campaigns that consistently achieve fundraising targets.

Key results

  • $34,491 increase in net revenue (Tax 2020 direct mail appeal)
  • Reduced major appeal data selection process by +1 day
  • 3% increase in recurring giving retention rates (2022)
  • RG reactivation conversion rates increased from 9.8% to 23.8%. (2020)
  • RG upgrade conversion rates increased from 27.9% to 32.2% (2020)
  • +15% increase in major gift revenue (2022)

How we did it

When Dataro first partnered with RFDS Vic in 2020 they were looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their data team in making direct mail appeal selections, while also delivering improved campaign metrics. 

In this case, Dataro’s Direct Mail propensity model was implemented directly within the charity’s Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT CRM. Using machine learning, Dataro’s software generated propensity scores for all of RFD Vic’s active cash donors, providing a prediction of how likely each donor would be to give if solicited.

Dataro’s direct mail appeal predictions were seamlessly integrated into the charity’s CRM against the donor record as a percentage and rank and updated weekly and used to make appeal selections.

The same process was followed when the charity implemented Dataro’s Recurring Giving module (identifying the likelihood of existing donors to convert to recurring giving), Recurring Giving Churn (identifying monthly givers likely to churn) and  Stewardship module (identifying and prioritising the best major donor prospects in their database).

Analysing the results

Dataro has revolutionised the way RFDS Vic’s fundraising team works, improving team efficiency and helping them deliver donor-centric fundraising campaigns that have generated revenue growth during a difficult economic climate.

With Dataro’s AI-powered donor predictions the charity has been able to engage the right donors, at the right time, in a way that brings them closer to the charity’s mission and results in greater net returns.

Appeals that raise more, from less outreach

In their first appeal with Dataro (Tax 2020) the charity generated a +$35k increase in net appeal revenue, including a $9k reduction in mailing costs by removing donors least likely to give. The appeal generated 14 extra gifts over $500 and one major gift of $5,000 with an ROI on the Dataro investment of 113.8x.

Since 2020 the RFDS Vic team has reduced the data selection process for major appeals by over one day, saving time and resources. 

Growing recurring giving

Once or twice a year, RFDS Vic uses Dataro’s Recurring Giving Conversion Scores to run calling campaigns which have helped grow their regular giving program year on year. 

Using Dataro’s recurring giving predictions to do call targeting, the charity has improved conversion rates for their recurring giving upgrade and reactivation campaigns, while reducing campaign costs. In 2020 upgrade conversion rates increased from 27.87% to 32.18% while reactivation conversion rates increased from 9.84% to 23.85%.

The charity has retained more recurring givers using Dataro’s software which helps them identify donors at risk of churning. Using the Recurring Giving Churn Scores, the charity now runs more targeting intervention calling campaigns that has generated a 3% lift in retention rates this year. 

RFDS Vic improves recurring giving conversion rates with Dataro's AI donor predictions

We use Dataro’s rankings to better select regular givers who are most likely to upgrade their gift or reactivate their gift with us. We have also used the rankings to do thank you calling that has improved our donor care and seen our retention rates improve.” – Rylee Elfert (Fundraising Coordinator – Regular Giving Program)

Increasing major gift revenue

In 2022 RFDS Vic has grown their major gift revenue by +15% year on year using Dataro’s Stewardship module to find more major donor prospects in their database, reconfirm existing major donor prospects and help them prioritise the top prospects for further research and stewardship. This has enabled time savings and ensured the efforts of the team are directed to the most likely prospects.


Investing in fundraising technology that is aligned with RFDS Vic’s long-term fundraising strategy has helped the charity to unlock the value of every donor in their database. 

Nonprofits who invest now in solutions like Dataro will improve fundraising outcomes, improve team efficiency and ultimately increase their impact.

By investing in new data technologies like AI, nonprofits can:

  • Understand their donors better and identify who is most likely to give
  • Raise more funds through better targeting and more donor-centric campaigns 
  • Reduce individual campaign costs and improve ROI
  • Spend less time and resources on campaign targeting
  • Ensure fundraising programs are as effective and efficient as can be
  • Help protect revenue from the impacts of inflation and rising fundraising costs
  • Transform the positive impact they can have

Nonprofits are doing their mission a disservice by not using available fundraising technologies to improve their fundraising efficiency and effectiveness. 

What they said

“Dataro’s software is extremely user friendly and they are a trusted adviser to our fundraising team. They make our lives as a data and fundraising team easier, saving time and delivering better campaign selections, faster than ever before. The results speak for themselves and this is why our team loves working with Dataro. We can’t imagine fundraising without Dataro now.”

Daniel Blucher

Data & Insights Specialist

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