How UNICEF Australia use AI to raise more for children in need

UNICEF is a leading global non-profit working to improve the lives of children in need. As an organization that is 100% donor-funded, UNICEF Australia relies on the generosity of individual donors to fund their work.

In 2020 UNICEF Australia partnered with Dataro to improve their direct mail appeal campaign targeting and raise more funds, more efficiently using AI.

Dataro’s AI donor predictions have since become the backbone of UNICEF’s data practices which are delivering improved donor experiences, positive returns and better outcomes for children in need.

Using Dataro’s AI-driven targeting approach to make their direct mail appeal selections, UNICEF Australia has consistently raised more funds in their direct mail appeals, with less outreach and cost and increased efficiency.

Key results

Using AI to find the right donors for their direct mail appeals, UNICEF Australia achieved:

  • An increase in gross return, despite mailing 15,000 fewer people 
  • 26% uplift in appeal net revenue 
  • 35% increase in campaign ROI
  • Saved $30k in direct mail costs

How we did it

Since 2020, UNICEF Australia as been working with Dataro to improve the efficiency of their appeals selection process and drive better fundraising outcomes. Before using Dataro’s AI donor propensities, the charity used to rely on time-consuming and simplistic segmentation methods such as RFM for their appeal targeting which often leads to missed gifts from donors and wasted outreach to donors who were not likely to give.

Using machine learning, Dataro’s Direct Mail propensity model was integrated into UNICEF Australia’s Salesforce CRM, which generated propensity scores and ranks for all of their active cash donors. These were updated weekly in the charity’s CRM and used to make appeal selections.

Analyzing the results

As a result of using Dataro’s predictions, UNICEF Australia was able to target a smaller audience for their tax appeal, reducing mailing volume by 15,000 and saving $30K in costs. Despite sending significantly fewer letters, they generated more gross revenue and increased net appeal income by 26% and achieved a 35% lift in campaign ROI.

The Christmas Appeal in 2020 saw similar success, generating a $32,401 increase in net revenue and 265 additional gifts, despite mailing 6,200 fewer people. These results have given the charity the confidence to solely rely on Dataro’s AI predictions for all of their appeal targeting.

UNICEF Australia has since integrated the use of Dataro into their regular operations, allowing their entire team of fundraising experts to utilize Dataro’s models for selecting donors across other fundraising programs, such as recurring giving and Gift in Wills and to target their engagement email communications and telemarketing campaigns.

What they said

“Dataro has delivered amazing results for UNICEF. This fundraising-specific tool has helped us understand our donors on a much deeper level and empowered us to select the best donors for our appeals. It’s given us confidence in who we are targeting and meant that we are raising more, with less cost and less time spent on making our selections. Plus we’re building better relationships with our donors that help make a difference in the lives of children in need.”

Taylor Schulz

Marketing Specialist - Retention

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