Red Cross uses AI to find mid-value donors that help support communities in times of need
Australian Red Cross have a bold objective to increase their mid-value program income from $7 million to $9 million by FY26/27 to help them improve lives and build resilient communities in times of need.
In 2021 the charity launched a new mid-value strategy and communications plan, including a new product (Red Cross 50) that saw them grow mid-value income by $1.25 million YOY.
With the right mid-value strategy and tactics in place, in 2022 the charity invested in AI technology to help them identify the best standard-value donors to nurture and upgrade to mid-value over the next 12 months through their appeals program and new mid-value products.
Using Dataro’s Mid-Level Propensity Model the charity identified a new cohort of mid-value prospects already existing within their standard-value donor base to nurture.
In their first campaign with Dataro (2022 Festive Appeal), the charity generated $266k in income from new prospects identified by Dataro’s AI software and converted 34 new donors to mid-value levels.
The 2022 Festive Appeal was the Red Cross’s most successful appeal on record, raising $3 million in revenue and exceeding $1 million in mid-value income for the first time in a festive appeal.
- $505k combined income from new mid-value prospects identified by Dataro and RFV
- $266k was generated from new prospects identified by Dataro
- 34 new Dataro prospects converted to mid-value donors
- 45% lift in standard-value income YOY (+$280k) from new prospects taken on the mid-value appeal journey*
*cumulative gifts do not yet qualify these donors at the mid-value level
What we tested
When the Red Cross partnered with Dataro, the goal was to use machine learning (AI software) to:
- find new mid-value prospects in their existing database
- prioritise which donors to steward from standard-value to the mid-value giving range
The charity also wanted to test if their in-house RFV model was still effective at identifying mid-value prospects.
Red Cross used Dataro’s propensity scores and ranks plus their own in-house RFV model to select a group of standard-value donors with the highest likelihood to convert to mid-value giving level over the next 12 months. All prospects (and existing mid-value donors) were sent on the same enhanced mid-value donor journey for the 2022 Festive Appeal. This meant we were able to compare the results of the Dataro only selections, versus RFV only selections.
How we did it
In this case, Dataro’s Mid-Level donor propensity model was implemented directly within the charity’s custom CRM. Using machine learning, Dataro’s software generated propensity scores for all of Australian Red Cross’s active cash donors, providing a prediction of how likely each donor would be to give between $500 and $5,000 cumulatively in the next 12 months, if stewarded effectively.
Dataro’s predictions were seamlessly integrated into the charity’s CRM against the donor record as a percentage of how likely they would be to give at the mid-value level if stewarded effectively. Each donor record was also updated with a rank to help the charity identify their top prospects and prioritise their stewardship efforts. The ranks and scores were updated in their CRM weekly.
Red Cross used Dataro’s propensity model in conjunction with their own RFV model to identify the strongest mid-value prospects to nurture over the next 12 months and take on an enhanced mid-value journey for their 2022 Festive Appeal. Mid-value prospects (currently standard-value donors) were sent on an omni-channel mid-value appeal journey through November and December 2022 which included DM, email, telemarketing, sms and a special webinar event.
Because predictive ranks and scores are automatically updated each week in the charity’s CRM, future mid-value campaign targeting will be based on the most current donor data and the data selection process will be equally as efficient.
Analysing the results
Donors identified as good mid-value prospects by both Dataro and the charity’s RFV were 2x more likely to respond and generated $505k in income (a mix of mid-value gifts and standard base income). Approximately 53% of this income ($266k) income was generated by new prospects identified by Dataro’s model only.
An additional 34 donors identified by Dataro only moved up the pipeline to mid-value level in this appeal. Given mid-value giving is about relationships, Red Cross expects more of these newly identified mid-value prospects will convert from standard-value base to mid-value level with the next appeal campaign.
Overall, the efforts to identify new mid-value prospects within the standard-value donor base (using both Dataro and RFV) helped grow standard base income by $280K YOY (up 45% YOY).
Standard-value donors identified only by Dataro had a higher median gift of $150 (compared to $100 for RFV only selections). The Dataro only selections contributed $251k in standard base income (compared to $229k for RFV only selections).
In their 2023 Tax Appeal the charity will continue to test Dataro’s Mid-Level model against their in-house RFV model to identify the best mid-value prospects to move up the pipeline.
The charity will also continue to use Dataro’s mid-value propensities to target their other stewardship efforts which will including the launch of a new mid-value product, the Red Cross 1,000 which asks donors to pledge a gift of $1k each year for 3 years.
In 2023 Dataro is proud to expand our support with more donor propensities models to help the Red Cross grow their single giving appeals more broadly, minimise recurring giving churn, maximise recurring giving upgrades and improve their stewardship efforts across their bequest program.
New fundraising technologies like AI (machine learning) can supercharge your nonprofit’s mid-value strategy and results by identifying mid-value prospects already existing within the donor database.
Knowing which of your existing donors have capacity to increase their level of giving is key to prioritising your stewardship efforts and driving income growth for your cause.
Using Dataro’s Mid-Level propensity model, charities can:
- identify the best mid-value prospects to build a relationship with
- increase response rates
- move more standard-value donors through the mid-value pipeline
- raise more funds through better targeting
- spend less time and resources on prospecting activities
- ensure mid-value programs are as effective and efficient as can be
With prediction-based targeting Dataro will help you find mid-value donors hiding in your database, with less waste and effort.
What they said
“Our investment in machine learning has paid off in identifying the most highly qualified mid-value prospects to be nurtured. We're thrilled with our results so far and can't wait to see what the next 12 months of stewardship effort delivers with our new group of prospects.”
Senior Fundraising Lead
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