Using AI to Save Costs and Help Fund the Fight Against Leprosy

The Leprosy Mission is an international Christian development organization transforming and empowering the lives of people affected by leprosy. 

In 2023, the Leprosy Mission Great Britain partnered with Dataro, seeking better direct mail appeal returns and cost savings using machine learning (AI). 

In their first end-of-year fundraising campaign with Dataro (Advent 2023), the charity used Dataro’s AI donor predictions to make their appeal selections and achieved a 42% increase in net appeal revenue from less outreach than usual. As a result, the charity saved £22k in direct mail costs and increased overall campaign ROI by 114%.

Key Results

Using AI to find the best donors and ideal campaign size for their direct mail appeal, the Leprosy Mission Great Britain achieved:

  • 22% increase in gross revenue (YOY)
  • 42% increase in net revenue (YOY)
  • Saved £22k in direct mail costs (YOY)
  • Campaign ROI of 6% (up from 2.8% YOY)

 

How we did it

Dataro has an incredible track record for helping nonprofits improve their direct mail appeal performance, with more gifts received from less outreach. In this case, Dataro integrated with Leprosy Mission’s donor CRM – Salesforce NFP Success Pack.

Using machine learning, Dataro’s AI software generated propensities for the charity’s active cash donors, predicting how likely each donor would be to donate to an appeal at that time. These predictions were updated weekly in the charity’s CRM against the donor record as a % of likelihood to give and as a rank. The Dataro Predict model also provided suggestions on the ideal mail file size to optimize campaign ROI. 

Before implementing Dataro’s AI-targeting approach, the charity spent time sense-checking Dataro’s predictions. This gave them confidence in the accuracy and reliability of Dataro’s recommendations.

The Leprosy Mission team then used Dataro’s scores, ranks and campaign size suggestions to make their direct mail data selections for their Wave 1 and Wave 2 (reminder) mailings.

Using Dataro’s donor scores and campaign size recommendations, the charity reduced its Wave 2 mailing volumes by 50%, sending only to those most likely to give at that time.

Analyzing the results

Before using Dataro’s software to target their fundraising campaigns, the Leprosy Mission Great Britain used traditional segmentation methods such as RFM. However, this led to wasted outreach to supporters who were not likely to give and lower campaign ROIs.

In their first appeal using Dataro’s AI donor predictions to guide their appeal selections, the charity raised 22% more in gross revenue (YOY) from significantly less outreach. 

Following Dataro’s recommendations for campaign size, the charity saved £22k in direct mail costs while also identifying the best donors for the appeal. This translated into a 42% increase in net revenue and a campaign ROI of 6% (an improvement of 114% on the previous year’s campaign).

Much of the cost savings came from reduced mailing volumes for the Wave 2 reminder. Instead of sending the reminder to everyone, the charity used Dataro’s predictions (including campaign size) to identify a list of donors who were most likely to respond to the reminder mailing. As a result, they sent 50% fewer direct mailings without risking income.

In addition to saving money and achieving revenue targets, the Leprosy Mission Great Britain has improved the efficiency of its donor selection process. The charity is now using Dataro’s AI targeting approach to inform their appeal selections and help them identify the best prospects to upgrade to mid-value and convert to recurring giving.

What they said

“We are extremely happy with the results using Dataro to make our appeal mailing selections. With Dataro we saved £18k in mail costs against budget and £22k against the previous year's campaign, which is a phenomenal amount of money. But the exceptional thing is that we’ve also raised much more in gross and net revenue and achieved a much higher return. If that's not the power of Dataro, then I don’t know what is.”

Stuart Towell

Campaigns and Supporter Experience Manager

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