What's in a Name?
Pressendo says supporters acquired through the online channel are higher-value and tend to stay with the organization longer, as many other nonprofits have found. Plus, it's a smoother conversion process, as a sponsor can search through a list of children and see if there's a child in a region or gender or age that appeals to her personally, select that child, and fulfill the sponsorship immediately. The delay in the process for DRTV responders who call to receive a package with sponsor child information in the mail can make conversion more of a crapshoot.
"Our assumption is that now that we're getting half of our folks converting [online], that means significantly more value and higher conversions, but we need to play it out," Pressendo says.
Over the next six months, the organization also will deploy the first phase of a technological overhaul that Pressendo doesn't shed many details on, but that promises, if all goes according to plan, to revolutionize the organization's ability to analyze and communicate program effectiveness back to sponsors and stakeholders.
"We're deploying a global child status index that works throughout the world, independent of cultural variances, so that we can track not that we've delivered services to the kid, but that the children have progressed, whether it's nutritionally, educationally, advocating for their own needs in their communities," Pressendo says. "Right now, [sponsors] get a report card where we talk to them about what has happened to benefit that kid, but we'll really be able to tell whether we're actually making a difference, not just delivering services."
ChildFund International's history is a lesson in the importance of an organization's name and mission being in sync. In the same way that the organization's mission had outgrown its initial name, the name change to ChildFund International also reflects the growing breadth and depth of the organization's work as an international organization and global brand.