Case Study: Human Rights Campaign Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal, Part 2
At the DMA Nonprofit Federation's New York Nonprofit Conference, the Human Rights Campaign was honored as the Nonprofit Organization of the Year. One example of just how deserving HRC is of this tremendous award is its success in repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) legislation in the military.
Over the next few weeks, FundRaising Success will share an in-depth case study on HRC's DADT repeal campaign from 2010, which is published in full in FS sister brand DirectMarketingIQ's report, "The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising."
Here is part 2. View part 1 here.
There were several overall goals of the DADT campaign. First and foremost, HRC wanted to get activists engaged and involved in the cause — write their legislators, sign petitions, recruit friends, etc. Secondly, HRC hoped to raise awareness around DADT and LGBT issues. It also hoped to raise funds for the organization to go toward pushing the repeal through. And the ultimate goal was to help get the repeal of DADT passed and signed into law.
The media strategy to do that was intensive. HRC wanted to hit advocates, activists and donors in every channel available. That meant integrated communications that continuously hit people where they consumed information with one consistent message — no easy task, but something in which HRC was well-versed.
Those communications were targeted at several different audiences. HRC's direct-mail donors skew older demographically, and its online demographic skews much younger compared to most organizations, according to Director of Annual Giving Susan Paine. So the direct-mail pieces were geared more toward older supporters, while online communications went more toward a younger crowd. Further, upon research and census polling of its housefile, HRC discovered that more than half of its online activists are actually straight allies.
"The activist file, which is zero- to 24-month activists, it's over 750,000 people, most of whom are straight allies," says Paine. "That is somewhat different than our donor file, which is made up of a lot of different groups of people, but somewhat less of the straight allies."
With all the channels involved, HRC expected a lot of quick response to come online, and it tested different audiences for direct mail. Ultimately, the organization wanted recipients to take direct action in the form of signing petitions in support of the repeal of DADT and writing legislators, as well as donating.