The Omnichannel Nonprofit
“My mantra is you first fire bullets, then cannonballs,” Ellinger says.
At the same time, Ellinger led the charge to consolidate the 120-plus databases MADD had throughout its chapters to one central database everyone in the organization could access.
“We began picking off each database one by one so we could do multichannel effectively, let alone omnichannel,” Ellinger says. “… It doesn’t mean you can’t use specialized databases for different channels, but having one place where all the data goes and comes back out is critically important. With MADD, we want to make sure that through all channels we’re treating people appropriately.”
For instance, MADD has to treat someone who has been impacted by drunk driving differently than someone who is a concerned citizen who hasn’t had that personal connection necessarily, and “you lose that if your databases don’t talk,” Ellinger says.
So he worked on the architecture by enlisting the help of IT, marketing and communications, and listening to the MADD workers in the field demanding this central repository. Once that was in place, it was time to take the first true steps toward an omnichannel nonprofit, and MADD tapped CCAH for help.
Having already shown the benefits of testing with the cost-per-click campaign, MADD’s leadership had a proven track record of letting its staff try new things. So the next step was running a membership campaign in an omnichannel capacity.
In 2012, after breaking down the wall between the national office and local chapters, MADD embarked on a membership card campaign. MADD began marking every local supporter with a member ID, whether the supporter came on to the file online, through a walk, etc. Then it began to message those donors utilizing the ID in the mail, phone, online and remarketing, which in turn has helped grow support and loyalty for the national organization and local chapters.