The mid-level program at Catholic Relief Services, a large, international-relief organization, was several years old, yet not strategically directed — nor was it meeting projected goals. In working with the organization, at MINDset Direct we recognized the need to re-engineer the existing mid-level donor program and began working to develop high-value donor strategies appropriate for the program. What we uncovered were four major areas of opportunity within the program that needed to be addressed: appropriate audience selection; a balancing of the mixture of solicitation and cultivation efforts, including the creation of efforts targeted specifically for the mid-level audiences; the standardization of donor migration;
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, providing assistance to people in need worldwide. The CRS Mid-Level Donor Program began in 2004 with a focus on cultivating the higher-dollar end of the CRS general donor database. The program initially was set up to serve as a bridge between the general donor population and the major-gift donor program. Many mid-level donors have the potential to eventually become major donors, but we also learned quickly that the mid-level program can stand on its own as a distinct donor group. The goal of the program is to increase revenue, but
For Catholic Relief Services, the international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community, donor intent is a serious matter. And communicating that it takes donor intent seriously is a serious matter as well.
“One of our No. 1 priorities is to make sure the donor’s money goes to the area that they want it to go to,” says Donna Adair, development officer for CRS.
With a languishing donor-acquisition program and shrinking applicable-list universes, Catholic Relief Services prudently mined its own data in search of answers.
And for good reason.
The 61-year-old international-relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community relies heavily on the private sector for donations; in 2003, CRS netted $484 million, 20 percent of which came from private-cash contributions. What’s more, the organization’s direct-response fundraising program accounts for roughly 50 percent of all donations from private contributors.