American Cancer Society's Pioneering Decision: One Year Later
While in the direct marketing industry we talk about "life cycles" within the program, Noon's team conducted this with the entire organization in mind. Another shift in thinking is around how the "value of a donor" is defined. As a part of this organizational shift in vision, there are metrics being placed around not only "treasure" (giving levels), but around "time" and "talent." The Society is committed to understanding the true value of the individuals who are engaging with the organization, and this is going to be directly aligned with the amount of marketing investment in those individuals.
As mentioned in the original article, MacMaster refers to the future as the development and growth of an "omni-channel, multi-touch program," and while the intent is to be very drastic, ACS is certainly testing into the new vision. Part of the past year has been planning for this "future" relative to structuring the fundraising and marketing teams in a way to maximize integration. As an example, the American Cancer Society has merged revenue, marketing and communications. Furthermore, within that new department it has created an integrated marketing group where all channels will sit under one leader to design and execute a true integrated experience.
What is ahead ...
One of the big questions in the industry is whether the American Cancer Society will return to direct mail acquisition. The answer is not as cut and dry as you would think. One thing is for sure — the American Cancer Society is not going to do a shotgun, single-channel approach anymore. While there will be new donors coming into the organizations this summer, they will be coming through highly retooled channel strategies — and yes, one of those channels is direct mail.
One example of this retooling is new thinking around the "purpose" of a new donor who comes to the Society through direct mail. Previously (and similar to the majority of the nonprofit industry), the purpose of a new direct mail donor was to move into a direct mail renewal/retention program (focused on keeping the donor profitable in the direct mail program) and then ultimately moving that donor into a lead generation program for planned giving.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.