American Cancer Society's Pioneering Decision: One Year Later
With the new omni-channel program, "the purpose of a new, direct mail donor now is that the entire value chain will be leveraged," says MacMaster. The Society is still focused on acquiring and engaging, but the key is to retain donors across the entire organization as a priority — not simply to keep them active in one channel or one program. Yes, there are certain audiences who will only be responsive to direct mail, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Yet, a key metric of success for direct mail acquisition will be the ability to optimize the relationships across a multi-channel process and engagement across multiple areas.
As a reminder, the American Cancer Society is in a unique position to have hundreds of thousands of new donors every year and from a multitude of channels. Once a new donor is introduced to the organization, profiling and analysis will become a critical part of the strategy moving forward. Future engagement and opportunities presented will be customized and filtered based on what ACS knows about the donors and what it believes the best path will be for them. The strategy for engagement and retention will be centered on "what is the next best 'product' for that person," says Noon.
Yes, the folks at ACS are using direct mail to bring in new donors to the organization (like they will use Facebook, search, cancer.org, events, etc.) — but the engagement and retention strategies in place after the first gift are about the other involvement areas of the organization, and direct mail will be used (along with other channels) to deliver those messages. It is critical to understand that this is very different than the traditional approach where the direct mail fundraising program existed to simply generate donors who could be retained through the single channel.
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.