Guide Dogs for the Blind is the leading UK charity providing assistance for individuals with sight loss. Their ambition is a future where every person with sight loss has the confidence and support which they need to live their lives the way they choose.
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Funds needed to be raised for Guide Dogs to redevelop a purpose-built facility offering a range of services to support people with sight loss and their families. The charity wished to raise the money via their existing supporter base and because of the nature of the project they wanted to target larger single donations than typical campaigns.
Guide Dogs had four main goals for the campaign:
- each a sufficient volume of supporters with their request for donations
- To test a national approach for a regional capital appeal project
- To ensure that the level of ask was suitable in terms of their giving history
- To make a significant contribution towards the capital appeal, through the Individual Giving function – usually these types of asks would be reserved for Philanthropy and Partnerships.
Guide Dogs initially proposed a segment-based campaign with previous donors grouped into 14 categories dependent on donation level and frequency, with tailored communications to go to each segment.
After initial analysis of the donor base and their donation history, Edit quickly realised that a broad segmented view could be improved upon, and designed a campaign based around a propensity model which requested a specific ask amount for every supporter. Although more complex, by taking into account a range of demographic and behavioural information, such as the nature of their previous Guide Dogs support, the campaign was predicted to yield a much higher level of donations.
A series of rules were created to identify supporters who were likely to respond positively, or those who could be asked for a higher donation. Combined with each individual’s previous donation behaviour, we were able to arrive at personalised donations which were large enough for the scope of the project, but not so high that they risked alienating supporters.
The campaign surpassed its initial target by 792% and generated a ROI 3x higher than other cash campaigns that year. There was initially some concern about supporters’ reactions to such a high-ask campaign, but generally it was a positive reaction as the response rate was 10 times higher than previous higher value single gifts campaigns and opt-outs were low.
The work is a great example of donor-centric proposition with the right data science, being a powerful combination.
above initial target
higher ROI than other cash campaigns that year