Callcredit Blog

The charity sector needs to take advantage of the rich insight marketing data can provide

Consumer Marketing Data

Charity blog 1Whilst there has been a lot of talk of charities and fundraisers improving the way they identify and target potential donors – how does the sector become better informed about this?  Is now the time to abandon clunky cold calling practices and adopt more sophisticated targeted campaigns?

It would be fair to say that the British charity fundraising landscape has never faced the kind of scrutiny it is currently under. In light of the recent Olive Cooke tragedy and allegations that fundraising companies treat those with dementia and Alzheimer’s as legitimate fundraising targets – there has never been more pressure from the public and the media for charities and fundraisers to reform their practices.

Whilst it’s a highly valuable exercise for charities to collect their own data about their supporters, this data only tells half the story at best. There is a mass of information about the country as a whole that the charity sector isn’t taking advantage of. To put it simply, collecting information on existing followers will undoubtedly help organisations build better and more productive relationships with them, but it won’t help organisations expand into new areas and find new supporters.

To understand the wider socio economic context of fundraising and campaigns you need;

  • geographic
  • demographic
  • psychographic
  • behavioural data.

All of these forms of data are vital in helping fundraisers find those who can afford to donate and are likely to be sympathetic to the causes of the charity. If the charity sector can become more adept at using this type of data it will diminish the chances of the most vulnerable in our society being targeted by fundraisers and as a result help the sector as a whole regain some of the credibility it has lost in recent months.

Top 4 ways charities can better use data

Multi-channel datausing a variety of indirect and direct communication channels
Give your target market a choice of how they wish to engage with your brand.  By using marketing data charities can then tell which channels their target audience preferred to engage with. Satellite photos This enables future campaigns to be structured accordingly meaning that resources aren’t wasted on communications that people don’t respond to.

Up to date information – ensure that your data remains accurate.
Unfortunately people have the tendency to move house or change their mobile number or email address. To stay one step ahead, the smart organisation relies not just on its own data but has other sources of up to the minute data to ensure that it’s communications reach the people they need to.

Understanding your target market
There is a danger that organisations can make assumptions about who their target markets are based on insufficient information. Marketing data can tell an organisation if the target market they have defined can actually afford to regularly donate and if there are enough of them out there to meet fundraising targets. Organisations need to properly build their target markets based on a wider range of financial information than used currently.

Segmentation is a means of breaking the market down into relevant groups or “segments” based on shared characteristics. A powerful tool to help organisations with this is CAMEO. CAMEO can help charities understand the key characteristics and behaviour of their supporters through profiling.

  • Where do they live?
  • What other charities do they support?
  • What are their attitudes and typical lifestyle?
  • What will appeal to them? How can I differentiate my most profitable donors?

All of this information can help an organisation tailor its approach and maximise campaign effectiveness.

Charity blog


Author: Oliver Parris

For further information on how we can help the third sector or on the above please email me:

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