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Case Study

A Regional Children’s Hospital

How a regional children's hospital capitalized on GivingDNA's data analytics and insights to reactivate recently lapsed donors, drive up response rates among high-level donors, and nearly quadruple their return on investment for phone-based fundraising efforts in 2021.

 
 
 

By the
Numbers

18.39%

In 2021, fundraisers called 1,963 people. Of those, they received 361 pledges and reactivated 235 lapsed donors, representing an 18.39% response rate.

$13k

Before the phone campaign of 2021, they projected the effort would result in losing about $2,500, but instead they came out ahead by $13,000 over six months.

By the
Numbers

18.39%

In 2021, fundraisers called 1,963 people. Of those, they received 361 pledges and reactivated 235 lapsed donors, representing an 18.39% response rate.

$13k

Before the phone campaign of 2021, they projected the effort would result in losing about $2,500, but instead they came out ahead by $13,000 over six months.

 

A regional children’s hospital has grown into a nationally renowned academic medical center, with head-to-toe specialties and one of only a few level 1 pediatric trauma centers in the U.S. The hospital is ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News and World Report, and its nurses have received the Magnet designation – the highest honor for nursing excellence. The hospital’s mission includes high-quality patient care, advocacy, education, and preventive care.

 

The Challenge

Though many medical centers saw an uptick in charitable giving amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly changing financial outlooks and fears over economic uncertainty also led many donors to lapse in 2020. This prompted nonprofits to revamp fundraising efforts to bring those donors back into the fold. Being a successful, longtime legacy healthcare organization, the children’s hospital already had a strong fundraising department that was using digital tools for donor tracking and prospect research before engaging with Pursuant and bringing GivingDNA online.

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“Before acquiring GivingDNA, our tools weren’t nearly as intuitive, and staff found themselves thumbing through 990’s to figure out what donors had given to what programs and spent hours ranking those based on their likelihood of giving to us. But now, with GivingDNA automating a lot of that work, we have more time to devote to direct interaction with current and prospective donors, which has already made a big difference.”

-Associate Development Officer


The Potential

Fundraisers for the children’s hospital aimed to maximize the efforts of their staff to help the organization emerge from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever. As they transitioned to GivingDNA as a data analytics tool, having new and intuitive ways to sort through existing donor data helped bring segments most in need of attention into clearer focus. Those areas included recently lapsed donors, mid-level donors ($1,000 to $5,000) with the potential to convert to major donors (>$5,000), and donors who could be better reached via a different channel.

 

The Solution

The children’s hospital development leaders decided to upgrade their digital toolkit to include GivingDNA in 2020. The new analytics and wealth screening tool would help them with segmentation and aligning fundraising efforts at all giving levels, but narrowed their focus to major giving. Strategy during the pandemic era had to shift to meet donors where they were at physically and financially, so hospital fundraisers engaged with the platform to do just that. GivingDNA’s constituent dashboards helped them visualize characteristics and behaviors of donors. They found that mid- and major-level donors were more likely to respond via phone than digital and mail channels in part because many were (and still are) working from home. They also used the GivingDNA platform to distill lists of donors more likely to give monthly to their annual fund. Currently their major gift officers are using GivingDNA’s Major Gift Dashboards to see more clearly who recently upgraded, who downgraded, and who is either recently lapsed or at-risk of lapsing. Data from these segmentation efforts helps the nimble team of 5 major gift officers focus fundraising efforts on donors most likely to respond to calls and other forms of contact with the hospital.

The Results

After GivingDNA’s channel preference charts clearly showed prospects were more likely to respond via phone than over digital and mail, the children’s hospital fundraising team jumped into action. In 2021 fundraisers called 1,963 people. Of those, they received 361 pledges and reactivated 235 lapsed donors, representing an 18.39% response rate – or about 353 people.

Mounting a phone campaign was a potentially risky move and not an easy sell, given its departure from their more digital status quo. “We decided to give it a shot,” said the department’s Associate Development Officer. “We’d trust the data and see what happens. It ended up being great! I seemed like it would be an annoying strategy, but I guess that was a reminder that a real human voice and a little message helps connect our donors back to our mission and work.”

Before the phone campaign of 2021, they projected the effort would result in losing about $2,500, but instead they came out ahead by $13,000 over six months. 

Currently, fundraising staff at the children’s hospital are using GivingDNA to focus on segmentation within their mid-level donor pool, optimizing their approach to those donors and helping position those segments to give at their full potential, which will help the hospital continue to offer world-class care to pediatric patients.

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