Berry Street is a Melbourne-based child welfare agency doing incredible work with young people at risk and in out of home care. But despite their obvious impact and well-respected name, Berry Street found their donor base slowly declining, along with their fundraising income.
Berry Street approached OKP Philanthropy & Marketing with a brief to “shake up” their annual Christmas appeal and reinvigorate their supporters. They were ready for change and understood that trying something new (under expert guidance) would give them the best chance of reversing the downward trend of previous appeals.
OKP’s experienced team of fundraising and marketing professional developed an integrated campaign plan we called “Refresh and Renew”. Based on research and review of past performance, we recommended a very strategic and targeted approach designed to engage supporters through multiple channels. We wanted to reignite the passion of Berry Street supporters and strengthen their connection to the cause in order to maximise the value of donations and convert lapsed donors into active supporters.
Development of a strategic campaign plan was only the first phase of this project. OKP managed the implementation of the campaign, including the development and distribution of campaign materials. We also provided live monitoring of the appeal so that we could adjust the strategy in response to performance.
The project with Berry Street exceeded expectations, with donations more than double the result of the previous year. While it is hard to pinpoint one key to success, there were several aspects of the campaign that undoubtedly contributed to the impressive result.
1. The willingness of Berry Street to step outside their comfort zone – While it wasn’t always easy for them, an open dialogue between parties ensured we could negotiate an out of the box approach that Berry Street was comfortable with.
2. Effective use of storytelling – The appeal letter (adapted for different segments) incorporated snippets of stories from children supported by Berry Street. The use of direct quotes in a child’s voice was designed to produce an emotional response from prospective donors and help them feel a stronger connection to the children who would benefit from their support.
3. An innovative design – The storytelling was supported by the use of child-like drawings and an innovative design. Adopting a design so vastly different to past appeals captured attention and encouraged prospective donors to engage with the campaign materials
4. Digital initiatives – While Berry Street had been providing online donation facilities, they had not really encouraged donors to give online. Incorporating digital initiatives helped propel the promotion of the campaign and led to the acquisition of new regular and major donors.
5. A strategic and integrated approach – All the elements of the campaign, including appeal letter, follow up (booster) letter, emails, web copy, social media posting and signage were carefully integrated to reinforce key messaging and create multiple opportunities for prospective donors to hear about and engage with the campaign. Having a clear plan, backed by research and expertise, kept everyone on track and focused on the end goal.
6. Segmentation – Segmentation of the mail and email lists allowed Berry Street to target particular donor groups. This was particularly effective in reigniting the support of lapsed donors and increasing the value of donations amongst current supporters. Specific strategiesustralian for targeting potential major donors, saw several low and mid-level donors make donations in excess of $10,000.
With over 57,000 registered Australian charities in an increasingly cluttered charity marketplace, all vying for the same donor dollars, there are big advantages to be found by those, like Berry Street, who dare to be different.
We understand that there is often fear and trepidation associated with stepping outside the box, which is why OKP supports our clients to make calculated risks. Our experience, expertise and industry insights give our clients the confidence to invest in change and try things they may never think of, or be brave enough to try alone.
Looking to accelerate your fundraising income in 2019 and beyond?
OKP Philanthropy & Marketing can assist your organisation with:
Direct Mail Appeals Appeal Letters Fundraising Strategy Major Gift Programs
Please call 1300 721 799 or email