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A joint project by RSPB and Plug the Gap. Julie Pitt –Director at Plug the Gap –Database marketing and analysis for the charity sector Ruth Smyth –Supporter.

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Presentation on theme: "A joint project by RSPB and Plug the Gap. Julie Pitt –Director at Plug the Gap –Database marketing and analysis for the charity sector Ruth Smyth –Supporter."— Presentation transcript:

1 A joint project by RSPB and Plug the Gap


3 Julie Pitt –Director at Plug the Gap –Database marketing and analysis for the charity sector Ruth Smyth –Supporter Insight Manager at the RSPB –Understanding support and supporters from across the organisation Cath Campbell –Business Information Analyst at the RSPB –Deciphers the information and helps the planning process

4 Our appeals were stuck in a rut and a couple showed poor results. We wanted to know why. We also wanted to grow, but weren’t sure how.

5 The RSPB asked Plug the Gap to collaborate on a project. The objective was to learn more about the behaviours of donors in cash appeals and the factors that affected those behaviours.

6 How many?4- 5 each year What topics? Purchasing a reserve / campaigns Who to?Members, recently expanded How are they segmented? –Active –Lapsed –Deep Lapsed


8 We started off with some basic concepts

9 Some things we knew. Some things we knew we didn’t know. Some things we didn’t know we didn’t know.

10 But we chucked in another one as well

11 Some things we thought we knew, but did we?

12 We pulled together lots of campaign reports, pieces of analysis and some views and ideas of the people that worked with appeals and data

13 Pulling them together and reviewing across activities expanded our understanding

14 We could identify what we knew and we could identify where the holes were

15 And we knew there was a lot of stuff that we didn’t have any ideas about

16 But most importantly we were able to see that some of the things we thought we knew just weren’t true

17 myt hs!

18 We crossed referenced all of the information from all of the different sources

19 This showed us which pieces of insight didn’t stand up to statistical scrutiny,

20 ...and which pieces of our understanding were assumed


22 Armed with all of this information we came up with a radical plan

23 Step 1: Create an RFV matrix

24 ...but structure it so that it accurately reflects the donors behaviour

25 Step 2: Analyse gift prompts

26 ...but not in the tried and tested way that Is normally seen

27 Step 3: Take the findings and apply them to an appeal

28 ...but make sure the results are measurable


30 We looked closely at the R the F and the V

31 We kept in mind that each variable had to accurately reflect the behaviours of the supporters

32 Recency is easy: measure the time between the last gift and another fixed point

33 Frequency is harder: Should this be the number of times a supporter has given?

34 That’s OK but what if someone has been asked to give 10 times and donated twice are they the same as another supporter who has been asked twice and donated twice?

35 There’s a subtle difference in their behaviours: ask twice > get twice Versus ask ten times > get twice

36 The difference is their propensity to donate which should put them in different cells in the matrix

37 Value is the hardest: last, highest, average

38 We approached this by thinking of how we would feel as supporters in a few different scenarios

39 “I had a windfall and was able to donate a little more. I normally give ten pounds but I was able to give one hundred pounds.”

40 There are many reasons why supporters donate an amount that falls outside of their normal pattern of giving.

41 As a supporter I would feel “put upon” if my chosen charity felt that I could now afford to give at a much higher value than normal, just because of a single higher value gift.

42 With this in mind we opted to use the mode value: the value that best reflected the supporters’ normal giving behaviour

43 It lets supporters know that we value their contribution regardless of how big or small. We avoid making them feel that their contribution is never quite enough by always pushing them for more.


45 Most supporters fell into only a few cells in the matrix

46 Delving deeper it seemed that most supporters gave ten pounds; a lot less than previously thought

47 They gave ten pounds because they were always asked for ten pounds so they gave ten pounds...

48 ...and on and on it went!

49 Which brings us very neatly to...


51 Were the gift prompts driving the donations or were the donations driving the gift prompts?

52 We looked around at different appeals; some good, some bad

53 One appeal stood out and we needed to find out why

54 Unlike other appeals the gift bands were increased in number and decreased in value spread

55 We also dissected the prompts and came up with a way of showing the relationship between the previous gift value and the prompts

56 We ended up with something that looked like this...

57 This is the highest value within the gift band Gift prompt 1 Gift prompt 2 Gift prompt 3

58 Gift bands that were too wide consistently failed to perform as Well as those where the band was narrower

59 Gift bands with unevenly spaced prompts that were too far removed from previous giving at both the top and bottom didn’t perform as well as those that were more evenly spaced and closer to previous behaviour GoodBad

60 The evidence seemed to suggest that the prompts didn’t always determine the value of the donation...

61 ...but might determine if a supporter donated

62 We have no way of knowing why this might be, we can only hypothesise; prompts that are too far removed hark back to being pushy or unappreciative of the contributions of a supporter

63 When the 3 values are badly spaced it feels unnatural and a little inarticulate; if the top two are grouped it looks like we don’t really want you to give at the lowest value


65 How do you bring all of these bits of information into an appeal so that it sits together comfortably?

66 We pared down the information into the key elements that we felt could be applied

67 Firstly we worked out the modal value for each supporter, removing the impact of large or small gifts

68 Next we built a gift prompt matrix; with narrow value bands we added 3 prompts and tested each one using our visualisation tool to ensure it met the new spacing criteria

69 We added an additional criteria; each band should aim to increase the normal giving behaviour by a small amount

70 And we wanted to break supporters old habits and establish a new one; the gift prompts would be held in place for the period of one years’ worth of appeals even if a supporter changed their normal giving behaviour


72 This is the big question and the reason that we’re all here tonight

73 I’m going to hand over to Ruth and Cath who will talk you through the outcomes


75 First Appeal - report by Julie Brainstorming session Further analysis for subsequent appeals

76 Low Prom pt Medi um Prom pt High Prom pt Below lowLow to midMid to highAbove high

77 And what happened to the ten pound donors?

78 £10 £12 £15

79 66% of people moved!

80 Appeal1Appeal 2 M H L Low: Stuck Donated to subsequent appeal at the same prompt level as the previous appeal. Appeal 1 M H L Low to Mid: Move Donated to subsequent appeal at the next prompt level up from the previous appeal. Appeal 2 Appeal 1 Appeal 2 M H L Low to High: Move Donated to subsequent appeal at two prompts up from the previous appeal. High to Mid: Move Donated to subsequent appeal at the next prompt level down from the previous appeal. Appeal 1 Appeal 2 M H L

81 Popular gifts at five pound increments and use of the prompt values Low Prompt Value £6£12£16£21£26£32£42£48 Most popular donation above low prompt £10£15£20£25£30£50 Most popular donation appears as other prompt? HMMMMNoH

82 Online donors behave differently

83 Appeal 1Appeal 2Appeal 3 OnlineDMOnlineDMOnlineDM 251025102510 151211201520 112015251125 2065012205 10162055012 505106516


85 Analysis: Building from the basics Taking a step back

86 Idea generation

87 Questioning assumption & myth busting!

88 Myth’s busted...

89 Average gift is twenty five pounds! Most people give ten.

90 Land purchase appeals always do better! Super appeals have a range of characteristics.

91 People paying for membership give less! Channel is more important than fee.

92 Adding volume increases income! Not necessarily. It may be better to decrease volume.


94 The RFV was based on real behaviours so it helped us to explore the implications

95 The project raised some big questions, which we’ve started to answer

96 It also reminded us that it’s all about the relationship and not just getting a one-off donation


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