Marlin Communications - Blog Articles - Direct Marketing program

How to create rich story-driven experiences for mid-value donors - reflections from FIA 2022

— Written by Jasmine Coronado, Account Strategy Director – Marlin Communications

I just returned from my first in-person conference since the start of the pandemic, where I had the privilege of presenting a case study with Lenny Elario from the Australian Red Cross on creating rich story-driven experiences for mid-value donors.

The Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) 2022 national conference was a hit, with the sector’s finest non-profits and passionate fundraisers turning out in droves to share their learnings over the past year. 

At our session, Lenny and I shared the successes of the Australian Red Cross’ mid-value program (created in partnership with Marlin) to demonstrate how to build a strong mid-value case for support. For those who missed it, here are some key takeaways. 

  1. Get to know your mid-value donors intimately through 1-2-1 conversations

The goal of the Red Cross’  program was to convert mid-value disaster-only donors into tax and festive givers and retain their loyalty. To do so, we began by having a series of 1-2-1 conversations with mid-value donors, with no intention to ask. By getting to know their personal interests, their understanding of the red cross and their experience as donors,  we were able to learn more about the organisation’s supporters and their motives.

  1. Collaborate within your organisation by leaning into curiosity and vulnerability 

Create alignment on intentions by asking questions across the organisation about the types of experiences, knowledge and impact you want mid-value donors to have. To discover these valuable insights,  listen with curiosity and lean into vulnerability. Try it out and you’ll be surprised what shared perspectives you uncover to inform your giving program.

  1. Incorporate rich storytelling and spotlighting 

Now for what I refer to as ‘the ‘juicy bits.’ Charities are great at describing what they do, but you need to dig deeper to reveal what makes your organisation memorable and use that to connect with your audience. Tailoring your narrative to spotlight the ‘juicy’ details and impact your donors don’t already know is what inspires them to give.

  1. Tailor the proposition to mid-value donors’ needs and wants

Once you’ve perfected your narrative, tailor your proposition to meet your donors needs, values and wants. Remember those 1-2-1 interviews? Use that knowledge to craft persuading communications across multiple channels.

Since incorporating these strategies in the design of the Red Cross’ mid-value program, they saw a 26% growth in mid-value tax giving, and a 116% growth in mid-value festive giving as well as success with MV pledges to their new Red Cross 50 giving program.

Thank you Lenny for helping to share these valuable insights and to the FIA 2022 team for putting on another successful and inspiring conference. And of course, thanks to those who were able to stop by our stand.