Tax, Festive and Red Cross 50
Australian Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network bringing people together in times of need and building on community strengths. When disasters strike, it’s on the ground and on the phones providing support. It walks respectfully alongside First Nations peoples towards a brighter and more equitable future. And when people come to Australia seeking safety, Red Cross helps them make ends meet, settle into their new communities, and search for loved ones gone missing.
In 2021, Marlin began working closely with the organisation to introduce more impactful mid-value cases for support, establish a new multi-channel product, and develop journeys to meet ambitious growth targets. This included providing strategic guidance on how to approach and communicate with mid-value donors around the tax and festive season, and developing the content and creative for a new mid-value donor offering – the Red Cross 50 program.
Red Cross set an ambitious target to double its mid-value income to its tax and festive campaigns within five years. It’s now on track to hit the target within three years having increased support to its festive 2021 and tax 2022 campaigns by $1m cumulatively YOY. Meanwhile, with Marlin’s support, it’s on track to inspire 50 of its higher-value mid donors to pledge a gift of $5,000 each year for three years
To achieve these targets, a collaborative workshop facilitated by Marlin and donor interviews conducted by Red Cross were held to uncover insights across the organisation. These sessions helped to identify the right audience, decide on the best channels to approach them and how the messaging should be tailored to meet their interests and needs.
The recommendations provided by the Marlin team resulted in a mid-value program growth of over $1m in just nine months. We achieved this exponential growth after developing three mid-value cases for support at tax, festive, and in the development of a brand-new mid-value fundraising product, the Red Cross 50 giving program, in-market since February 2022.
Red Cross approached Marlin seeking strategic support to lift mid-value performance by crafting compelling offers to meet donors’ needs, values and interests.
We delivered three distinct mid-value cases for support, at tax 2021, at festive 2021, and helped produce a brand-new fundraising product proposition developed for high-value mid-donors in mind
Since incorporating these strategies, ARC grew its mid-value income to tax and festive campaigns by over $1m. This translated to a 34% growth in mid-value tax giving and a 116% growth in festive giving.
“Red Cross team set out to double mid-value income in the next 5 years. Working with Marlin, we’re now on track to hitting this milestone sooner. Marlin’s insights and strategies have allowed us to craft a proposition that’s truly donor-centric, connecting these supporters with our longer-term humanitarian vision. The results speak for themselves. Looking at our recent tax campaigns, alone, we saw 37% growth in 2022 and 33% growth in 2021, indicating we’ve broken the multi-year trend of flat growth and have set a clear upward trajectory.”Lenny Elario, Senior Fundraising LeadAustralian Red Cross
When Red Cross approached Marlin, they sought strategic support to craft the strongest cases for support that would connect with their donors’ needs, values and interests. Red Cross’ identified goals were to increase response rates, average gift values and encourage donors to make festive and tax appeals part of their annual giving tradition. And also craft a new mid-value product inviting donors to commit to a new way of sustained giving.
The organisation’s overall objective is to double the mid-value program’s total income to $7-9m cumulatively each year by FY26-27. Across their seasonal campaigns, this translated to:
2021 Tax Appeal:
- Increase response rate by 3%
- Increase average gift by 7%
2021 Festive Appeal:
- Raise $1.408m from loyalty donors and a further $274K from lapsed donors at festive.
- Meet or exceed 11.3% response rate target across all segments.
- Increase average gift by 5% and grow mid value income and response rate by 6%.
New mid-value product:
- Grow mid-value income by an extra $250K.
- Attain 50 mid-value donor pledges of $5,000 p.a. for three years.
In collaboration, we delivered three distinct mid-value cases for support, at tax 2021, at festive 2021, and helped produce a brand-new fundraising product proposition developed for high-value mid-donors in mind. The program identifies mid-value prospects who enter a 12 month multi-channel journey which develops their support from impulse to habitual giving to improve retention and lifetime value.
To begin, Marlin and ARC held a collaborative workshop to uncover insights and ingredients to inform what decisions should be made around donor communications and care across all audience cohorts.
Marlin developed tailored propositions to appeal to mid-value donors’ identified needs and wants; crafting a cohesive strategy and list of recommendations for their seasonal appeals and persuading communications across multiple channels for the Red Cross 50 mid-value product. This included the design and copy for an email and Direct Mail (DM) acquisition and welcome packs including a personalised prospectus, information lifts, as well as strategies for donor contact and care outside of DM like phone calls and online events.
Since incorporating these strategies, ARC grew its mid-value income to tax and festive campaigns by over $1m. This translated to a 34% growth in mid-value tax giving and a 116% growth in festive giving, as well as success with 48 MV pledges to their new Red Cross 50 giving program (with a warm pipeline of another 50 donors who have shown additional interest).
All in all, by testing a new fundraising product that’s designed to meet the needs, interests, values, and self-perception of our donors, Australian Red Cross is now that much more confident that it can serve the community’s needs for today and tomorrow.
When ARC came to Marlin, they were looking for a strategic partner to help develop ideas and recommendations for a new mid value program. Using our knowledge and expertise in the regular giving space and a collaborative approach towards developing a deeper understanding of their donors values and interests, we designed an effective festive and tax appeal strategy. After two successful seasonal giving campaigns, ARC re-enlisted Marlin to help develop a new mid-value fundraising product tailored to previously identified donor needs. All three initiatives have vastly improved Red Cross’ mid-value offering, and in turn, the lifetime retention and value of its donors
If you need help designing and implementing a mid-value program or enhancing your annual appeals, get in touch.