LONDON, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
New research that examines consumer perceptions of how charities market their services and the way they use and manage supporter data has thrown up some interesting results that could help charities to increase their fundraising.
Commissioned by leading Data Asset Management specialist, The REaD Group plc, in response to a continued decline in supporter donations, which some charities have experienced, sweeping funding cuts and the controversial Tax relief cap proposed by Government, the research indicates that 53% of UK adults would stop donating to a charity if it contacted them too frequently.
Benchmarked against data derived from a previous consumer research report on charity marketing conducted in 2010 by the company, the new report reveals that 47% of adults would also cease donations to a charity that sentthem badly targeted direct mail, which is a rise of 18% in less than two years.
Although charities experienced higher levels of consumer trust than financial institutions, Government and commercial organisations when it came to the way they manage their customer data, the research showed that dissatisfied supporters still don't like complaining to charities and may withdraw their support or cease making financial donations if the situation does not improve. This gives charities little scope to rectify problems and suggests that consumers might not be sure of how best to address a complaint against a charity's marketing, or perhaps they feel their complaints are falling on deaf ears.
When asked if the current economic climate had changed their expectations of charities, 33% of UKadults said charities should be more innovative and cost effective when it came to their communications. Although 55 per cent of consumers said they would prefer to receive no communication at all from a charity with which they did not have an existing relationship, email was their preferred channel for unsolicited marketing. When there was an existing relationship with a charity, supporters preferred receiving direct mail from their charity, which was closely followed by email and Social Media.
Simon Morrison, Director of Marketing & Communications at the Institute of Fundraising says, "We know from our members that if a donor receives frequent communications from a charity that are unplanned, not joined up or contradictory in nature then this can really alienate them. However if potential supporters are contacted as part of a properly thought through supporter strategy that recognises the individual's interests and preferences then there aren't be the same levels of dissatisfaction."
Dawn Varley, Fundraising Consultant for Purple Vision thinks, "A key issue for supporters is the frequency of contact, with an 8% increase in the number of people citing this as a problem. It's crucial to use data intelligently, contacting them at the right time and with the right offer - and in line with their preferences."
Glenn Cook, Group Solutions & Charity Specialist at The REaD Group plc comments, "During my tenure at Macmillan Cancer Support we realised that we were asking the wrong people too often and for the wrong things. At the same time we were not asking other supporters often enough. The strategy that we developed was to ask more often but to ask the right people at the right time and most importantly that we asked them for the right thing. This way you develop a far richer customer experience that engages the customer rather than causes them to ignore your communication."
Cara Eaton, Macmillan Cancer Support "At Macmillan Cancer Support we recognise the importance of maintaining the integrity of our supporter database and have made vast improvements to the way we manage our supporter data to reflect this. We now systematically cleanse each and every high volume data selection immediately prior to launching a campaign to ensure we focus our resources and manage the risk of communicating with those who are unable or unwilling to hear from us. This ultimately improves cost efficiencies, reduces waste and allows us to allocate more resources to people affected by cancer. Furthermore, by feeding and updating the results of all suppressions back into our supporter database, we maintain data that is up to date and accurate for further analysis and communication activity."
To download the full report please visit http://www2.readgroupplc.com/l/7292/2012-04-24/845bw
Note to Press:
Digital Press Kit - http://www.readgroupplc.com/assets/files/Research_ChritySector2012.zip
SOURCE The REaD Group plc