Spring/Summer 2019

Lifecycle Strategy in digital fundraising
The Salvation Army Switzerland is tracking its donors.

Achieve fundraising goals efficiently with a lifecycle strategy.

Knowledge is strength.

After the first successful digital fundraising measures with well-planned donor journeys, the next step for the Swiss Salvation Army was to take a look at the donor big picture and, above all, to make further strategic considerations regarding the segmentation and localization of the donor groups. It was spring – the perfect time to locate the donors using the getunik Lifecycle Strategy and to bring order to the donor landscape. It was not just a trial.

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Challenge – What stage of the life cycle are the donors in?
The goal of every organisation is to strengthen the bond with as many donors as possible. The main questions that arise are: Where are our donors in the donation life cycle? Is he or she still new, already interested, already capable of development, happily committed, already at risk again or even lost again? But also other questions like: What level of knowledge do they have? What do they think about our organization? Do they even know us? Or do we still have to make ourselves known to them? Or are they apathetic and do not want to know anything more about us? In modern fundraising these are essential questions. Because here the donor is the focus of attention. This person receives the appropriate content at the right time on the preferred channel. The digital tools make this possible quickly with little know-how and practice. So where is our*e donor*in?

Solution – bringing order to the donor landscape
The first phase was to find out what we wanted to achieve with the Lifecycle Strategy. For the Salvation Army, the goal was to establish optimized communication for all phases of the life cycle in order to pick up potential donors where they currently stand and to strengthen the bond with existing supporters. In this phase, the concept focused on the life cycle phases ‘interested’ (potential donors in/lead), ‘capable of development’ (first-time donors in/donor) and ‘committed’ (regular donors in/regular donor). The aim was to define a systematic procedure to develop these donors from one phase to the next – Lead to Donor – Donor to Regular Donor – Regular Donor to Monthly Giver.

“With a getunik Lifecycle Strategy we lay a solid foundation for achieving our fundraising goals. This initial work is worthwhile for every organisation – large and small”.

Ronny Widmer, Customer Success Manager, getunik

Implementation – Let’s GROW your Lifecycle
The status quo in the donor landscape was determined in a workshop. Together with the Salvation Army, the goals and target groups for the project were precisely defined and all necessary information was collected. The workshop was all about “GROW YOUR E-MAIL MARKETING”! GOAL: What is the goal of the Lifecycle Strategy and what are the goals for the individual target groups (interested, capable of development, committed)? REALITY: What is the status quo and how does email marketing currently work at The Salvation Army? What are the Pain Points? OPTIONS: Brainstorming: What are our options for achieving the goals? WAY FORWARD: What is the next step and what are the concrete next steps?

Effect – Everything in view with the Lifecycle Map
Success is not to be delayed. Once the strategic work is done, all the most important journeys are tactically designed step by step. The donors are picked up where they are in the lifecycle and provided with the information that is relevant in their lifecycle phase. They receive the right content at the right time on the right channel – and can thus become enthusiastic about the Salvation Army and those affected. Automation with ActiveCampaign creates an authentic closeness that comes very close to personal care. Thanks to our Lifecycle Map we always know in which phase of the life cycle the donors are in. In addition, it creates a good basis for the Salvation Army to efficiently develop Donor Journeys that bear fruit and benefit the Salvation Army projects and thus, above all, those affected.

“A Salvation Army without a Lifecyle Strategy is a thing of the past. Having this overview of our own donor landscape is the basis of every organization’s success and brings more support for our beneficiaries”.

Mischa Rychener, Responsible Lifecycle Strategy, Heilsarmee Schweiz

getunik services

getunik supported
the Salvation Army Switzerland
during these steps:

Fundraising according to the lifecycle principle

Every person who is interested in an organization or supports it with donations is in the so-called donor lifecycle. It is divided into 6 stages or phases (see figure above). These rough categories can be further subdivided according to the specific organisation. Usually there are several target groups per lifecycle stage. With the lifecycle strategy, the Salvation Army now knows the location of its supporters and knows where – and therefore also with which message – this person can be picked up.

Taken by the hand
The getunik Lifecycle Strategy enables the organisation to guide (potential) donors through the life cycle. In this way the Salvation Army has managed to ensure that no contact is “lying around” somewhere and cannot be actively tied up or developed further. It knows where a person is and can – ideally automatically – communicate with them appropriately.

The perfect donor experience thanks to lifecycle strategy
The longer a donor is connected to the organization, the deeper the relationship should be with the organization. By working out a lifecycle strategy, the dosage of information and in the best case also the dosage of emotions is no longer witchcraft. With this clear donor landscape all supporters receive the right message at the right time on the preferred channel. The strategy work is now done for the Salvation Army. Now it is important to set up the individual Donor Journeys with good storytelling in terms of content and with good automation tools such as ActiveCampaign.

Salvation Army Switzerland – We support people in need
The Salvation Army is an integral part of the worldwide Christian church and a relevant partner in society and politics. Its mission is to be on the road for people. For more justice, hope and love.