Digital disruption is shaping the world at warp speed. Where does this leave the not-for-profits of the world?
The need to find, acquire, convert and retain customers is as important to a charity as it is to any commercial organisation. Philanthropy is one of the most competitive industries with thousands of very worthy causes all vying for a ‘share-of-wallet’, often competing for the same customer/donor/investor.
Investing in innovation and entrepreneurialism in research is Cure Cancer Australia’s mandate, exclusively focusing on funding Australia’s early-career researchers, across all cancer types and all areas of cancer research. Innovation, specifically technology innovation is a critical component of Cure Cancer Australia’s business development strategy.
Digital disruption is as prevalent in the not-for-profit sector as it is elsewhere. If charities wish to not only survive, but thrive, they need to understand where technology is heading. They need to embrace the fantastic opportunities technology offers, specifically new low-cost ways to ensure on-going donor-care; no different to retaining commercial customers.
The opportunity to reduce costs by utilising technology is a very important outcome for Cure Cancer Australia. We believe a dollar saved is equivalent to a dollar donated, and technological advancements facilitate low-cost, high (tailored) donor touch-point opportunities.
It is also important to be cognisant of the fact that in this digital age, many donors are very well informed and usually tech-savvy. There is a trend for donors demanding a better understanding of how their donations are being spent, and how their financial gifts are making a real difference. New technology facilitates digital delivery of real-time updates enabling not-for-profits the ability to provide full transparency of information and clear demonstrations of donors’ impact.
Cure Cancer Australia’s technology investment commenced with the deployment of a new Salesforce CRM system, followed by the implementation of an integrated, automated marketing system, Pardot. These two technologies, coupled with a new digital marketing strategy incorporating search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), is enabling our business to deliver substantial growth opportunities, while making a difference in the fight against cancer.
We now have the capacity to service thousands more donors at the one time, with the confidence that we are having the most relevant, next conversation with each of our donors, at the right time, in the right tone, delivered in the right format, all dependent on their profiled preferences.
Like all not-for-profit organisations, Cure Cancer Australia is in the business of relationships and storytelling. As CEO, I see myself as the Chief Experience Officer responsible for ensuring our donors have an exceptional experience at every interaction with us. This new technology ensures our automated donor dialogue is delivering this mandate.
The positive impact of this technology solution is helping us transform our business and grow exponentially, without requiring additional fixed costs. This scalable model, as we grow our revenue/fundraising streams, will result in substantially reducing our cost-of-fundraising ratio. This is something that all not-for profits must achieve.
Having just launched a new national fundraising initiative called BARBECURE with lead ambassador Paul Hogan AM, our organisation is poised to grow to the next level. We now have the technology platform in place to service thousands of new donors, ensuring our fundraising efforts are maximised. And with the only call-to-action in all our campaign advertising as: BARBECURE.COM.AU, we are solely reliant on technology for campaign success.
Another great benefit of technological advancements is the empowerment of the real-time, data reporting and campaign-tracking dashboards. This level of knowledge is very important, enabling real-time campaign ‘refinement’. Gone are the days of running a fundraising campaign and relying on post-campaign reporting to make improvements for the next year’s campaign.
Digital engagement to attract, convert and retain long-term donors is truly a revolutionary opportunity for the not-for-profit sector. I believe, over the next five years, there will be a clear divide between those not-for-profits who embrace technology with the fantastic digital features on offer, and those that don’t. There really is no in-between. Those that don’t, do so at their peril.
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