Using FastStats® for analysis of supporters and direct marketing

Background

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries, saving children’s lives, fighting for their rights and helping them fulfil their potential. Their vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.

Introduction

FastStats® has been a game changer at Save the Children, providing fundraising teams with previously un-imaginable and lightning-fast access to supporter information and analysis.

  • The time taken to analyse data, and determine optimum supporter selection for a direct marketing campaign has been drastically reduced; in many cases this is days of time saved.
  • Save the Children now have great teamwork between fundraisers and analysts in the Supporter Information team (the internal experts who led the implementation and now support users, as well as being super-users themselves).

FastStats® is designed for marketers (so therefore fundraisers too!) and allows very fast, visual and powerful analysis of supporters and their actions. The real power of the system at Save the Children, is its train-of-thought capability – allowing fundraisers to explore hypotheses very quickly, on their PCs (often with an analyst), without the need to brief the Supporter Information team to extract data from the operational CRM system, which is the primary source for FastStats®.

FastStats® has 50 users across the majority of fundraising teams, campaigning, digital and supporter information. FastStats® has become THE trusted source for supporter data, analysis and reporting.

There is no question that FastStats® has been and will continue to be a highly productive, innovative use of technology. It has clearly supported fundraising objectives at Save the Children.

Fundraisers are able to self-serve supporter information needs

Fundraisers can now answer a good proportion of their supporter analysis questions themselves through FastStats®. There have been numerous examples where fundraisers have spotted trends in data, which they can pass to analysts for detailed investigation and, if verified, change supporter selection criteria to improve fundraising performance.

Working from standard data definitions means that data preparation time has been slashed, in some cases now being 7 times shorter.

FastStats® is also used as a planning tool, to look back at all campaign results in a very accessible way to drive future supporter communications experiences. The Supporter Information team is able to turn around projects and supporter information needs much more quickly: faster insight is driving faster business decisions.

With the fundraisers able to self-serve their basic information needs, and carry out initial train-of-thought analysis themselves, the skilled analysts in the Supporter Information team have been able to concentrate more on deep-dive analytical projects.

FastStats® has dramatically increased the productivity of the analysis team

Working from standard data definitions means that data preparation time has been slashed, in some cases now being 7 times shorter. This means analysts are spending much more time on analysis, so the team output has increased hugely. At the hands of skilled analysts, this means more projects are being used to evolve supporter targeting and improve fundraising performance.

  • Using FastStats® as the data source and output system to drive supporter targeting, the analysts have completed some significant projects. These include devising new supporter segmentations, building propensity models for several fundraising programmes, and reviewing acquisition channel performance in closer detail. These examples would have taken months longer to complete without the standardised and quickly available data in FastStats®. The end result is that fundraisers are able to take the power of database insight and fine-tune their supporter communication programmes much more quickly than they could previously.
  • There have been some fantastic smaller scale examples where fundraising questions have been answered with incredible speed. For example, Save the Children has used the FastStats® mapping functionality to evaluate different UK locations for potential events; this was completed in 30 minutes, something impossible to complete before FastStats®!

Campaign selection team

Not forgetting the campaign selection team: One person (instead of three previously) running consumer selections! The campaign selection process is significantly quicker than the old database query approach, directly from the operational CRM system. Coupled with the power, and re-use, of propensity modelling through FastStats®, the result is one person can run selections, with the option for fundraisers to take this on in the future. The extra time available is now being spent on internal data consultancy, and automated campaign report development, all designed to help fundraisers spend more time planning how to improve the performance of supporter communication programmes.

Supporting fundraising objectives: improved supporter targeting

The amazing success of FastStats® underpins Save the Children’s strategic focus to 2015, supporting the ambitious targets for fundraising in terms of income and supporter base growth. Accurate database insight underpins decisions on supporter communication programmes, enabling the fundraising teams to tune their approaches based on fact not hunches.

It’s no coincidence that Save the Children have managed to keep growing their supporter base and income in the last twelve months, at the same time as using the faster available insight from FastStats® to drive improved supporter targeting. This is also helping the wider organisation achieve the ultimate goal of saving more children’s lives.

Technology as the enabler of change

FastStats® at Save the Children has quite simply been a ground-breaking example of how technology can and should be an enabler of change, supporting business need and objectives.

The system has been a game changer: fundraising teams now have much faster access to more accurate information, to assess the performance of the supporter communication programmes they run, and ultimately improve results.

FastStats® has been a catalyst for other positive changes too; there is now a much more collaborative approach between the Supporter Information and fundraising teams. This emerged from the initial cross-team implementation workshops and has only improved in the last twelve months. Analysts and fundraisers have continued to work closely together, often at the same time on the same PC with FastStats® open in front of them, to look for opportunities to improve the relevance of supporter communications, and ultimately improve performance to raise more income from a growing number of active supporters.

There is no question that FastStats® has been and will continue to be a highly productive, innovative use of technology. It has clearly supported fundraising objectives at Save the Children.

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