Fresh Data Blog
Fresh Data Archive
Case Study: Nonprofit Ups Brand Awareness Among Youth Demographic
Date: December, 2012 --
In the spirit of the season, we bring you a short case study
of a nonprofit campaign from the UK that was remarkable for its ingenuity and
its extraordinary impact. This organization’s problem was a common one: Lack of
awareness within the youth demographic. The ingenuity they showed in targeting
this audience and the resulting impact on word of mouth and overall brand
awareness will be discussed in this case study, which was compiled by Data
Services, Inc. in partnership with our friends at the Prescott Report.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) is an
independent UK charity providing year-round 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue
service around the coast of the UK and Ireland. During the summer they have
lifeguard services on many of the busiest beaches in England and Wales. Since
its founding in 1824, its lifeboats, and since 2001 its lifeguards, have saved
more than 140,000 lives. In short, it saves 21 lives a day in the seas around
this island nation.
It is not government-supported. Its entire budget,
amounting to Ⱡ385,000 per day, is funded by donations from the public. However,
it is one of the least known charities among young people, and it was among
young people that it realized it needed to find a new population of givers.
With the campaign we’ll discuss it became one of the most
talked about charities in the UK, at least online. The goal was not to
necessarily raise money but to raise brand awareness.
In order to accomplish this they selected a target group
of 12 of Britain's most popular young bloggers. Each blogger was sent a direct
mail package, a large padded brown envelope with instructions, and no
indication of the identity of sender. The package instructed these 12 to open
the package while filming themselves, read and examine the contents, and challenge
their own readers to speak about who they really are. Are young people really
the lazy, cruel and useless generation the media says they are? Is this really
a generation without values, views or vision?
It worked. The 12 bloggers incited fierce debate among their
readers. Only then did the charity reveal that RNLI was the sender of the
packages. When this was revealed by the bloggers it generated a huge response
online. The bloggers were all invited to visit the charity's headquarters,
where they filmed the visit, wrote songs, and did other things to spread the
word about its work.
Results: 8000 texts were sent and 50 videos were made and
uploaded. One of these videos was featured twice by YouTube editors and ranked
one of the top 10 most viewed across seven countries in one month.
Lesson: Non-profit specialists tell us that acquisition
campaigns are lucky to break even and charities run on repeat and especially
long-term givers. This campaign was not to be measured by ROI, but by WOM,
which clearly was high. At some point, many of the young people who
participated in the online debate will join that giving community, perhaps
online and perhaps through the mail. Talk to Data Services, Inc. about how
their MarketView database management and analytics platform can help you turn a
mountain of customer behavior and R/F/M data into actionable business
intelligence to improve the efficiency and targeting of your fundraising and
development efforts. Moreover, all nonprofits understand the importance of
keeping track of your best customers and Data Services, Inc. has the
industry-leading data quality and data processing solutions to ensure your
message reaches your domestic and international audience.