International children’s charity triples donor retention with Salesforce
Terre des Hommes is an international federation that fights for children, their rights, and equitable development without racial, religious, political, cultural, or gender-based discrimination. Comprised of 10 national member organisations, the charity aims to help children realise their full potential in an ever-changing world.
Based around the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Terre des Hommes’ activities include programmes that remove children from exploitative situations. For example, its Destination Unknown campaign protects unaccompanied children on the move, whether they’re fleeing from poverty, violence, or disaster.
“We want to give children their childhood back by creating healthy communities, providing a proper education, and giving families a stable income,” said Sander Hanenberg, Head of Marketing and Communication at Terre des Hommes.
Making every donor count
As an NGO, Terre des Hommes is completely dependent on fundraising to support these activities. Most donors sign up to pay a monthly contribution by standing order. To keep the funds rolling in, the organisation needed greater insight into donor behaviour, and a more personalised approach to donor engagement. “We needed to reach out to more people in a more persuasive way,” said Hanenberg.
The charity’s existing tools weren’t able to support this approach. “Our systems were pretty outdated,” said Hanenberg. “We couldn’t access information outside the office, and had to rely on an external agency to make any changes to screens or generate reports.”
Empowering fundraising teams with data
In August 2015, Terre des Hommes turned to Salesforce for help.
“When it comes to IT, our philosophy is cloud-first,” said Hanenberg. “We needed a platform that would work well with our Google environment and was affordable. Salesforce was by far the best match – not just for our current needs but also our future aspirations.”
The children’s charity uses Sales Cloud to support its fundraising activities, Service Cloud to simplify donor administration, and Marketing Cloud to execute campaigns. With all donor details captured in Salesforce, including both corporate and individual supporters, Terre des Hommes’ fundraising teams can work more collaboratively. “With a better view of the fundraising funnel, we can predict donor behaviour and target key supporters more effectively,” explained Hanenberg.
Customer service made simple
When a donor contacts the charity to raise a query, update their personal information, or change their monthly contribution, Terre des Hommes’ outsourced customer service team manages these tasks via Service Cloud. “It took just two hours to train the outsourced team on Service Cloud,” said Hanenberg. “As they’re working on Service Cloud eight hours a day, it’s really important that it’s user-friendly. With Salesforce, we can make delivering good customer service a lot easier.”
For example, thanks to standard email templates service agents no longer have to draft every customer communication manually, which ensures consistency and saves time. And as Service Cloud integrates with Google Mail, every outgoing email is automatically tracked in the relevant donor’s record.
“The agent experience has a direct impact on customer satisfaction,” said Hanenberg. “With Service Cloud, we can see which processes need updating and help agents to be as effective as possible.” Thanks to Salesforce, Terre des Hommes has been able to improve the experience for the customer and the agent, which has helped increase donor retention from 8% to 30%, massively increasing its income.
Creating compelling content
Terre des Hommes’ marketing communication team is also helping to boost donor retention by using Marketing Cloud to send regular and relevant content. “We’re not selling a product or a service, we’re selling trust; so we have to build confidence that we’re using our funds in the best possible way,” said Hanenberg. “The only way to do this is to share the results of our programmes, explaining how many children we’ve supported and where we’ve influenced changes to the law.”
With Marketing Cloud, the team can create customised newsletters that share these successes, comprising the articles that resonate the most powerfully with its audience. For example, Terre des Hommes can try out different article topics and different subject lines with test groups, before sending a newsletter to its 60,000 subscribers. As a result, the charity has achieved a 5% improvement in click-through rates.
Personalised customer journeys
The team has also created different donor journeys in Marketing Cloud, depending on whether they’re making a one-off donation or a monthly pledge. “By updating the donor on the story that captured their attention in the first place, we can build a stronger connection, capture donor hearts, and encourage ongoing contributions.” explained Hanenberg.
Direct mail still plays an important role in the charity’s fund-raising activities. With Salesforce, the marketing communication team can send personalised letters to donors asking for extra support for specific campaigns. “We know our personalised approach is working, as with each campaign, we’re getting better results,” said Hanenberg.
These results can be viewed by Hanenberg and his colleagues in Salesforce dashboards and the Salesforce1 Mobile App. “We’re an international organisation, so I often need to check in on campaigns while abroad,” he added. “Being able to monitor campaign data easily means we can react faster.”
A social future
Improving the charity’s social presence is next on Hanenberg’s agenda. “Our followers on LinkedIn and Facebook have grown over the last two years, so we’re now looking at how we can connect with them better. We’re also planning to integrate Salesforce with our website so we can create pre-filled forms to improve online conversion rates – the easier we can make it for online visitors to donate, the better,” said Hanenberg.
With a single platform, Terre des Hommes’ marketing communication, customer service, and fundraising teams can now work together more easily. “We all have access to the same information, so we can see what our colleagues are doing and support each other better.
Crucially, we can also improve efficiency, which brings down costs – a vital consideration for any non-profit organisation,” said Hanenberg. “With Salesforce, we can raise and assign more funds to protecting more children.”