Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 

Cover Story : Prospecting for Smiles

Smile Train cuts direct mail fundraising costs with a prospect database

August 2012 By Heather Fletcher
1
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.
 

Talking with Priscilla Ma, it sounds as if she wishes for a utopia where no child would be born with cleft lip or palate. And that would mean the world wouldn't need Smile Train. But the executive director of the New York-based nonprofit knows children are born with facial deformities, so she just wants her organization's mission to come true: a world without visible cleft lip and palate.

"Some of the villages where I visited, the parents didn't even know that their children could be helped," Ma says of her time in Indian villages outside the city of Varanasi. "They thought that they were cursed. And the entire family, especially the mother, is shunned and sent away. Sometimes to alleviate the so-called curse, the parents are asked to abandon the baby. … There are about 6,150 cleft births a year in the U.S., but you don't see children walking around with a facial deformity because they're helped as early as three months."

So that wish of hers is amended—to bring smiles to the faces of children in the developing world just as quickly as they're brought to the faces of American babies, and with the same standard of care. But that hypothetical needs money behind it to become a reality. So when soft-spoken Ma firmly states that her purpose ever since joining Smile Train seven years ago has been to grow the donor file, there's almost no jolt in hearing that the file grew from 335,000 donors in July 2005 to more than 2.6 million during her tenure—a nearly eight-fold increase in seven years.

However, as donor acquisition costs rose, Smile Train wanted to cut costs. Ma looked for options and successfully negotiated lower printing costs, but she needed to do more. That's when, in discussions with Smile Train's list broker and manager since 2009—Papillion, Neb.-based data provider Infogroup—the two entities created Smile Train's prospect database.

In the fall of 2010, Smile Train implemented the program on half of its 98.9 million pieces of direct mail sent to prospects and saved 40 percent on list costs for fiscal year 2011. What's more, Ma says "a significant portion" of the 300,000 donors acquired during that timeframe resulted from using the prospect database.

 

Companies Mentioned:

1

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON DATABASE, LISTS AND CRM >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

A guide to delivering a better user experience through A/B testing: Offers best practices and lessons learned from over 100,000 experiments run by over 2,000 Optimizely customersDetails a roadmap for how to use A/B testing to personalize your customer's web experience and a practical guide to start A/B testing todayAuthors Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen are cofounders of Optimizely.com, an user-friendly testing system that more than 2,000 organizations use A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers

A guide to delivering a better user experience through A/B testing:
Offers best practices and lessons learned from over 100,000 experiments run by over 2,000 Optimizely customersDetails a roadmap for how to use A/B testing to personalize your customer's web experience and a practical guide to start A/B testing todayAuthors Dan...

ORDER NOW

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more! Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more!...

ORDER NOW

 

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON DIRECT MAIL, PRINT AND POSTAL >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more! Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more!...

ORDER NOW

Anyone who has  read any of Panas’ other books 
knows his  style – a breezy and irresistible mix of storytelling, 
exhortation,  and inspiration.            
 Habits follows  the same engaging mold, offering a panoply of habits
 any board would  be wise to cultivate. Some are specific, with 
measurable  outcomes. Others are more intangible, with Panas seeking to 
impart  an attitude of success.
            Here’s just a sampling:You don’t allow a mission deficit.You never lose sight that your organization is in the business of changing lives or saving lives.You’re willing to leave the comfort zone.You understand that not all gifts are worth accepting. Fundraising Habits of Supremely Successful Boards

Anyone who has read any of Panas’ other books knows his style – a breezy and irresistible mix of storytelling, exhortation, and inspiration. Habits follows the same engaging mold, offering a panoply of habits any board would be wise to cultivate. Some are specific, with measurable outcomes. Others are...

ORDER NOW

 

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON MARKETING STRATEGY >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

A guide to delivering a better user experience through A/B testing: Offers best practices and lessons learned from over 100,000 experiments run by over 2,000 Optimizely customersDetails a roadmap for how to use A/B testing to personalize your customer's web experience and a practical guide to start A/B testing todayAuthors Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen are cofounders of Optimizely.com, an user-friendly testing system that more than 2,000 organizations use A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers

A guide to delivering a better user experience through A/B testing:
Offers best practices and lessons learned from over 100,000 experiments run by over 2,000 Optimizely customersDetails a roadmap for how to use A/B testing to personalize your customer's web experience and a practical guide to start A/B testing todayAuthors Dan...

ORDER NOW

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more! Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more!...

ORDER NOW

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: