Build a Relationship
A slight shift in focus allows the Arthritis Foundation to engage new donor audiences
By Lisa A. Yorgey
Angie Moore has a new title at the Arthritis Foundation. No, she hasn't changed duties or received a promotion. Rather, the name of this vice president's department changed from direct marketing group to customer relationship marketing, which Moore feels better describes the team's objective: building relationships with its supporters.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis that affect 43 million Americans. With an economic impact that exceeds $65 billion annually, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Founded in 1948 in Atlanta, GA, the Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports individuals affected by or at risk for arthritis and its related conditions with advocacy, programs, services and research. For the past 10 years, it has heavily relied on its offer of membership in the Arthritis Foundation, and all the benefits it brings, to generate donations. Now, it actively seeks to build its relationship and message of prevention with baby boomers.
The Difference Between Donors
As Group Vice President of Customer Relationship Marketing, Angie Moore is the driving force behind the Arthritis Foundation's direct response fund-raising efforts. She shepherds the nonprofit's fund-raising mailings on behalf of its 55 chapters scattered across the country. All efforts are created by the national office, but bear the addresses and names of the local chapters.
"This allows us to take advantage of volume discounts on postal, agency creative and lists," says Moore, who likens the national office to "a vendor for the chapters." Because individuals interact with the Arthritis Foundation at the chapter level, this local approach has proven to bring in a better response and a higher average gift.
The 700,000 active donors on the Arthritis Foundation's housefile are divided into two segments: members, who donate a fixed dollar amount to the Foundation to join and enjoy specific benefits; and non-member donors, who donate less than the amount to become a member, or do not want to be a card-carrying member, says Moore.