CASE STUDIES

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR PROBLEM SOLVERS AND RESULTS, YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE.

We can’t solve every problem. But we do know how to deliver results for our clients. You deserve a partner, not just a vendor. We’re passionate about building the relationships with your donors that deliver the results you need. Check out these recent wins for our clients.  

During a year of uncertainty, upheaval and distraction, all Oneicity clients who receive ongoing strategy as well as direct mail and digital resources exceeded results reported by 3 different national organizations. 

This group of Oneicity clients all fit the broad category of “Human Services” as well as being “Faith-based.” They all have a multi-year client relationship with Oneicity providing fundraising strategy, as well as direct mail, digital assets and related donor relationship building components. They are located in varied cities from mid-sized to large population centers in the Western half of the US. 

Here’s their top line results for calendar 2020:

 The average growth in income from donations: +32% year over year.

The median growth in income from donations: +31% year over year.

The average growth in the number of donors: +20% year over year.

The median growth in the number of donors: +23% year over year.

The average donor retention rate: 69.6%

The median donor retention rate: 70.9%

The average change in retention rate from the previous year: +6.4%.

The median change in retention rate from the previous year: +5.9%. 

Here’s the fine print.

Donation income excludes capital campaigns, estates, bequests and GIK. One client received a very large gift from an individual which was excluded from reporting. 

The count of donors combines individuals and/or organizations who gave cash gifts (with the exclusions above) during calendar 2020.

Retention rate is the simple ratio of the number of donors giving in 2019 compared to 2020.

The National Averages.

To help you with comparison and context, 3 different national organizations annually report fundraising results from nonprofits.  

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project conducts research for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

AFP reported that nationally in 2020:

Nonprofit donations grew 10.6% year over year (compare to Oneicity: 32%).

The number of donors giving increased 7.3% year over year (compare to Oneicity: 20%).

Retention rates averaged 43.6% (compare to Oneicity: 69.6%).

The change in retention rate from the previous year: -4.1% (compare to Oneicity: +6.4%).

The software companies Blackbaud and Donorperfect also report their selected results from their nonprofit client results, as well as participate in AFP’s Fundraising Effectiveness Project. 

Blackbaud reports that their clients income grew 2% in calendar 2020. 

Clients in the Human Services sector grew 12.1%.

Faith-based nonprofits grew 3.1%. 

Blackbaud doesn’t appear to publish a top-line results on the number of donors or retention rates.

DonorPerfect reports that their client’s income overall decreased 5.2% in 2020. 

Nonprofits raising more than $775,000 annually saw an income decrease of 3.6% in 2020. 

Human Services sector nonprofits grew 1.3% in 2020. 

Faith-based nonprofits decreased 0.7% in 2020. 

DonorPerfect reports their clients’ retention rates as 40.9% with an average decrease of 9.4%.

Here’s what you should know.

National studies have limited usefulness. Much of the reporting isn’t actionable. To the best of our ability, we’re comparing apples to apples with these results. Obviously, what is included and excluded from reporting, as well as the broad range of individual organizations included can cause confusion. 

But. 

Even with all the disclaimers, Oneicity strategy clients outperformed what is reported nationally in significant ways. All of these clients grew in 2019, and then they grew again and further improved during 2020. 

Here’s why.  

First, these clients are doing significant work in their communities. We don’t overlook that. These clients have grown to trust us, and we have respectful and collaborative working relationships. 

Secondly, for each client, Oneicity has created a custom fundraising strategy that is designed for that particular organization and community. These clients aren’t looking for one-off impacts or ala carte projects. We work with them steadily and consistently. The results of these strategies speak for themselves.

Specifically, we recommended carefully considered strategies as each client experienced different outcomes and restrictions from the pandemic. We helped them communicate with their donors. We helped them pivot in-person events and outreach opportunities to fit their circumstances. We didn’t sit back. In many cases, we helped them lean into what was happening and helped their donors continue to change lives.

Before the pandemic, we deployed strategies to build strong relationships with their donors. So that during the challenges of 2020, donors responded in significant ways.

And we have to say, this didn’t happen by accident. We do good work for our clients and the results prove that. 

Every single full-service strategy client beat the reported national averages for income  and number of donors in 2020 by 300%.

Every. Single. Client.

This case study has been updated to reflect 2020 results.

Update: Fall Income Up 34% in 4Q 2020 

Fall Income Up 20% in 4Q 2019

The September to December timeframe is arguably the most important fundraising season for any ministry. For Rescue Missions, it can be the make or break season!

In serving Rescue Missions, we’re always focused on providing income in every channel, in every way through building donor relationships (it’s the Donoricity way).

We began working with a medium-sized mission in the spring of 2016. We were brought in after a difficult experience with another ad agency that let them down. Now after our 4th 5th “fall season,” we’re delighted to report that income is up 31% when we compare 2019 to 2020.

Here’s the key to that growth:

1. Our client does great ministry in their community. Their leadership is solid and consistent. (We do great work but there’s no substitute for great ministry).
2. The Donoricity strategy works. Direct mail impacts integrated with online messaging and emails connects with donors who want to change lives.

There is no substitute for creative messaging that tells the story of how lives are changed. Telling donors of life-changing ministry through Oneicity’s strategy and creative work lifts revenue in significant ways.

This case study has been updated to reflect 2020 results.

A Non-Slump Summer

Few in the Rescue Mission world (or in the fundraising world generally) love the summer. On one hand you might get some vacation but on the other hand you know that income during those months will be challenging. Even though you plan and work hard to keep the dreaded summer slump at bay, there it is.

At Oneicity, we can’t wave a magic wand and make summer income roll in like November’s but we offer strategies to make summer as good as it can be. We help donors understand.

One of our medium sized Rescue Mission clients, is located in an area that faces serious competition for the donor’s attention and dollar. As part of our ongoing direct mail strategy, we deploy a set of summer coupons in direct mail to raise donor awareness and to give donors the opportunity to help all summer. Many organizations do similar strategies but not everyone enjoys these results.

Our summer coupon mailing in June had a 7.9% response rate and an ROI of 7.21.

(Compare to your summer mailing results! And note: the mailing counts are similar to the Fall. This wasn’t a reduced mailing). 

This was Summer of 2020 when the pandemic was on many people’s minds. And no, there wasn’t a big gift driving that income nor did we reduce the mailing count. The June mailing count was about what we mailed during the spring.

Why the great results?

Messaging: We told our client’s story in a compelling way through a well-designed direct mail package. We didn’t do any budget shortfall language or scare tactics. We told our client’s story and made it clear how donors could help. And help they did!

Data: We found the right donors to receive this important message.

Ministry: And our client is an extraordinary organization and they do great work. (We’re really good but we can’t make your ministry better than it is).

Maximum Donor Engagement:

Redwood Gospel Mission, was one of our first clients. Jeff Gilman has believed in us more than we believed in ourselves at the beginning. Jeff loves the Donoricity model and how our work connects with his donors. We recently met with Jeff to report on the ministry’s results.

The news was good. Very good.
The validation of their ministry was clear.
And we connected well with their donors.

A partial summary of what we reported (updated to include 2020 results):

– Income up 21% from 2019 to 2020 (up 58% in the last 5 years)
– Count of Active Donors grew 23% from 2019 to 2020 (up 10% in the last 5 years)
– Count of Gifts grew 20% from 2019 to 2020 (up 11% in the last 5 years)
–Retention Rate: 72.1% 
–Retention increased 8.1%
– Count of New Donors highest in 5 years
– Count of Regained Donors highest in 5 years

An amazing year. Really, last year we told Jeff the only bad news was we’d have to beat the numbers again this year — wonderful problem to have. This year, we increased and held steady. Hard to do against last year’s increases but it continued.

How did that happen?

Redwood Gospel Mission is engaged in significant ways in their community.
We provided integrated direct mail strategies that are focused on engaging donors in the cause. Jeff and his team work with us to ensure the message that donors receive is central to the mission and connected to the heart of the donor. We provide Redwood Gospel Mission with a variety of new donor acquisition and lapsed donor reactivation strategies. Direct mail acquisition remains the most challenging work we provide for clients.

Integration makes the difference.

Online Income that’s NOT Average

Growing your online income year over year is increasingly challenging the more years you do it. Right? It was easier the first year you concentrated on lifting the results of that line. Year after year, it becomes a harder game.

We continue to see great results from online giving for our clients.

In 2020, the clients we provide digital strategy and fundraising grew their online income by an average of 83% (the median growth was 79%).  All of these clients experienced “trend busting” growth the previous year, as well. 

2020 Blackbaud Luminate Online Benchmark Report listed 21% as the average year over year growth of online transaction revenue of nonprofits.

That means, Oneicity digital clients did about 4x better than the national average.

Growth in online income is no longer easy or automatic.

You’ll need great integrated strategies that are designed to connect donors with the heartbeat of your ministry. It’s not good enough to think about the tactics or technology. It takes integration across channels, messaging that’s spot-on and a deep understanding of how donors today are acting. (And don’t believe anyone who says your donors are too old to respond online.)

READY?

We believe you should have fundraising and marketing you are proud of. And that you can afford. Oh, and that delivers the results you need. (You really can have all 3). We deliver direct mail, websites, email, new donor acquisition, major donor cultivation, digital ad strategies, coaching and consulting. Our clients enjoy growth that beats national averages. If it sounds interesting, click that orange button, and let’s talk about it.