Case Study: A Nonprofit Keeping Customers Engaged

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Case Study: A Nonprofit Keeping Donors Engaged

As a member of the team here at KFA, I’d like to chime in on a practice I see being done well. I hope no one will get offended if I name names, but here we go.

Several years ago, I found myself in New Orleans, LA. Having some time to kill, the concierge at the hotel asked if I liked history. "Sure!" was my answer, but little did I know what I was getting into. I thought history of NoLA. Oh no! He was talking about The National World War II Museum, which is located across the street from where I was staying and where Higgins boats were made to beach land our troops during the war. It would be fair to say I am an ardent WWII buff and museum goer, so I didn’t hesitate to check it out. I had such a great experience in the lobby that 45 minutes into my visit I purchased an annual pass. Boy, I didn't know what I was signing up for!

I have received communications from the museum regularly ever since. I receive 3 types of email and 3 types of postal mail. At first, the amount of communication was staggering. But it’s not too much. It is just as close as you can be without crossing the line. (Our experience has taught us that most audiences like to see a bi-weekly or monthly update with the occasional special announcement.)

Let’s break down those email communications:
  • This month’s goings on at the museum, including interesting facts, member spotlights, and upcoming events (usually paid) 
  • Long term or further at cost activities, special tours, special speakers, and discounts at the museum store
  • Updates to currently funded projects, new capital projects, updates to membership

Now let’s break down the direct mail portion:
  • Printed quarterly newsletter: veteran spotlight, new/upcoming exhibits at the museum, guest speakers spotlight
  • Promo material to direct me to renew my membership (calendars, return address labels, etc.) 
  • Special requests for matching campaigns, brick campaigns, honor roll additions 

Almost all of the printed material has the museum director’s name on it.

In addition to my annual $53 dollar membership, I’ve contributed $50 for an honor roll name, a $300 brick, and a $50 photo book. For each one of my contributions, I received a thank you note and something tangible for my donation.

It is worth noting that I live over 700 miles from this museum I support. I don’t visit regularly, but I am an active, engaged donor because this organization keeps me informed about what’s going on and holds my interest without being annoying. I receive emails from this museum almost every other day, but they aren’t repetitive. Each communication is new, interesting information. I don’t necessarily open all of them, but I open most, and when I am offered a unique opportunity to contribute, I do.

Scott Clark
Experience Specialist
Experience Marketing Group
"It's not the message, it's how you experience it."

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  • Very interesting. I have been there, too, and found it fantastic. I’m surprised it’s not over your line – I think it would be too much for me.

    Alex Comfort on

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