How MSF-Netherlands uses software, data, and tactics to optimise fundraising efficiency
Do you know any doctors? Then you might be familiar with their permanent urge to help others selflessly in any situation.
Imagine 35000 of these people working day and night to help people who are affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, and/or exclusion from healthcare. Their actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality. From surgeons in field hospitals to fundraisers on the street.
You’re now imagining Doctors Without Borders, probably the world’s largest international medical humanitarian organization.
Continuously increasing fundraising performance and revenue while decreasing admin time.
Using the data provided by Briggs & Walker’s Location Manager Doctor Without Borders makes small, daily adjustments that lead to long-term success. B+W’s Buckaroo feature ensures the flawless collection of banking details and drastically decreases churn in the first month.
“Face-to-face fundraising is an important channel for MSF-Netherlands. This year we organised the ‘Fundraiser For a Day’ event where HQ-staff were able to experience the complex work the canvassers do!”
Linde de Wit
Ensuring business continuity through fundraising
Four external face-to-face agencies and one in-house team generate 95% of all new MSF donors in the Netherlands. This ranks Face-to-Face among the most important donor acquisition channels.
Linde is part of Team Enlarge where she is responsible to grow the regular donor base by doing face-to-face sales. “Our fundraisers job is to spread awareness for the quality and relevance of the work MSF does in order to create long lasting donor support.”
Linde is experiencing a particularly successful fundraising year.
On average, we’re currently signing 4 new donors per shift. Our conversion uptick is so big actually, that we exceeded last year’s full-year fundraising results by the beginning of May.
Successful fundraising tactics
An internal fundraising team
Since 2018, Linde has been building an in-house fundraising team. She explains that this team attracts a different type of fundraiser. “I’ve noticed that our internal team consists of a group of people that’s intrinsically motivated to do good. During their job interview, they’ll mention the passion they have for MSF’s mission. They feel a direct personal connection with MSF and value the possibilities to grow within the organisation”
Currently, the internal team ranks second place in total revenue signed. Linde: “I use Briggs+Walker F2F Fundraising platform to compare results between all our teams daily. I’ve been amazed to see that our internal team has quickly started to outperform external agencies.”
A new proposition
Another hugely successful tactical choice has been to create a new low-entry donor proposition. “We noticed how younger potential donors were enthusiastic about our work but were thrown off by our minimal donation limit. We decided to allow younger new donors to sign up with a smaller contribution than before.” This idea has turned out to be very profitable.
“Of course, the downside of these small contributions is that the margin per new donor is lower. But using my dashboard, I can easily analyze the end result. And the math is simple: our uptick in conversion rate outways our margin loss.”
How Briggs+Walker software supports a seamless fundraising operation
Linde: “When I started here, we were working with software that forced us to manually copy-paste every new donor registration. This was as boring as it was inefficient, not to mention very prone to error. I really needed something that would drastically reduce my admin time. I had worked with Briggs+Walker in former roles and had always been a very happy customer. So I started promoting until I got the green light.”
Easy for fundraisers
“Firstly Briggs+Walker F2F fundraising app is very easy for fundraisers to work with. The sign-in process is just very smooth and we don’t get complaints about software bugs from our fundraisers. This is a basic need for any fundraising software, I know, but in my days as a fundraiser I’ve often been amazed by how buggy other apps can be.”.
How the team uses data to make daily improvements
“Secondly I love all the dashboarding features. I use high-level views to monitor weekly and monthly overall performance. But what’s chill is I can go as granular as I want. What have my week-over-week shift scores looked like over the past quarter? What about the average age of the new donors over the past weeks? It just takes me two clicks to get the answer.
Generally, I believe in using data to make small, incremental, daily changes. I’ve used the dashboards as my main information feed to make these changes over the past year, and look where it got us! I also have three direct reports: one team manager and two sales coaches. And all of us use the B+W Location Manager to monitor different insights.
Our sales coaches give support to fundraisers in the field based on real-time leaderboards. They can see when fundraisers start, where they are and how they’re performing. So if one of our fundraisers has an off-day, the sales coach will give a quick call to spark their motivation. Our team manager uses the location manager to plan our fundraising activities, and canvas the team across the locations that are most likely to return high shift scores.”.
I’m mega results-driven, so you’ll find me refreshing the Location Manager for conversion updates all the time.
“Lastly, I love the fact that we have a direct line to Briggs+Walker support team. Whenever we have a question I know that we’ll have an answer in minutes. And when we’re looking to make small changes, they’ll be done before we know it.”
Close to 0 churn in the first month
Giving away your bank details to a ‘stranger’ on the streets is not exactly a wow-moment for new donors. That’s what we thought at Briggs+Walker. We’ve reinvented the sign-up process so that new donors can fill out their bank details on their own phones. Giving them a feeling of trust and safety, and providing our clients with 100% validated and error-free banking details. Linde mentions this feature when we ask her about her favourites.
“Of course, the location manager is what I use the most. But the buckaroo feature creates a way safer experience. And there’s an added benefit for us. Instead of waiting one month to process our first donation, it’s done on the spot. Right at the moment that people decided that they want to support us. A great user experience that lead us to having almost no churn in our first month.”