If you have a healthy skepticism of how the information you share online may be used, you’ll be relieved to hear that the power of BIG DATA is also being used for the individual and collective GOOD. Companies like Salesforce are mining demographics to help non-profit organizations target (and re-target) giving campaign donors in a more personal way, and the access they have to your information is paying off in a BIG WAY at the hyper-local level for classrooms across the country.
History Teacher Made History Using Data Analytics to Solve a BIG Problem (and Raise BIG Money)
When Charles Best was a history teacher at a college in the Bronx, he frequently had to dip into his own meager salary to help purchase classroom supplies and fund educational projects. Well, he didn’t have to do this, but he realized the importance of these things to his students’ education. Since the school budget could not accommodate the items and funding his classroom needed, he—like so many underpaid and overworked teachers in the U.S—put the needs of his students ahead of his own needs and used his own money to fund his classroom (Customer Success Stories: Donors-Choose).
One day, it occurred to Best that this problem was not unique to his classroom and that he wasn’t the only teacher sacrificing personal well-being for the good of the many. Figuring (correctly, as it turns out) that if people realized there was a need in their own community, they would want to help out, he created the non-profit DonorsChoose.org and contracted with the customer relationship management (CRM) platform Salesforce and the cloud-based analytics tool Exact Giving so that teachers in any community could use BIG DATA to make giving “truly personal” and target prospective donors at the hyper-local level, no matter how much money they could afford to give.
“The Salesforce platform and Exact Giving targeting cloud enable us [to target] your interests, favorite author, a sport you played in high school…it’s about enabling someone who may just have $1 to be a full-fledged philanthropist.”
Since its founding in 2000, DonorsChoose.org has raised over $300 million, helping to provide books technology, art supplies, and funding for field trips to 13 million kids and 225,000 teachers. Over 60 percent of the public schools in the United States have already benefited from the organization’s fundraising efforts, and Best says his platform is innovating to expand their vision. For example, they’ve recently partnered with Code.org to provide over a half-million dollars for computer coding instruction in classrooms across the U.S.
“Beyond the supplies we provide, we think we can be a force for education reform,” he says.
Using Effective Re-targeting to Inspire Current Donors to Keep Giving
DonorsChoose CMO Katie Bisbee says she uses the Salesforce platform to maintain an engaging connection with donors and to “…give them a story that’s meaningful and that will speak to them.” Using the Exact Targeting marketing cloud, with donor data from the Salesforce platform, she says they can “customize and personalize” the emails they send. (Customer Success Stories: Donors-Choose)
“If we’re sending a Back-to-School classroom appeal, and we’re sending it in Chicago, we’re able to pull in a classroom project that might be down the street from [the donor’s] home,” she says, adding, “This school year, we’ll deliver 63 million dollars to classrooms. Twenty percent of that will come from people responding to emails we’ve sent.”
Personalize Automated Customer Interactions
By managing donor and customer data and tracking the interactions throughout the life cycle of an organization and its campaigns, CRM software like Salesforce can automate the workflow, keep track of productivity and donations, and add personal touches to the donor experience.
Integrating the marketing and fundraising efforts across email and social media platforms can help organizations get noticed, share their brand message, and increase engagement between the public and the organization. The reporting and analytics features allow organizations to better-target their campaigns, understand their donors, and drive their messages to individual and group demographics that are likely to resonate with it.
Roughly half of the monies raised by DonorsChoose.org comes from crowd-sourced campaigns and individual donors. Partner companies and foundations are responsible for the other 50 percent.
Bisbee says DonorsChoose.org has increased their donor conversion rate by 300 % since enlisting the help of the Salesforce platform - evidence that at least some of the information collected on your online interactions is being used for good.
Do you have thoughts about crowdsourcing or BIG DATA? Share them in the comments below!
Customer Success Stories: Donors-Choose. (n.d.). Retrieved from Salesforce: https://www.salesforce.com/customer-success-stories/donors-choose/
It may be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, but when it comes to capturing the attention of your brand audience, a whisper is much more likely than a holler to perk their interest and keep them reading.
Too many marketers make the mistake of thinking bigger is better when choosing their headline fonts for web page articles or social media posts—creating ALL CAP headlines that SHOUT their message at digital passers-by. While this may halt the reader’s eyes momentarily, they are much less likely to stay on enormous block fonts long enough to absorb the content, and they are less likely to click on an article headline that shouts, “LOOK AT ME, PLEASE!” than one that inspires gentle curiosity, with a quiet, “Psst…check this out.”
What the F(ONT)?!
Words matter, but in the world of digital media, fonts can invite, or repel. For instance, readers spend more than 90 % of their reading time looking at lowercase letters. This makes the use of caps jarring to the eye and brain, which must adjust in order to process the meaning of the letters—not a major adjustment, mind you, but just enough that it causes a mental stumble. Choosing between a headline that creates (even subconsciously) discomfort or confusion and one that doesn’t, the reader is more likely to choose the one with standard fonts, rather than all caps.
Still need convincing to cut the caps?
Okay, how about this? Caps are intrinsically less readable. According to Ankit Oberoi, in his article, “How Typography Affects Readers,” caps disrupt the “coastline,” or “…shape that the boundary of a word makes…which makes recognition harder.”
There are too many headlines out there to risk having yours be skimmed over in favor of simplicity.
Another good reason to avoid the overuse of caps is they are off-putting and can appear angry. It is the typographical equivalent of shouting at your readers, and let’s face it—shouting at people is just plain rude, even online.
Using all caps in a headline makes people feel panicky. Well, it makes me feel panicky, so unless your article is announcing an F4 on the way NOW, give those of us with high anxiety and low visual-processing skills a break. The truly curious are much more intrigued by a nuanced invitation, whispered, or spoken in civil tones and standard fonts.
Looking for more helpful social media marketing do's and don'ts? Check out my curated post on mapping your way to digital success, with the GPS on your first few steps
Got any great typology tips of your own to share? I welcome your comments!
The joke works because we ponder, for just a moment, the possibilities; wonder what reason a chicken might have for making a perilous journey over the blacktop. It's our own gullibility that makes us laugh when we hear the obvious answer, "...to get to the other side." (Forehead slap!)
Then again...we hear they come home to roost. This implies traveling is in their nature, so perhaps the chicken was on her way home after a long journey. To roost. (???)
No, we could care less about the "why?"
The point is everyone has heard about that chicken.