08.03.22 2 min

Lessons learned from the Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference 2022

Whether you attended Bridge or had to miss it, let's dive into the top themes discussed at this year's event.

Data Axle Staff

The 2022 Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference was upbeat and (mostly) in-person. It was great for the best and brightest in the industry to be reunited at this event. From compelling presentations to a bustling exhibition hall and exuberant networking events, it’s fair to say this conference had it all. Whether you were at the event or had to miss it this year, we’ve compiled the top themes below.

1. The importance of attribution for digital campaigns

Attribution is something marketers struggle with, both in the nonprofit world and otherwise – especially given the often-circuitous route to donation that many donors now take. The path towards becoming very good at attribution may take time, but evidence points to the fact that marketers begin to see the benefits of attribution fairly quickly. In a recent study done by Forrester, marketers have cited improvements in digital media efficiencies from 15% to more than 30% in the first year, mostly due to finding and eliminating waste in media plans.

The amount and complexity of donation and transactional data has increased dramatically over the past decade. Today’s technology allows for the storage and complex analysis of billions of pieces of donor activity. We have quicker, more accurate and deeper insights today than we had in the past. In addition, free attribution tools, such as Google Analytics’ Model Comparison tool, are bringing the ability to explore digital attribution to all businesses.

While improvements in technology have enabled increasing data and analysis, many marketers are still relying on simple forms of attribution, such as “last touch” (eConsultancy, Google). Such attribution could lead to an erroneous conclusion of what actually drove the revenue, rather than what acted as the facilitator to it. Marketing organizations require improved methodologies to more accurately understand which programs are revenue drivers and those that are not. They face the challenge of developing an approach that leverages the best available information, yet can be applied from a practical perspective.

Digital attribution pro-tip: focus on matchback

Matchback is emerging as a potential solution to the problem of the complexities of digital attribution.

Online attribution is limited to metrics that can be generated from DSPs. However, offline matchbacks allow you to dig one level deeper from an attribution perspective. To do this, the campaign will need to leverage transactional data. Try sending your partner a list of donations or sales during the period when your campaigns were live and ask them to match the offline events to your custom audiences to better understand how your media may have potentially impacted an offline or online event

2. The opportunities inherent in CTV

From brand awareness to omnichannel, Connected TV (CTV) holds promise for nonprofits. However, there’s some confusion around how CTV can/should be used. Our pro-tip – get in on the ground floor. Now is the time to be an early adopter and get your ducks in a row before Netflix introduces their ad-supported subscription tier. This tier might debut as soon as the end of 2022,1 so do not wait on CTV.

Another tip – do not expect CTV to work as a conversion channel, this channel is best at “lifting all the boats” in your current marketing program. Invest in knowledge around what your baseline metrics should be before embarking on a CTV campaign.

At Bridge, Melissa Shepard from March of Dimes shared the success of their CTV campaign presentation, complete with benchmarks and results. [Dig into CTV deeper with our Defenders of Wildlife Case Study]

Some of our key CTV takeaways include:

  • Be an early adopter – set a plan for CTV before December 2022, when Netflix hits the scene
  • Incorporate CTV into an omnichannel campaign – do not use it as a stand-alone
  • Set your expectations and goals for your CTV campaign
  • Build a custom audience – what sets CTV apart is its ability to target very specific audiences
  • Customize your advertisements by key audience segments
  • Create geotargeted campaigns for each segment
  • Keep an eye on metrics – CTV can provide invaluable insights into ad performance

Want to learn more about how to best leverage CTV? Download our Crawl, Walk, Run Playbook.

3. The importance of Donor-Advised Funds (DAF)

Did you know that 2021 grants from DAFs to qualified charities totaled an estimated. $34.67 billion, representing a 27.0 percent increase compared to 2019?2 In the age of crypto and in a time of rapid inflation, understanding and procuring donor-advised funds are more important than ever. Helene Vallone-Raffaele, Vice President of Donor Strategy & Experience for UNICEF USA stressed that because DAF funds are locked-in, they can withstand economic fluctuations. The trick for nonprofits is to focus on their active donor and lapsed donor files for possible DAF givers.

How do you do that? The answer is data. By leveraging extensive historical consumer data, Data Axle can analyze your donor database and identify which of your donors are likely to have a DAF.

These individuals can be prioritized and assigned to the Major Gifts or Planned Giving professionals in your organization, freeing them from hours of research and guessing, and allowing them to focus on creating and maintaining deep, engaged, personal relationships with some of your most valuable potential donors.

Case study: Finding the needles in your haystack

Data Axle worked closely with a nonprofit that needed to identify which of their current donors had donor-advised funds so their major gifts and planned giving teams could prioritize building deeper relationships with these high-value donors. Data Axle analyzed their existing donors and identified the (approximately) 9% of donors who had charitable investment vehicles.

The results? The organization saved thousands of hours of manual research time that would have otherwise required multiple full-time associate positions.

2022 donor giving trends

Data Axle has the inside track on the biggest donor-giving trends from 2022. We took data from 21 clients, spanning 6 nonprofit sectors. Some big findings – new donors are down, but the average gift is up. Also, due to the rising costs and delays in mail, cost-per-acquisition is also rising. There are still plenty of opportunities for nonprofits to lower cost-per-acquisition and draw in supporters. But to do so, nonprofits need to invest in tools to help them uncover where those opportunities are. Clean data, advanced modeling and a robust omnichannel strategy are just some of the ways you can find efficiencies in your program and start seeing results.

For more information on 2022 giving trends, or to discuss any of your post-Bridge questions, contact us.

1 https://time.com/6175837/netflix-ads-coming/
2 https://www.nptrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2021-Donor-Advised-Fund-Report-NPT-Single-Page.pdf