May 01, 2018 Data Makeover for VSUW


Everybody Does It (So Don’t Feel Too Bad) 

I’ve been receiving the same mail about signing up for a membership at a local zoo every month for six months (ever since I went there for a special happy hour event). Now, I love the zoo, but as a single woman and graduate student in her late twenties, a membership just isn’t in the plan for me right now.  As a marketer I can’t help but find myself wondering when they’ll clean up their data and stop wasting their budget on me. How about another example: one nonprofit we ran a report on came back with over 15% of their donors on the deceased list.

How long have they been sending appeal letters to people who are never going to donate to them?

Now my mom, on the other hand, who’s dream of becoming a grandmother recently came true is a great candidate for this marketing campaign. Soon she’ll be eagerly researching opportunities to use her recently-retired-lot’s-of-free-time to take them on fun field trips.

This data disconnect between who nonprofits are marketing to and who they should be marketing to happens. All. The. Time. And it’s all because of outdated data.

It’s time for a makeover...for your donor list 

It is totally normal and common for data to grow stale over time. Donors move, volunteers start to donate, and yes, people die. (Sorry to be morbid about it).

At Pixa, getting nonprofits’ data back on track is our bread and butter.


When timed correctly, say, before your next annual appeal, this can lead to much higher response rates on your donor outreach campaigns. 

This is exactly what we did last year for Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW).

Valley of the Sun United Way

Valley of the Sun United Way has served the needs of individuals and families in Maricopa County since 1925. That’s in Arizona for all you out-of-towners — where it’s sunny 211 days of the year. But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for everyone in the Valley, and that’s where VSUW comes in.

They build caring communities where each person has the opportunity to achieve the aspirations we all share: a good education for our kids, a safe place to live, food on the table and the security of financial self-sufficiency. They bring together partners from every sector – public, business, non-profit and faith-based organizations – to get things done.

VSUW came to Pixa wanting to reconnect with monthly workplace donors. Many had cancelled their donations, retired, or changed jobs. Direct mail was the only method to reach these donors since many work emails were invalid.

Direct mail is an effective method of communication but can eat up a budget quickly. Layering digital channels with direct mail is more effective.

To re-engage them, Pixa added personal emails to the list with a 32% match rate. This translated to over 64 thousand donors (64,272 to be exact)!


VSUW was then able to work with Pixa to create a personalized and integrated Charitable Tax Credit campaign using variable data to segment high and low donors, including a remit and an accompanying email.


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