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Direct Relief Tops 35% Conversion Rate by Prioritizing Donors and Data

Direct Relief Customer Success Story

The Mission

To improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies

The Challenge

Staying up-to-date on the latest data analytics trends while keeping donor experience top of mind

The Results:

$5.8M

raised on Classy in less than 7 months

35%

average conversion rate

5,811

new first-time donors

Direct Relief’s Unique Approach To Fundraising

Founded in 1948, Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical assistance and disaster relief around the world. In December 2022, Forbes ranked it first in international charities and awarded a score of 100% for both charitable commitment and fundraising efficiency.

Direct Relief takes a unique approach to fundraising by not proactively soliciting donations. The organization would rather bring people together for a cause than invest in marketing to them. 

Classy sat down with Heather Bennett, Vice President of Partnerships and Philanthropy and Steve Lange, Director of Web, to discuss Direct Relief’s unique approach to fundraising, prioritizing donor experience, and staying data-driven. 

When an Outdated Fundraising Software Wasn’t Cutting It Anymore—Enter, Classy

Direct Relief had been using another fundraising software for years until the platform stopped meeting its growing needs and the customization it required drained the team’s time and resources. 

At Direct Relief, 100% of donations go towards the programmatic activity of the donor’s choosing such as global access to medicine, Ukraine Crisis Response, or U.S. storms and flooding. It’s a promise the organization makes and keeps with donors. With Classy, this was possible with just a few clicks. 

Donor intent and customer experience are at the forefront of Direct Relief’s fundraising activities. We had struggled with outdated software and then realized Classy could do all of the things we were missing—both with peer-to-peer activities and the main donation page. When mobile wallets and honoring donor intent were standard with Classy, that was the clincher.

Heather Bennett

Vice President of Partnerships and Philanthropy

Putting Donors First By Being Data-Driven

Changing tech platforms can be daunting, but that was no problem for Direct Relief with the Classy team and network in its corner. 

Direct Relief was introduced to Media Cause, a nonprofit marketing agency that worked diligently to set up Google Analytics Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 tracking prior to launching on Classy. Media Cause simply hooked up Classy’s data layer with Direct Relief’s existing Google Analytics account.

Alongside Google Analytics, Steve utilizes Classy’s native reporting to gain deeper donor insight, monitor what is performing well, run tests, and make necessary tweaks to campaigns or main donation pages. With these tools, Direct Relief is able to more efficiently allocate online and staffing resources.

What’s even more impressive is that Direct Relief has one of the best average conversion rates on Classy at over 35%! That is twice the rate of industry benchmarks.

Another project Media Cause has been helping Direct Relief with is implementing cookie consent banners on their website. Although this is not required for nonprofits, Direct Relief feels strongly that its donors have a right to control their data.  In the same way that they honor donor intent, they also honor donor data.

All of this effort is to make the donation process easier because donors don’t have a lot of time these days. If someone has made the effort to visit Direct Relief’s donation page, then the experience should be as intuitive and easy to navigate as possible. 

Donors are doing good in the world through their support of Direct Relief. They deserve to be recognized for that and the process deserves to be easy. None of this work happens without them.

Steve Lange

Director of Web

Almost 7 Months Down, Forever to Go With Classy

As Direct Relief rounds out its first 7 months on Classy, they’ve already raised $5.8M on the platform.

Looking ahead, the team is doubling down on donor experience and building donor relationships. They even recently hired a Donor Experience Associate. Within her first few weeks using Classy, she was able to own the set up of new crowdfunding campaigns and employee giving pages as well as manage the designation drop downs for different emergencies. 

In 2023, Direct Relief plans to expand its peer-to-peer fundraising program and set up more templates and pages on Classy to make the process even easier for their supporters.

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