The culture of experimentation is ingrained in all aspects of Heifer’s identity since its founding, including both its program work and its fundraising efforts. Experimenting to expand their donor network and find more cost-efficient ways to raise the funds needed to end hunger has long been a part of Heifer’s digital strategy. Recently, Conversion has helped Heifer International to:
- Increase its experimentation velocity by 10X.
- Validated insights that increased the conversion rate and average gift (AOV) per donor.
- Understand the underlying motivations behind holiday and non-holiday donors.
- Build a solid foundation with validated donor insights for a successful identity transformation.
“Experimentation is critical. It’s critical to growth and you cannot grow without trying new things or without testing and experimenting. Having that culture of trying new things and the permission to fail, you’re opening the door to innovation and you’re allowing the potential for growth. If you’re not into experimentation, you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to grow.”
— Harper Grubbs, Sr. Director of Digital Marketing, Heifer International
– Building the foundation for a formal and structured approach to digital experimentation.
– Building momentum and leveling up the experimentation program at Heifer.
– Expanding the horizons to understand more around donor contexts, seasonal nuances, and donor types in order to drive both innovation and optimization.
– Transformation: put all the learnings and pieces together to re-platform and rebuild the website and user experience.
2020 and beyond
– Continuous learning and transformation to adapt to a changing economy and non-profit landscape.
Lack of a well-structured program to build a solid foundation
Heifer was evolving to become more digitally focused in its fundraising and had a solid strategy of putting the donor at the center of all of their work. However, their existing experimentation program lacked structure and was not producing consistent or meaningful results. Due to having lean internal operations, Heifer set out to search for a partner with the expertise to help them build a formal and structured experimentation program that can help them better understand their digital audience as they grow their online presence.
Rebuild an appealing digital experience
Heifer needed to better understand its donor segments if they wanted to rebuild an appealing digital experience. That meant exploring three key challenges:
- Understanding the underlying motivations for monthly donors.
- Differentiating how donors behave during the peak holiday season and the rest of the year.
- Creating relevant messaging that resonates with different donor segments to attract and inspire new donors.
Transformation and evolution
While Heifer’s digital journey has come a long way since the beginning of the engagement, there was still a lot more to be done. Based on learnings from completed experiments and behavioral science studies, Heifer recognized the need to re-platform and rebuild their digital experience from the ground up. The question is, how to leverage the years of donor insights as Heifer moves beyond their existing holiday catalog fundraising model to better showcase the full impact of the work that Heifer is doing to eliminate hunger and poverty around the world?