Human Rights Campaign

How the Human Rights Campaign used donorCentrics to Improve Cross Channel Marketing

Founded in 1980, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender political organization. Located in Washington, D.C., and with more than 750,000 members and supporters across the country, HRC manages grassroots campaigns to lobby Congress and educate the public about issues affecting their constituents.


HRC’s complex multi-channel marketing efforts, including new Internet initiatives in conjunction with traditional methods, raised questions about the success of each practice compared to the others. Did online giving campaigns result in more renewing members than direct mail? How did street canvassing match up against door-to-door acquisition? Would they gain value from reducing one of these programs? HRC needed an analysis that would reveal how these campaign variables affected their donor database.


In 2000, HRC started using donorCentrics to analyze how donor behaviour varied by each giving channel over time in order to measure resource allocation against long term results.

With the use of their donorCentrics Explorer, HRC drilled into the data to compare strengths and weaknesses of each fundraising channel. Some results were unexpected while some reinforced their existing practices, but both types of findings provided the insights needed to compare the strengths and weaknesses of their programs across different donor groups.


The Human Rights Campaign found answers to lingering questions about the efficacy of their programs:

  • Of all new online donors over a five year period, 35% gave online again, 22% gave again through Direct Mail, and 20% gave again through Telemarketing. When they implemented an email campaign coordinated with other channels, revenue from renewing members increased by 20% in the same 6 month period as the previous year.
  • Less than one in ten new single gift donors acquired via the Street Canvass became long-term renewing donors. In contrast, Direct Mail-acquired donors were more likely to give regularly in larger amounts. They adjusted direct mail acquisition to meet broader objectives and developed new strategies to boost retention rates from canvass-acquired donors.
  • When comparing the Street Canvass to the Door-to-Door campaigns, they saw that 82% of monthly donors came from the former, while the latter generated only 6.5% of these donors. They have now shifted most of their resources from the Door-to-Door to the Street Canvass to improve monthly donor participation.

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