Jewish Voice Ministries International Boosts Lapsed Donor ROI By 6x With Virtuous

Using Virtuous’ open API integration, JVMI created responsive automations to re-engage lapsed donors, easing the administrative burden and achieving an impressive 684% ROI.

Jewish Voice Ministries International carries out its mission through a multi-faceted ministry that includes humanitarian medical outreaches, large-scale international festivals, congregation planting and leadership training, television, print media, digital channels, and speaking engagements.
Nonprofit Sector
Favorite Features

The Virtuous Difference

  • 684% direct response return-on-investment
  • 130 to 200 daily contact record touchpoints automated

Top challenges Jewish Voice Ministries International needed to address:

  • Successfully re-engaging donors who were lapsing and increasing retention rates
  • Scaling personalized outreach to meet the high demands of the campaign
  • Centralizing data in one place with seamless integration capabilities

A Strategic Approach to Reactivate Lapsed Donor Support

Noticing an uptick in lapsed donors, Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI) wanted to run a multichannel fundraising campaign to reactivate these donors and strengthen its retention rate. Because JVMI uses various technology solutions, like Slybroadcast, it was essential to have nonprofit CRM software that offered open API integration. Before Virtuous, JVMI used Blackbaud Luminate Online for its CRM.

With Virtuous’ open API, the team could build custom automation workflows between their systems, ensuring smooth data transfers and up-to-date contact records.

“One of the tools we used does not have a direct integration with Virtuous, but we built the integration. It’s called Slybroadcast. But what is so great about Virtuous is its flexibility and that it has an open API, and we can build integrations like this.” — Carly Berna, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, JVMI*

 A Nonprofit CRM that Offered Integration Flexibility

JVMI delivered a strategic communication cadence that included a personalized voicemail from the CEO highlighting a matching campaign and a trackable URL to measure donor engagement.

Because this was all automated, the Virtuous integration saved the JVMI team countless hours per day. To match what the fundraising automation was doing, the team would have needed to make 130 to 200 calls per day.

“Without the automation, what we would have done is either a monthly or quarterly campaign where we just grab a data set and send an email manually, or [put] them into Slybroadcast manually and then bring back the results.” — Justin Ferris, Director of Data Operations, JVMI

Scalable Automation Capabilities for Growing Campaign Needs

The reactivation campaign included a series of voicemails and emails that were sent to donors who were either about to lapse (9 months since last gift) or have already lapsed (12 months since last gift). 

Over a period of a month, donors either received two personalized voicemails or three emails from the CEO. The JVMI team used a query to determine which channel the donor would be more likely to respond to. 

“The ROI from the direct response is 684%, and then if you actually add in the subsequent giving after that—either people signing up as recurring partners right away or just giving secondary gifts—it’s currently at about 1,000%… Between email and voicemail, we sent out about 40,500 communications in the last nine months.” — Justin Ferris, Director of Data Operations, JVMI

A major part of being a responsive nonprofit is the ability to make data-informed strategic changes during the campaign, which would be impossible if you have to wait long periods of time for a list of lapsed donors. To avoid these delays, the JVMI team set up an automation to notify them when a donor is about to lapse or has already lapsed, eliminating the need to wait until the end of the month or quarter for updates.

“When it comes to a lapsed campaign in fundraising, sometimes getting a 1:1 is what you’re looking for because you’re just trying to get them to engage again. So, seeing a 6:1 was just beyond what a normal lapsed campaign would be. With no work and just doing automation, we wanted to capitalize on it.” — Carly Berna, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, JVMI*

Optimizing marketing automation for nonprofits can be challenging, but JVMI succeeded by starting small and building gradually. Justin and his team first identified the roadblocks affecting their work efficiency. They then implemented basic automation and expanded it as they found more opportunities to eliminate manual tasks.

*Disclosure: Carly Berna has since joined the Virtuous team.

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Todd Shinabarger
Chief Information Officer