Featured Profile: Britt Roberts and Neil Paterson from the Global Peace Initiative
This month, we chatted about how they built their email list from scratch.
When you were starting off and in need of building a brand new audience, what made you go with hjc as a partner?
We were introduced to hjc by a well-respected Canadian fundraising consultant. We were looking for a firm that specialized in online fundraising and that had experience beyond North America. Several of our directors met with Michael Johnston in person and via video conference and thought, based on its track record, hjc was a good fit.
You have a niche cause. How did you find people that were interested in you? How did you market your program?
While our goal of world peace isn’t niche—it’s about as universal as apple pie—the means for achieving it that we propose is unique. Our core technology for creating peace is based upon the advanced Transcendental Meditation Program. Early on, we went to an SEO expert who explained that we weren’t likely to come up first in a Google search on ‘world peace’ so it was clear that we had to target people for whom our approach resonated. Even though the studies on the effectiveness of this program for decreasing crime and violence in large populations have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, we felt we should target people for whom both our goal and our means to achieve it struck a chord. For this reason, our online marketing aimed at those who were interested in peace but also who were familiar with Yoga or meditation.
We hear from organizations that it’s hard for them to get approval for acquisition because acquisition doesn’t always provide an immediate return on investment. How did you make the case to fund a list-building campaign?
Another department within our organization was already targeting an in-house database of known participants and donors. So our campaign by definition needed to cast its net outside our core group.
We started with exactly no one in our database, so list-building became the sine qua non of our campaign strategy. As we got into the initial list-building campaign, hjc staff showed us which ad types and which ad locations were being most effective, so our efforts became more efficient as we moved forward.