Challenge and opportunity
The Royal Life Saving Society WA is the largest provider of water safety education in Western Australia, with over 250,00 children participating in their swimming, lifesaving, and water safety classes each year. Fundraising as an ATO endorsed charitable organisation is also a critical function of the organisation, supporting their mission to provide water safety education and assistance to those impacted by fatal and non-fatal drowning.
Raffle-based fundraising has been a successful strategy for RLSSWA. Traditionally raffle tickets were sold over the telephone and fulfilled through direct mail or sold face-to-face by fundraising staff at events and shopping centres. However, the effectiveness of this approach has more recently declined, based on changing factors such as increasing costs for paper-based fundraising and postage, declining contact rates for direct mail and telemarketing, and growing overheads in the management and audit of physical raffle books.
The RLSSWA Board also recognised that the organisation had outgrown their previous technology platform. The digital systems were inefficient, costly to run, and unreliable to the point of taking resources away from vital community safety programs. Back-office processes were also paper based and resource intensive, while their website and social media management required significant resources and repetitive input across a combination of nine websites and microsites, nine social media accounts, and two YouTube channels.
To successfully deliver the digital solution to the consumer, RLSSWA needed to transform from the old paper-based systems to a new way of operating. The Diversus team worked together with RLSSWA to conceptualise, develop, and deploy their new fundraising, marketing, and website solutions.
Diversus also brought additional skills and expertise into their organisation, in addition to assisting with the significant change management program to upskill staff and develop new internal processes. RLSSWA have continued to apply the models and methodologies from the project to their ongoing transformation, enabling the ongoing evolution of a 120+ year old organisation to meet the needs of the 21st-century.
Allan Godfrey, Chief Marketing Officer, Royal Life Saving WA
Solution and benefits
RLSSWA’s new website had a 61% increase in the number of users over the first nine months. It has redefined how members, volunteers and the wider community interact with the organisation. Information and scheduling services are now easier to find and readily accessible through one digital interface, complementing the continuing face-to-face interaction of RLSSWA’s community programs. The solution has also successfully expanded water safety messages into both remote and culturally diverse communities, across both the website and multiple social media channels.
As the community is increasingly moving to digital transactions, RLSSWA and Diversus developed a fully digital framework for marketing and fulfilling raffle tickets. Each raffle has a dedicated microsite that can be uniquely branded and set up in less than one day. The raffle ticket purchasing functionality is easy to use and mobile friendly, with a streamlined customer experience requiring only four clicks before an automated, instant fulfilment. Donation based fundraising has also been improved by offering participants the option to set up regular contributions. The new fundraising website is so successful that RLSSWA can also provide fundraising services to other charities, which so far has generated over $26 million in total fundraising revenue across all the involved charities.
Integrating social media and email campaigns has further increased customer reach, retention, and fundraising revenue. The solution allows RLSSWA to measure campaign results and continually optimise their approaches towards increased customer engagement. It has increased the collection of new eDM (electronic direct marketing) email registrations, and the overall conversion rates on one-off campaigns, seasonal campaigns, and other recurring eDM activities.
The automation of manual back-office processes has eliminated the paper and telephone follow-ups associated with traditional fundraising methods. This provides significant operational cost savings that are channelled back into community outreach programs instead of being spent on manual follow-ups.