Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!

Could you recruit supporters for this cause?

Dihydrogen Monoxide (also known as Hydric acid) is a colourless odourless chemical compound. It’s used in nuclear fission processes and pesticide plants, as well as other heavy industries.

It’s also being used as an additive in fast-food. In the USA, people that have frequently ingested it have Dihydrogen Monoxide permeating up to 65% of their organs and soft tissues. It causes excessive sweating and urination, and is the cause of many thousands of deaths a year.

Here’s a great video on the issue by Penn and Teller. It demonstrateshow keen people are to petition against Dihydrogen Monoxide…

Is it too easy to get people to sign petitions?

Does your organisation think that it has recruited campaigners with petitions? Do you expect them to do other actions for you? Do you hope some will also become donors? Or are you even considering running ‘two-stage’ campaigner-donor campaigns?

Quality over volume

When I was Head of Direct Marketing at Shelter I had an excitable call from the Head of Campaigns in Scotland. They were over-the-moon because, in the last year, we had recruited 16,000 ‘campaigners’ onto the database in Scotland for them. And they were very keen to know how many we were recruiting in the new finance year. He was a bit crest fallen when I explained why we had to pull-the-plug.

Firstly, they weren’t cheap. They’d been asked to submitted their details by face-to-face teams with a petition about housing conditions. This came out of my budget, in the hope that the campaigners would also convert into donors through telephone campaigns. They hadn’t.

However, the database also showed that none had taken part in any campaigning actions since signing the petition. Why? I thought probably because the majority of them were under 30 years old – the same indicator that they had a low propensity to convert into donors.

The campaigns team had been excited about volume. But they ultimately needed quality – campaigners taking actions, like writing to their MP. In reality we didn’t have campaigners at all – we had petition signers (and young ones at that). One-offs.

MORI had just released an excellent report on campaigners (or ‘Socio-Political Influencers’ as they called them). It confirmed what I had been suspecting. The people who are likely to be campaigners were also more likely to match the profile of a good donor. The research suggested that Socio-Political Influencers are:

  • likely to be over 35 years old
  • 8% of the population (rarer than donors)
  • educated to a higher level
  • slightly higher than average income
  • more likely to be professionals than manual workers

You can find the full MORI report here

It’s win-win. Fundraising and Campaigns need a similar type of supporter for good results. True campaigners (that take part in campaigns and write to their MP) are not likely to be much younger than donors.

look out for my next post on what happens when Campaigns and Fundraising teams can’t agree to share supporters. And I’ve got a lovely pack from The World Development Movement (WDM) to share with you – including AB testing results of a dual campaign-donation ask. It’s beautiful.

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