Raising more, retaining more 👏

How SmartRaise is powering ACORN success

The Challenge

In the UK inequality is rising. Millions are struggling with low incomes, poor housing, cuts to services, debt and financial insecurity. ACORN, the Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now, has been building the power of communities to win social change for 45 years. Today ACORN involves 130,000+ members on 4 continents.

ACORN members standing up for tenats rights

ACORN the UK community union approached SmartRaise for an online fundraising platform to work with their grassroots community organising membership model.

The Solution

Using a distributed network of on-the-ground organisers to sign up donors, often in person or on the doorstep, it was important to provide a fast and super easy online payment process.

With SmartRaise ACORN were able to create custom branded donation pages that allowed organisers to sign up donors directly using their smartphones and tablets.

By connecting their CRM system to their SmartRaise pages ACORN’s data flows in real-time directly into their NationBuilder database. This allows the team to create ladders of engagement for donor retention, target email communications and better manage supporter contact.

The Results

ACORN knows that regular giving is key to building any lasting movement. Retaining existing donors is easier, and requires less resources, than gaining new ones. Therefore a key success factor with SmartRaise was in allowing donors to give via Direct Debit, one of the most popular and trusted payment methods for managing regular donations in the UK.

Their previous solution relied solely on credit or debit card payment, this proved unsuitable because of the high failure rates for regular donors (and high processing fees). Factors like expired cards, created a poor experience for affected supporters and increased the likelihood of donors having a high ‘churn’ rate, or being lost due to payment failures. 

With online Direct Debit via SmartRaise and GoCardless churn rates could be reduced from 5–10% for cards to as little as 0.5% with Direct Debit.

It has been a real pleasure working with Stuart and the team at ACORN. We are looking forward to supporting them as they grow this important campaign.

It's a super-fast, simple, efficient way of engaging donors and members. Works great and does exactly as promised! - Stuart Melvin, Acorn Communities