In spring 2008, Operation Smile was awarded Nonprofit of the Year by the Direct Marketing Association. With this honor, Operation Smile wanted to see how its operations stacked up against other international relief organizations. The decision to join like organizations in industry benchmarking conducted by Target Analytics® was easy.
In its first meeting with Target Analytics, Operation Smile was provided valuable information, which was dissected from its own database, that would eventually lead to a shift in strategy. This analysis enabled Operation Smile to see how it compared to peer organizations and better determine its overall effectiveness.
“I actually expected us to do much better than we did,” said Jann Schultz, director of donor relations for Operation Smile. “We were able to clearly identify gaps in our strategy.”
Additionally, the organization had never done a true donor analysis. For years, poorly maintained data had prohibited Operation Smile from embarking on such a project. After a data quality initiative focused on cleaning up its data, Operation Smile was ready to gather a deeper understanding of its donors, how they gave, and begin work to improve its donor retention.