How Leukemia Research Foundation collaborated with Prosper Strategies to eliminate donor confusion and foreground their unique role in the fight against blood cancers.
For almost 75 years, the Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF) has been dedicated to furthering lifesaving cancer research. Over time, their mission has grown to encompass all blood cancers, not just leukemia. Additionally, they have added education and patient support to their work, as well as fundraising for groundbreaking research.
With so much important work happening at the organization, LRF came to Prosper for help clarifying their messaging so they could better communicate with donors and differentiate their organization from other cancer charities. Additionally, they wanted a cohesive marketing plan to help them align their brand and messaging across all media, ultimately positioning them to increase their success with digital fundraising.
Our process for LRF began with three assessments that would form a critical foundation for all the messaging and marketing work to come. In the organization assessment, we reviewed LRF’s current messaging, marketing and fundraising materials, as well as past messaging work and grant proposals. Then, we conducted an ecosystem assessment, looking at several comparator organizations to better understand areas of similarity and difference. Finally, in our stakeholder assessment, we conducted a supporter survey and donor interviews.
Our research revealed that LRF’s messaging needed to shift to highlight the organization’s most unique attributes. Additionally, LRF was struggling with significant brand confusion, with even regular donors assuming that the organization was affiliated with other, better known cancer charities.
Based on what we had learned, we found what differentiated them most from other blood cancer charities was their focus on funding New Investigators who were just starting their research careers. This became a key component of their Reason for Being.
Then, to better reach each stakeholder audience with the most relevant information, we developed two sets of key messages, one focused on research and one on patient support and education.
After messaging was complete, we worked with LRF to set marketing goals for the year. Based on these discussions, we developed a one-year marketing plan that focused on four areas: updating existing materials with new messaging, attracting new donors, educating and engaging new donors and cultivating existing donors.
The plan included a wide range of tactics, including media outreach, digital advertising, email sequences and a supporter resource portal to allow donors to help tell LRF’s story. It also included an end-of-year fundraising campaign uniting digital and traditional marketing tactics to reach a wide range of donors.
Throughout our work with LRF, we worked with an internal project taskforce that included the Executive Director, Director of Communications, Senior Director of Development and the Director of Programs, among others. We also involved donors, most of whom had been personally touched by blood cancers, through our stakeholder survey.
As part of LRF’s new marketing, we built a KPI dashboard and provided ad budget recommendations contingent on getting certain results in early testing. We also developed a marketing calendar, so the theme could maintain accountability to their plan and allow them to check in on progress throughout the year.
To kick off LRF’s marketing plan, we also created a new case for support they could begin to use in email campaigns and in their supporter portal.
LRF’s team was very excited to use the new marketing plan to build up their support, and since the project completed, they have begun incorporating the new messaging across their marketing materials.
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