Welcoming Sponsors: A World Vision Success Story

Read an excerpt from a case study presented by CMA's Direct Marketing Council:

CMA's Direct Marketing Council is pleased to showcase a case study and success story presented by World Vision. To increase donor engagement and satisfaction, World Vision launched a multi-channel Welcome Series in partnership with Bassett Direct and Blue North. Discover how their strategic approach and close collaboration with partners created a personalized experience for donors and a greater impact in the field of child sponsorship.


World Vision Canada is the largest child-sponsorship organization in the country. In order to ensure sustainable ongoing support for in-field programming, World Vision has focused on increasing not only supporter retention, but overall loyalty in a bid to increase satisfaction and the average time on file for each Canadian sponsor.

With its focus on supporter loyalty and satisfaction, World Vision developed a comprehensive multi-channel strategy which moved away from generic mass marketing communications to one which focused on customization and personalization to enhance the overall experience for existing and new supporters. In short: World Vision was committed to deliver the gold standard in personalized sponsor engagement to increase loyalty and satisfaction.

A key factor in World Vision’s strategy was to personalize its onboarding process to help set the appropriate tone and expectations in those first months of the relationship, laying the critical groundwork to begin a long-term relationship with new supporters – one in which the supporter can recognize their interests are being served versus being subjected to generic marketing communications.

Historically, World Vision maintained a warehouse that held the various components of the Child Sponsorship Welcome Series. When a child was sponsored, it would trigger a “pick and pack” process to assemble the appropriate pre-printed pieces for each sponsor.

Pieces would vary based on a number of factors, such as:

  • Correspondence-language preference (English or French)
  • Sponsored child’s country
  • Sponsored child’s community

This process was limited to a single channel (print), and was unable to feature customizations as the collateral had to be pre-printed months in advance of distribution.

If new or relevant information was made available after the initial print run, such as information about a humanitarian emergency in the child’s country or new examples of impact World Vision’s programs were having in the area, it could not be reflected on the static inventory. Obviously, with new print-on-demand technology and data-driven content management systems, there was opportunity for enhancements.

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Tags: world vision, donor engagement, blue north, bassett direct, sponsorship, not-for-profit, donor retention