‘Admin is not a dirty word’

A strAtegy to communicAte overheAds to cAre AustrAliA donors

hAyden Jose

This document was produced in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) (Honours) at RMIT University, Victoria, Australia. All views expressed herein are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of CARE Australia. Photographs are © Copyright CARE Australia/Joshua Estey (cover, pp. 28-29); CARE Australia/Tim Freccia (pp. 15-16) and CARE Australia/Dave Tacon (pp. 20-21) and are used with permission.


Executive summary Background Situation analysis Overview Environmental scanning findings Competitor analysis Target publics Critical Success Factors Problem/opportunity statement Objectives Key messages Strategy statement Tactics Staff workshops Internal documents Meetings with marketing contractor management Webinar with CARE CEO Dedicated webpage – ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ Extension of dedicated webpage – ‘Virtual village’ ‘Virtual village’ booklet tie-in Annual report messaging Evaluation Timeline Budget Appendices SWOT analysis Force field analysis PEEST analysis CARE donor segments MSF’s call-to-action via Tumblr for their live web-conference Video suggestions for ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage Slideshow suggestions for ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage 5 6 8 8 8 10 12 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 22 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 32 34 34 35 36 37 38 39 40


and Avoid potential donor backlash stemming from future increases in overheads. while web-based tactics will help communicate cost-effectively with the campaign’s predominately web-savvy target publics. clear and concise information is articulated to key publics through targeted key messages. ƒ ƒ ƒ 1. Increase market share through investment in new fundraising initiatives. Communicating effectively with these publics will allow CARE to take an innovative position on an issue affecting organisations across the sector and in so doing. will pave the way for potential sector-wide change. A strategic communications campaign plan has been developed to ensure that effective. Improve transparency and accountability. fuelled by embedded donor concerns about INGO accountability as well as messaging by organisations across the sector. significantly hinders CARE’s ability to invest in fundraising and administrative infrastructure. 5 . See CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. A strategic communications campaign addressing this issue will educate CARE’s existing and potential donors about the benefits of fundraising and administrative infrastructure. This campaign will allow CARE to: ƒ Communicate more accurately with existing and potential donors about the nature of CARE’s operations. Educating internal publics will help ensure consistent external messaging.1. CARE Australia commissioned research which confirmed that a significant proportion of donors to International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) consider low overheads and less administration an important factor when making financial donations. and emphasise the importance of effective aid outcomes as opposed to low overheads. 2008. This negative perception of overheads.exeCutive summary In 2008. 88% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that ‘low overheads and less admin’ is an important giving factor. Key messages will communicate the vital role administration and fundraising costs play in the operation and growth of CARE.

CARE has strong brand awareness2 in a highly-competitive sector of over 70 INGOs and is the 10th largest Australian INGO with a 2. 8. CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. 6 6. 7. legal. the overheads of which range from 5% to 29% (agencies listed at http://www.32. p. CARE operates with a strong. CARE Australia has relatively modest administration and fundraising overheads of 9%5 of its operating revenue. See CARE Australia/Roy Morgan ‘Brand Awareness Survey’.91.42% market share3. risk assurance.asn. 9. 4. This is reflected in 2008 CARE-commissioned research that found 88% of CARE’s donors consider ‘low overheads and less admin’ an important factor in giving8. CARE Australia 2009.asn. 2008. overheads are considered to be expenses that are not directly related to aid or development programs. Annual Report 2008/09. 2008. This research found that CARE ranked sixth (with 9%) among Australian INGOs in unprompted brand awareness and fourth in aided awareness (with 77%) among Australians. For INGOs. Annual Report 2008/09. CARE Australia 2009. p. 2008. and information and communications technology infrastructure costs’6 while fundraising overheads ‘include the cost of marketing. 5. human resources. p. Measured in terms of funds raised by INGOs from the Australian community in 2008 (see acfid.5. There is a proven perception among INGO donors that lower overheads are better. 2. . CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. Annual Report 2008/09. creative services and publishing’7. World Vision 2009. Administration overheads include ‘finance. CARE’s overheads are comparatively low among the major INGOs.BaCkground CARE Australia is a secular. ‘Which agencies raise most?’) CARE Australia 2009. p. organisation-wide ethos of efficiency which is reflected in its desire to minimise overheads and maximise expenditure on overseas programs. Annual Report 2008/09. CARE relies on funding from the Australian public for approximately 21% of its revenue4.36. non-political INGO that works to overcome the effects of poverty through empowering women and affecting sustainable social change.au/resources/facts-and-figures/which-agencies-raise-most).acfid. 3.au.

CARE Australia 2010. ‘Our Accountability’. available at https://www. 7 .au. There is an understanding in the INGO sector that while this messaging helps individual agencies. The other four giving priorities relate to making a long-term difference in communities. CARE’s 2010-2015 strategic plan outlines the goal to achieve ‘significant income growth’ through ‘$20 million [in] cash donations secured from the Australian public per annum by 2015’14. available at http://www.org.asn. states that its administration cost ratio is ‘one of the best in the world’11 and ChildFund states that it is a ‘leader in keeping administration costs to a minimum’12. Addressing the negative donor perception of higher fundraising overheads will allow CARE to increase investment in new fundraising revenue streams to help achieve this strategic goal.au/AM/Template. The negative donor perception of administration and fundraising overheads.org. it damages and devalues the sector as a whole. Caritas. 10.au/resources/promoting-voice-and-choice. This message is echoed by other ‘low admin’ players in the sector.This research found ‘low overheads and less admin’ to be third among CARE donor’s top five giving priorities.careaustralia. Childfund. 2009. p. helping children and aid effectiveness9. CARE.childfund. has resulted in CARE communicating its low overheads to donors via marketing channels. as well as a strong impetus to provide a point of difference in a competitive sector.caritas. While market research suggests that donors generally respond well to CARE’s marketing of its low administration and fundraising overheads. 13. Caritas. ‘Caritas at a glance’. 12. ‘FAQs’.34. for instance.au. In 2009 CARE Australia spent 90 per cent of our total revenue on our work in the field’10. ACFID.org. 14. CARE prides itself on maximising the donations that go to our overseas projects. available at http://www. In a response to a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) on overheads.org. 11. CARE writes: ‘You can be confident you are supporting one of the most efficient and accountable organisations of its type in the world.org. aid expertise.aspx?pid=212.cfm?Section=Caritas_at_a_glance. available at http://www.org.acfid. Promoting Voice and Choice: Exploring Innovations in Australian NGO Accountability for Development Effectiveness.au/Page.au. ACFID (Australian Council for International Development) labels the practice a ‘negative norm and convention’13 prevalent in the sector.au/sponsor/accountability. CARE Australia Strategy 2010-2015.

In doing so. It has well-established relationships with key existing donors and a number of donor engagement activities including the CARE Cycle Challenge and recently-launched Walk In Her Shoes campaign. envirOnmental scanning findings See Appendix 1 to 3 for detailed findings CARE Australia has significant strengths as an organisation.au/codesofconduct. Information on the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). demonstrating its commitment to ethical behaviour and best practice in all aspects of its operations.care. 8 . From a marketing and communications perspective. International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRC) and Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) Codes of Conduct available at http://www. 15. A member organisation of the worldwide. It is an AusAID-accredited organisation and is a signatory to the ACFID. CARE possesses strong communication management and effective communication processes.situation analysis Overview CARE has an opportunity to educate its donors about the benefits of investing in administration and fundraising to its donors. CARE Australia possesses proven development and emergency relief expertise.org.800 monthly donor signups in the period. resulting in over 1. CARE will take a lead role on an important industry issue and potentially allow for increases in administration and fundraising expenditure in future. well-respected development group CARE International. including some investment in social media. ICRC and FIA Codes of Conduct15. It has recently completed a successful six month pilot faceto-face fundraising program.

paving the way for sector-wide change. p. making use of web-based channels is encouraged. CARE’s overhead percentage has steadily increased from under 5% in 2002/0316 to over 9% in 2008/0917. there is further opportunity for CARE to take an innovative position on the issue. HR and other infrastructure. CARE’s current low overheads are a point-of-difference valued by donors in a highly competitive sector. 17. CARE has an opportunity to educate existing and potential donors about the benefits of administration and fundraising. Annual Report 2008/09.In recent years. 9 . and increased revenue as a result of investment in fundraising. 16. While this pointof-difference could be compromised if CARE makes a concerted effort to address negative perceptions. These benefits include more effective aid outcomes due to the recruitment and employment of expert staff. adequate IT. CARE Australia 2009. CARE market research has highlighted giving factors that – along with low overheads and less administration – are also important to donors. field expertise and the long-term sustainability of programs. Calculated by dividing fundraising and administration costs by total expenses. It is pertinent to also note that while a targeted education campaign has the potential to ostracise a small number of donors with deeply held attitudes against higher administration costs. These include aid effectiveness. An education campaign will help mitigate future risk of donor backlash as a result of increasing overheads. Emphasising the importance of these other performance indicators – as well as CARE’s proven track record in achieving them – over low overheads should be a key component of this campaign. greater accountability and transparency to donors.32. however. there is no guarantee that CARE’s overheads will stay at current levels. CARE’s limited marketing budget means any efforts to educate donors on the benefits of administration and fundraising should rely heavily on existing communication channels. There are potential ‘threats’ to a campaign addressing negative donor perceptions of administration costs. Annual Report 2002/03. this threat could be minimised by emphasising CARE’s commitment to efficiency and accountability during the campaign.29. or innovative fundraising mechanisms to help ensure the long-term financial sustainability of CARE. CARE has missed opportunities for further innovation in fundraising and administration. CARE Australia 2009. Calculated by dividing fundraising and administration costs by total expenses. In order to allow for a greater investment in important non-program infrastructure. As this issue affects organisations across the sector. p. CARE has not invested in measures such as stronger accountability standards that would provide greater transparency to external stakeholders. Given the popularity of the internet and social media among CARE’s donors and Australians generally. partly as a result of responding to the donor desire for keeping overheads low.

org. Save the Children states that it ‘recognises our duty to be accountable … We aim to keep our administration cost ratio below 10%’20.au. ChildFund states that it is ‘a leader in keeping administration costs to a minimum’21. including accountability measures.caritas.au/about-us/history/history-now.org. This messaging is prevalent in smaller INGOs which generally use funds from other sources (for instance. This is ignored in Caritas’ messaging.au/vic/news_mediareleases_victorian-bushfires-assistance-120209. 2009. Asianaid.org.cfm?Section=Caritas_at_a_glance. can mean aid money is spent more effectively. Some organisations in the sector tie low overheads with the concept of accountability19. 23. ‘Asian Aid did not take a percentage out of your donations or sponsorship for our operations in Australia’25. In a FAQ.au.aspx. It is well understood in development circles that throwing money at a problem – without proper aid infrastructure. The connection between low overheads and accountability is evident in CARE’s current messaging.org. In a specific appeal. An example of this is World Vision. . available at http://www.savethechildren. connecting low overheads with effectiveness. 19. ACFID.au.org.org. Administration infrastructure.childfund. This ‘low admin’ messaging is widespread. under the heading of ‘Our Accountability’.redcross.cOmpetitOr analysis As ACFID has highlighted.org. ‘Red Cross welcomes appointment of Independent Advisory Panel and process for distribution of appeal funds’.au.lifestartfoundation. one of a number of negative norms and conventions in the development sector is ‘the ongoing and usually unhelpful public statements by most agencies arguing how little they spend on administration overheads’18.org. Caritas. 10 24.au. ‘Lifestart Foundation’. 25. Likewise. Caritas suggests that low administration overheads mean more money ‘reaches those who need it’26.acfid. p.org. for instance care.asn.au. with many INGOs touting the benefits of low administration spending.au/AM/Template. ‘Caritas at a glance’. Redcross. 1. Available at http://www.html. Childfund. 18. ‘Administration Costs’. Stating that 100% of a donation will go directly to programs gives the misleading impression that organisations can operate without administration costs.org. Promoting Voice and Choice: Exploring Innovations in Australian NGO Accountability for Development Effectiveness. See http://bit. Another states that in the last financial year. Red Cross claimed that it ‘will not deduct any funds whatsoever from the Appeal for administration costs’23.au/sponsor/accountability.au/resources/promoting-voice-and-choice.htm. connecting low overheads with accountability. ‘History – Now’. Savethechildren. 21.au/au/administration-costs. This connection between low overheads and accountability ignores the fact that the amount an organisation spends on overheads has no bearing on its ability to be accountable and transparent – in fact.au.asianaid. suggesting 100% of a donation will go to those in need.org. 20. who in 2009 won the PricewaterhouseCoopers Transparency Awards after investing heavily in accountability measures.au. ‘FAQs’. organisations who invest in comprehensive accountability measures generally have higher administration overheads as a result22. ‘Our accountability’. expertise.34. This more subtle messaging inaccurately suggests low overheads mean more effective aid delivery. available at http://www. 22. An analysis of this messaging suggests that low overheads are promoted in the INGO sector in one of three ways: 2. 3.org. government funding) to cover overheads. A smaller INGO claims that it ‘guarantees that 100% of money donated [will] go directly towards the projects in Vietnam’24. available at https://www. 26. available at http://www.org. available at http://www. available at http://www. cultural understanding or evaluative tools – usually results in ineffective outcomes.ly/denJf5. Lifestartfoundation.

com. and that organisations with higher overheads can still produce effective outcomes. orgAnisAtions Without messAging Many large ACFID-compliant agencies. Catholic Mission is informing its donors that without administration spending. PLAN has a dedicated Money Matters webpage28 answering a number of funding-related questions which. available at http://www. highlyeffective solutions’27. 27. In doing so they are neither contributing to negative donor perceptions. It could be construed that by doing so.catholicmission. Likewise. In this messaging. 11 . 29. at events and through other face-to-face channels. nor addressing potential misconceptions around administration and fundraising overheads.au/faq.org. while still emphasising efficiency. Plan. available at http://www. including World Vision and Oxfam.org. contains no implication that low overheads equate to good aid. but through relationship-focused donor engagement. UNICEF connects ‘highly effective’ with ‘low cost’ which ignores the reality that lower overheads do not necessarily equate to more effective aid.org. Catholic Mission. ‘Money Matters’.In response to a FAQ on administration costs.au/myplan/faq/moneymatters.au.au. orgAnisAtions Actively educAting A small number of INGOs actively educate donors around the need for administration costs. UNICEF states that it uses ‘low-cost. states in a website FAQ that in spending on administration it is meeting the needs of its donors. ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. It does this not through specific campaigns. basic organisational functionality would erode.au/More/AboutUs/FAQs/tabid/177/Default. A small Melbourne-based INGO.au.com.unicef. This involves engaging donors via email. Catholicmission.asp. Engineers Without Borders Australia. Unicef.plan. It gives the example that ‘donors need and request feedback and this involves the cost of producing newsletters and reports’29. provide definitions of ‘administration’ and ‘fundraising’ without adding further commentary. has made a conscious effort to educate donors about the benefits of administration and fundraising expenditure.aspx#admin_costs. telephone. ‘FAQs’.org. available at http://www. 28. for instance.

30. 31. See Appendix 4 for a detailed breakdown of these segments. CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. Secondary publics are outlined below to recognise the importance of CARE’s organisational relationships. 2008. The same market research segmented donors into four groups: passionates (19%). 2008. fun-focused (31%) and co-operators (25%)31. these publics require stakeholder management approaches which are not the focus of this campaign strategy. and internal publics as the primary publics. While corporate donors and AusAID are vital to CARE as an organisation. primary publics eXisting individuAl donors In 2008 CARE conducted market research which found that 88% of CARE’s roughly-30. caring financiers (25%). this communication campaign strategy has identified existing and potential individual donors.000 individual donors agree or strongly agree that low overheads and less spending on administration is an important giving factor30. CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. however. that these publics will be exposed to the broader donor communication tactics designed for this campaign’s primary publics. 12 .target puBliCs The primary focus of this campaign is to shift negative attitudes of overheads among existing and potential CARE donors. Accordingly. specific objectives and tactics have not been drawn for these publics. It is anticipated. Thus.

and telephone fundraiser Pareto Phone. A high level of collaboration between CARE and its marketing contractors will be essential in producing uniform external messaging on the topic. this campaign will target all existing CARE donors with the exception of co-operators. CARE-related events and the Annual Report.Co-operators tend to be non-proactive in their giving habits and emotionally disconnected from CARE and the sector as a whole. caring financiers and fun-focused donors share a common attitude that low administration costs and lower overheads are important. or web seminar33. AusAID research found that for Australians likely to give to INGOs.aidwatch. Passionates. Statistics comprise of ‘Others first. These channels include face-to-face fundraisers. with most initial communication between CARE and its new donors coming through these channels. while 53% value a ‘live’ webinar. telephone fundraisers. available at http://www. PotentiAl individuAl donors With around 1. CARE’s website. ‘It makes sense’ and ‘The investors’ segments. CARE has a huge pool of potential individual donors. Community Attitudes Study. cAre emPloyees – AdministrAtive And ProgrAm stAFF While administration and program staff are not always ‘front-line’ communicators. Cornucopia and Support Direct. this strategy recommends communicating consistent key messages to these donors. Thus. many represent CARE as guest speakers or at specific functions. See AusAID/Instinct and Reason 2009. While it is not realistic to see large-scale attitudinal shift in all Australians who give to INGOs. using a range of channels including print. ‘Information channel preferences’. we’re lucky’. cAre mArKeting contrActors CARE utilises the services of three marketing contractors in order to engage and retain donors: two face-to-face fundraisers.org. 33.5 million Australians giving to INGOs annually32. 13 .au/where-is-your-aid-money-going/non-government-organisations. As a result. web and social media to ensure donor engagement. These marketing contractors are the ‘face’ of CARE to many donors. All staff are considered ‘brand advocates’ and should therefore be made aware of this major shift in messaging on a key donor topic. ‘Where is your AID money going?’. 75% see the internet as a good information source. 32. there is opportunity to engage with potential individual donors who come into contact with CARE through existing communication channels. See AID/WATCH.

mediA Media outlets will not be aggressively targeted in this campaign. CARE Australia 2009. or 22% of CARE’s revenue34). it is possible that this campaign may receive negative media attention. ACFID. with over 70 member INGOs. 34. In this event.au/resources/promoting-voice-and-choice.6 million in 2008/09. AcFid The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). AusAid/government Given AusAID’s significant investment in CARE ($17. 2009. While overheads have not historically been a major concern for corporate donors.34. Appendix 3). 35. communicating CARE’s need to invest adequately in administration and fundraising is achievable. CARE’s media co-ordinator will be familiar with the campaign’s talking points and key messages and handle any media enquiries as they arise. p. p. keeping them abreast of CARE’s shift of messaging on this issue is useful given ACFID’s ability to push for an industry-wide shift of messaging. Informally discussing this campaign with other INGOs in contexts such as the annual Aid Communicators’ Conference could help to initiate the process of a shift of messaging for other agencies. 2009.34. ACFID. Given the media’s interest in issues around accountability and waste spending (see PEEST analysis. it is important that AusAID understand CARE’s shift in messaging around overheads and the reasons for it so that they are assured CARE does not wish to embark on waste spending.asn.acfid.asn. Consistent industrywide messaging on the benefits of administration and fundraising spending will ensure widespread shift in donor attitudes on the issue.secOndary publics corPorAte donors CARE has approximately 20 corporate donors who give both financial and in-kind support. available at http://www.acfid.au/resources/promoting-voice-and-choice. With all corporate donors possessing a sound understanding of the realities of business/organisational environments. has flagged the promotion of low administration costs as a ‘negative norm and convention’ prevalent within the sector36. as key messages will be disseminated to target publics via other channels. given this public’s significant value to CARE. . Promoting Voice and Choice: Exploring Innovations in Australian NGO Accountability for Development Effectiveness. Annual Report 2008/09. corporate donors should be briefed through appropriate channels about this shift in messaging. While it is not necessary to formally communicate to ACFID for this campaign. 14 36. available at http://www. page 32. Promoting Voice and Choice: Exploring Innovations in Australian NGO Accountability for Development Effectiveness. AustrAliAn ingos The ‘unhelpful’35 messaging of low administration and fundraising overheads is not confined to CARE but is prevalent industry-wide.

we must articulate more accurately to donors the way in which CARE operates. In order to minimise potential donor concern over CARE’s change of messaging on overheads. we must communicate the benefits of administration and fundraising to donors. ƒ ƒ 15 . we must emphasise CARE’s commitment to accountability. In order to ensure CARE’s messaging around the benefits of administration and fundraising remains consistent. In order to allow for greater investment in administration and fundraising.CritiCal suCCess FaCtors ƒ ƒ In order to address the negative perception that CARE’s administration and fundraising costs are a detriment to our work. we must inform relevant internal publics about the shift in messaging. efficient practice and quality outcomes.

administration and fundraising costs. sometimes valuing low overheads over other more accurate measures of effective aid.proBlem/opportunity statement Many existing and potential CARE individual donors hold misconceptions around charity spending. 16 . and in doing so taking a leadership role within the sector while making room for a potential increase in future investment in administration and fundraising infrastructure. An opportunity exists for CARE to educate existing and potential donors about the benefits of administration and fundraising costs.

Client goal We want potential donors who come into contact with our organisation to better understand the reality of our administration and fundraising costs. 2008) to 60% by the end of 2011. oBJeCtiVe 1 To ensure that all program and administration staff understand the benefits of administration and fundraising spending by June 2011. Client goal We want to change the dialogue around administration and fundraising overheads between existing individual donors and CARE in order to minimise the extent of any donor backlash against potential future increases in administration and fundraising expenditure. oBJeCtiVe 4 To decrease by 31%37 the number of existing CARE donors who consider low overheads and less administration costs an important giving factor by the end of 2011. From 88% in 2008 (see CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. 17 . 37.oBjeCtives Client goal We want a shift in organisational culture within CARE where effective aid is always valued above low overheads.. To ensure that 20% of potential donors who come in contact with CARE via fundraising or marketing channels are informed of the benefits of administration and fundraising by the end of 2011. oBJeCtiVeS 2 & 3 To see all marketing contractors accurately communicate CARE’s new messaging around overheads by March 2011.

Emphasising the benefits of investing in administration and fundraising will allow donors to see what we see – that investing in administration and fundraising doesn’t hinder our organisation. Our own experience at CARE tells us that the percentage of revenue we spend on overheads has no impact on our ability to deliver effective aid. it helps it. for instance. 38.org/bad-donor-advice/dont-choose-a-charity-for-haiti-based-on-administration-costs. emPhAsising our loW overheAds is detrimentAl to cAre in the long-term. using our low overheads as a positive selling-point is not only damaging. 18 . http://goodintents. Therefore. it’s inaccurate. Investing in administration and fundraising contributes to the health of CARE. Many development experts believe that ‘race to the bottom’ in lower overheads may actually damage organisations38. See.key messages messages fOr internal publics there is no linK BetWeen loW overheAds And the eFFective delivery oF Aid.

there’s evidence to suggest the opposite. Investing in administration and fundraising allows us to do this more effectively. not loW overheAds. We Are Aid eXPerts. Our highly effective fundraising methods mean that the more we spend on fundraising. FundrAising helPs us Bring more PeoPle out oF Poverty. it’s not taking away from the lifechanging work that we do – it’s supporting it. Investing in administration is a vital part of this process. That’s why when a small fraction of your donation goes to administration. It also requires the right people with the right expertise. We value your money. Everything we do depends on our admin and fundraising spending – our expert staff. or the electricity which keeps the lights on. Industry-leading accountability measures mean that every dollar we spend. we spend wisely. It allows us to attract aid experts and to have the resources and infrastructure that will support them to do their best work. eFFective Aid is our goAl. the more money can be allocated to our life-changing programs. Without Admin. There’s is good reason CARE is trusted around the world for its efforts in overcoming poverty – we use the money you entrust us with wisely and to great effect. Our goal is to transform lives through alleviating poverty.messages fOr external publics Admin is not A dirty Word. 19 . fundraising and advocacy efforts. To do things right requires hard work. We Wouldn’t Be. But low admin costs don’t always mean a better organisation – in fact. It requires proper infrastructure and adequate resources.

strategy statement Educating relevant publics about administration and fundraising costs through print. 20 . web and social media channels will produce greater understanding of the reality of CARE’s work. while allowing CARE to take a leadership position on an important industry issue and potentially allowing for greater administration and fundraising expenditure in future.

2008) to 60% by the end of 2011. 21 . From 88% in 2008 (see CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. To ensure that 20% of potential donors who come in contact with CARE via fundraising or marketing channels are informed of the benefits of administration and fundraising by the end of 2012.taCtiCs The summary below groups campaign tactics with their corresponding objective. ƒƒ WebinarƒwithƒCAREƒCEOƒ ƒƒ Dedicatedƒwebpageƒ–ƒƒ ƒ ‘Adminƒisƒnotƒaƒdirtyƒword’ ƒƒ Extensionƒofƒdedicatedƒ ƒ webpageƒ–ƒ‘Virtualƒvillage’ ƒƒ Annualƒreportƒmessaging 4. A full explanation of tactics follows.ƒFAQƒandƒ ƒ objectionƒhandlingƒdocuments 3. To ensure all program and administration staff understand the benefits of administration and fundraising spending by June 2011. To see all marketing contractors accurately communicate CARE’s attitude towards overheads by March 2011. ƒƒ Staffƒworkshops ƒƒ Talkingƒpoints.ƒFAQƒandƒ ƒ objectionƒhandlingƒdocuments 2. 1. ƒƒ Face-to-faceƒmeetingsƒwithƒ ƒ marketingƒcontractorƒmanagement ƒƒ Staffƒworkshops ƒƒ Talkingƒpoints. To decrease by 31%39 the number of existing CARE donors who consider low overheads and less administration costs an important giving factor by the end of 2011 ƒƒ WebinarƒwithƒCAREƒCEOƒ ƒƒ Dedicatedƒwebpageƒ–ƒƒ ƒ ‘Adminƒisƒnotƒaƒdirtyƒword’ ƒƒ Extensionƒofƒdedicatedƒ ƒ webpageƒ–ƒ‘Virtualƒvillage’ ƒƒ ‘Virtualƒvillage’ƒbookletƒtie-in ƒƒ Annualƒreportƒmessagingƒƒ 39.

Cornucopia. A link to this document will be placed on CARE’s intranet. Support Direct and Pareto Phone. and for street and telephone fundraisers at Cornucopia. the communications and fundraising team will work with management teams at Cornucopia. imPlementAtion Workshops will be run for CARE’s program and administrative staff. meetings with marketing cOntractOr management PuBlics tArgeted ƒ Marketing contractor management imPlementAtion To produce uniform organisation-wide messaging on this issue. Support Direct and Pareto Phone fundraisers will receive a similar document. They will encourage management to utilise existing communication protocols to further disseminate the shift of messaging to staff.staff wOrkshOps PuBlics tArgeted ƒ ƒ Program and administrative staff Marketing contractor staff imPlementAtion A short ‘talking points’ document will be emailed to CARE staff after the workshops. internal dOcuments PuBlics tArgeted ƒ ƒ Program and administrative staff Marketing contractor staff 22 . Support Direct and Pareto Phone. These workshops will make use of an engaging video produced for the dedicated ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage (see Appendix 6. These meetings will inform management of the shift in messaging and its importance. After a presentation discussing the reasons for the change in messaging. in addition to updated scripts and objection handling documents. video suggestion number 1). reiterating key messages and FAQs. staff will run through brief role-playing scenarios (between a role-played member of the public concerned about administration costs and a staff member). The video will be shown prior to the website’s launch to ensure its currency for staff.

webinar with care ceO PuBlics tArgeted ƒ ƒ Existing individual donors Potential individual donors imPlementAtion The webinar will be promoted on the back of CARE’s Christmas Appeal. there is scope to replicate this tactic as a tie-in for the June Tax Appeal. and a blog posting entitled ‘5 things you didn’t know about admin spending’ will promote the webinar. as part of their ‘thank you’ email or letter. A recording of the webinar will be made available on the new webpage. Based on the success of the webinar and feedback from its participants. Julia Newton-Howes will make mention of a new ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage. to join an online discussion with CARE CEO Julia Newton-Howes about how their money is spent.’). this webinar (or ‘web seminar’) will present a unique opportunity for donors to engage directly with CARE CEO Julia NewtonHowes on an issue they consider important. 23 .to midJanuary on social media channels (‘We want you to ask the tough questions. Donors will then have the opportunity to submit questions online in advance on any spending-related topic. which raises funds in the lead-up to Christmas.. The webinar will be publicised further on CARE’s bimonthly newsletter and homepage. which will be launched directly following the webinar. Twitter and Facebook updates will encourage participation (‘Find out how your money is spent’). Calls-to-action will appear in early. On the day of the webinar. Individuals who make a donation or sign up as a monthly donor in this period will receive an invitation. 40.. there is an opportunity to utilise this cost-effective channel by engaging donors in an online discussion about how their money is spent – particularly focusing on administration and fundraising costs. See Appendix 5. During the webinar. with Julia engaging donors on the topics of administration and fundraising spending. rAtionAle Given the prevalent use of social media by many of CARE’s existing donors. Similar in nature to the web-conference held by Medicine Sans Frontiers about their Pakistan Floods appeal (‘Want to know exactly how your gifts helped MSF respond to the earthquake in Haiti?’)40.

Webpage body text The webpage body text will present key messages in a straightforward manner. flash-based slideshows will take website viewers ‘behind the scenes’ at CARE – highlighting ways that administration funding is spent. See Appendix 6 for suggested concepts. ACFID imPlementAtion The dedicated ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage will be launched directly after the CEO’s webinar. and others in the sector. will tell simple stories highlighting the benefits of. and need for. 24 . A dedicated webpage on CARE’s website with audience-appropriate. It will be mentioned in the Christmas Appeal ‘Thank You’ letter along with the webinar. embedded videos Embedded videos. See Appendix 7 for suggested concepts. internal publics. administration and fundraising. engaging and high-quality content will be a key element in educating donors on administration spending. hosted on CARE’s YouTube channel. Flash-based slideshoWs To address the potential donor attitude that administration spending is waste spending (for instance. that it funds extravagant Christmas parties or private CEO holidays). AusAID. rAtionAle CARE’s website is a source of information for potential and existing CARE donors. publicised via an e-mailout (independent of the regular bimonthly e-newsletter) and promoted to industry media outlets. in either a Q&A format or list format (‘10 things you don’t know about admin’).dedicated webpage – ‘admin is nOt a dirty wOrd’ PuBlics tArgeted ƒ ƒ ƒ Existing individual donors Potential individual donors Secondary publics – corporate donors. other INGOs.

they are less likely to consider it necessary – much less beneficial – to receive marketing material after they make a once-off donation. real-life community CARE has completed projects in (for instance. road-building. This community should be one where CARE completed a number of projects simultaneously – for instance. Webpage visitors will be greeted by a simple village mock-up – a few huts. and are currently considered so by donors. At the completion of the animation. projects start to pop up – a school is constructed. Meticulous research should be conducted to ensure that the virtual village accurately reflects the degree to which fundraising revenue contributed to the various projects. which should be clearly communicated to webpage viewers. Similarly to the ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage launch. an outdoor fire. As the animation begins and the percentage increases. 25 . other INGOs. teachers are trained. This tactic is designed to reinforce the message that the amount invested in fundraising directly correlates with the effect that CARE has in poor communities around the world. this tactic will help donors visualise the direct effect that fundraising revenue has on CARE projects. ACFID Utilising Flash animation technology. the virtual village will depict a specific. a road connecting the village to a nearby market is built – with a running commentary on the effect each project had on the village. education. rAtionAle Administration and fundraising are two different concepts. Vietnam or TimorLeste).extensiOn Of dedicated webpage – ‘virtual village’ PuBlics tArgeted ƒ ƒ ƒ Existing individual donors Potential donors Secondary publics – corporate donors. a vegetable patch – and a percentage slider bar set to 0% at the bottom of the screen representing the percentage of fundraising revenue invested in the village. While donors may understand the need for paying the phone bill. a specific village in Cambodia. and the amount for which each project relied on fundraising revenue. imPlementAtion This tactic will be implemented after the June 2011 Tax Appeal. AusAID. this webpage extension will be publicised in the Tax Appeal ‘Thank you’ letter as a way for donors to better understand how their money is being spent. micro-financing or agriculture. As a ‘Part 2’ of the ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage tactic. a clean water source is procured. water and sanitation. the percentage slider will become interactive. with users able to ‘slide’ backwards to previous stages of the animation.

Key messages will remain consistent with the ‘virtual village’ animation – that investing in fundraising means more funds to help empower poor communities. A prominent link to the ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage will be displayed at the end of the booklet to ensure a tie-in with the ‘virtual village’ flash animation. which will utilise the skills of both CARE’s in-house designer and an externally-sourced graphic designer. adapted for the booklet medium. imPlementAtion This booklet. will be bundled with a regular CARE newsletter and sent to all existing donors on the CARE mailing list.‘virtual village’ bOOklet tie-in PuBlics tArgeted ƒ Existing individual donors rAtionAle In order to communicate the benefits of fundraising expenditure to donors who may not be regular internet users. 26 . It will tell the same story of the village in the tactic above. this tactic will present a version of the online ‘virtual village’ in a brochure format.

‘How much of the money CARE raises goes to projects overseas?’ with the standard response that CARE is ‘one of the most efficient and accountable organisations’ in the world. other INGOs. CARE’s Annual Reports have presented its financial details with little or no commentary on why money is allocated for administrative or fundraising purposes. ACFID Financial reporting section In the 2009 Annual Report financial reporting section. 41. There is opportunity to explain in this crucial external engagement document the reasons why CARE invests in administration and fundraising. Various nonprogram expenses (marketing. CARE Australia 2009. 27 . CARE had a paragraph headed ‘Main influences on costs of operation’41. rAtionAle Traditionally. education) are outlined with no explanation as to why extra was spent on fundraising and marketing from the previous year. p. FaQs The 2009 Annual Report included the FAQ. and that it ‘prides itself’ on maximising project spending. Future annual reports can provide an explanation for CARE’s investment in administration and fundraising in this section. administration.36. imPlementAtion Two areas of the Annual Report are appropriate for messaging on this topic: the financial reporting section and the FAQ section. AusAID.annual repOrt messaging PuBlics tArgeted ƒ ƒ ƒ Existing individual donors Potential individual donors Secondary publics – corporate donors. Annual Report 2008/09. Upcoming annual reports can utilise new messaging around overheads to ensure consistent messaging across all channels.

pages 32-33. 28 .evaluation To determine the success of this campaign. See Timeline. for implementation details. the following evaluation methods will be implemented at various points of the campaign.

From 88% in 2008 (see CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report.1. To ensure that 20% of potential donors who come in contact with CARE via fundraising or marketing channels are informed of the benefits of administration and fundraising by the end of 2011. To decrease by 31%42 the number of existing CARE donors who consider low overheads and less administration costs an important giving factor by the end of 2011. 4.ƒAnnualƒReportƒmessaging) Marketƒresearchƒquestion:ƒƒ ‘Toƒwhatƒextentƒdoƒyouƒagree/ƒ disagreeƒthatƒlowƒoverheadsƒandƒlessƒ adminƒisƒanƒimportantƒgivingƒfactor?’ 3.ƒwebpage.ƒcommentsƒandƒ‘likes’ƒforƒ ƒ ‘Adminƒisƒnotƒaƒdirtyƒword’ƒYouTubeƒvideos ƒƒ AnalysisƒofƒactivityƒresultingƒfromƒFacebookƒ ƒ andƒTwitterƒpostsƒrelatingƒtoƒcampaignƒ ƒƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Analysisƒofƒemail/telephoneƒfeedbackƒ fromƒdonorsƒregardingƒadministrationƒ fundraisingƒspendingƒandƒdonor-relatedƒ campaignƒtacticsƒ(webinar. 29 . ƒƒ Informalƒfocusƒgroupƒmeetingsƒwithƒstaff ƒƒ Meetingƒwithƒadministrationƒandƒ ƒ programƒmanagementƒteams ƒƒ All-staffƒsurvey 2. To ensure all program and administration staff understand the benefits of administration and fundraising spending by June 2011.ƒ brochure. To see all marketing contractors accurately communicate CARE’s new messaging around overheads by March 2011 ƒ Meetings with/regular updates from marketing contractor management ƒ Anonymous ‘mystery shopper’ style valuations of face-to-face/ telephone fundraisers ƒƒ Webƒanalyticsƒforƒdedicatedƒ‘Adminƒ ƒ isƒnotƒaƒdirtyƒword’ƒwebpageƒ ƒƒ Meetingsƒwith/regularƒupdatesƒfromƒ ƒ marketingƒcontractorƒmanagement ƒƒ Analysisƒofƒphone/emailƒquestionsƒ ƒ fromƒpotentialƒdonorsƒregardingƒ ƒ admin/fundraisingƒspendingƒƒ ƒƒ Webƒanalyticsƒandƒquestionƒ ƒ submissionƒtrackingƒforƒwebinarƒpageƒ ƒƒ Webƒanalyticsƒforƒdedicatedƒ‘Adminƒisƒnotƒ ƒ aƒdirtyƒword’ƒandƒ‘virtualƒvillage’ƒwebpages ƒƒ Analysisƒofƒviews. 42. 2008) to 60% by the end of 2011.

Campaign timeline november 2010 to march 2011 30 .

april 2011 to January 2012 Dedicated ‘Admin is not a dirty word’ webpage Tactics targeting internal publics Webinar Holiday period Evaluation ‘Virtual Village’ webpage and booklet Annual Report messaging CEO CM CO1 CO2 CO3 FM FO Chief Executive Officer Communications Manager Communications Officer 1 Communications Officer 2 Communications Officer 3 Fundraising Manager Fundraising Officer FT MC MCO OOC OM VI Fundraising Team Media Co-ordinator Multimedia Communications Officer Online Communications Co-ordinator Office Manager Volunteer Intern 31 .

This cost tallied under ‘Dedicated webpage – ‘Admin is not a dirty word’.Budget meetings With mArKeting contrActor mAnAgement Meetings Staffing 0% 1% Total + 1% stAFF WorKshoPs Video production Flights to Canberra Staffing 0%43 0%44 2% Total + 2% internAl documents Staffing 2% Total + 2% WeBinAr With cAre ceo Webinar technology Staffing 2% 8% Total + 10% dedicAted WeBPAge – ‘Admin is not A dirty Word’ Video production Staffing 5% 15% Total + 20% 43.’ Covered under Qantas’ corporate partnership agreement. 32 . 44.

as market research can be utilised for broader communications strategy as well as other campaigns. 33 .eXtension oF dedicAted WeBPAge – ‘virtuAl villAge’ Flash animation design Staffing 5% 15% Total + 20% ‘virtuAl villAge’ BooKlet tie-in Graphic design Printing Staffing 5% 15% 5% Total + 25% AnnuAl rePort messAging Staffing 1% Total + 1% ongoing evAluAtion Staffing 5% Total + 5% FinAl evAluAtion Market research Staffing 5%45 9% Total TOTAl ExPEnSES + = 14% $20. The cost of market research will be offset by funds sourced from the general fundraising and communications budget.000 45.

appendiCes appendix 1 sWot AnAlysis strengths ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Respected within development sector Strong brand recognition among public Trusted by existing donors Large existing donor base (~30. condemning CARE Negative media coverage ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ 34 . valued by donors Quality programs Strong accountability measures Strong web presence/use of social media Established media presence Some innovative fundraising mechanisms Weaknesses ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Low unprompted brand recognition Relatively small market share Highly competitive marketplace Limited donor funding Uses low admin costs as marketing tool Negative perception of admin costs among donors Limited marketing budget Limited investment in revenue streams ƒ ƒ opportunities ƒ To address negative donor perception of admin and fundraising costs To allow for greater admin/marketing expenditure in coming years For CARE to take innovative position on important sector-wide issue threats ƒ Donor reaction against campaign by those who value CARE’s low admin costs Current point-of-difference compromised Other members of sector tapping into fear of high admin costs.000) Low admin costs.

bad management or misused funds ƒ Donor funds should ideally go directly to target country ƒ Partly older donor base. not low administration costs ƒ Donors see fundraising expenditure as a way to increase funds to programs 35 . but effective. may be resistant to change ƒ Strong attitudes in media against charity ‘waste’ spending ƒ Money should not be spent fundraising ƒ Competitive market ƒ Strong communications management & proven. may imply inefficiency.Worst perception or situation drivers or opportunities current perception or situation Barriers or issues Best perception or situation appendix 2 ƒ Existing negative perception of high overheads retained ƒ Low admin is more valuable than effectiveness ƒ Donors value effective aid work over low overheads ƒ Donors can see value in investing administration and fundraising ƒ Finite resources in communicating messages ƒ Strong relationship with key existing donors Force Field AnAlysis ƒ CARE seen as wasting and mismanaging funds ƒ Donors fail to see benefits of investing in administration and fundraising ƒ Administration costs are concerning. smart use of funds ƒ Good reputation ƒ Donors turn to competitors with low administration costs ƒ Current low administration costs ƒ CARE becomes less attractive to donors – point-of-difference lost ƒ Potential donors choose CARE for its aid effectiveness. effective communication processes ƒ Limited ability to connect with large numbers of potential donors in order to affect wide-scale attitude change ƒ CARE’s low administration costs reflect good business practice ƒ Deeply embedded donor resistance to higher overheads ƒ Donors do not solely value low administration costs.

‘pink bats’. CSR. education. the government has spent another $100 million’) environmental ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Growing awareness in households of climate change and environmental concerns Emissions Trading Scheme debates and ultimate demise – voter backlash against Rudd – ‘broken promise’ Growing environmental considerations in business practices – e. Coalition’s ‘Stop the waste’ election slogan) Health. infrastructure development (e. Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. Some scepticism about climate change. computerised and technology-dependent society Advertising ever-present: thousands of advertisements consumed by city dwellers daily Australian society possessing sometimes laid-back.g. – cost of living high with many households feeling effects Overspending and debt: both household debt and government (Abbott’s election slogan: ‘Today. economy. tongue-in-cheek view on many issues Australia generally an outward-looking nation. large number of Australian travellers. energy efficient buildings. Climate Sceptics party running for senate social ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Highly mediatised. immigration. National Broadband Network) are major policy issues Scrutiny over and some media criticism of government aid spending economic ƒ ƒ ƒ Value for money important as ever – businesses still recovering from the implications of the global financial crisis Housing affordability. particularly after ‘Climategate’ furore – prominent sceptics e.g.appendix 3 Peest AnAlysis political ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ High degree of media and public scrutiny of government at all levels – accountability Resistance to ‘waste’ spending (e. high migrant population technological ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Prevalent use of the internet and social media: lives increasingly online and computerised Utilisation of interactive media and the internet within businesses Social media sites popular and used in most demographics Popularity of You Tube and ‘rich’ media Websites often first point-of-reference for those interested in a business/service 36 . dependent on other nations for defence. etc.g. culture. grocery prices etc.g.

91% of passionates – mainly female. Given their greater likelihood to be in a lower income. Caring financiers are those most concerned about administration spending. 2008. who tend to be mature-aged males. Due to their high motivation to contribute. including annual reports. 37 .appendix 4 cAre donor segments 2008 CARE research segmented CARE’s donors into four segments: passionates (19%). caring financiers (25%). with 96% agreeing that lower overheads are important. 46. See CARE Australia/Quantum market segmentation report. are the least concerned about administration costs among CARE donors. unlikely to research when donating and emotionally disconnected from CARE and the sector as a whole. with 82% rating them important. web-based tactics may be a strong channel to reach these publics. olderaged household. 84% of fun-focused (who are typically younger. CARE are encouraged to use more traditional channels to communicate with this segment. Given the segment’s use of the internet and social media. The high level of internet use among this younger segment means the use of online channels are appropriate. with a favourite leisure activity of internet surfing) are concerned about administration costs. Co-operators. it is vital that key messages are communicated simply and effectively to this segment. While there are a growing number of older-aged internet users. their diligence in giving and engagement with CARE. it is likely that passionates would be keen to enter into a dialogue around how their money is being spent. fun-focused (31%) and co-operators (25%) . aged 18 to 34 – are concerned about administration costs. they are not considered a priority for this campaign. Given co-operators are generally non-proactive in giving.

com/post/1059895074/wantto-know-exactly-how-your-gifts-helped-msf-respond#disqus_thread. 38 .appendix 5 msF’s cAll-to-Action viA tumBlr For their live WeB-conFerence See post at http://doctorswithoutborders.tumblr.

This would help put human faces to the ‘unknown beast’ of administration costs. It would then liken this story to organisations like CARE.appendix 6 video suggestions For ‘Admin is not A dirty Word’ WeBPAge 1. 2. Videos can also highlight how limited investment in administration infrastructure or skilled administration staff may have historically hindered the Country Office. A sketched cartoon telling the story of a woman in a poor community who starts a small business with profits she earned through a CARE microfinancing scheme. 3. Interviews with staff in CARE Country Offices (for instance. in Timor-Leste or Cambodia) who explain how investing in administration infrastructure has assisted their efforts to overcome poverty. The video will highlight how many dead ends the woman runs into as the business grows when she does not spend on administration or fundraising. Brief interviews with CARE Australia administration staff explaining how their input helps with the day-to-day running of CARE. 39 .

2. discuss ways their expertise and experience helps CARE become a better organisation 3. A picture of Ernst & Young’s head office. explain ways it is crucial for CARE’s success A picture of some members CARE’s administration staff. 40 . discuss ways they use their expertise to attract world-class aid practitioners to CARE. A shot of the IT server room. explain some of the vital accountability functions they provide A picture of an HR staff member.appendix 7 slideshoW suggestions For ‘Admin is not A dirty Word’ WeBPAge 1. 4.

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