Integrated data and analytics programme for a leading UK charity

Wood for Trees has developed a complete programme for this charity that aims to materially improve the quality of the charity’s fundraising data silos, and to provide tools and training that enables them to make significantly better use of that data. As a direct result, the charity has seen significant improvements in both funds raised and return on investment.

The Problem

The client is a UK-based charity with a network of 2,700 employees, providing care for thousands of terminallyill patients a year both in their own homes and in the charity’s network of hospices.

They recognised that, in the face of tough fundraising conditions and stagnating incomes, they needed to reevaluate the quality and scope of the data they use to drive fundraising strategy. Specifically, to generate new insights, strategies and improved ROI from the current (at the time of project inception) database going forward by:

  • Reviewing the existing database
  • Improving data effectiveness
  • Creating new data insight tools
  • Improving fundraising performance


The initial step was for senior Wood for Trees analysts to interview key data stakeholders in the charity, discovering more about their needs and resources. This research resulted in a twin focus on improving data effectiveness and data analysis and processing.

We developed a series of Excel-based tools which are directly linked to the two million-plus supporter database, to help the charity to view trends and see results. These tools include:

  • Marketing Status Report: enables the MCCC marketing team to assess the effectiveness of any past and current marketing campaign, comparing progress against history-based predictions
  • Lifetime Value Report: focuses on Single Supporter View to identify which channels deliver the most valuable fundraising opportunities
  • Regional Report: map-based geographical output enabling the charity to see at a glance how different regions perform against various parameters

Based on this work we fed historical data into our predictive models to pinpoint the most potentially responsive supporter types for the next major fundraising campaign. We also identified previously under-utilised parts of the database which we predicted would yield good returns.

The Result

The client used this information to refocus their activity for a major campaign in this first year – with exceptional results. In a very tough climate budgets were exceeded and fundraising performance maintained, unlike many other major charities. A similar approach has been used on five further major quarterly campaigns (and counting). Wood for Trees continues to deliver substantial and measurable improvements in fundraising performance, generating significant funds that would not otherwise have been raised.


Alongside this practical demonstration of the success we can achieve for our clients, we’re continuing to develop and improve the quality and efficiency of the client’s supporter database, so that predictive modeling tools become even more accurate and reliable in the future. Measures include carrying out de-duplication and introducing new uploading processes to improve the quality of new data. In addition a programme of mentor-style training is in place, enabling this charity’s data users to take full advantage of the new database tools.