Insight & Acquisiton

How do you create a powerful connection
with people you haven’t spoken to for decades?

VSO came to us with a challenge. They wanted to make contact with people who’d volunteered for them in the past, who they believed might become valuable donors or even legators in the future. 

But many years had passed, and many volunteers hadn’t opted in to receive fundraising communications. So VSO needed our help to find a smart way to reconnect with them first. 

Our first step was qualitative research. We wanted to understand what would motivate these ‘returned volunteers’ to get in touch with VSO again. Through interviews and data analysis, we were able to build up a picture of who we should be targeting and what might drive them to respond. 

This then inspired a powerful idea: a reunion event where returned volunteers would have the opportunity reconnect with their peers and rekindle memories of their volunteering days. 

Before rolling it out nationwide, we did a local test in an area with a high volume of known returned volunteers – running a highly localised campaign across print, radio and social, to encourage them to get in touch. And so far, this has been a huge success, hitting target a full four weeks earlier than planned! 

Next steps? We’re now developing stewardship journeys – to inspire reunion attendees to make an ongoing commitment to VSO, so the life-changing work they started as volunteers all those years ago can continue in years to come.