Save the Children Netherlands

April 14, 2021

Save the Children champions the rights and interests of children worldwide. They have 25,000 dedicated staff across 117 countries, and respond to major emergencies, delivering innovative programs, and ensuring children’s voices are heard through their campaigning to build a better future for and with children.

The organization has chapters across the globe to support its efforts and in the Netherlands, Save the Children focuses on raising awareness of these causes, and raising funds from the Dutch public.


“We want to reach donors on the channels which best resonate with them and to create personalized engagements with them – Salesforce and FinDock help us do this.”


The Dutch chapter has grown significantly over the past 5 years, from 30 to more than 90 employees. To support its growth, and maximize potential impact, the organization made the decision to move to Salesforce. Today, Save the Children is using Salesforce, Marketing Cloud, and Converse (which includes FinDock), helping it to drive deeper donor engagements and realize its goals.

“We know the importance of long-term donor relationships.” shares Jeroen Beelen, Data and Marketing Automation Manager at Save the Children Netherlands. “To build and nurture these, we must understand donors; their preferences and interests, and the history of the engagement. This helps us interact with them in a much more holistic and personalized way.”


Connecting payment channels to Salesforce

 Save the Children Netherlands uses a number of different fundraising channels which include online, face-to-face, TV, and Direct Mail. What’s important is that no matter what way they ask for and collect donations, this information is unified in their CRM; the organization now has a single source of truth for all donor and payment data.

 “We use more channels than we did before, and we also innovate to test new approaches.” shares Jeroen. “If data from different channels sit in silos and is separate from the donor profile we have no way of knowing what is working. We want to reach donors on the channels which best resonate with them and to create personalized engagements with them – Salesforce and FinDock help us do this.”


Online donations and integrated journeys 

Online, Save the Children Netherlands uses Growing Minds’ FormSuite as its front-end form to capture donor information and payment intent. And with its out-of-the-box integration, FinDock makes it possible for donors to choose from a number of different payment options.

 For one-time payments – credit card, iDEAL, and PayPal are offered via Buckaroo, and for recurring donations, FinDock handles the Direct Debit.

With FinDock, Save the Children can orchestrate these different payment methods directly from Salesforce, connecting to payment providers and unifying real-time payment data in Salesforce. Because the data is made actionable in Salesforce, the fundraising team can automate donor journeys to increase conversion and drive engagement.

 “Sometimes a donor doesn’t fill in the form properly or the payment fails,” explains Jeroen. “We instantly know this because of FinDock, and we can then trigger a journey using Salesforce to help the donor complete the transaction.”


Control and engagement with donor direct debit data

Almost 95% of all donations made to Save the Children Netherlands are via Sepa Direct Debit. With all the information stored in Salesforce and linked to the right contact, campaign and destination, Save the Children can collect these donations using FinDock’s native Direct Debit functionality. This gives them full control of the entire process from initial mandate capture to following up on failed payments.

 “With FinDock, we know which donor has made a Direct Debit and why,” says Jeroen. “We also have more control over the engagement. If something happens with a Direct Debit, we can start a journey with a donor – informing them that the Direct Debit has failed and requesting if we can get in touch. Oftentimes, a mistake can be easily rectified. All these instances make an impact on our fundraising income so having this control is really important for our team.”


Modernizing traditional approaches to fundraising

Traditional fundraising approaches like Direct Mail with the Dutch payment slip ‘acceptgiro’ continue to play an important role in Save the Children’s fundraising. Today, the team uses FinDock’s Payment Request Generator tool within Salesforce to create payment references to track the impact of these campaigns. They are also testing new ways to engage donors in Direct Mail.

Door-to-door fundraising has long been standard practice in fundraising, however, Covid-19 presented many organizations with challenges. The fundraising team at Save the Children decided to get creative to find a solution.

 “We wanted to engage with donors in a safe and fun way through Covid-19, so we’re now using our agencies to go door-to-door with a 1.5 meter red carpet which they used to capture donor interest,” shares Jeroen. “With the data now in Salesforce, we’re able to measure the effectiveness of our agency contracts. We now have a 360-degree view of donations; we can see the donation income per month, per supplier, per age group, per payment method, at the campaign level – that’s hugely beneficial.”

Measuring the effectiveness of mass media fundraising channels can at times be challenging. For Save the Children Netherlands they now are able to better understand the impact of TV as a channel for fundraising. Today, the organization offers three ways to donate via TV ads; donors can call a phone number, send an SMS, or go to a web form to submit their details and payment intent. FinDock helps the team access the data it needs to measure and optimize this channel more effectively.

 “For our TV campaigns, our team now knows exactly why someone is calling, and which TV spot triggered the call. It helps us measure campaign effectiveness and optimize our approach. We’re still a relatively small team so all these insights make a big difference on our bottom line.”


Bringing data to life to drive decisions and personalize experiences

Having access to accurate, real-time data means that the fundraising team no longer needs to guess what’s working. They are now empowered with data that helps them make informed decisions. 

“We’re really data-driven as an organization, and since we have all donor and payment data centrally available in Salesforce, we are able to create any dashboard that’s needed,” explains Jeroen. “Our dashboards are created by Intelligenz and we have dashboards for channel managers and team managers. They can easily see the total number of donors by acquisition channels and the drop-off by channel. This helps them make decisions on campaigns and engagement.”

Understanding donors and why they give is key to delivering tailored engagements which build more relevant and long-lasting relationships.

“Everything needs to be taken into account when engaging with donors. We thank every donor for their contribution but we also adapt the method of interaction, like email/calling depending on the amount that has been donated.” offers Jeroen. “We also use different messages and/or calls-to-actions for one-time versus recurring donors, and we exclude some of our regular givers from specific campaigns. There’s a balance we must find between income per campaign and impact on long-term donor engagement. This way we can give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection against injustice. Every day again. Unconditionally.”

Save the children logo





Credit Card, PayPal, iDEAL, Direct Debit, acceptgiro, Bank Transfer