The Donna Louise

Requirement: SMART Messenger

The Donna Louise needed a solution that would reduce calling costs yet allow it to reach its service users, their families and the trust’s donors easily and effectively.


The Client

The Donna Louise is a charitable trust which provides care for children and young adults with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions – as well as their families – offering respite and support throughout the palliative care journey, end of life and bereavements. The organisation currently supports more than 260 children, young adults and families from across Staffordshire and Cheshire, with care provided in its purpose-built hospice, in the family home, in the community or a combination, depending on the family's preference.

The trust needed an easy-to-use, efficient way of communicating with families who use its services to let them know about any offers and events it had coming up, as well as the ability to help thank donors, increase gift aid donations, link to social media sites and drive traffic to its website. As a registered charity, it was also essential for The Donna Louise to save much-needed money, which could then be diverted towards providing even more services for those in need. Whilst email was a well-utilised tool, there were also concerns that important information surrounding essential care might not being read as quickly as the trust would prefer. The Donna Louise turned to GCI to recommend a solution that would help it achieve this whilst complying with strict GDPR and PCI regulations.


Technical Solution

GCI recommended their own SMART Messenger platform for The Donna Louise; a solution which allows for the design and implementation of SMS, MMS or Coupon campaigns, all managed from an easy-to-use dashboard. With statistics showing that 98% of SMS messages are opened within 30 seconds of the message being received, it is a cost-effective and reliable method of updating service users with important care information, as well as also enabling the trust to share details of events and anything else The Donna Louise needs to communicate. The solution makes it easy to personalise messages with customer names and more to increase engagement, and the user-friendly dashboard gives insights into all campaigns at once as well as showing critical data such as open rates. SMART Messenger also supports audio, image and video content, meaning that the charity can share exciting updates with families as well as having the opportunity to get creative when thanking donors for their contributions. With the solution complying with all PCI and GDPR regulations, The Donna Louise can also be certain that the security of its families’ and donors’ data is kept protected at all times.


Success and Company Benefits

The Donna Louise now has a straightforward, efficient way of communicating with its service users, their families and its patrons. The SMART Messenger solution allows the charity to reduce call costs whilst getting in touch with families and donors alike in real time. Best of all, The Donna Louise can be certain that its communications fully comply with stringent data protection and payment legislations.

Jayne Dono, Communications Officer at The Donna Louise, said: “We needed to be able to communicate with families in real time to let them know about care information, offers, events and other news. Email works to a point but ultimately, we needed a straightforward, user-friendly way of mass communicating with our families from a trusted, easy-to-work-with supplier who had the knowledge and patience to work with us to help us get to where we needed to be. As The Donna Louise is a charity and survives through donations, we also had to be certain that our chosen partner had high uptime across its IT infrastructure and used trusted, safe and secure hosting environments. GCI ticked all the boxes.

We looked at several online marketing and text messaging systems of varying expense and functionality, but we didn’t receive the type and quality of advice from other providers as we did from GCI. Their knowledge really helped us to achieve our goals and they didn’t rush us into making a purchasing decision, and the simple and secure service they now provide has become an integral way of communicating with families. GCI is a great company to work with and have been really generous with their resources in support of the hospice.”


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