International African American Museum Grows Their Membership Program with the Help of EveryAction

dancer performing at IAAM groundbreaking ceremony
International African American Museum, Raise HECK, and Chapman Cubine Allen + Hussey logos


The International African American Museum explores cultures and knowledge systems retained and adapted by Africans in the Americas, and the diverse journeys and achievements of these individuals and their descendants in South Carolina, the United States, and throughout the African Diaspora.

If you’re on a mission to change the world, Raise HECK, an EveryAction preferred partner, can help you find and implement great technology, great people, and great outcomes to achieve success.

Chapman Cubine Allen + Hussey (CCAH) helps global nonprofit organizations deliver on their promise to make the world a better place with more than 30 years delivering award-winning, omnichannel donor-centric marketing campaigns. CCAH embraces new ideas, innovative solutions and creative tactics that help their clients break through the clutter in a highly competitive field.


The International African American Museum wants to tell the untold stories of the African American journey. And they’re particularly well situated to tell those stories being located in Charleston, SC on the site of what most scholars consider the largest slave port in North America. Just over the harbor from their location, you can see Fort Sumter and the trade routes that take you to West Africa.

To further their mission, IAAM wanted to launch a membership program to increase their reach, fundraise internationally, and achieve their goal of constructing the museum building in 2022. But their marketing was fractured — using one system for their CRM and another for their email communication and fundraising appeals. The systems didn’t talk to each other and created duplicate content, duplicate memberships, duplicate appeals, and made reporting and processing impossible to do.


A lot of organizations work with what they’ve got and create work arounds that try to solve issues the technology was not meant to solve. That’s the situation in which the museum found themselves, and, to their credit, they reached out to CCAH and Raise HECK for help.

Adva Priso headshot
Adva Priso, Senior Vice President | CCAH

"Once we got set up in EveryAction, it was a huge relief. Everybody was very happy when we could easily pull results for opens, clicks, bounces, new members, new donations, and new leads or actions. The program has grown leaps and bounds. We’re seeing our best results ever and we’re able to optimize everything across digital channels because we have the data to see what’s working and what’s not. It has been life changing."

To launch their membership program and make the museum construction goal a reality, IAAM knew they needed to create a marketing campaign that would expand their reach further than the borders of Charleston, SC. They also needed to prove to their board and their leadership that their dollars were being used in a smart way.

CCAH and Raise HECK recommended IAAM do a tech upgrade to an omnichannel marketing system that could unify engagement actions, make reporting a breeze, and give them the ability to:

  • Eliminate manual list preparation and importing/exporting between marketing programs
  • Track results of their email, online advertising, and website marketing initiatives
  • Integrate all member information into one system that worked across departments and marketing channels, and synchronized automated appeals with the timing of member renewals
  • Perform a robust lead generation campaign with a limited media budget


IAAM launched a test viability program to see if fundraising on a national scale would work. Once the test was validated and goals set by the board were met, they migrated to EveryAction’s CRM and omnichannel marketing platform and were able to expand the program further.

  • Email marketing was used to segment and automate communication and to convert prospects into donors and new members.
  • The CRM was used to keep track of donor and member data in one place, without the need for constant importing and exporting from other systems.
  • Online ads with proper source coding synchronized engagement actions directly to member profiles in the CRM, which were then used to automate and fulfill member welcome series and follow-up communication.
Sarah Raffurty headshot
Sarah Raffurty, Membership Manager | International African American Museum

“It’s just me on the membership staff. I am doing everything from fulfilment and reprinting of cards to voicemails to our members, to designing what the program will look like when we open. When EveryAction showed us that we could adjust reports for our needs, to export, bulk upload, and how to automate our marketing, I had tears in my eyes because I knew how much time it would save us. It took all those little things off my plate so I could spend more time thinking about strategy and member cultivation.”


The results experienced by IAAM were nothing short of groundbreaking. Their new CRM and omnichannel marketing platform provided by EveryAction and implemented by partners CCAH and Raise HECK helped achieve the following results:

membership map before CCAH
membership map after CCAH
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Grew the Museum’s email list by 160%+ in high value prospects
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Grew the Museum’s membership list by 300%+
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216% Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
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Brought down the ad cost of converting a new member from $35 to just $10
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Diversified the pool of members and supporters to:
  • 54% of online support was driven by users under the age of 64
  • 1 in 4 new members were 35-54 age
  • 1 in 9 under 35

Using EveryAction, with the help of two amazing implementation partners, the museum created and grew a successful charter membership for a building that hasn’t even opened yet and collected the data they needed to enhance their communication plan for the next several years.

As their program expanded and marketing reached members outside of the South Carolina region, IAAM found new members in states around the country and in areas around the world. This new data permeated its way throughout the organization and changed how they design their membership programs to offer value for members in areas who might not even visit their brick-and-mortar location.

Want to see it for yourself?

Contact us to learn how a powerful, unified CRM can help your organization run efficient, optimized programs to engage more supporters and make a deeper impact.