Fundraising Over $2 Million Online

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Case Study: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

As a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds, we sought to advance the Lab’s mission with a multi-touchpoint fundraising strategy. We focused on engaging and activating individuals who love birds through aggressive content marketing that inspires passion. Our strategy hinged on community growth and consisted of three parts:

1
Multi-platform growth and engagement

2
Landing page and website optimization

3
Targeted fundraising appeals

During the past year of this long-term approach, The Lab activated users with an ROI of nearly 3x.

504K

Email Addresses Acquired

70%

Of New Donors Resulted from Digital

$2.19M

Online Donations

Media Cause's thoughtful, data-driven strategies have helped the Cornell Lab grow its email list and soar beyond its online fundraising goals year over year.

Melissa Tinklepaugh, Manager of Online Fundraising, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Strategy

Build & Engage Communities

Our clients need help to change the world. Getting the right supporters on their side, and keeping them involved with the mission is critical to creating impact.

Captivating Words & Images

Powerful work deserves powerful communications. Copywriting, infographics, email headers, landing pages—the list goes on—all help you move communities toward organizational goals.

Targeted Fundraising

Fundraising works best if conversations happen 1:1. Digitally, we get as close as we can by targeting donors based on key attributes and actions.

Implementation

  • Build & Engage Communities

    Utilizing a combination of search advertising and paid social advertising, we sought to attract users looking for birding content. As a result, we were able to convert an already interested audience to the Lab’s community in huge numbers. Combined with a long-term communication flow via multiple platforms, we saw an increase in the likelihood of turning supporters into donors.

  • Captivating words & images

    The Cornell Lab does a fantastic job producing content that bird lovers want to see. Our job was to help translate that content into words and images that would inspire a deeper engagement. Leveraging digital collateral on Facebook advertising resulted in 480 donations at an average of $58.34.

    We did this by implementing the following:

        • Identifying the highest converting collateral on their website.
        • Creating branded images with a concise call to action.
        • Distributed content to highly targeted audiences, based on specific bird interests.
  • Targeted Fundraising Appeals

    Year after year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has been able to increase online fundraising numbers through email list growth.

    To capitalize on their existing supporter base, we leveraged a cross-channel approach that brought the Lab’s targeted appeals to users based on their interest — in their email inbox, in their Facebook newsfeed, and on the Cornell website as they engaged with key birding content.

Results

Long-term investment works.

We achieved such strong success by leveraging the Lab’s tremendous wealth of content to attract users through search engine marketing and social advertising, while engaging and activating existing supporters on multiple platforms.

In total, we were able to raise $2,191,610 online in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology during FY15 and increased emails acquired by 60% from the previous year.

Here are some big numbers.

9.62M

Digital Advertising Impressions

23.8%

Click-Through Rate

14,268

First Time Donors

$0.67

Average Acquisition Cost

Ready to drive growth and impact through digital strategies?