Facebook – New Donor Acquisition

We often hear “that didn’t work for us”. This case study illustrates the value that can be achieved by tapping the expertise of an agency like Further whose success is dependent on delivering scalable, efficient fundraising performance–even when past efforts have seeded doubt.

Client:
National Parks Conservation Association
Program:
New Donor Acquisition via Facebook
Non-Profit Category:
Environmental

Challenge 

NPCA was looking for new acquisition channels that would deliver scale and ROI in line with the efficiency they were seeing in their direct mail and email channels.  

When it comes to digital scale for new donor acquisition, Facebook is the gorilla in the room. NPCA had previously utilized Facebook but hadn’t been able to make it work as a viable prospecting and revenue generator 

This is where Further stepped in. Our experience with Facebook convinced us that the prior shortcomings weren’t inherent in the channel itself and that we could guide NPCA to establish Facebook as a leading driver of new donors and new donor revenue. 

  

Strategy 

Applying our knowledge of the environmental non-profit landscape as well as past winning strategies on Facebook specifically, we developed a testing schema that encompassed both audience and creative tests. With only a 90-day pilot period during which we needed to not just gain learning, but also deliver results on par with long-established donor acquisition channels such as DM and email, the strategy was to learn fast and implement quickly.  

Leveraging Facebook’s audience tools, we created lookalike and retargeting audiences, and selected relevant interest targeting to create sizeable yet effective affinity audiences. Our messaging tests varied from mission-based to issue-specific topics such as calling out the struggles our nation’s parks have faced due to climate change and lack of funding. Lastly, creative was tested across both carousel ads and static images to determine the most engaging tactic.  

As testing progressed and learnings accumulated we worked to leverage a successful offline premium to boost already successful results that were struggling to perform at scale. The addition of the premium proved to be the rocket-fuel we needed to launch this program into another realm of performance. 

 

Results 

Through an exhaustive testing plan culminating with the introduction of a premium offer we were able to deliver eye-catching results in a relatively short period. Of note is that this test did not correspond with typically strong fundraising periods such as GivingTuesday and/or year-endThe initial performance goals were just slightly below what long-established, well-optimized programs were currently delivering because without performing on par future digital budgets would be difficult to justify.  

By the conclusion of the pilot we had:

  • Exceeded revenue goal by 117%  
  • Outperformed the new donor goal by 214% 
  • Cost per Acquisition was 69% better than goal  
  • Net per Donor Acquired was 358% more efficient than our benchmark goal 

 

Fortunately for NPCA these results were convincing enough to continue utilizing Facebook and as a result they have another arrow in their new donor acquisition quiver. While the 1x donor acquisition success is expected to be replicated, the degree of success during the pilot has also spurred discussion of direct acquisition of sustainer donors via Facebook.  

 

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