Engaging with Your Audience To Ensure A Successful Fundraising Appeal

Overview

Herbalife Nutrition Foundation (HNF) is a global nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of children and communities around the world.

Media Cause collaborated with HNF for an engagement campaign asking supporters to sign a pledge to signal their commitment to connecting children, families, and communities to the proper nutrition they need and deserve. This was followed by a fundraising campaign, with the pledge effort aimed to prime the HNF community so that they were motivated to give

This effort coincided with Child Nutrition Month, also known as #HNFNutritionMonth, which directly pertains to HNF’s ongoing work to nourish communities across the globe.

The Outcome

The campaign generated a total of 64 pledge responses and $2,179 in fundraising revenue (plus an additional $685 in daisy chain revenue), signaling a commitment to connecting children, families, and communities to the proper nutrition they need and deserve.

254

unique pledge landing pageviews

$2,179

raised in the fundraising campaign

6%

increase in email open rate from engagement to fundraising campaign
The Challenge

HNF needed to find new, creative means of engaging with their network of leads, prospects, and donors so that they participated in HNF’s pledge effort and deepened their commitment to the foundation’s mission and work. This engagement opportunity sought to interact with and cultivate HNF’s audience in the lead up to a fundraising appeal the following month, which directly asked supporters to contribute a life changing gift. 

They wanted to continue to reach new audiences ahead of the fundraising appeal and expand their email list, one of their primary channels for fundraising. Their goal was to obtain 75 signatures during the April pledge effort and then, after successfully engaging supporters, raise $7,200 through the May fundraising campaign.

The Strategy

We developed a plan for action that included a multi-channel campaign strategy for both the engagement and fundraising campaigns.

April’s engagement campaign would successfully set the scene for the May fundraising effort, in which we set out to raise vital funds for HNF’s Casa Herbalife Nutrition partner organizations across the globe. Supporter involvement with the pledge campaign would heighten the likelihood that they would donate or become more active partners in the future.

For the engagement campaign, we created a landing page where supporters could sign the pledge. Traffic came from a lightbox pop up on the website, email marketing, and Facebook referrals. The pledge submission page featured an email capture field in order to bring participants that were originally website visitors and social media users onto HNF’s email list. 

Any pledge submission received immediate follow up, prompting them to take the next step and deepen their commitment to HNF’s mission by making a life changing gift. This created the opportunity to garner passive daisy chain revenue amongst pledge submitters ahead of the actual fundraising campaign.

Once we had engaged new leads and active supporters alike, we deployed the fundraising campaign via the expanded email list.

The Implementation

Engagement Campaign Strategy

We deployed a lightbox on HNF’s website, three full file emails, and one non-opener resend at the end of April. Corresponding organic social media posts were also deployed across LinkedIn and Facebook, drawing from condensed email creative to maintain a central voice. 

Email communications conveyed a public-facing goal with a May 4 deadline. Messaging increased in urgency and deadline-centricity as the cadence built in order to incentivize prompt action.

Messaging relied on personal narratives and success stories to draw a direct line between HNF’s work and this opportunity for engagement. Featured language also sought to signal an emotive case for why the community should care about the nutritional wellbeing of people around the world. The email campaign had great results, with the majority of landing page views (62%) attributed to email.

Fundraising Appeal Campaign Strategy

The engagement campaign helped increase interaction with the following month’s fundraising effort. An increase in open and click through rates conveyed that supporters were more inclined to engage with emails after the pledge effort, which better-positioned the fundraising appeal for success.

Direct appeal messages began in late May, spanning four full file sends between the launch date and the June 1 deadline. Supplemental social posts were deployed as well as another campaign specific lightbox on the website. 

The fundraising campaign’s case for donations leveraged storytelling to showcase tangible examples of HNF’s work in action, with a focus on success stories and personal narratives that demonstrated their community-centric impact. 

Using a crowdfund tactic, the campaign leaned on key stats, like the fact that a U.S. family of four needs $900 per month to feed themselves. We also featured an inspiring phone wallpaper incentive to all donors who chipped in to help reach the fundraising goal.

In the end, they received donations from 28 donors, totaling just over $2,000.

Creative + Design

For both the engagement and fundraising portions of the effort, we utilized a mix of unique subject lines, preview text, and sender name formats as well as an intentional mix of email signers for variety, while also taking into account message tone and voice.

Graphics featured imagery of the community HNF serves to humanize the effort, making a strong case for why supporters should sign the pledge and/or donate. As sends and posts drew closer to the deadline, the graphics themselves conveyed greater urgency, leveraging images of a ticking clock, for example, or including direct references to the deadline in the graphic copy.

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