Giving Tuesday and Organic Social Drives Strongest End of Year Appeal Ever

Overview

As a faith-based health care not-for-profit, Church Health cares for each one its patients as we’d all like to be cared for. They commit every day to making the highest quality health care accessible to more Memphians—especially those facing social and economic challenges — so we can all live our lives with dignity, vitality, and joy.

With services that span all ages and that treat the whole person, Church Health makes it possible for more Memphians to live fully, regardless of their insurance status or income level

In November and December 2021, Media Cause developed the concept and strategy for Church Health’s inaugural digital end-of-year appeal.

The Outcome

Between November 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021, Church Health increased fundraising revenue by 50%, increased the number of gifts by 44%, and increased average gift by 4%.

0.12%

Average Email Appeal Response Rate (20% above industry benchmark)

$459

Revenue per 1,000 appeal emails delivered (5x above industry benchmark)

10%

Revenue Sourced to Organic Social
The Challenge

As a local health nonprofit, Church Health shares a common challenge among local nonprofits: Competing for share of heart, mind, and wallet against larger, national, and more established nonprofits working within the same issue area. To combat this, Church Health leaned into the local nature of their work, providing examples of the impact they have on everyday Memphians, and painting a picture of the real lives of Church Health patients. In previous years, Church Health shied away from ‘typical’ fundraising moments such as Giving Tuesday. In 2021 Church Health put their best forward to compete with the larger organizations to great effect.

The Strategy

Media Cause and Church Health collaborated on a strategy designed to lean into the local nature of Church Health’s work with a unique offer: Memphians helping Memphians. This was a multi-channel effort including email, Church Health’s website, organic social, and paid media with the intention of competing with larger nonprofits across channels.


Topline messaging

Church Health makes quality health care accessible to Memphians who may otherwise go without. This includes providing medical, dental, vision, and all manner of support to families who would otherwise be unable to afford this care — just as we would want for our own selves and loved ones. 

The people Church Health serves are all around Memphis — Memphis families rely on them, every single day. Our patients might include a neighbor just down the road, or the waiter who served dinner at the favorite neighborhood haunt. The homecare specialist who keeps Memphians’ aging parents safe. Friends and family, working multiple jobs just to get by, for whom health care would otherwise be out of reach. These are the people we take care of, and our mission and services have rarely been so urgently needed. 

As COVID-19 continues to isolate neighbors from one another and pose grave financial hardships on communities, Church Health remains a beacon of hope, healing, and community for families with nowhere else to turn. This pandemic highlighted just how urgent health care is for everyone. When one person lacks access, it affects all of us. That’s why Church Health is calling in broad support from concerned Memphians who choose to care for their friends, their neighbors, and those who make their own lives better.

This is not a mission we take lightly; instead, Church Health cares for patients with an eye to their total wellness. Hope, health, and healing happen when we care for the whole person, and that’s exactly what Church Health does, uniting faith, medicine, movement, nutrition, and more under one roof. This includes urgent care, primary care, and specialists across a 2-floor clinic, complemented by dietitians, health coaches, counselors, and other services to help all Memphians live with dignity, vitality, and joy. 

Together with partners, volunteers, and donors, Church Health provides 61,300 patient visits per year: each with the potential to forever improve, or even save, a life.

Every year-end donation makes a tangible impact for Memphians’ friends, family, and neighbors in Shelby County, and the greater Memphis area. And with local support from fellow Memphians, Church Health can do even more good and scale positive change.

 

Multi-channel Appeal

Email is typically the primary driver of revenue and the easiest channel on which to close a gift. Robust volume on Giving Tuesday and in the last 48 hours of the year is crucial to remain top of mind (and at the top of inboxes). In between these key date ranges, Church Health cultivated audiences with non-fundraising-ask stories of healing and impact.

The website is another major driver of gifts; ensuring matching gift offers are front-and-center with a year-end giving lightbox that runs from mid-November through December 31. 

Organic social media isn’t often a channel that closes many gifts but is nevertheless an important component of a multi-channel strategy. Church Health leveraged  organic posts to echo email asks and ensure audiences had Church Health top of mind. In the end, organic social media drove 10% of total revenue for the year-end effort.

Church Health also dedicated $30,000 in budget for paid media, to serve fundraising ads on Facebook and Google Search, leveraging match specific and/or deadline focused messaging whenever appropriate.

 

Quality Cultivation and Engagement

In the run-up to crucial fundraising moments, Church Health engaged its supporters through dynamic impact storytelling. Using video content and patient stories, messaging demonstrated that gifts to Church Health make a difference in the lives of hardworking Memphians. In addition, Church Health included warm holiday cultivations under their founder and CEO’s signature, and a Christmas card signing drive by which supporters could send holiday wishes to children in Church Health’s care.

The Implementation

Echo Strategy plus Service promotion on Social

An impressive 10% of overall revenue was directly sourced to organic social media. We deployed an ‘echo strategy’ in which we created organic posts utilizing email content, posting the same day the email was delivered.

Additionally, Church Health posted practical program information, such as the schedule of COVID-19 testing sites for the Memphis community at the height of spread of the Omicron variant.

This communication strategy, delivered to a local and engaged audience, paid off tremendously for Church Health as part of their broader end-of-year effort.

Giving Tuesday

Year-end giving is crowded, and you can expect to share inboxes with countless other nonprofits. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Days like Giving Tuesday and the final week of the year do the heavy lifting of fundraising for you: giving is already on your supporters’ minds, and wallets are open. Our shared job is to make it incredibly easy for them to give you donations—through an increase in email volume, social media presence, paid online ads, and web optimizations.

Showing up to year-end fundraising can make a major difference in your online program:

  • Nonprofits raising money online raised 37.1% of their total revenue in November and December.
  • 12% of all giving happens in the final three days of the year.
  • 20% of year-end revenue came in on December 31st and Giving Tuesday.

 

Sources:

https://360matchpro.com/fundraising-statistics/#year-end

https://mrbenchmarks.com/charts/fundraising

Cultivation, Engagement and Impact Storytelling

Between key fundraising moments, we used email to emphasize Church Health’s gratitude to its donors, leveraging the founder and CEO’s voice to wish the email community a very Merry Christmas. In addition to patient stories and videos, we also took the occasion to keep Church Health supporters engaged, asking them to sign a holiday card for children who need health care during the Christmas season.

Precise and Targeted Use of Matching Funds

Church Health leveraged a matching gift challenge during key fundraising periods: Giving Tuesday and the final five days of the year.

Matching funds not only help create an enhanced sense of deadline urgency, but also provided the donor with a chance to increase their impact for an organization they care about. This tried-and-true tactic is especially important during year-end fundraising when donors are actively looking for reputable organizations with existing relationships in their local community.

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