Growing The Lab's Yearly Fundraising Revenue by 10x


We have partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology since 2012 to build their online fundraising efforts through targeted content, email list growth, and donor segmentation. As a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds, we seek to advance the Lab’s mission with a multi-touchpoint online fundraising strategy, focusing on engaging and activating individuals who love birds through aggressive content marketing that inspires passion.

Year after year, the Lab has been able to increase online fundraising numbers by growing their email list and inspiring current supporters to give. The Lab has a wealth of great content that inspires a shared love of birds and highlights the critical importance of bird conservation.

To capitalize on their existing supporter base, we leverage a cross-channel approach that brings the Lab’s targeted appeals to audiences based on their interest – in their email inbox, their social news feeds, and on the Cornell website as they engage with key birding content.

The Outcome

Our targeted approach to list growth and appeals has led to digital fundraising growth of almost 10X from 2012 to 2019, going from yearly revenue of $400,000 to nearly $4 million over the course of 7 years. Email list size has increased at a similar rate.


Total raised in FY19


Increase in fundraising since 2012


Emails on active file in FY19

“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


Build & Engage Communities

Utilizing a combination of search advertising and paid social advertising, we seek to attract users looking for birding content by driving them to landing pages containing tailored content and optimized for lead capture. As a result, we are have been able to convert an already interested audience to the Lab’s community in huge numbers. Combined with a long-term communications flow via multiple platforms, we have seen an increase in the likelihood of turning supporters into donors.

Multi-Touchpoint Campaigns

By reaching supporters on the right platform with the right message at the right time, we have been able to grow the Lab’s email file and scale fundraising efforts as a result. Leveraging a multi-touchpoint approach including search advertising, Google Ad Grants, paid social advertising, display advertising, and email, we have built a foundation for engaging with supporters throughout the year, converting them into donors, and inspiring them to give during the most important campaigns of the year, including Giving Tuesday and the Lab’s Big Day campaign.


Targeted Fundraising

Year after year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has been able to increase online fundraising numbers by growing and strategically segmenting their email list. By growing their community of supporters throughout the year and segmenting them based on their interests and donation history, the Lab is well positioned to send targeted appeals to their supporters based on what messaging will resonate best. While the Lab’s fundraising strategy is centered around engaging email content, our cross-channel approach brings the Lab’s targeted appeals to users across multiple platforms, meeting supporters where they are when they are ready to give.


Ready to drive growth and impact through digital strategies?

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