A recent Northwestern University study revealed a disheartening fact: Ovarian cancer research is woefully underfunded, compared to other cancers — despite being the single deadliest gynecologic cancer. Lack of funding impedes progress for a cure. It’s the mission of the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) to close this funding gap and invest in research that saves lives.
As the world’s leading organization fighting this disease, OCRA is well-positioned to maximize the reach and fundraising opportunity that exists with Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (OCAM) every September.
Our goal with the 2019 OCAM campaign was to introduce a strategic approach to reach new audiences and increase year over year fundraising to support research that could change the course of cancer care, forever.
In the past, OCRA fundraised during the entirety of OCAM. In contrast, the 2019 OCAM campaign included two time-bound phases: first Engagement, then Fundraising.
Engaging emails and Facebook posts early in the month were employed to prime and educate the audience. These were followed by fundraising appeals launching mid-month. Overall, the strategy was to bring structure to the campaign that had not existed before.
We did this by:
Introducing the “Knowledge is Power” theme with an engaging email quiz testing the email audience’s knowledge of ovarian cancer facts. One powerful, lesser-known stat was also featured as a graphic “Fact Friday” social post. Sending highly personal fundraising emails from the voice of a young woman living with a rare form of ovarian cancer, and later her mother.
Including proven fundraising tactics such as a public fundraising goal and deadline to increase response. As the deadline approached, email tactics included the use of a thermometer, multiple email signers and increased urgency in subject lines.
Designing beautiful creative that was empowering and consistent throughout the month in both email and Facebook and building awareness among both audiences.
The multichannel approach included an email strategy for a 64K email database, as well as paid Facebook advertising for two audiences:
The results were phenomenal. Compared to 2018, we sent fewer appeals, but the more strategic, structured approach raised more funds.
The Knowledge is Power campaign raised $41,497.57 which was a fantastic increase over the 2018 campaign that raised around $28K.
Utilizing two distinct phases in this campaign kept the messaging novel throughout the month, priming the audience to give with engaging content and functionalities. Further, by framing the fundraising portion as a giving drive — with a public goal and deadline — we were able to give asks the structure and urgency previously lacking.
Best of all, the funds raised support life-saving ovarian cancer research.