Fundraising for the Forest

The National Forest Foundation engages Americans in promoting the health and public enjoyment of our National Forests. Over the last few years, the National Forest Foundation has enjoyed impressive organic growth in donor acquisition, driven primarily by their restricted Tree Planting program. In FY17, NFF planted 1.8M trees, followed by 2.8M in FY18 and most recently, 5M trees planted in FY19.

NFF was looking to take the opportunity to build on this organic growth and set a strong foundation for future growth that emphasizes unrestricted gifts for ALL of their programming, including:

    • Restoration work that blends an understanding of historical natural conditions with science and the need to adapt to our changing future.
    • Ensuring that forests, watersheds, and habitats can persist and are resilient through diverse impacts over time.
    • Reaching out to communities, individuals and partners, to create ownership and support collective efforts that preserve and embrace these national treasures.
    • Complimenting the U.S. Forest Service’s daily work beyond the status quo by responding in a timely and flexible manner, filling the conservation and stewardship gaps across our treasured forests and grasslands.


The Challenge:

While the NFF had made impressive gains in their tree planting efforts over the years, they needed to take a step back and think holistically in order to take their online individual giving program to the next level. This included everything from source code tracking and email segmentation, to campaign logistics and performance measurement. 

They knew they wanted to start shifting the balance from “restricted” tree-planting gifts to “unrestricted” gifts that could be used more freely to create the greatest amount of impact. Additionally, NFF’s aimed to raise an additional $100,000 in unrestricted gifts. In order achieve their ambitious goals, they knew they needed to increase their overall brand awareness and stand out from other “competitors” in the environmental sector as a whole and the tree-planting space in particular.

The Strategy:

We developed a holistic, multi-channel approach that prioritizes unrestricted revenue while continuing to leverage tree-planting as a means of donor acquisition. We deployed highly targeted direct response fundraising ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Google to generate funds during the wildfire season and throughout the year-end giving period. 


Increase YOY unrestricted revenue


Increase in the # of online gifts


Increase in total revenue raised

Ready to drive growth and impact through digital strategies?

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