Willamette Humane Society
Overall, Bloomerang customers that sent fundraising appeals raised $1.35MM more during the COVID-19 crisis than they did during the same time period last year! We wanted to highlight some of those success stories here.
Willamette Humane Society | Broad Updates & Segmented Appeals
In this video, Steven from Bloomerang sits down (virtually) with Sara from the Willamette Humane Society to talk about they generated a 227% increase in donor support compared to the same period last year.
Like so many nonprofit organizations, WHS’s challenge was two-fold: communicate programming changes in light of new social distancing and sanitation measures, and communicate their financial need. As a humane society, the care and protection of the animals in their facility was of particular interest to their community. Despite not being in direct human services, Sara and the WHS team did not shy away from fundraising.
Monthly donors are particular important to WHS (as they should be). After broadly updating the entire community on changes at the facility, Sara and her team reached out to monthly donors first before beginning their appeal campaigns. Those appeals were also segmented, allowing contextualized asks for distinct groups of supporters. The results shattered expectations.
Email #1 – Initial COVID-19 Precautions/Update
In Mid-March, WHS began communicating changes at their facility, as well as in-person event cancellations.
62% open rate, 4% click-through-rate
Subject: EVENT UPDATE: This Wednesday’s open forum and other shelter events
Email #2 – Monthly Donor Stewardship
Very early on, WHS got out in front of monthly donors with pure stewardship; thanking them for their past and ongoing support, and reminding them that they are the lifeblood of the organization. This “prime the pump” method prevented monthly donors from being alienated by future appeals. Sara and her team believe that this email made subsequent appeals more successful.
54% open rate, 3.5% click-through-rate
Subject: Monthly Donors, the heroes of non-profits.
Email #3 – Segmented Appeals
Rather than simply sending a blanket appeal to their entire community, WHS was incredibly intentional about who they were asking from, and what they were asking for.
Sara and her team set up a variation of the same email to three distinct segments:
- Segment 1: active donors
- Segment 2: monthly donors
- Segment 3: lapsed donors
While the core of the message was similar across all three, each had a unique intro and call-to-action. For example, the monthly donor segment suggested sustainers increase their commitment.
Subject: Are you looking for a way to help?
These three emails alone generated over $17,000, as well as several upgrades from existing monthly donors.
Email #4 – Second COVID-19 Precautions/Update
As the situation continued to evolve through late-March, WHS continued their updates. Each included multiple, specific calls-to-action for additional support.
24% open rate, 2% click-through-rate
Subject: How we can serve pets and people—together