UGM.ca, A Case Study

Creating an Online Fundraising Presence

In 2009, UGM was focused on their successful direct mail campaigns to draw in new donors and retain current current ones. Like many charities, their email program was not tied into fundraising, and the few emails they sent were generally about events.

After carefully analysing UGM’s data and creating a plan, Frontier jumpstarted UGM’s online fundraising in fall 2009. The campaign was a success, raising $70,000 in just 4 months. Frontier sent out one email per month, and kept the message simple, short and sweet. Using UGM’s tried-and-true ‘$3.29 will provide a meal’ campaign as a foundation, Frontier created a series of effective, to-the-point eblasts which opened another point of contact with new and previous donors while introducing them to online giving.

As their online presence grew and tablet and mobile computing rose in popularity, it became obvious that they would need a responsive website. So Frontier created a site that looked beautiful on any screen.

 

Responsive Website a Key to Online Fundraising

Responsive websites allow for multiple ways to grow revenue: desktop, tablet, and mobile. At UGM the results were so positive that it felt as though they were fundraising on three different specialized sites, with strong results to match.

Frontier now monitors revenue separately for tablets, phones, and desktop computers as well as breaking it down by web browser. This allows analysis of where these clicks are coming from more effectively and hone Frontier’s marketing efforts to fit the demands of those demographics.

Frontier also changed the distribution of the quarterly Gratitude e-newsletter. Where previously they had sent out a PDF attachment to an email, Frontier simplified things by providing a clickable link in each email to a new page with the latest issue of Gratitude. UGM has seen incredible growth just as a result of this simple change; from $400 per eblast to $10,000 in newsletter-motivated donations.

 

The Result

An organization that had been dependent on one medium of fundraising has diversified, creating a substantial new revenue stream. They have a user-friendly, attractive website and a powerful online presence. The return on investment is massive; since Frontier has been responsible for the online image and ‘voice’ of UGM, their total yearly online revenue has jumped from $930,000 to 1.7 million per year.

Frontier now sends out about 20 eblasts a year on behalf of UGM, with some single eblasts raising up to $86,000. Frontier met campaign goals of nearly $500,000 direct from eblasts in 2014. In addition to general online revenue, UGM has seen substantial growth in the number of monthly donors.