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Humane Society uses retargeting ads to boost donations with a 1,983% return on ad spend

Humane Society of North Central Florida

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$300

Total ad spend

119

Donations

1,983%

Return on ad spend

The challenge

With an online community giving day ahead, HSNCF wanted to ensure that their organization would stand out from the nearly 100 other nonprofits participating, engage previous donors, and get as many donations as possible.

The outcome

HSNCF ran two retargeting ad campaigns with Feathr and for $300 in ad spend, they brought in an estimated $5,950 in donations. In addition to using Feathr for its own promotions, HSNCF now offers retargeting ad campaigns to its top-tier sponsors.

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For several years, the Humane Society of North Central Florida (HSNCF) has participated in a community-wide online giving day for local nonprofit organizations called The Amazing Give. Given the sheer number of nonprofits participating in the event, the competition for donations is friendly but fierce.

To maximize donations during The Amazing Give 2021, HSNCF knew they needed a way to stand out and engage their donor base. To accomplish this, they launched two retargeting campaigns with Feathr. One campaign targeted their website visitors while the other targeted an email list made up of donors who made donations within the last three years. 

According to Margot DeConna, HSNCF’s Director of Advancement, “The great thing about Feathr Ads is that the retargeted ads follow those on our email list and show up on websites where people wouldn’t ordinarily see them. For instance, someone on our email list might see our ad while shopping on Amazon or scrolling through Facebook.” 

For a total of $300 in ad spend, their retargeting ads brought 119 visitors to their Amazing Give donation page. HSNCF estimates that their ads generated $5,950 in donations based on a $50 average donation. 

Outreach before using Feathr

Historically, the HSNCF relied heavily on email, social media, and mailers for promoting its services and programs. The organization also purchased advertising from its local newspaper as well as its local radio and television stations.

“Whenever we purchased advertising through the newspaper, we also purchased a digital advertising package,” said DeConna. “However, the newspaper’s advertising options were very expensive for the number of impressions we would get. To make matters worse, the newspaper was behind a paywall, and that limited our reach.”

To truly expand its reach and engage its existing audiences, the HSNCF turned to Feathr for a low-cost solution to leverage its website traffic, do more with its email lists, and offer new opportunities to its sponsors.

“When I heard about Feathr, I was excited about the possibilities,” said DeConna. “I knew it would give us a chance to market not only our services and fundraisers but allow our major sponsors to target pet owners and potential pet owners who visit our website. It was a no-brainer for us.”

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Example: ad displayed on foodnetwork.com

Retargeting on behalf of sponsors

After running several retargeting campaigns of their own, it didn’t take long for HSNCF to begin offering retargeting as a new sponsorship opportunity. As HSNCF’s audience is largely made up of pet owners and prospective pet adopters, it’s a perfect fit for local pet stores, groomers, veterinarians, and other pet-related businesses.

With this type of sponsorship, HSNCF isn’t simply asking businesses for financial support. They’re able to give sponsors something in return: the ability to reach their audience with ads and real-time reports that show the number of impressions, clicks, and more. 

“Businesses are always expecting us to ask them for a donation. With Feathr Monetization, we give our top-tier sponsors added value instead of just asking them for support. That also gives us access to a new revenue stream.”

Margot DeConna, MBA, CFRE, Director of Advancement - HSNCF

HSNCF now offers retargeting to its sponsors as part of its event sponsorship packages and as a sponsorship offering that’s available anytime. 

“Essentially, major sponsors can purchase a certain number of impressions from us, and then they choose a campaign date,” said DeConna. “We then run their campaign targeting people who visit our site. It gives our sponsors the opportunity to reach a very specific audience that they wouldn’t ordinarily have access to.”

 

A powerful tool for nonprofits of all sizes

With a two-person development team, HSNCF’s staff had concerns about using a new software tool and the learning curve that comes with that. After weighing the risks and moving forward, HSNCF’s Development Coordinator Leesha Baumann was relieved to find that getting started was a breeze. “It was super easy to get up and running — everything is so straightforward,” said Baumann. “I also went through all of the video training, and I use Feathr’s help desk regularly. Plus, our customer success manager has been an incredible resource.”  

Both DeConna and Baumann are extremely happy with the value they’ve received from Feathr. “I’ve had friends text me to ask how it is that they see our ads everywhere they go on the Internet,” said DeConna. “I tell them that they need to call my friends at Feathr.”

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