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Food banks use Feathr to grow awareness & drive donations


2 min read
Apr 3, 2024


Like many nonprofits, The Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin and The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri were doing a lot with a little when it came to marketing. Limited staff and budget meant they needed an affordable marketing platform that would help them reach neighbors, donors, and other supporters across multiple channels.


By consolidating all of their marketing efforts in Feathr, the food banks were able to save on cost and do much more with the resources they had. They could now see a fuller picture of the digital experience people had with their organization, which informed their marketing strategy and helped them drive more donations and community engagement.


In the nonprofit world, driving awareness and securing donations can be challenging, and food bank marketers know this better than anyone. These organizations are a lifeline for their communities, and being able to effectively reach donors and rally support is what puts food on the table.  

Kristopher Tazelaar, media and public relations manager at Second Harvest Foodbank, said: "The challenges we have are just about like any other business. Making sure that we can drive awareness of who we are, what we do, how we help, so that gets into the ethos of people we want to attract, who are potential donors for us or potential supporters in other ways. And of course we want to do that for not a lot of money because we're a nonprofit and we don't have a lot of money to spend on marketing."

The right digital marketing platform can go a long way for food banks looking to save cost, streamline operations, and reach donors and supporters more effectively across multiple channels. The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri uses Feathr to gain insights on donor behavior, so they can foster meaningful relationships and craft narratives that resonate more deeply with supporters.

Katie Adkins, director of communication at the food bank, said: "It was exciting to onboard a new platform where I knew I was going to be able to understand the whole picture of the digital experience for the people that we were working with, that we were trying to create a narrative for. And obviously that doesn't just happen through one email or one ad or one visit to our website. So it's been exciting to be able to explore the relationship that our donors, our volunteers, our neighbors build over time by the data that we can get in Feathr."

Running email & ads in one platform

Both food banks also rely heavily on Feathr's email marketing tools to reach donors, volunteers, and neighbors in their inboxes.

"I've used a lot of different email platforms throughout my time as a communications professional," said Katie. "Switching from Constant Contact was an easy argument to make. We were spending around $280 a month on Constant Contact, so for the year, we were spending a decent amount, and the price difference to move to Feathr seemed like a no-brainer because there were so many other abilities that Feathr gave us."

Similarly, Second Harvest Foodbank moved from Mailchimp to Feathr to reduce costs. Kristopher explained, "The benefit of using Feathr is it's included with the digital ad side. So we don't have the added expense of two, three, four hundred dollars a month for Mailchimp or Constant Contact when we can do our bulk email distribution through Feathr."

The food banks use Feathr year-round, from big initiatives like Hunger Action Month and Adopt a Dairy Cow to smaller ones like volunteer recruitment, newsletters, and local event promotion. Both organizations have found that over time, they're able to do even more when it comes to audience segmentation and targeting.

“The longer that you use Feathr, the more information you're able to gather about your audience. And so we're finding now, after a couple of years of being with Feathr, that we just have so much more to work with as far as targeting. And so it's getting really fun because we have information that we didn't have access to before.”
Katie Adkins

Director of Communication, The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri



The Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin believes that everyone should have equal access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally meaningful food. Through their core services or food acquisition & storage, food distribution, and FoodShare Outreach, they provide access to nutritious food for neighbors across 16 counties in Southwestern Wisconsin. Learn more at secondharvestsw.org.

The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri partners with more than 145 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and nearly 200 schools to ensure food gets into the hands of those who need it most. The Food Bank provides food at no charge to its partners, which means hunger-relief organizations across the area can focus on serving their communities first. Learn more at sharefoodbringhope.org.

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