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PCF brings in $360k on local giving day


3 min read
May 24, 2023


Net New Audience





Newsletter subscribers


The Peninsula Community Foundation (PCF) is a small team dedicated to investing in their community’s future. With a large list of email prospects, PCF needed a cost-effective way to nurture, engage, and expand its audience while maximizing donations during its annual giving day.


With Feathr's digital advertising, PCF expanded their list of email addresses from 30,000 to 66,000. With added exposure through ads and follow-up through automated emails, they brought in $360k in donations for local nonprofits during their Give Local 757 initiative.

The marketing landscape is constantly changing. What worked last year isn’t guaranteed to work again, and just because something didn’t work last year doesn’t mean it won’t this year. With all these changes, it’s hard to develop a winning strategy year after year.

Tammy Flynn, director of philanthropy at PCF, said, “It’s so complicated in today’s world: targeting people, finding people, being where people are. I’ve been in marketing a long time, and the whole landscape has changed.”

One of the larger shifts is from traditional media to social media. But even social media best practices tend to shift on a weekly basis.

“It seems like they change the algorithm on Facebook every five minutes,” Flynn said. “You spend all this time building up your audience, and now you have to pay Facebook to even reach your own audience. It is just an insane world to try to get your message out.” 

But as an experienced and successful marketer, Flynn knew that the solution had to be holistic instead of through one magic bullet. Flynn said, “So I started to do research into multichannel marketing — it was all new. And as I started to look at companies, Feathr reached out to me.”

Slim budgets and large lists

PCF was in a unique position as a small team with a lot of contacts. The foundation has established deep trust in their community, and this has led to an expanding email list of interested donors and supporters. But the problem now became how to cost-effectively engage with all these supporters.

“We’re so small, we couldn’t afford many email solutions that charged per email sent. So that was really appealing about Feathr — that we could send a high volume of emails at a reasonable cost. And it worked really well!”

Though email may have started the conversation, Flynn wasn’t looking simply for an email platform. She wanted to follow up with website visitors through retargeting ad campaigns, and she wanted to find new audiences by targeting mobile devices at specific GPS locations.

Give Local 757!

757 is the area code for PCF’s community. And the Give Local 757 initiative has become a significant day for local nonprofits as they raise support.

“In the first year of the initiative, 90% of the nonprofits that participated weren’t even on social media,” Flynn said. “It’s unbelievable to imagine that just nine years ago so many of the nonprofits in our region weren’t on social media. And they certainly weren’t raising money online.”

This past year, Flynn wanted to highlight the amazing stories of the people impacted by nonprofits PCF was partnered with for Give Local 757. So she built an email campaign sharing seven individual stories in the week leading up to the giving day. 

Some of the emails linked out to compelling videos about the specific missions potential donors could support while others dove straight into the story through engaging and powerful copy. By harnessing the power of story, Flynn was able to show potential donors the impact they could make on a neighbor’s life. 

$360k in one big day for Virginia nonprofits

Altogether the geofencing, retargeting, and email campaigns brought in over $360,000 for local nonprofits in Virginia. And this is only half of the story.

Flynn said, “Doing the geofencing, doing other email campaigns, ads on Facebook — all of these things, over the past nine months or so, have tripled our email base. We have 66,000 contacts in our network now — that’s something we would have never been able to do or buy or accumulate in that short an amount of time.”

What’s next?

With these added contacts, Flynn is looking forward to getting even more out of campaigns by casting a much wider net. 

Even smaller initiatives have a greater chance for impact; PCF’s new monthly newsletter has increased to over 13,000 viewers — something Flynn largely attributes to the added awareness she gained through Feathr campaigns.

“I don’t know all the technology,” Flynn said. “I don’t know all the terms. I mean I’m really still learning.” And this comes from someone who brought $360,000 of funding to nonprofits in her community!

“We’re so small, we couldn’t afford many email solutions that charged per email sent. So that was really appealing about Feathr — that we could send a high volume of emails at a reasonable cost. And it worked really well!”
Tammy Flynn




The Peninsula Community Foundation (PCF) of Virginia is dedicated to serving the increasing needs of its diverse population by investing in its future. Through substantial support of strategic initiatives, PCF is making a real difference in the way those living in Hampton Roads live, work, and play. 


Hampton, VA



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