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July 23, 2020

Fundraising Tactics with Digital Marketing

Fundraising initiatives will always need traditional tactics to nurture relationships and stay engaged with donors. Still, in 2020 it is more important than ever to stay ahead in digital for all aspects of your organization.

Digital Marketing supports traditional development efforts by running parallel to your giving campaigns, as well as feeding the donor funnel with new leads. Maybe you’re running a ‘Drive for 25’ or a ‘Giving Day’ campaign, or you want to increase memberships, small gifts, etc. There are different digital tactics we can use to reach these goals and amplify your giving campaign.

The pandemic brings added weight to the importance of fundraising, as donations become even more vital to retain revenue for programs. So how can you use digital marketing to drive donations?

Just like tickets, you are selling the donation through compelling content on social media and across the web. Whether it’s new memberships, scholarship funds, or sport-specific giving, you can reach the right person at the right time, with the right media mix, audience targeting, and creative. Here are a few recent examples of different campaigns within development.

Acquiring New Donors/Memberships – Virginia Tech Hokie Club

The Hokie Club at Virginia Tech recently ran a campaign focused on acquiring new donors. They used a compelling video for a Facebook and Instagram ad to tell the story of how the scholarship fund has made an impact on the student-athletes and their programs. The Hokie Club took advantage of a mix of targeting tactics to gain a broader reach on a relevant audience, including 1st party data CRM lists, lookalike audiences, page followers, website retargeting, and key interest and demographics. 

Sport-Specific Giving – Cal Athletics Fund

The University of California, Berkeley, created a campaign on social and display with three sets of creative featuring the Aquatics program, Baseball, and Athletics Fund. Each program targeted a specific audience from a CRM list, a lookalike audience of that list, and particular interests. For example, the baseball ad targeted baseball alumni and donors, that lookalike audience, and locals with interests in baseball. The baseball ad also clicked through to the giving page specific for Baseball giving. With this matchup of creative and targeting, the message resonates with the audience.


Women’s Scholarship Fund & Supporting Student-Athletes – Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin set up a campaign supporting their Women’s Scholarship Fund with an inspiring video that showcases the many achievements of their female student-athletes. The ad on social media, utilized both retargeting and prospecting tactics with 1st and 3rd party CRM data.

Wisconsin Support student Athletes - Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 11.11.53 PM.pngAnother on-point campaign by the Badgers features a message that speaks to the time of need right now. Calling on their fans to help their student-athletes “Wherever We Are.” The strategy focused on website retargeting and email list retargeting, driving that message to anyone that visited the giving page, or opened their email featuring the ask to support student-athletes and be another touchpoint in that campaign.


Fundraising advertisements on digital media tend to be well received by the community, with these heartwarming messages from your program. If you need more ideas, our team is always here to help come up with a strategy that will set you up for success!


For more ideas on donation campaign strategies:

authorPost by Zaundra Butler, Digital Marketing Manager, Paciolan