Establishing a programme of always-on digital fundraising

Experience: Engagement and acquisition

Fauna & Flora International (FFI), founded in 1903, is the world’s oldest conservation charity for wildlife and their habitats. Using science, FFI protects threatened species and ecosystems to preserve the earth’s biodiversity.

Manifesto ran a pilot programme with FFI, activating paid social and paid search campaigns. The pilot achieved a positive return on investment, and has laid the foundations for a new stream of digital fundraising revenue for the charity.

The success of the pilot came down to FFI’s ongoing active engagement with the project, and the trust placed with the team at Manifesto. This and the direct lines of communication between FFI and Manifesto, allowed us to develop the campaigns in-flight very quickly, adapting to an ever-changing message at the height of a pandemic.

 

Additional funds like these aren’t small numbers for FFI, and if we can keep it up they’re going to make a genuine difference to what we’re able to achieve for conservation– especially in a time of crisis.

Tom Beesley, Head of Supporter and Recruitment Development, Fauna & Flora International

 

Proving the fundraising value of digital marketing

The aim of the pilot was three-fold: bring in new cash donors, generate e-news signups, and prove the value of digital marketing as an acquisition channel.

This final objective was the key focus for FFI. Whilst the charity has already dipped its toe into digital advertising, the ambition now is to drive a much larger, more consistent programme of activity in an ‘always-on’ manner. This pilot would therefore go on to lay the groundwork for this new, fundamental approach.

 

 

Using a mixture of channels

Manifesto used a mixture of channels to attract new donors. These included Facebook, Instagram, Paid Search and Google Grants. That way, FFI could tap a broad audience – including those who have never heard of the charity, those who have interacted with some media, and those which regularly give. 

During the pilot, Manifesto also fine-tuned certain tools. We weeded out hundreds of search terms which were driving a lot of interest, but very little action. We then implemented ‘Smart Goals’ to jump-start tracking algorithms. After this change was made, FFI experienced a series of spikes in search conversions.

Our paid social activity consisted of a number of iterative tests which help us surface the most valuable audiences. We can then carry these access points to potential donors beyond the pilot into a scalable, always-on programme of activity.

 

For every £1 invested, Facebook returned £8.34

The pilot saw some 3,548 new donors captured over the short three month period. Interestingly, Google Grants drove 40.38% in regular donation traffic, whilst Facebook drove the vast majority of cash donations.

Overall, the return on investment (ROI) across the pilot was an impressive 311%. With every £1 invested in Facebook media, the social channel returned £8.34 for FFI. The pilot also saw overseas audiences donate, despite spend largely focusing on the UK.

Manifesto put together a comprehensive report for FFI which breaks down the pilot in greater detail. It looks at how individual channels performed, and where improvements can be made for future campaigns. This resource informed the strategy and scale of our continued partnership.

3,548

new donors

834%

Facebook ROAS

311%

ROI

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