Can campaigning help fundraising?

In my work, I’m often asked can campaigning help an organisation with fundraising? I’ve always replied ‘yes’, based on a belief that advocacy campaigning can be useful in;

  • Helping to recruit new supporters into an organisation – especially at a festival or other event where making a financial ask can be seen as a ‘high barrier to entry’.
  • Differentiating the asks we make of supporters – so we’re not always asking them to give us more money.
  • Building loyalty of our organisation and reducing the attrition rate.

But it’s not always been based on much empirical evidence to prove the point.

The reality is that is doesn’t appear that we have a huge number of examples or studies to draw upon, but here are three studies that all provide evidence that campaigning is good for fundraising.

1. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper.
Andreas Lange and Andrew Stocking in this 2009 Working Paper found that from a sample of 700,000 supporters of a large US advocacy organisation, that a person who takes an online advocacy action for your cause is seven times more likely to donate, compared with someone who does not take an online advocacy action.

2. PETA France.
Working with Engaging Networks, PETA France demonstrated that advocacy is an effective way to engage lapsed donors. They sent out various emails on the issue of seal clubbing to a total of 22,000 supporters.

As well as finding a correlation between level of activism and response rate, the more active the campaigner, the better the response rate. They also found that lapsed donors were significantly more likely to donate if asked to take action first then donate.

3. Greenpeace
Again working with Engaging Networks, found that directly integrating campaigns with donation pages as part of their Arctic campaign lead to a 1.23% response rate, compared to providing a donate link on the thank you page of the campaign action led to a best ever response rate of 0.4%.

What other studies or examples have you found to demonstrate the links between campaigning and fundraising? 

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2 Responses

  1. […] rather useful research, via Tom Baker: Working with Engaging Networks, PETA France demonstrated that advocacy is an effective way to […]

  2. This is something I’m starting to look at in more detail, linked to trying to persuade people that externally, people don’t want to ‘campaign’ or ‘fundraise’ or ‘volunteer’ (according to the internal structure of an organisation). They just want to help that charity out.

    My fundraising colleagues were on board with me emailing their contacts and asking them to sign a petition – and were amazed when I got a 10% sign up rate (I have yet to check the open rate). Plus, as you mentioned above, an extra 5,500 contacts for the organisation as their friends signed up too. It would be interesting to know how this relates to other organisations.

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