Online Fundraising Spotlight: Holt International | npENGAGE

Online Fundraising Spotlight: Holt International

By on Mar 6, 2013


What makes a successful year-end campaign? Well, many things, but one thing is clear: what you do now will impact fundraising results at year-end.

I know, I know, it feels too early to think about year-end fundraising, but the truth is the campaign activities throughout the year play an important role at year-end. If we look at acquisition (learn the trends), we know the size of the housefile is directly related to online income, so if you want to raise more money, you’ll need more emails. Everybody wants more money, right? You get it.

Given the importance of acquiring new emails, we put a significant amount of stock into housefile growth campaigns for our clients (email file growth rate benchmark, 17%). Do you? A few questions to consider:

  • How does your organization build warm prospects?
  • What housefile growth campaigns are planned for the upcoming year?
  • What does the prospect pathway look like?

As the leader in the field of international adoption and permanency planning for children, Holt International recognizes the importance of list growth. During National Adoption Month, a time of year when visits to their website spikes, the organization launched a time-sensitive pledge on their website to invite supporters to “stand alongside Holt International and share in our commitment to find loving families for children with special needs.”

Step 1: Sign the Pledge


Step 2: Further the cause by sharing, learning, and donating to fund.


The campaign goals were to connect with new audiences, increase program awareness, and capture new emails. The tactics included a five-part email series, social sharing, and lightbox technology to elevate the call to action.

Over the three-week period, Holt International’s National Adoption Month pledge results included –

  • 3.5% website conversion rate (approximately 3x the normal conversion rate)
  • 75% of pledge signees were new registrants
  • 120% web traffic increase to campaign landing page (YoY)

This was a great result for the organization as they invested timely resources to capitalize on the annual event – for the short term AND the long term. Though planning your 2013 year-end strategy may be many months away, it’s never too early to set your year-end campaign up for success.


Chas  Offutt is a senior fundraising and marketing professional with more than 10 years experience in the nonprofit sector. He joined Convio, now Blackbaud, in 2008 and has worked with more than 75 clients across all verticals to develop and implement acquisition campaigns, fundraising strategies, and integrated marketing programs. Prior to his current position, Chas was the Director of Internet Strategy at American Rivers where he was responsible for the management and execution of all online programs.

Chas has spoken at the Association for Fundraising Professionals (Greater Atlanta Chapter), Convio Customer Summit, NTEN, Blackbaud Conference, Forum One Communication’s Web Executive Seminar, and other public speaking engagements on a variety of topics including mobile fundraising, generational giving, and online marketing strategies.

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