Unique Fundraising Ideas from Award-Winning Campaigns

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We can all learn from others, especially those who do what they do really well.

The annual list of the Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence is a storehouse of effective fundraising campaigns.

Judges applauded the multichannel, multigenerational approach of the 2014 top award winner, the Heal Children, Heal Detroit campaign by The Children’s Center (TCC) in Detroit. The campaign was impressive in its depth and breadth but also in its results. It received a 4.2 percent response rate and generated $90,000, with an average gift of $520. The cost to raise $1 was 11 cents.

The Heal Children, Heal Detroit campaign included:

  • A two-stage direct-mail campaign with a personalized pledge sheet as well as a Web address for a custom landing/donation page.
  • Five emails sent three weeks apart to reinforce the campaign message. Emails included a link back to the custom landing/donation page.
  • Prewritten tweets and Facebook posts with campaign images; Facebook cover images to spread word about the campaign; and a presence on Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Telephone and face-to-face communication.
  • Campaign-specific thank-you messages.

To get the attention of Millennials, Gen X and Gen Y, the campaign also sponsored five pop-up restaurants with informational videos about the nonprofit and food by local chefs. During the charity’s Yellow Coaster event, diners were encouraged to take pictures of special TCC coasters in participating local restaurants and post them on social media.


Julie Thomas

Business Development

February 9, 2015

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