2014 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence Website Winners
Milwaukee Rescue Mission
(Submitted by Grizzard Communications Group)
Response rate: 2,524 total responses
Total cost: $27,700
Income generated: $327,455.15
Average gift: $129.74
In 2013, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission realized its website wasn’t very user-friendly, and it lacked clear creative and strategic direction, as well as online, data-driven analytics.
The site was revised with cohesive branding, relevant content and original, local imagery. It also is more user-friendly, with refined colors schemes, borders and fonts.
“The new website was designed not only to be mobile-responsive, but also with a user-friendly CRM,” writes Erin Himes, account director at Grizzard Communications Group.
Some of the more striking features of the new site include an interactive online catalog that gives donors a more hands-on approach to their giving and an infographic-like page called “Understand the Problem” that uses a progression of images, video and statistics to explain the homeless situation in Milwaukee and MRM’s role in the solution.
Additional Website Winners
SILVER: The Wilderness Society — Year-End Lightbox (Submitted by ABD Direct)
Response rate: 13.64 percent
Total cost: $3,000
Income generated: $79,215
Average gift: $103.96
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.04
While year-end is typically the most important giving season of the year — both in mail and online — The Wilderness Society found that traffic to its site historically dropped off at that time because the number of people looking online for camping trips and other outdoor activities declines. So to generate more online income in the winter months, TWS needed to ramp up its site to really grab the attention of the visitors it did get.
In 2012, 45 percent of the people who donated via TWS’ lightbox were new donors, and the organization was looking to increase that number in 2013. The 2012 lightbox was “abrasive-looking,” with a bright yellow background and a link to a donation form. The first focus was streamlining the donation process by including the form directly within the lightbox. ABD Direct also created a clean, mission-relevant design and included short, compelling, year-end-specific copy. The lightbox appeared on the organization homepage Dec. 15 to 31.
As a result of the changes, the number of new donors increased by 92 percent. There was a decline in average gift, but the $103.96 average was still well above other acquisition efforts. Response rate increased by 35 percent, from 10.1 percent in 2012 to 13.6 percent. The increased response rate resulted in staying within 2 percent of the 2012’s total gross revenue, despite an 11 percent decrease in homepage traffic.
BRONZE: Union Rescue Mission Website (Submitted by Union Rescue Mission)
Response rate: 4.83 percent
Total cost: $28,800
Income generated: $752,987.60
Average gift: $182.10
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.04
The Union Rescue Mission website continues to exceed expectations, bringing in more revenue each year and holding an increasing wealth of information on homelessness in Los Angeles. In 2013, the site saw a 10.81 percent increase in average gift, a 19.82 percent increase in number of transactions and a massive 32.75 percent increase in total revenue raised through general giving on the site, for a total of $753,987.60.