Habitat for Humanity
We struggled to be seen amongst other affiliates in the region with bigger budgets, so it was important that Williamson County residents understood that we’re here, where they live, working to provide housing for neighbors in need. The work we’ve done with [TradeMark Media] has helped us be heard and seen. Debbie Hoffman, Executive Director
A Peek at the Results
One of the biggest challenges local affiliates of national nonprofits face is distinguishing themselves from the national organization and setting themselves apart from nearby chapters.
Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County—located just north of Austin—was watching as many local donors gave to the international Habitat for Humanity or the Austin chapter. County residents simply didn’t realize they had a Habitat closer to home that they could donate to.
We partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County (HFHWC) to help raise their brand awareness where it mattered: in their backyards.
We needed to promote the fact that Williamson County has its own Habitat chapter—and that their local donations help people in their own community. Our measurable goals were to (a) boost direct donations to the Williamson County chapter, and (b) increase the number of purchases at the Georgetown ReStore (a HFHWC supply store).
After a discovery and strategy session—designed to gain an intimate understanding of Habitat for Humanity’s current and prospective audiences—we began by building a nonprofit messaging platform.
Research showed that the Williamson County audience is more conservative than their counterparts in Austin—and that the values embodied by Habitat for Humanity speak deeply to them.
So we established a messaging platform that focused on the benefits of a smaller, local Habitat affiliate, and how any money raised helps neighbors in the immediate community. This allowed HFHWC to develop a compelling, consistent message across all of their communications—including their website, social media platforms, direct mail appeals, and event materials.
End-of-Year Giving Campaign
With the messaging platform in hand, it was time to plan for end-of-year giving. We developed a strategic fundraising plan that incorporated both direct mail and email appeals (the first coordinated effort for the organization).
The two-pronged approach ensured recipients received the end-of-year appeal through multiple channels—and could donate online or off.
The end-of-year campaign focused on how HFHWC helps people within the community by featuring families who had already received homes in Williamson County. These families were quoted about the huge difference Habitat has made in their lives, and how they look forward to sharing family memories in their new homes. Knowing it had been successful in the past, we also incorporated a Bible verse that tied into the organization’s core identity as a Christian ministry.
Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County also used the fundraising strategy and messaging of the end-of-year campaign to help their board members raise additional funds. The combined efforts of the board members and the end-of-year campaign increased year-over-year donations by 23%.
Re-Energizing the ReStore
In addition to raising funds directly through giving, we were also focused on increasing donations and purchases through the HFHWC’s ReStore in Georgetown. The Georgetown ReStore had been open for several years but saw activity drop through the fall and winter months with the seasonal cycle of home renovations.
To lessen the impact on the ReStore during this time, and to increase inventory turnover within the store, we developed a nonprofit digital strategy, social media plan, and creative design to get residents in the door and donating.
In keeping with our nonprofit messaging platform, we highlighted how donations and purchases help local neighbors as well as what products could be found in the Georgetown ReStore (something that was a bit of a mystery to many potential shoppers).
The social and digital strategy for the campaign used behavioral indicators and retargeting to reach potential donors and shoppers. If residents within the right geographical area searched the Web for home improvement or renovation resources, they were likely to see the nonprofit campaign for the Georgetown ReStore.
These digital ads, combined with a new social push and presence, gained over 375,000 impressions from local residents. This led to the Georgetown ReStore exceeding revenue projections throughout the year and increasing inventory turnover in a variety of categories.
The Georgetown ReStore campaign performed better than we expected. We increased our store revenue, and it was especially beneficial in growing our social reach. We now have a much broader and new audience to cultivate and convert into donors.
Nicole Vommaro, Resource Development Director
Giving United Way a Home and a Heart
Helping an international nonprofit engage the local community—and increase donations.