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Launch of Youth Education Fundraising Campaign
Second Fundraising Email Sent to Non-donors
“Last-Chance” Fundraising Email Sent to Non-donors
Fundraising Campaign: The Yellowstone Park Foundation
Develop a Strategy, Raise More Money, Campaign Execution, Convio Go!, Strategy Consulting

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The Client
The Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF) is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization and has been the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park since 1996. A group of concerned citizens, working with the National Park Service, started the Foundation in order to protect, preserve, and enhance Yellowstone National Park. The Foundation works to fund important projects and programs, many of which are beyond the financial capacity of the National Park Service. The Foundation receives no annual government funding; it relies instead upon the generous support of private citizens, foundations, and corporations to ensure that Yellowstone's great gifts to the world will never diminish. Since its inception, the Yellowstone Park Foundation has successfully funded more than 150 projects in Yellowstone.

The Problem
With the goal of funding 200 kids’ participation in educational Summer programs at the park, YPF ventured where they’d never gone before – the land of the email appeal. Staff had considerable anxiety about how subscribers would react to an email request for donations, and also a lot of questions about best practices (e.g., how often and for how long).

How We Solved It
Convio’s Go! Program consultants coached YPF staff on fundraising campaign best practices, helping them envision and produce a three-part email campaign that announced the goal of the campaign up front, showed tangible progress throughout the campaign, and culminated in a final public tally of scholarships made available. At the mid-point of the campaign, YPF had received gifts to fund 85 children, and included this status in their second reminder, sent to those who hadn’t donated yet. Donors received an alternate version, reporting progress and encouraging them to spread the word. At the campaign cut-off date, non-donors received a final “last-chance” email.

The Outcome
Having raised over $10,000 without the costs and environmental impact of a direct mail campaign, YPF declared their first online fundraising campaign an unexpected success. It served as a proof of concept for the organization’s leadership and board, especially with a high response rate (including previously lapsed donors) and no negative feedback from the list they’d cultivated so carefully. YPF used a similar three-part campaign series for their end-of-year fundraising campaign, again with excellent results. Upon graduating from the year-long Go! Program, YPF had grown their online fundraising significantly each and every quarter, and more than paid for their three-year investment in Convio software and services in the first year alone. 

Convio products used: Email Marketing, Fundraising