Non-Profit Uses Marketing Technology to Surprise and Delight Donors

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Founded in 1994, Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit disaster-relief organization that provides food, supplies, and humanitarian services to impoverished or otherwise needy populations throughout the world.




Salesforce Marketing Cloud


New and Existing Donors


Donor acquisition. Donor engagement. Burden of gift fulfillment. Executing direct mail in a timely and efficient manner.


To acquire new donors. Inspire a second donation from annual givers. Re-engage lapsed donors.


Increase in donors

Giving Turmoil

Founded in 1994, Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit disaster-relief organization that provides food, supplies, and humanitarian services to impoverished or otherwise needy populations throughout the world. The organization also engages in disaster relief work. They partner with local churches, businesses, civic organizations, and government agencies to strategically offer help and hope to communities around the world.

But as many businesses know, keeping customers active and engaged throughout the customer lifecycle and ensuring that they come back time and time again is a challenge—and few know this better than nonprofits. While running many successful donation campaigns, Convoy wanted to see better results, specifically from their GivingTuesday campaigns, which, they believed, should have brought in more donations.

GivingTuesday, traditionally the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, is publicized as a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.” The idea started in 2012, and according to the GivingTuesday Data Commons, raised $2.7 billion last year in the U.S. alone.

GivingTuesday gets a larger group of people thinking about donating to nonprofits, but with it comes heightened competition amongst participating non-profits. Convoy wanted their message and mission to stand out, and the team thought a t-shirt thank you gift would be a good way to catch the attention of donors and incentivize them to give a little more during the GivingTuesday campaign.  The resource-strapped team knew they couldn’t handle the burden of picking, packing, and sending appropriately sized campaign t-shirts with a personalized note to all donors. So, Convoy, a user of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, asked Salesforce who they would recommend as an integrated direct mail and gift fulfillment partner. Salesforce shared that PFL is a preferred Salesforce partner because the tight Marketing Cloud integration enables seamless execution and measurement of personalized direct mail.

Thanks to the new partnership, PFL was able to take the burden of fulfillment, logistics, and manual overhead of handling hundreds of shirts from Convoy and relieve them of all that stress.

As part of the campaign, digital ads and emails directed donors to a landing page with a short form to fill out. Donors would then enter a journey that requested their shirt size via an interactive email form. This, in turn, created a data extension to capture information and automate the fulfillment and interactive donor-notification process.

About a month before GivingTuesday, the campaign was initially pushed to lapsed donors. Immediately, Convoy saw success with higher engagement than expected. After a week, the ads started to run on Facebook and Instagram and the audience expanded even more with the inclusion of their CRM-based audience. These emails provided unheard-of engagement, with open rates varying between 20 and 25 percent—a much better yield than Convoy was used to. In fact, the success rate was so good, Convoy pulled some digital advertising just in case they ran out of shirts. But thanks to PFL, any fulfillment problem would have been easily and quickly solved.

When a donation is made, PFL receives the T-Shirt size and donor data from Marketing Cloud. This triggers the on-demand printing of a personalized thank you note, which is then paired with the correct t-shirt size and shipped to the donor within 24-48 hours.

Convoy made use of PFL’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration to track fulfillment activity throughout the donor journey. All direct mail and fulfillment statuses are automatically fed back into Marketing Cloud and recorded on the contact record for easy reporting. This level of reporting would have been “extremely difficult” if the integration didn’t exist or if they used another partner.

“I think that having a big win for the organization, something that you’ve put a lot of time into with a lot of different teams involved, really gets you excited about what future opportunities could look like. I think this sets a standard for what we can do moving forward.”

Continued and Future Success

One of Convoy’s goals for GivingTuesday and this new campaign was to make at least five times ROI. They rarely pull the trigger on a program that might make less. Thankfully, with PFL’s help, not only was that goal met, but it was also crushed, with a ten times ROI. It wasn’t just the dollar amount, which was substantial—increasing from $86,000 raised in 2020 to $198,000 raised in 2021 with PFLs help—it was also the donation records. The number of individual donors more than doubled, jumping from 350 in 2020 to almost 1,000 in the 2021 campaign. Having these new donors in the system is invaluable to Convoy and hopefully we’ll see them donate again during the next campaign.

We at PFL are happy to find out that thanks to the success of the last campaign, Convoy of Hope is going to run another incentivized GivingTuesday with PFL’s help this year. “Now we’re super excited! We’re going to have well over a thousand” this year!

According to Convoy of Hope, this project set a precedent for what they should do moving forward. They want to continue to surprise and delight donors with incentives and new opportunities. The organization said it realizes that going back to the normal GivingTuesday plan is no longer an option—they simply won’t see this kind of lift. They believe that creating something fun and different such as this gives the donors something they can look forward to every year. “It is easy for a charity to get lost in the non-profit crowd on GivingTuesday and PFL has provided the opportunity for us to stand out from the crowd.”

Key Inspiration Takeaway:

“Other organizations shouldn’t be scared to jump in and try new things, especially with the support that [PFL] provides.”

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