Interview: Mal Warwick Donordigital Helps Sempervirens Fund Grow Revenue at Year-End

February 11, 2020  |  Michael Stein

We’re continuing a series of interviews with some of EveryAction’s consulting partners. In this interview, EveryAction’s Michael Stein speaks with Jack Hilson, Senior Account Executive at Mal Warwick Donordigital (MWD) about their work with Sempervirens Fund, which is California’s oldest land trust and the only organization dedicated exclusively to protecting the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

MWD brings strategic focus, analytic insight, and creative energy to help your direct response program succeed. As a fully integrated agency, they provide strategy and campaign management that delivers results seamlessly across online, mail, and phone fundraising channels. 

MWD is a direct response partner for numerous nonprofits, including several on the EveryAction platform such as Sempervirens Fund, The Humane League, American Friends Service Committee, Oregon Food Bank and National Organization for Women

Learn more about Mal Warwick Donordigital at https://mwdagency.com/


sempervirens fund logo

Michael Stein: Jack, we’re excited to talk with you about your work with Sempervirens Fund, which is on the EveryAction platform. You work with them year-round on fundraising and then get especially busy at year-end with digital campaigns, such as for Giving Tuesday.

Jack Hilson: Sempervirens Fund has an incredible community of supporters in California and also across the country. This past December 2019 for Giving Tuesday, we ran a campaign about fire prevention in the redwoods that performed really well. 

We used “gift equivalencies” as a campaign tactic which showed supporters how their contribution could help bring fire safety to Sempervirens Fund's preserved land. We generally find that this really helps past and prospective donors to better understand how they’re making an impact. And we get to have some fun with cool graphics.

sempervirens fundraising graphic

Michael: This is super nice creative. I also noticed how much Sempervirens Fund used images of firefighters in their emails, in social and on their website.

Jack: Yeah they bring out Cal Fire for controlled burns as one of many of their fire prevention tactics. Fire safety is an important concern for Sempervirens Fund supporters, not only because they care about protecting redwood forests but also because California is so prone to wildfires; wildfires in the forests can easily mean wildfires in communities. 

The best part of this campaign is, even though we've used those gift equivalencies many times before, this was our first time using them with EveryAction's one-click donation feature that integrates with FastAction users’ information instantly. This allowed us to quickly and efficiently move donors through a donation page to complete a gift, whether the donor used a larger screen or was on a smaller mobile device. 

By properly using EveryAction’s FastAction tool this year-end, we saw a 67% increase in the number of gifts received and a 38% increase in revenue. Those kinds of performance improvements will help any size organization to grow.

firefighter donation page

Michael: What other marketing channels drove growth for Sempervirens Fund during this recent year-end period?

Jack: We think integration across multiple channels is one of the best ways to make a campaign successful. In that vein we promoted this campaign on Sempervirens Fund’s homepage in three different ways (to keep things fresh and up the ante), we sent direct mail pieces to our mail audiences, we launched Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads, and we also promoted this campaign with organic social media posts. 

It was our integrated Google Search and Facebook ads for Sempervirens Fund that were the most successful. This tactic allowed us to target and reach active donors and look-alike donors, and present consistent messages and visuals to encourage giving. We were able to reach a new high for campaign direct ad revenue this year, which is very encouraging for our efforts going forward.