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Catholic Charities of Dallas: Timely Deployment of Emergency Aid

Catholic Charities of Dallas | iDonate

Catholic Charities of Dallas (CCD) quickly created a campaign in iDonate and sent fundraising appeals to their current email list. Donors promptly responded, making March and April the best-performing months for digital giving in the organization’s history.

About Catholic Charities of Dallas

Catholic Charities of Dallas (CCD), established in 1941, is a faith-based social services organization focused on improving the quality of life for people in need. Each year CCD helps 30,000 people achieve stability and self-sufficiency through financial literacy, employment services, education, food programs, crisis pregnancy services, emergency response, and more. CCD meets people in their greatest time of need, provides immediate help, and then joins them in a journey back to self-sufficiency.

Combined Campaign Highlights

March 1 – May 31 | Effective tracking for all out-bound channels using UTM

  • 1450% increase in online revenue from the same period the year before
  • 1900% increase in first time digital donors from the same period the year before
  • 17% increase in average gift from the same period the year before

 

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Robust Fundraising Need

To impact the lives of 30,000 people each year, CCD needs a robust fundraising approach. For years, the organization has relied on direct mail, emails, events, and support from churches within the diocese. Each piece of the strategy provided important funding that was vital to their 17 areas of service.

COVID-19 Changes Everything

The spring of 2020 brought massive changes to life in North Texas (and the rest of the country for that matter). With the city under a stay-at-home order for weeks, thousands of people lost their jobs and found themselves suddenly in need of help. Catholic Charities of Dallas saw a 250% increase in demand from their food pantry in just a few weeks.

In addition to the increase in demand, the stay-at-home order also left one of CCD’s largest fundraising events of the year in question. “A Time for Giving” is a campaign that takes place each year with churches in the diocese taking the lead. Across North Texas, Catholic Churches would take a separate offering on a Sunday morning and donate that money to CCD. With churches not meeting in person, this important annual campaign was at risk.

Emergency Campaign

The initial spike in demand came in late March and CCD launched an emergency fundraising campaign. CCD quickly created a campaign in iDonate and sent fundraising appeals to their current email list. Donors promptly responded, making March and April the best-performing months for digital giving in the organization’s history. From March 15 to April 30, CCD raised 13.5x what they did in the same period in 2019.

This massive spike in revenue was the result of the constant media focus on the crisis and the quick work of the CCD in launching the campaign. iDonate helped make that possible by providing the tools needed to quickly have campaign-specific donation pages ready and campaign tracking in place.

Time for Giving

“Time for Giving” is an annual campaign for CCD. Prior to 2020 the event took place in churches within the diocese on one weekend in May. Participating churches would collect a special offering on a Sunday morning and donate that money to CCD. With churches not meeting in person because of the pandemic, the expected revenue from the event was a risk at a time when it was needed more than ever. Despite just finishing a large digital campaign, CCD decided to move the “Time for Giving” campaign to digital as well.

CCD created a unique campaign in iDonate and a series of emails asking for donations. In addition to emails, Google Ad Words were used to drive traffic to the site. CCD was able to track the effectiveness of each communication by using UTM codes which iDonate holds with the transaction data. In a normal year, the campaign produces large gifts directly from churches. The all-digital campaign in 2020 produced significant online revenue and a massive increase in new donors. These new donors, when effectively cultivated, will have a huge impact on future revenue for the organization.

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