437% More New Donors and 140% More Online Donations: How We Did It

Metropolitan Ministries provides practical services (food, housing programs, and education) for disadvantaged communities and families in Tampa Bay, and is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the region.

When the pandemic took hold of the state during their regularly scheduled Easter campaign planning, Metropolitan Ministries and Big Sea worked hand-in-hand to pivot messaging and provide a safety net for over 244,000 people who needed help when it mattered.

Big Sea developed campaign creative and executed media planning and buying across SEM, social and programmatic channels to help drive online donations to support those hit hardest by the quarantine and shut-downs.

Illustration of two people donating money

Our specific objectives were:

  • Communicate the increased need for support during a pandemic
  • Grow online donations to support the increased need

Heavy competition for donor dollars

Metro’s biggest challenge was encouraging donors to choose Metropolitan Ministries over other nonprofits.

They turned to Big Sea to create creative media campaigns that spoke to their audience and drove immediate action. Our campaigns had to be highly agile, since donation and resource demands shifted regularly and in real-time.

Strategic storytelling and paid media overhaul

Big Sea tackled paid media first, increasing return on ad spend with revamped targeting, optimized account structuring and updated creative across PPC, social media and programmatic channels.  We knew there was a huge opportunity to recapture donors who had previously given to the organization, so we focused on reactivating lapsed donors as well as growing new ones.

To overhaul messaging, we visited the massive Metropolitan Ministries campus and met with volunteers and staff members. We listened to heart-wrenching stories of the families Metro serves. Then we helped donors understand that Metro, while huge, is 100% local.

Our holiday campaign emphasized the local impact of each donation. We shared real stories of hope and healing.

“So happy to partner with Big Sea. We can’t accomplish our mission without you. Thank you for your part in helping us serve so many families in need — we were able to impact the lives of 244,000 people! It was a crisis and people responded. Our marketing mix was spot on.”Justine Burke, VP of Marketing, Metropolitan Ministries

Our cross-channel approach engaged donors on all fronts and emphasized specific needs when they arose — like a shortage of Christmas hams. This approach included retargeting, contextual email marketing, and an optimized donation landing page.

The Results

New donor acquisition doesn’t have to be such a struggle. Your investment will pay off in spades – let us help.