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2017 Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Award Winners Announced

Published by Nathan Hill

Seven organizations selected as leaders in nonprofit marketing and fundraising innovation.

The inaugural Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Award winners have been selected, representing leaders in nonprofit marketing and fundraising innovation from organizations of all sizes.

“We tried to select organizations that were solving marketing and fundraising problems in new and unique ways and seeing major results. But ultimately, what’s most important is that these organizations were learning about their donors along the way – not just blindly testing and hoping for the best,” said Tim Kachuriak, the Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer for NextAfter and founder of the NIO Summit.

One winner was selected for each of the six categories, with the exception of the Recurring Giving award in which two winners were awarded.

“Our office was in a deadlock on who to choose for the Recurring Giving award. Ultimately, we decided to award it to two organizations: one showing a great example of optimization on a small budget, and the other showing innovation at a major nonprofit with a lot of moving parts,” Kachuriak said.

The 2017 NIO Award Winners

National Breast Cancer Foundation - Best Social CampaignSocial Media – National Breast Cancer Foundation

National Breast Cancer Foundation launched an Honoring Mothers campaign that expanded their organic reach by 177,000 during a season with historically low-engagement. View the full campaign details.

Web Traffic Growth – Care Net

Care Net launched an integrated multi-channel effort to develop their inbound content marketing, leading to a 91% increase in web traffic and a 75% increase in lead conversion rate. View the full campaign details.

Focus on the Family - Best Recurring CampaignEmail Acquisition – Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family developed a free marriage assessment offer, utilizing organic and paid social media to add 200,000 highly motivated new contacts to their email file. View the full campaign details.

Donor Acquisition – Canuck Place Children’s Hospice

Canuck Place built a giant blanket fort downtown Vancouver for their Best Day Ever campaign. This reoriented the public’s view of their work, helping surpass their online giving goal by 45%. View the full campaign details. 

Russ Reid - Best Recurring CampaignRecurring Donor Campaign – The Salvation Army/Russ Reid

The Salvation Army, in partnership with Russ Reid, transitioned to a new recurring gift program. By focusing on a stronger value proposition, they generated a 140% increase in conversions. View the full campaign details.

Recurring Donor Campaign – Forest Cliff Camps

Forest Cliff camps, operating on a small budget and staff, developed a stocking stuffer campaign with an upsell donation ask resulting in an 883% ROI. View the full campaign details. 

Year-End Fundraising

Hillsdale College conducted a year-end fundraising experiment, proving that a simple nurturing post card can lift conversions by 204% ­– contributing to a 64% increase in year-end revenue. View the full campaign details.

The 2017 Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Awards will be presented at the NIO Summit on September 22nd in Fort Worth, TX.

Published by Nathan Hill

Nathan Hill is Vice President, NextAfter Institute.