One line from inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” inspired a targeted fundraising campaign for the American Indian College Fund.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
In 2020 and into 2021, there were many strides made in the global conversation about equality. Nevertheless, Native Americans were often left out of the discussion.
The “Justice Is” campaign, which we ran in April 2021, was part of an ongoing canon of work aimed at righting this wrong and highlighted genuine disparities experienced by Native students while also expressing hope for a more equitable future.
Message and Tone
As in other work for the College Fund, we strive to allow students to speak directly to donors about what higher education means to them, their families and their communities. We repeated that approach for Justice Is and complemented the copy with understated yet bold imagery.
We set out with two goals in mind.
- Test which messages resonate best with our audiences.
- Generate donations to the College Fund.
On social media, we chose Facebook and Instagram because both platforms allow robust targeting, tracking, and testing capabilities.
While we launched the campaign directly to donors from the start (via email), and we saw good engagement early on, it quickly became apparent that we were a bit overfunded for the audience size. This caused high frequencies and reduced engagement rates over time. Therefore, we quickly pivoted to add two of our top prospecting audiences.
This shift swiftly and significantly improved the campaign’s performance in two veins—reducing costs and increasing efficiency. It also provided a larger audience for message testing.
The campaign generated 3x the site traffic and more than 2x the number of donations compared to our typical spring fundraising campaigns.
More importantly, we gained some valuable insights regarding the types of messages that hit home with our audiences. Concepts such as fighting for Native Americans’ rights and helping Native people assume positions of wealth and power rose to the top. These findings have been instrumental in building subsequent campaign plans. We always optimize as we go.
The Work Goes On
Justice Is is one point-in-time example of our targeted fundraising campaigns for the College Fund. Learn about how we helped keep the organization present amidst COVID-19 lockdowns and other significant moments of 2020.
Vladimir Jones is Colorado’s original independent, integrated advertising agency, with offices in Denver and Colorado Springs. We believe in brilliant brands and love making the world love them as much as we do.