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Year End Donations Fund Running Water


Content Strategy

Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Safeguarding the Gorge to ensure its natural wonders are preserved for generations to come

The Challenge

United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) is dedicated to helping families flourish. Guided by community voices and data-driven strategies, UWGC unites diverse stakeholders comprised of individuals and organizations to address issues holistically.

Their approach is multifaceted, encompassing proactive interventions, advocacy, and investment across three key pillars: educational advancement, financial resilience, and housing stability.

For decades, workplace or employee giving brought in more than 90 percent of UWGC’s annual revenue. However, post-Covid years saw a steep decline in funding, exposing a need for diversified revenue streams and greater donation opportunities.

Additionally, UWGC was looking to strengthen its relationship with Workplace Corporate Partners (large business entities whose employees are the workplace donors), but was unsure where to begin.

Their challenges prompted them to connect with CauseMic, seeking answers to questions like:

  • How can we diversify our revenue streams?
  • How do we develop a more unified message that can be leveraged across our fundraising campaigns?
  • How can we inspire and build trust with our existing donor base to increase their investment through annual and monthly giving
  • How can we improve ties with our Workplace Corporate Partners?

Our Solution

To answer UWGC’s questions and address their challenges:

  • We analyzed UWGC’s existing donor base—specifically donation frequency, level of giving, and affiliation parameters—to identify fundraising audiences for annual and monthly giving outside of workplace donors.
  • We conducted interviews with numerous UWGC philanthropic partners to determine opportunity gaps and any friction hindering more fruitful engagement. We found a notable lack of understanding regarding the exact nature of UWGC’s work, highlighting a need to clearly convey their efforts. Information materials were required to effectively communicate UWGC campaigns to employees and others.
  • We worked with UWGC to clearly define their unique value proposition to help clarify and distinguish their work for current and prospective supporters. This centered on their holistic approach toward addressing financial, educational, and housing issues to help families within the Greater Cincinnati area thrive.
  • For a more cohesive donor experience, we developed a comprehensive content planner and strategy calendar across UWGC’s campaigns. Content themes were rooted in UWGC’s newly defined value proposition and addressed their three core pillars.
  • To expand fundraising beyond workplace giving, we determined opportunities for donors to give directly to UWGC by creating easy-to-understand appeals and plain-speak messaging.

The Results

  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati now had a clearly actionable plan to diversify their revenue streams for workplace giving and beyond, including new strategies to build out their annual and monthly giving programs.
  • Along with insights from CauseMic-conducted partner interviews, UWGC utilized our research and analysis to cultivate solid relationships with existing and future Workplace Corporate Partners.

The Challenge

Since 1980, Oregon-based Friends of the Columbia Gorge (FCG) has been dedicated to ensuring the preservation of this beautiful, Pacific Northwest landmark.

When the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire burned over 48,000 acres in the Gorge, FCG launched a special fundraising appeal that generated an immediate spike in donations.

However, the surge in support rapidly diminished as time passed. The urgency had subsided, and—due to a perception the forest was recovering on its own—donors likely felt their contributions were much less critical.

As a result, FCG wanted to acquire new members, increase donor retention, and uplevel giving from a larger number of existing supporters.

And although FCG had the necessary capacity to create relevant content, they needed help with how to approach it.

A group of volunteers walk down a dirt road

Friends of the Columbia Gorge engaged CauseMic, posing two questions:

  • How can we leverage existing communications channels to accomplish our goals?
  • Given our small team, where should we focus our efforts to make the greatest impact?

Our Solutions

Content Audit

Channel by channel, we audited their current content in light of their goals, identifying what was working and what opportunities existed for improvement.

Impact vs. Effort

We prioritized their goals by ranking the greatest impact versus the least effort needed to accomplish them.

Designed to Achieve

We developed a comprehensive content strategy, which included identifying actionable projects such as improving their donation page, Google Analytics 4 tracking and reporting, and automated email series.

A view of the Columbia River during sunset

The Results

  • Friends of the Columbia Gorge now had a clearer roadmap of projects that laddered up to their goals. This enabled them to pursue high-impact/low-effort tasks while making the best use of their limited capacity.
  • The staff could now employ specific, more effective tactics to improve the quality of their existing content, enhancing its relevance and ability to convert visitors to donors.
DigDeep email designs
DigDeep web designs
  • “Sometimes you need to know when to utilize outside resources like CauseMic, who are experts in these kinds of website migrations.”

    Surfrider Foundation

    Ruarri Serpa
    Senior Technology Manager

  • “CauseMic managing timelines and deadlines was everything.”

    Gus Gates
    West Coast Regional Director

  • “Project management work from Franny was very helpful to not have to keep track of the entire project and dependencies.”

    Ed Mazzarella
    Senior Director of Network Strategy

  • “HubSpot CMS was a good selection to fit our needs.”


    Michelle Kremer
    Chief Operating Officer

Content strategy that drives results

Regardless of your funding challenge, you can count on CauseMic for an exceptional solution. Limited capacity, low monthly donations, and timid year-end results are but a few issues we’re ready to tackle for you. 

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