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Year End Donations Fund Running Water

Case Study

Year-End Fundraising

Humane Society of Central Oregon

Strengthening the human-animal bond by advocating and compassionately caring for animals

The Challenge

As a socially conscious shelter, the Humane Society of Central Oregon (HSCO) focuses on addressing the medical and behavioral needs of companion animals (including post-placement care), alleviating suffering, and ensuring a safe place for every homeless or unwanted companion animal.
Along with these services, HSCO has adopted a bold vision to transform their organization for both community and staff. Revenue was vital to accomplish it all, not the least of which included year-end fundraising.
To do so, they needed to raise more revenue through a prioritized, multi-channel campaign, rather than one that traditionally relied on direct mail.


This prompted them to ask questions regarding expansion beyond direct mail and our suggestion to implement the donation platform Fundraise Up:

  • How can we improve our year-end fundraising success by expanding our donor outreach beyond direct mail?
  • With so many aspects of our programming, what kind of story should we tell?
  • What value can Fundraise Up provide to offset the initial cost of implementation?
  • How will Fundraise Up improve our online fundraising?


Our Solution

We addressed HSCO’s challenges and questions by listening, recommending, and implementing the following solutions:
  • We listened to their head of development to determine their campaign goals and hone in on the messaging that would clearly express the organization's most pressing needs. We then detailed what HSCO’s online year-end fundraising campaign could look like, including recommendations for segmenting their audiences.
  • We focused their messaging on the human-and-pet connection. From cultivation through solicitation, our year-end email series built on a story of the relationship between a man and his recently adopted cat Frodo.
  • HSCO’s previous donation form frustrated potential donors with an excess of required fields. Moreover, the form was externally linked and devoid of their branding. The lack of a quick, seamless experience coupled with donor mistrust of an unfamiliar donation page often leads to donor abandonment.
  • We reduced this donor friction by implementing the donation platform Fundraise Up and configured its impressive artificial intelligence (AI) features to grow online revenue.
  • We established clear deadlines for deliverables and effective communications to ensure alignment across the team. This included the content and tech groups working together to launch the first email as soon as Fundraise Up went live on their website.
  • There are no setup or annual fees associated with Fundraise Up. Plus, a significant portion of donors voluntarily cover the transaction fee Fundraise Up charges the nonprofit, netting the organization more revenue. Lastly, Fundraise Up allows donors to give across a wider range of payment options, including Apple, Google Pay, and PayPal. 

The Results

Creating and organizing a timely year-end campaign plan with compelling content allowed HSCO to execute a multi-channel appeal that reached their key audiences.
Year over year results (with Fundraise Up, compared to without in previous year: 12/20 thru 12/31):



increase in online revenue


increase in number of donors


increase in average gift size


Fundraise Up donors who voluntarily covered the transaction fee


Fundraise Up donors who donated the AI-suggested amount

* Most of this was raised during June 2023 in spite of (a) the U.S. debt-ceiling talks creating greater economic uncertainty, and (b) following a year when nonprofit spending online was down 4% year over year

“Year-end fundraising can be completely unpredictable and challenging for many non-profits, but for the USA Basketball Foundation this was our best year to date; and that had a lot to do with the support, collaboration, and insight received from the CauseMic crew (huge shoutout to Andrew, Karla, Abby, and Franny—the Dream Team!).

I am extremely thankful for our partnership and look forward to generating more revenue so that the USAB Foundation can continue to positively impact the lives of the communities we serve.”

Jennifer Lynne Williams
Chief Development Officer

We can help you maximize your year-end fundraising

Whether year-end or year-round, successful fundraising campaigns start with an actionable plan. Whatever your constraints, we can help plan and execute yours!  

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