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Habitat for Humanity Achieves Outstanding Online Fundraising Growth Despite Uncertain Times


Habitat for Humanity had mastered building homes and communities for those in need around the world, however, the organization needed expert help to increase its online fundraising, retain existing donors while drawing in new ones, and grow its digital audience.


Already a trusted name in the nonprofit and fundraising space, Merkle was the full-service, omni-channel partner Habitat for Humanity needed to achieve its goals. For Habitat for Humanity, Merkle built an overarching annual digital fundraising program utilizing website, email, SEM, and social advertising. Merkle leveraged Habitat for Humanity’s email platform to deliver more than 70 fundraising, stewardship, and engagement emails over the course of the year. This included fundraising during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the digital fundraising program, Merkle delivered an annual marketing schedule, a digital program calendar plotted against other company initiatives, more than 70 emails compliant with brand standards, and continuous strategic insights based on program performance.

Merkle provided industry leading advice and support including fundraising strategy, innovative creative, strong account management, and performance analytics. Reporting was provided via on-demand budget pacing and performance dashboards specifically designed to monitor KPIs essential to the program, which tied back to the annual marketing roadmap.


During Q1 2020, at a time where organizations similar to Habitat for Humanity saw dramatic losses (in March alone, the industry average was down 11%), the organization maintained stable revenue. 


Annual growth of digital revenue, YoY.


Revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic versus the prior year.


Increase in unrestricted revenue YoY in the 2020 fiscal year. 


Of their total revenue — nearly twice the norm of online fundraising.

Keys to success

  • Leveraging a tightly managed strategy and careful communication during the COVID-19 pandemic drove growth while the overall industry lost revenue in Q1 2020
  • Building a highly stable, effective, and growth-oriented digital fundraising program
  • Achieving above average year-over-year program growth

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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