Non-profit organizations rely on the hard work and dedication of their volunteers. For non-profit organizations like local fire stations, a steady supply of volunteers is essential to helping those organizations respond quickly to emergencies and effectively serve their communities.

Just as for-profit organizations need paying customers to grow their business, non-profits depend on charitable donations and volunteer service to fulfill their organization’s mission. Although the local firefighting organization had already made some investments into advertising to prospective volunteers, it needed help targeting those efforts to a relevant audience.

The IAFC reached out to Cox Media in hopes of leveraging our paid media expertise to expand its local volunteer base.

The Goal

Some clients come to Cox Media needing help with every facet of building, launching and managing an ad strategy. But in the case of this local firefighting non-profit, many pieces of a successful ad strategy were already in place.

When it first contacted Cox Media, the organization was already working with an advertising agency to craft effective messaging that would engage local prospects and increase their roster of volunteers. While the agency knew exactly how to appeal to prospective volunteers in those communities, the firefighting non-profit and its advertising partner knew they needed help when it came to targeting paid ads across social media and other digital channels.

Instead of building an ad strategy from scratch, Cox Media was called on to guide audience targeting, inventory management, bidding, and other technical aspects of paid media advertising. The goal was to maximize the ad campaign’s exposure among relevant prospects in these local communities, increasing local awareness of this volunteer need and driving new volunteer applications for the organization.

The Solution

To implement a data-driven paid media strategy, Cox Media first set up a Google Analytics account for the client, along with consultation on how to read performance metrics and connect them to the campaign’s established goals.

Google Analytics also made it possible to extract important demographics data from submitted applications, which in turn helped the organization better understand the target personas that were most likely to be interested in volunteering. With this information, Cox Media could then create paid media campaigns targeted to online users who fit this criteria.

A full-funnel targeting strategy was then developed and applied across paid search, digital audio, addressable geofencing, keyword targeting, OTT, video & display, social media, retargeting, and other digital strategies. This comprehensive approach to multi-channel advertising made it possible to achieve multiple interactions with the same prospects, with a long-term goal of building interest and motivating a volunteer application submission.

The Results

Almost as soon as the campaign was launched, the local firefighting non-profit saw an upswing in website traffic and other key performance metrics. After two months of running the ad campaign, the organization reported the following results:

  • Nearly half a million impressions in the first two months;
  • More than 4,000 website visits—which accounted for 74 percent of all website traffic;
  • A total of 118 volunteer applications submitted to the organization;
  • An average advertising cost of $97 per application.

Through Cox Media’s approach to paid media, the organization was able to lower its average cost-per-application from its previous result of $111. This $14 savings per application saved the organization $1,652 in advertising costs across all of its submitted applications.

Whether you need volunteer help, charitable donations or other forms of support, paid media advertising can be just what non-profit organizations need to spread their message and cultivate support within their local community.

Find out how Cox Media can help your non-profit achieve its organizational goals—contact us today to learn more.