Greater Boston Food Bank – #GivingTuesday 2015

The Greater Boston Food Bank #GivingTuesday campaign raises $85,750 at a 10:1 ROI

BOSTON-GT2015 case study

The challenge

In 2014, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) looked to Russ Reid to help them strategize and deploy their first #GivingTuesday campaign resulting in more than $50,750 raised (not including a $20,000 match and starting with a $15,000 goal). Building on the extraordinary success of 2014, GBFB and Russ Reid together again collaborated for a refreshed #GivingTuesday campaign in 2015. Second year campaign goals included:

  • Fundraise the full match amount of $25,000 for a $50,000 total campaign goal
  • Leverage an integrated digital approach to acquire donor interest and revenue
  • Deploy social media as a key channel for campaign engagement ultimately influencing giving

Russ Reid solution

Learning from 2014 #GivingTuesday campaign efforts, a 2015 campaign was deployed on the popular holiday shopping weekend from Black Friday through Cyber Monday and culminating on #GivingTuesday. Russ Reid’s now proven #GivingTuesday multi-channel digital campaign strategy aimed to maximize GBFB’s holiday fundraising, acquiring significant return early and boosting the Food Bank’s ability to fundraise all December long. In 2015, Russ Reid also expanded social advertising to include Facebook custom audience targeting.

Russ Reid delivered:

  • Consultation and strategic guidance including offer development and social media content planning
  • Social advertising for content amplification and Page growth (Facebook placement; Facebook custom audience targeting using GBFB donor lists and lookalike modeling)
  • Custom three e-appeal series including all email components
  • Web images for promotional use in social media, and integration with homepage and giving page to create a complete user experience
  • Unique offer positioning


With a matching gift of $25,000, in 2015 the low cost, five-day #GivingTuesday campaign exceeded 2014’s $70,750 extraordinary fundraising total raising $85,770 to provide healthy and nutritious meals for 257,310 hungry people in eastern Massachusetts. The YoY increase was a matching gift $5,000 greater than the previous year + $10,000 more raised. GBFB’s total online revenue in the five-day campaign period was nearly $105,000[1]. Having achieved an ROI of 8.4 in 2014, 2015’s campaign ROI was 10.1.

The $25,000 matching gift was again uniquely positioned to ask donors to match the generous donation of 75,000 meals to provide an additional 75,000 meals for hungry families. Donors directly responded to campaign efforts with more than $60,770 in online donations to provide an additional 182,310 meals above and beyond the match gift.

Social media successfully and effectively achieved goals of growing brand presence and campaign awareness, driving interest in the campaign and traffic to the donation page. Social media achievements include:

  • 1,078 new Facebook page likes
  • 1,782 paid post engagements
  • 5,925 people taking action directly from paid posts
  • More than 34,430 people reached with paid ads
  • 3,181 visits to the donation page driven directly from paid ads
  • Custom audience targeting reached 11,500 users, acquired 55 post engagements, and drove 195 visits to the donation page

Campaign e-appeals raised more than $44,000 of the campaign total with email 3 responsible for 58% of email revenue.

Ahead of the 2015 campaign, Russ Reid recognized GBFB with a 2014 Outstanding Partnership Award for their success in expanding online fundraising—particularly through social media engagement, and continuing to innovate amongst food banks and nonprofits in the digital fundraising space.

[1] #GivingTuesday attributed revenue was sourced from email, social media and the match gift.

For additional information on this campaign or how Russ Reid can help your nonprofit grow beyond, contact Andrew Olsen (CFRE, Vice President).