Clients Love Firefly

Planning for Online Fundraising

Planning for Online Fundraising

Client: Children's Defense Fund

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) grew out of the Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Marian Wright Edelman. Firefly assisted CDF in the development of a long-term online fundraising plan that included specific goals, began soliciting donors more regularly and was coordinated with their direct mail campaigns.


For many years, CDF had a large direct mail program that solicited tens of thousands of donations per year and had more than one million contacts. However, this success was not converting into success with their online fundraising campaigns. Their fabulous staff is extremely skilled in using the Convio system, but their efforts regarding online communication and advocacy were not giving them the results CDF needed. Firefly saw huge opportunity for optimizing their newly designed website into a 24/7 online fundraising machine!


Firefly’s first step was to provide a deep review and analysis of CDF’s current website, email communication and supporter data.  The findings were presented at a strategic planning meeting, and served as the spark for a high-level conversation about organizational goals around online communication.  Firefly took a multi-faceted approach to improve CDF’s online fundraising, including creating a year-long campaign communication calendar which planned out email solicitations and appeals.  Firefly also focused on optimizing the organization’s website. This included adding a prominent donate button in the header, adding feature slides on the homepage slideshow to highlight fundraising campaigns, and making major improvements to the fundraising site section.

The Firefly team created five, multi-part campaigns that targeted various segments of the email list over time. Many campaigns highlighted the success of past activities and emphasized the need for support in the current difficult economic climate. Other campaigns followed seasonal themes. This included sending a Flash Mother’s Day eCard with a donation or ‘Back to School’.

These campaigns resulted in increasing the number of online donations to the highest level in CDF’s history and raising more general funds than in past years. Most importantly Firefly’s work doubled the number of monthly donors, whose support will provide CDF with a stream of online gifts throughout the year.   After this initial engagement was over, CDF turned to Firefly for a new website design and was extremely happy with the results.

Tools and Services




Planning for Online Fundraising