Diversifying the Media Mix at Year End


The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease. This national organization is advancing research toward a cure, funding research and providing educational resources to Parkinson’s disease patients and caregivers.

Parkinson’s partnered with Media Cause to execute their Year-End media buying campaign to drive fundraising efforts. 


The Outcome

Despite the uncertainty of 2020, the Parkinson’s Foundation’s YEG campaign drove more donation revenue than in years prior allowing them to continue their mission of helping to make life better for people with Parkinson’s disease. 




average donation

was raised by the digital media campaign alone


The Challenge

The primary goal of the campaign was to drive year end donations. Budgets were essentially flat YoY so while we were aiming to improve upon 2019 results—hoping to diversify their media mix. However, we knew 2020 was an unprecedented year with many unknowns. We needed to plan a campaign we expected to be effective, but one that allowed for flexibility – knowing we may need to pivot throughout.

The Strategy

We set out to diversify our media mix.

While Facebook had previously been heavily utilized for donation driving campaigns – for Parkinson’s and many other nonprofit clients of Media Cause – we were hesitant to invest too heavily in this platform when it came to the 2020 campaign. With the holiday season seeing increased spending in ecommerce, therefore creating an incredibly cluttered marketplace and driving up costs on the platform, and with Facebook being stricter than ever when it came to ad approvals following the election, we knew we couldn’t rely on this platform alone to drive campaign success.

We also took a strategic approach to messaging. We recommended that creative messaging rotate throughout the flight in order to remain timely and relevant to our audience.


In an effort to avoid relying too heavily on Facebook, as we do with many of our campaigns, we diversified our media mix to include programmatic display. We partnered with MiQ in order to extend the campaign beyond just paid search and social.

We kept a close eye on performance and implemented significant optimizations throughout the campaign. We paused audience targeting segments that were underperforming and shifted budget to platforms performing well. Based on performance, we shifted budget out of Facebook and into the programmatic display as it was driving more donations, at a lower cost. 

Additionally, we continually refreshed the campaign creative. This included swapping images but more importantly utilizing different messaging to highlight the various donation-matching offers that were in place at different times within the flight. During the final days of the campaign, we relied on urgency messaging to drive last-minute donations.