Diversifying Ad Platforms to Scale Donor Acquisition


Pathfinder International is an organization that champions sexual and reproductive health and rights by mobilizing communities to forge their own path to a healthier future.

Fundraising is essential to carry out their important work, which has a global reach. We have been their agency partner since 2019, focusing on all aspects of their digital fundraising program, supporting with strategy setting, campaign execution, reporting and analysis, creative development, and more.


The Outcome

Our digital fundraising program work with Pathfinder International has helped them to acquire more generous, high-quality donors, with new donor revenue increasing by 62% year over year, aiding them in their mission to mobilize communities to forge their own path to a healthier future.




Increase in direct donor revenue year-over-year

Increase in direct donor acquisition year-over-year

Increase in new donor average gift

The Challenge

Pathfinder International has a global reach, and they rely heavily on fundraising to be able to carry out their important work. Leading into fiscal year 2022, Pathfinder recognized the value of scaling their digital donor acquisition program and wanted to steadily and purposefully increase their annual paid media.

The Strategy

Together, we identified a handful of key priorities to maximize the opportunity to build the best possible ecosystem of Pathfinder supporters. 

The first priority was to create diversification and cohesion across Pathfinder’s platforms (all organic and paid mediums). The second was flighting media budgets strategically to build awareness, generate high-quality leads, and drive donations while keeping a steady drumbeat and taking advantage of key moments throughout the year. Lastly, we wanted to focus on consistent testing to remain nimble between tactics, platforms, audiences, and messages and rely on insights to inform the detailed planning for future months.

The Implementation

Our media planning centered around a robust, full-funnel approach, bringing together data-driven media with impactful, meaningful messaging. We also planned to seek out new media partners and strategies that allowed us to leverage owned data and build upon our understanding of Pathfinder’s donor and advocate audiences.  

Our approach was broken down into three key categories: Awareness—focus on reach and storytelling, Lead Generation—focus on driving touchpoints with potential donors, and Fundraising—focus on acquiring new, high-quality monthly and one-time donors.

The awareness phase was extremely helpful because it drove people to the website—prior investment in a build-out of the site helped make the most out of the awareness budget.

A strong focus on the top and bottom of the funnel during key points throughout the year helped Pathfinder increase direct donor acquisition and revenue from this audience.

A key strategy component was testing and learning to see what worked best. 

The first step we took was to diversify the platforms. We used a three-pronged approach to include programmatic display (MiQ, Teads, Viant), expansion of paid search (Bing) + social (Snapchat), and influencer marketing.

We also increased our investment in the awareness-building stage to focus on retargeting audiences for fundraising ads and driving insights that helped inform down-funnel advertising creative.

Our ongoing testing strategy focused on audience targeting, ad creative, ad formats, and landing pages.