Case Study: hjc and Covenant House Vancouver

Case Study: hjc and Covenant House Vancouver

hjc and Covenant House Vancouver (CHV) started working together in August 2011. Since collaborating, hjc has created two year-end online holiday campaigns for CHV.

In both 2011 and 2012, the online holiday campaign was a huge success. In 2012, the campaign built on the creative concept that was developed the year prior, sharing a youth’s story of life on the streets and how CHV became a place of refuge. The online campaign was integrated with their direct mail and radio programs.

hjc produced the following elements for the 2012 online holiday campaign:

Email series  

  • Included 5 e-appeals (4 went out before Christmas, and the final was sent out on Dec 27th).
  • Focused on telling the story of Amy, a teenage girl who was sexually abused as a child, forced into prostitution and moved from house to house, finally seeking shelter at CHV.
  • “Give the gift of safety this holiday season” was the main message throughout.
  • Calls to action focused on inspiring supporters to make a holiday/year end gift, such as:
    • “Please donate today so that Amy and kids like her get the chance to live in a safe and loving place.”
    • “One of the most precious gifts you can give a homeless young person this Christmas is the gift of safety.”
    • “Please make a special year end gift so that we can continue to help Vancouver’s homeless youth in 2013!”
    • CHV’s triple matching gift offer was highlighted (i.e. “Your gift today will be tripled and we will help even more kids like Amy heal from a life of sexual abuse, loneliness and pain. Please give generously. Thank you.”).
    • Customized template design that profiled Amy in the banner image.

Holiday donation form

  • Unique banner design was created for the online donation form.

Online advertising

  • Google AdWords Campaign targeted keywords related to Covenant House and holiday giving.
  • We saw a 380% ROI on our Google advertising campaign. Covenant House keywords were the most profitable.

Overall campaign results

  1. Total donations increased by 30% from 2011!
  2. The number of gifts grew by over 600, from 2186 to 2809.
  3. The average gift was approximately $170.
  4. Open rates, click through rates, response rates and unsubscribe rates surpassed industry averages.

What they did right

  1. Following an integrated communications calendar, sending out the first e-appeal as a follow up to the direct mail drop.
  2. Communicated their triple matching gift offer and highlighted how much a supporter’s gift would impact CHV. For example, “If you donate today, your generous gift will be tripled! $35 becomes $105, $75 becomes $225 and $100 becomes $300.”
  3. Created an emotional appeal by focusing on Amy’s personal story throughout the email series.


posted on Jan 31

Leave a Reply