Raising $7M with the Canadian Red Cross in a historic holiday campaign

48%

donations

64%

revenue

10%

average gift
Canadian Red Cross Case Study
The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) had ambitious plans to modernize its digital fundraising approach, but a hard-to-use donor platform limited its potential. Since switching to Fundraise Up, CRC’s first campaign on our platform saw historic fundraising numbers.
CRC nearly doubled its end-of-year giving revenue, from $3.8M to $7M, with Fundraise Up.
With Fundraise Up, The Canadian Red Cross has found a long-term partner. “Finding the right modern, user-friendly donor platform was mission-critical to our future. I can’t speak more highly of Fundraise Up and its team,” says Jessica Bernat, Director of Digital Marketing at CRC.

About The Canadian Red Cross

Guided by its mission to strengthen the resiliency of people in Canada and abroad, the Canadian Red Cross is a longstanding figure in the nonprofit sector. As part of the largest humanitarian network in the world, CRC has been there in times of emergency and disaster response, helping the most vulnerable when they need it most.

The challenge: digitally transform the donor experience

Digital fundraising becomes a priority for CRC

The pandemic exposed a critical fundraising opportunity: CRC’s digital strategy. To future-proof its fundraising, the organization needed to prioritize online donors. But first, it needed the right platform.
Finding the right modern, user-friendly donor platform was mission critical to our future.
Leading the modernization project was Jessica Bernat, CRC’s first Director of Digital Marketing and Kellie Ellis, Senior Director of Digital and Direct Marketing. “Digital fundraising has become a huge priority at the highest level of the organization” explains Jessica and Kellie. They were on the hunt to find a modern fundraising platform and time was ticking.
“It was important that we make this big change now. We couldn’t stay status quo for another three to five years. Things in the digital world are changing too quickly.”
Among CRC’s list of requirements for a new donation platform, tools to increase donor lifetime value was a must. That was along with Canadian English and Canadian French localization, privacy compliance, robust reporting features and integration with HubSpot and Blackbaud.
Fundraise Up supports 20+ languages and offers dozens of integrations.
“We realized that while the others were embracing online donorship, we were falling behind. We weren’t capitalizing on upsells because there was just too much friction,” says Jessica.

The solution: a modern platform built for today’s online donors

Smooth implementation delivered on deadline

After an extensive RFP process, one donation platform stood out with its AI-powered approach and digital-first mindset. And with the decision made, CRC and Fundraise Up began implementation.
“There are a lot of stakeholders involved with such a complex implementation,” Jessica says. “But everyone on the team was committed and communicated well.”
Spot on deadline and within a mere six months, the Canadian Red Cross went live with its first phase of rollout, rapidly followed by the monthly migration, the launch of the Virtual Terminal in its call center and emergency appeals on campaign pages.
25% click-to-donate conversion rate on campaign pages built through Fundraise Up.
Today, the organization uses many of Fundraise Up’s platform features, including donation buttons, forms, image cards, AI-suggested donation amounts, digital wallets, the donor portal and recurring upsells.

The results: impressive growth outpaces expectations

Inaugural campaign with Fundraise Up doubles revenue

Jessica and her team flipped the go-live switch on the new system just a few weeks before the launch of the Canadian Red Cross’s largest campaign of the year.
It was a spectacular success out of the gate. The team smashed its previous year’s campaign fundraising total of $3.8M, raising close to $7M; with the revenue all flowing through Fundraise Up.

Campaign success

$1.5M
Giving Tuesday phase
$3.1M
Holiday phase
$2.1M
Tax phase
As online campaigns continue, the painful process of manually reporting numbers is not missed. The CRC team can now readily access donor data to monitor campaign progress, make decisions, and answer stakeholder questions.
The Insights Dashboard has all the data nonprofits need to guide fundraising efforts.
Jessica is excited for the early successes she and her team are seeing, and the support they’ve received so far. “Getting answers is so easy now thanks to Fundraise Up. And that’s a good thing,” she says.
They listen. They are keen to understand and learn. The support has been amazing. I can’t speak more highly of Fundraise Up.

Notable numbers

48%
donations
64%
revenue
10%
average gift
Cause
Human Services
Headquarters
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Customer since
2023
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