How UNICEF USA increased revenue and recurring donors using Fundraise Up


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The customer

Children & Youth
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is dedicated to the wellness of children all over the world, providing health care, immunizations, safe water, emergency relief, and more to children in over 190 countries. UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable.
increase in recurring monthly donors
increase in online donation revenue
of donors cover processing fees
Fundraise Up has had a marvelous impact on our digital fundraising.
Tobes Kelly
VP, Head of Digital UNICEF USA (Revenue, Marketing, & Operations)

What we provided

A better online donor experience
  • Artificial intelligence to optimize the donor "ask"
  • An intuitive, mobile-optimized interface that increases conversions
  • Flexible payment options, including digital wallets, that engages more Millennial donors
  • Global fundraising features that go beyond languages to reach every donor no matter where they are

The challenge

Improving the donor experience to boost recurring donations (and revenue)
Tobes Kelly, UNICEF USA Vice President and Head of Digital (Revenue, Marketing, & Operations), and his team invested a lot of time and money considering how to improve their online giving experience.
While its previous donation platform, Springboard, was sufficient enough in collecting donations, it came equipped with static donation forms that only showed modest growth. In addition, the Digital Marketing Team was focused on improving the organization's conversion rate optimization (CRO), a process that involved meticulously testing multiple variables at a time, analyzing the results, and then collaborating with cross-functional partners to make those edits.
While the multi-faceted testing with Springboard provided some lift in conversion rate, the UNICEF USA team had a long list of variables they needed to test.
But UNICEF USA was challenged to meet several ambitious goals, beyond conversion rates:
  • Improving the donor experience
  • Optimizing the “ask” to maximize donations
  • Increasing the number of recurring, monthly donors
  • Reaching younger donors to diversify its donor base
The CRO process became too laborious for UNICEF USA. So the team was intrigued by a platform that was powered by artificial intelligence that could help it reach its goals faster and in a more efficient way.

The solution

A frictionless donor platform backed by artificial intelligence
When UNICEF USA first learned about Fundraise Up, it compared its testing roadmap against the platform’s capabilities. Fundraise Up had already done nearly everything on the team’s list — including eliminating the need for continuous testing since the platform was already equipped to do all of the CRO testing on its own. Plus, the platform was backed by artificial intelligence that could dynamically suggest an optimal ask to potential donors, a functionality that far exceeded the capabilities of Springboard's dynamic ask strings.
The UNICEF USA team conducted A/B tests that compared its Springboard form against Fundraise Up’s platform. The revenue lift was substantial and the entire process went smoothly. The teams were impressed by how well the Fundraise Up team navigated UNICEF USA’s various departments and balanced stakeholders’ competing interests.
After a successful test, the UNICEF USA team discontinued Springboard and fully onboarded with Fundraise Up. The Digital Revenue Team was particularly enthusiastic about several features:
  • Donation upsell that converts one-time donors to recurring monthly givers
  • Artificial intelligence that dynamically optimizes the ask for each donor
  • A user-friendly interface that gets donors to cover the processing fees
  • An intuitive dashboard and back end that allows the team to create and update campaigns without burdening the IT team
  • Expanded payment methods that let donors give using Apple Pay, Venmo, stock, and crypto
  • Global fundraising features like support for 25+ languages, country-specific features like Gift Aid and Direct Debit, and a range of compliances to cover fundraising anywhere in the world
The A/B testing results gave us the data that Fundraise Up was the smart decision. Our experience working with them pre- and post-platform adoption has been organized, logical and very responsive.

The result

300% more monthly donors and greater conversions
UNICEF USA’s digital donors now experience an intuitive and frictionless process. Overall digital revenue has increased by 50% and UNICEF USA has increased their acquisition of monthly recurring donors by more than 300%.
UNICEF USA’s growth with Fundraise Up
one-time gift revenue
average one-time gift size
number of one-time gifts
recurring gift revenue
average recurring gift size
UNICEF USA showed tremendous one-time and recurring growth from 2021 to 2022.
Additionally, 90% of all donors now cover their processing fees allowing UNICEF USA to receive 100% of a donor's intended donation and drastically reduce processing costs.
We’re confident that we’ve found a great partner in Fundraise Up and a responsive team with whom we can build a long-term partnership.
Children & Youth
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