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How the Branson School Boosts Online Giving with Offline Campaigns

A closer look as Branson School campaigns

The Branson School, a private college prep academy just north of San Francisco, relies on parents and alumni to support its mission to help students lead a life of purpose, passion, and fulfillment. Integrating DonateNow in their online and postal mail fundraising campaigns helps the Branson team reach their goals. How do they do it? Simple: Include donation page links in all electronic communications and the page URL in postal mail. DonateNow’s one-page form makes it quick and easy for people to give, and convenient tracking tools help Branson discover which campaigns are working best.

It’s important to understand what our community feels is important about our work.
- Rebecca Houser, development associate, Branson School

The Branson School, situated on 17 lush acres in Marin County just north of San Francisco, was established in the early 1900s as a local elementary school. Branson saw many transformations over the years and is now a coed day school committed to encouraging its students to engage in a life of purpose, passion, and fulfillment. Funding this mission is a year-round effort. The school’s campaigns are successful thanks to a mix of DonateNow and diverse on- and offline methods. Development associate Rebecca Houser shared a few of the Branson School’s fundraising strategies.

Keeping the community updated for increased engagement.

A big factor in Branson’s fundraising success is the school’s engaged and excited community of parents and alumni. But of course that’s just part of the equation; convincing that community to support the school with donations—and to continue giving—is the real challenge. Houser says they activate the Branson community with a variety of online and offline tools combined with DonateNow to make giving easy and convenient. She adds that understanding what their community feels is important about the school’s work helps to improve engagement online and off.

Offer easy ways to give with each communication.

The Branson team sends weekly e-newsletters to parents and alumni with updates about the school and the annual fundraising campaign and, of course, a DonateNow link. Offline campaigns include paper mailers written by community members, including parents. These go out to the parent community and alumni. Paper mailers always include Branson’s donation page URL for those who prefer to donate online.

Houser likes that DonateNow is quick to set up and that it just works. Methodical, thoughtful usage of DonateNow’s tracking tools helps them uncover which campaigns are the most effective. Houser especially appreciates the simple one-page form for donors and attributes that to the improvement they’ve seen in year-over-year online giving—proving that the Branson School is indeed connecting with its community.

Fundraising Takeaways

  • Whether your campaign message is delivered online or via postal mail, it should always include your donation page link or URL for people who prefer to give online.
  • Promote deeper donor engagement with messaging written by people who already support your organization.
  • Take advantage of DonateNow’s tracking code to determine which of your fundraising campaigns are most successful.

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