American Red Cross (ARC) was seeing declines in one-time donors, new “sustainer” accounts, and total donations from long time contributors, who were reducing their donation amounts or eliminating them. ARC enlisted Generator to develop an integrated campaign to support three key initiatives:

  1. Raise contributions
  2. Increase blood donorship
  3. Drive e-commerce sales of course materials


Research showed that these declines were not due to low ARC awareness, but that the organization lacked visibility into new donor origination, had an opaque “path to conversion” and no attribution tracking and reporting. Additionally, there was no actionable link between marketing investments and the Lifetime Value of new donors. In sum, the lack of a proper media investment strategy was inhibiting their growth.


Generator developed strategies that implemented advanced analytics and tactical plans to reach and influence charitable and philanthropic consumers within contextually relevant environments. Specific Key Performance Metrics were established within each of the three key initiatives. Launch tactics included:

  1. Lifestyle Display: behavioral and contextual filers
  2. Data Driven Display: Prospecting/retargeting utilizing cookie data from site pixels
  3. Social Media: advanced tactics leveraging interests and behavioral data
  4. Contextual Content: display, video and newsletter placements about disasters
  5. Lead Generation: Offering incentives to new potential donors
  6. Mobile: text donations via cell carrier
  7. Optimized Television: national cable reaching ARC targets


Visibility Tracking

The program delivered attribution modeling between first and last touch click/interaction, compared conversions with ARC data, and went beyond placement and attribution to itemize one-time gifts, annual gifts, Cost of Revenue per-impression, and other metrics by creative execution. This enabled further fine tuning and plan optimization.


Within the first 45 days, the three key initiatives reported an average reduction in cost per KPIs of 31%. At the end of ARC’s first year with Generator we had reduced the Cost of Revenue KPI (cost of acquiring a $1 donation) by 61% within the Donations initiative.