Northern Illinois Food Bank

Multi-Channel Integration

Grows Website Traffic, Database and Revenue

Northern Illinois Food Bank


Northern Illinois Food Bank was challenged that their revenue did not meet the needs to serve those in the 13-county areas who depended on the food bank as a source of nutrition; therefore, they were

  1. looking to grow awareness of the food bank as a hunger solution,
  2. drive traffic to the website and key landing pages,
  3. increase their number of donors and
  4. Increase online and offline donations during peak campaigns

The organization has a vision for no one to be hungry in Northern Illinois and partners with local food pantries and feeding programs, food manufacturers and retailers, companies, foundations and individuals towards fulfilling this vision.

Plus, the organization has a “gentleman’s” agreement to abide by jurisdiction from neighboring sister foodbanks. This caused the food bank to question the most appropriate channels to target prospective donors.


The Donor Detectives team focused on using an integrated multichannel approach to increase neighborhood penetration and increase awareness in Northern IL starting with the Holiday 2014 campaign.

Channels that leveraged a targeted penetration inside the organization’s jurisdiction were

  • Outdoor Billboards,
  • eMail and Mail.

Gentlemanly approved additional impactful broad reached channels used were

  • Radio,
  • Rail Posters and
  • Banner Ads.

The website was also maximized though

  • retargeting,
  • AdWords and a
  • campaign lightbox.

The campaign ran November 1st through the new year with a seven (7) times frequency strategy.


The first Holiday campaign surpassed results of previous year on % Response, Average Gift amount and ROI. And revenue increased an average of 8% steadily by the 3rd year of implementation.

The positive impact was evident in all sources of income, including an increase in:

  • Direct mail acquisition
  • White mail
  • Online revenue

Average Gifts increased 23% upon first year of implementation and the database increased in size. Website and landing page traffic drastically increased; as well as online donations increased. All digital surpassed expectations.

The great success of the Year End Lightbox made the lightbox a permanent fundraising tool for Northern Illinois Food Bank. Based on the success of the initial Holiday campaign, the Food Bank implements an annual integrated direct response strategy across all key campaigns, including Holiday and Spring.

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