Catalogue for Philanthropy is Building Community and Driving Donations

AnalyticsCampaignIdentity & BrandingInfographicsSocial MediaMulti-Platform Web DesignPaid ContentWebsite Development

The Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington is the region’s only locally-focused guide to giving and volunteering. CFP highlights the best local charities in the Washington region. It was created to link local donors to community-based nonprofits.

For the past three years, Connections Media has worked closely with CFP to bring in a powerful wave of support during the crucial fall giving season, which includes Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and the traditional end-of-year fundraising push.

Each year of our collaboration, we’ve challenged ourselves to design new and creative campaigns and hit higher targets both in fundraising and visibility. The theme the first year was “Give Like a Local,” and last year’s theme was “Find Your Charity Soulmate.” This year, we built on the “Find Your Charity Soulmate” approach which resonated well with our focus on localized giving.


In 2015, CFP came to Connections Media to support their “Give Like a Local” campaign design design and website support. We focused on bringing brand awareness and offering input and expertise before Giving Tuesday, traditionally their largest single fundraising day. After Giving Tuesday, the client wanted a more deliberate drive for donations on other important giving days counting down to the end of the year.

CFP has two fundraising targets. When visitors use the Catalogue to find regional nonprofits to support, 100% of their gift goes to that organization. As a nonprofit itself, the Catalogue for Philanthropy wanted to raise funds for itself as well as those organizations. Over the multi-year engagement, we’ve had to adjust and revise our approach to this challenge, building on successes from the previous year while accommodating new elements the client wished to put in focus.

The digital goal in year one was to increase impressions across social media, display ads, search ads and the website. In 2017, the client wanted to engage a younger than average demographic in their work.

Case Study: CFP Responsive
CFP: Quiz 2
CFP: Quiz 3


There were three phases in this project. The first phase was updating an existing quiz we created the previous year to the newest class of charities featured in the Catalogue. The quiz allowed users to answer questions about their giving and lifestyle to find their personalized charity match. The goal was to build trust with donors in the community and position the Catalogue as the premier hub for local giving. To do this, we focused on getting a clear picture of the audiences who interacted with the quiz and developing qualified audience groups based on that information. We then deployed a retargeting approach to boost brand awareness and engagement, ensuring that people who had visited the quiz would see additional messages about the Catalogue for Philanthropy in the following days. The quiz was promoted through social media, search and display ads so the exposure was wide enough to ensure a sizable audience for retargeting. This way, we were able to introduce a donation-minded community of users to CFP and their member charities by making it fun and relatable.

The second phase was activating that community to drive donations for Giving Tuesday. Along with promoting the quiz, we created ads and social content that linked back to the CFP homepage, which was focused on Giving Tuesday.

The third and final phase was similar to the Giving Tuesday, but a push for donations from Giving Tuesday until the end of the year. The messaging was tweaked to hit on charitable giving as a tax deduction to encourage more support. By building on the messaging and audience established in phase one and cultivated in phase two with the Giving Tuesday push, we were able to communicate value, impact and need through year’s end.

That language reinforcing a donor’s impact performed well and encouraged additional gifts. Positive and encouraging imagery telling a story about the area nonprofits featured in the Catalog also performed well.

CFP: Weather app with ad
CFP: Hill ad iPad


Since the beginning of the engagement, CM’s team was able to more than double the amount of donors during the three-month campaign.

In 2017 CFP saw:

  • A 20% increase in overall donations
  • A 13% increase in Giving Tuesday donations
  • A 27% increase in year-end giving  
  • Digital donations accounting for 91% of all donations

The content and design assets we created to reach the client’s goal of targeting a younger demographic increased donations from that group and overall. There was also an increased average donation value.

Year after year, Connections Media has been able to help Catalogue for Philanthropy execute their main goal of raising awareness and money during one of the busiest donation times of the year. Thanks to innovative digital campaigns and compelling social content, CFP exceeded their 2017 targets and entered 2018 with a strong community of supporters.