Unpacking the strategies behind Läkarmissionen and Naturskyddsföreningen's successful fundraising appeals

Jesper Juul Jensen
Min to read

Läkarmissionen raised more than 1.2 million SEK through three successful fundraising appeals, while Naturskyddsföreningen raised no less than 1.4 million SEK through two different campaigns. This raises the question: how did they achieve such success?

Typically, fundraising pages are created by supporters of charities. However, Läkarmissionen and Naturskyddsföreningen created and ran their own fundraising appeals using the same pages as supporters usually do in peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising. And they did so with remarkable success.

In this case study, we will explore the strategies and factors that contributed to their success.

The fundraising appeals by Läkarmissionen and Naturskyddsföreningen

While Läkarmissionen is a relatively new customer of BetterNow (since November 2022), Naturskyddsföreningen has been a customer since 2021 when they awarded a tender to BetterNow for a P2P fundraising platform. 

Both charities have run several successful fundraising appeals through BetterNow. Typically, BetterNow is primarily used for P2P fundraising, so the highly successful campaigns run by these charities piqued our curiosity about how they achieved such success. 

Läkarmissionen is a Swedish charity organisation that provides healthcare, education, emergency relief as well as water and sanitation in developing countries. They initially used BetterNow fora fundraising appeal addressing the urgent needs of children's homes in Lviv, Ukraine, where heating and water had been disrupted due to the ongoing conflict. This appeal raised more than half a million in just a few days. 

“The reason we first tried BetterNow for an emergency fundraiser was primarily because of its simplicity. It is very easy for the donor to donate”

Läkarmissionen followed up their successful fundraising appeal for children's homes in Lviv with another appeal aimed at providing aid to children who had lost their parents while fleeing the conflict in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Later, a third campaign was launched to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria after the devastating earthquake in February 2023.

Naturskyddsföreningen is a Swedish environmental organisation that works to protect nature and wildlife. In early 2022, they ran an appeal to campaign against a new iron ore mine in northern Sweden, which gained tremendous momentum and raised almost half a millionSwedish kronor.

In early 2023, they launched a second appeal that campaigned against licensed hunting of wolves and lynx, which risks severe harm to their long-term sustainability. As the yearly hunts were about to start, they wanted to act instantly. 

“We felt the need to quickly get started with the campaign and it was important for us to be able to communicate the results live to engage with donors. “

The campaign against the hunting of wolves and lynx hit a nerve with Naturskyddsföreningen's members, and they have raised over 1 million SEK.

The power of urgency and targeted messaging

 A common thread among all five appeals was the use of urgency as a critical factor, with the appeal's subject being a current theme that their members are aware of.

“The issue of predator hunting was a very current theme.Likewise, with the appeal around the mine in Gállok - in that case, we needed to raise additional funds to work on stopping the plans for the mine. The fact that the issue is relevant at the time of appeal increased our chances of connecting the campaign to the media and getting a more significant impact.”

For both Läkarmissionen and Naturskyddsföreningen, the main target group for their appeals has been existing members and supporters. These individuals have been responsive to the messages and have reacted positively to the appeals. The well-timed messages aimed at a targeted group have been a key factor in their success.

Larger average donation sizes

Even with these favourable conditions for successful appeals, the results exceeded expectations for both charities. Naturskyddsföreningen hopes to utilise their experience from the first appeals to see if they can  increase their overall donation income. 

The result has been very positive, beyond expectations.We are currently looking at how we can continue to work in this way, and hopefully, it can increase total donation income moving forward. But until then, it remains to be seen.

Läkarmissionen found that using BetterNow as a tool for their appeals resulted in larger average donation sizes than they had seen with previous appeals..

“We received large donations. Much larger than we expected. The average donation size and the lowest donation size both reached unusually high levels.”

Fact box: Average donation size for the campaigns
Campaign Avg Donation Size Total Donations Number of Donations
DR Kongo: Hjälp barn som förlorat sina föräldrar under flykten 415 kr. 211.625 kr. 510
Akut hjälp till vårt barncenter i Lviv 463 kr. 559.793 kr. 1.209
Hjälp till de jordbävningsdrabbade! 485 kr. 530.153 kr. 1.092
Stoppa den rekordstora jakten på svenska rovdjur! 227 kr. 1.015.227 kr. 4.4482
Gállok: Hjälp oss att stoppa gruvan! 241 kr. 433.888 kr. 1.804
All amounts in SEK

They attribute this to unique features of the pages normally used for P2P fundraisings, such as the ability for supporters to choose their donation level and customise their donation with a name and comment. Additionally, the ability for donors to see each other's gifts inspired larger donations, and the real-time donation tracking and speedy process also contributed to their success.

Another advantage for Läkarmissionen was the opportunity to read the many comments that accompanied the donations. This provided insight into the motivations and thoughts of the donors, which were often shared publicly in the comments section.

The surprising success of these appeals has highlighted the potential of BetterNow for both crowdfunding and general fundraising appeals.  

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