Case Study: How PCUK doubled their regular givers

Apr 26, 2019


Pancreatic Cancer UK (PCUK) joined RAISETHRU’s 12 week programme in 2018. Within a few months, they’d completely transformed their fundraising programme and skyrocketed their number of contactable supporters and regular donors.

Here’s how....

The Background

PCUK came to RAISETHRU via a free strategy session after viewing a webinar. They’d done a little bit of work on Facebook Ads previously, but hadn’t seen any real volume of conversions.

 The potential for a lead generation to regular giving conversion campaign was quickly identified and it was clear that PCUK were perfect for the RAISETHRU Facebook Fundraising Accelerator Programme, so they decided to join up.


The Challenge

"We knew what we wanted to achieve but we didn't quite know how to get there"

- Julie Roberts, Head of Mass Market Fundraising PCUK

PCUK needed new regular givers, but they didn’t want to rely on traditional methods of acquisition. They’d realised they needed to start acquiring donors on digital channels but they weren’t quite sure where to start.

They wanted more regular donors and to increase the size of their database in general, after the numbers had dropped due to GDPR.

We set a target CPL of £1 (petition signer) and a CPA for a regular giver at an ambitious £99.


The Solution

PCUK were planning to run a petition to campaign for faster treatment times for people with pancreatic cancer and this presented a good opportunity to join the petition and fundraising together to form a powerful funnel.

At RAISETHRU we know that going straight to cold audiences to ask for donations on Facebook is very difficult. So we’ve developed the Value Exchange Threshold theory, based on two truths: 

  1.  Both the supporter and the charity need to feel that they’ve received adequate value from any transaction that results from a Facebook ad.


  1.  Once a supporter says “yes” to an ask, e.g. signing a petition, they are much more likely to say yes to another ask. In other words,he first yes is the hardest to get, so make it easier!


Using this theory we designed a lead generation to regular giving funnel, with the aim of achieving two objectives:

  1. Increase the number of petition signers of the demand faster treatment campaign.
  2. Bring in new regular donors to fund the important work that PCUK does.


The 12 week Accelerator Programme has a heavy focus on creative. The creative used in the Facebook ads will be the key to the success of any campaign like this. It can't be underestimated!

That’s why we’ve taken Facebook's own creative process and adapted it for charities, it's called Creative Hacking. The process is designed to produce more creative (focusing on videos) for very little cost, in less time. This allows a charity to produce more highly effective ads and test them against various audiences in a special campaign structure called the Rapid Scaling Matrix.

With the creative hacking process we helped PCUK to design short videos optimised for direct response on Facebook. PCUK implemented the process perfectly.

They developed four short videos with very different concepts to give them the best chance of finding creative fit with each of their target audiences.

We advised them on how to turn these videos around quickly and cheaply (no big budgets or long internal processes!). They also developed new videos to be introduced later in the campaign, to combat any creative fatigue.

 "The creative hack gave us a criteria for success.  We knew the core principles we had to stick to and we kept the supporters at the heart of each execution as we knew what audiences we were trying to reach"

- Julie Roberts




Problems Faced

Our Facebook Accelerator Programme runs for 12 weeks so we had to push quickly to get landing and donation pages ready in time. This presented the biggest challenge of the campaign. We took a proof of concept approach and didn't want to spend weeks or even months developing the "perfect" pages or try to implement new systems for automated email etc.

This was a trade-off between getting the campaign live in time for the petition to run and meet the deadline whilst also making sure we could get the best result possible for both the petition sign ups and regular donor conversions.

Rather than spend time building new systems that would be used in the longer term we use third party landing page software that was inexpensive and easy to set up. Tthis wasn't a long term solution but it would allow PCUK to design a more permanent user journey based on the results of this campaign.

The biggest issue was dealing with the large amount of data that was coming through the system. Without integrations between the data capture and both email platform and the CRM it was a very manual process to segment data for emailing and to go to the Telemarketing agency for calling.

 "We were a victim of our own success!" -- Julie Roberts


The Results

PCUK’s fundraising programme has been utterly transformed.

Final results included over 100,000 petition signers, they quintupled their contactable database (yes, that's X5), and they’ve doubled their total number of regular donors.

We set a target CPL of £1.00 and PCUK smashed this, achieving an average CPL of £0.42  for the campaign.

The campaign’s Digital Cost Per Acquisition for a regular donor is £85, against a target of £99.

"We were blown away by the results we achieved as they were way beyond our initial targets.  However, because of the ongoing implementation coaching we were able to move the goalposts and keep aiming for more.  This is the beauty of digital fundraising; you can eliminate risk at the click of a button!"

- Julie Roberts



Are you interested in getting results like these? 

You can book a free strategy session with Chris Dellaca. During a video call we will look at your current situation and determine if there is a Facebook Advertising strategy that will work for your organisation. 


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Grab a quick chat with Chris about how we help our charity clients scale Facebook Ads and how you can too. Book directly into Chris' calendar by clicking on the button below.

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