Creating urgency around donations

Communicate the urgency and impact of donations when supporters are most emotionally connected to the event.


Mercy Corps

Powered by the belief that a better world is possible, Mercy Corps partners to put bold solutions into action – helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Campaign Goals

Fundraising For The People of Nepal

On April 25, 2015, a massive 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal. Mercy Corps wanted to act quickly to support survivors. Within hours, Mercy Corps’ digital team launched a Facebook campaign to keep people updated on the situation in Nepal and Mercy Corps’ emergency response efforts, raise funds for the people of Nepal, and give people around the world a way to help.


Mercy Corps quickly updated fans and the public about the unfolding situation in Nepal through Facebook. This allowed them to rapidly create and target ads to audiences who were able to donate and help the people of Nepal.

  1. Raised $69,000 from more than 700 donors, primarily in the first week.
  2. Achieved a 317% ROI from advertising dollars spent promoting the campaign.
  3. Received 953 new Page likes, 15,919 post likes, 2,899 post shares and 1,580 comments.
The money raised during our campaign was put to use in Nepal, supplying families with critically needed food, water and emergency shelter.


  1. Page Posting: Posted regular content updates about unfolding events in Nepal and Mercy Corps’ response. Used organic and promoted posts to ask people to help in ways other than donating, like sending messages of support for the people of Nepal, which Mercy Corps wrote on Nepalese prayer-style flags and shared with the people of Nepal.
  2. Incentives: Used $30,000 in matching donations from the Schultz Family Foundation and made the matching offer prominent through both copy and images included in posts.
  3. Advertising: Targeted promoted posts with the highest ROI at custom and lookalike audiences based on Mercy Corps’ donor database and Facebook Page followers.

Campaign Creative

Mercy Corps’ creative strategy was to initially communicate and show the destructive nature of the earthquake, and show the immense need survivors were facing. After the immediate danger passed, Mercy Corps wanted to convey, through words and photos, the resilience of the people of Nepal and report back to donors on how their money helped support survivors.

Campaign Lessons

  1. Create urgency: People are most likely to donate when they feel the need is urgent.
  2. Target ads: Promoting posts that perform best to custom and lookalike audiences can help maximize ROI on ad spending.
  3. Use matching grants: A clear offer to match donations can help encourage people to contribute.

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