PR Campaign to Support Fundraising Initiative Case Study
Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League protected 216,000 acres of redwood forests from logging/real estate development, creating more than 60 public parks. In 2019, the League sought to protect the largest remaining privately owned giant sequoia property – Alder Creek’s 530 acres in California. The real estate deal closed in August 2019 and the League had until December 31 to raise $15.65 million to protect the property. The League asked LCI to increase awareness of Alder Creek, support the fundraising effort and educate the public about the need to protect redwood trees.
The Alder Creek campaign for Save the Redwoods League had a singular goal: to raise public awareness and support a $15.65 fundraising campaign to protect the largest remaining privately owned grove of giant sequoias, the largest trees on the planet. Among the barriers the team sought to overcome: educating the public about the need for conserving the property in order to raise more than $15 million in a four-month period.
Among the campaign’s target audiences: current and potential League donors, environmental advocates, California residents and the general public.
A League-sponsored survey of 1,500 Californians in 2019 found that:
- at least 80% of respondents value redwoods as crucial to California’s identity
- 85% said protecting ancient redwood forests is important
- 46% were willing to donate money for redwoods conservation efforts
With broad potential support identified, the League asked LCI to activate these potential donors via a strategic media outreach campaign to support one of the largest private donor-focused fundraising campaigns in the nonprofit’s 101-year history.
- LCI generated more than 344 articles – 22% above the League’s objective
- Reach: 496.4 million
- International coverage: BBC Radio Five Live, the Guardian and news sites in France and Italy
- Print coverage:
- Front pages of San Francisco Chronicle and The Mercury News (San Jose), Los Angeles Times, CNN, Forbes, O: The Oprah Magazine, Eco Watch and Smithsonian Online
- Broadcast coverage:
- KTVU (FOX San Francisco), KPIX TV (CBS San Francisco), KCBS Radio, KQED (NPR San Francisco), plus numerous TV and radio stations across the U.S.
- The $ 15.65 million fundraising goal achieved its goal in just five months. Donations amounted to the highest amount of private funds raised for a single project in the League’s history. Donations came from all 50 states and 30 countries across the globe, with donations ranging from seven figure sums to just $1.