CHALLENGECARING ENOUGH TO TAKE ACTIONThe Environmental Working Group (EWG) uses the power of public information to protect...
“We’ve never bought or traded a name and that saysa lot for our organization,” said Colleen Hutchings,deputy director of o...
“I utilize the support team all the time to learn more and to dive further into thestatistics on streaming emails,” said C...
BUILDING SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGNSIt wouldn’t be possible for EWG to provide the services it does without donors. T...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

Salsa Case Study: EWG Fundraise to Protect Public Health and the Environment Using the Salsa Platform


Published on

EWG’s supporter base of more than 1 million people is 100 percent organically grown, thanks in part to the strength of their operational teams providing relevant content and engaging web pages on high traffic websites and social media engagement. Learn how they've leveraged Salsa's nonprofit communications features and much more to achieve incredible results.

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Salsa Case Study: EWG Fundraise to Protect Public Health and the Environment Using the Salsa Platform

  1. 1. CHALLENGECARING ENOUGH TO TAKE ACTIONThe Environmental Working Group (EWG) uses the power of public information to protect publichealth and the environment. Their focus is to protect the most vulnerable segments of the humanpopulation – children, babies and infants inthe womb – from health problems attributedto a wide array of toxic contaminants.Specializing in providing useful resources toconsumers, the EWG simultaneously pushesfor national policy change.As a major driver of information, EWG’sresearch brings to light unsettling facts thatcitizens have a right to know. It shames andshakes up polluters and their lobbyists. Itrattles politicians and shapes policy. Itpersuades bureaucracies to rethink scienceand strengthen regulation. It providespractical information people can use toprotect their family and community.EWG’s supporter base is 100 percent organically grown, meaning each person has opted in to theorganization. They have a large list of 1.1 million supporters thanks in part to the strength of theiroperational teams providing relevant content and engaging web pages on high traffic websites.In the last 30 days, their combined website traffic has shown 1.4 million unique visits. With nearly130,000 likes on Facebook and multiple twitter channels, social media has also been a useful toolto engage people and disseminate information.How much does the environment really affect human health? Are air pollutants and tainted watershortening our lives and those of our children? What should we look for and where can we findcredible answers? These questions and many others have been driving environmental awarenessin recent years.Other health issues associated with emerging environmental hazards, such as chemical products,are also being brought into question. Chemical products are used in virtually every man-madeproduct and play an important role in the everyday life of individuals around the world.People want to be informed; they want to have accurate information to make the right choices forthemselves and their families. There is power in information. And with information, many can takethe action necessary to protect human health and the environment in which they live.It’s a Basic Right to Know
  2. 2. “We’ve never bought or traded a name and that saysa lot for our organization,” said Colleen Hutchings,deputy director of online fundraising, EWG. “We tryto really engage our supporters with information thatthey are looking for. When we know theres going tobe a big media hit with a particular topic of interest,we use a lot of flash pages on our website. We targetthose pages and make them stand out – it’s aquantity driver.”Because of its focus on really effective contentproduced in a readable and interesting format, EWGhasn’t had to do much campaigning to growsupporters. The challenge the nonprofit faces is notabout getting people to care and visit their website;it’s about figuring out how to convert the people whoread the content to those who are willing to takeaction or make a donation.SOLUTIONTHE TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE –The Key is Customizing it to Work for YouSTREAMING EMAILEWG rolled out a new strategy focused on engagingnew sign ups on their website. Previously, they had abasic sign up that placed the viewer into the mainmessaging stream. Now they are using the streamingemail functionality in the Salsa platform and havedeveloped a three-message welcome series.> First, a thank you for signing up for EWG, we hopeyou ‘like’ us and find our content helpful.> The second message focuses on specific viewerinterests such as Skin Deep or the Shoppers Guideto Pesticides. It takes them further into theirpreferences.> The third message speaks to their consistentinterest in a specific area and presents a petitionaction they might be interested in signing.“We are trying to get people who sign up to our emaillist to become an engaged activist within one week,”said Colleen. “This is a new strategy for us and wecan already tell that it is working well.”“We’ve never bought or traded a nameand that says a lot for our organization.We try to really engage our supporterswith information that they are looking for.”– Colleen Hutchings, deputy director of online fundraising, EWGDONOR MANAGEMENTFundraising goes beyond the transaction. It’s aboutunderstanding who the donors are. Analyzing andsegmenting donor profiles to improve futurecampaign targeting and effectiveness is key to asuccessful campaign. With Salsa’s fundraising anddonor management tools, EWG is able to track theirsupporters’ efforts and ultimately build lastingrelationships.EWG has taken advantage of securely hosted ‘outof the box’ donation pages. These pages are easilytailored to meet the exact needs of the nonprofitscampaigns using website templates andcustomizable fields.Salsa’s tools are easy to use and customizablebased on EWG’s needs. Users can easily drivesupporters to donation pages, or if their focusturns to advocacy, they can change thosedonation pages back to a ‘thank you’ or a‘tell-a-friend’ page.QUERY AND CUSTOMREPORTING TOOLSWith Salsa’s custom query and reporting tools,EWG has complete control of their own dataand can take advantage of more accuratecampaign reports and statistics. EWG’sdatabase links supporters, actions, events anddonations, giving them access to measurementsthey never knew existed.Colleen said she is always looking for ways to dig inas far and wide as she can. She added, “I use thequery and custom reporting tools constantly. I pulleight weekly reports on list performance, activismand conversion rates and raw dollars rates. Andthat’s not even when someone in my governmentaffairs team says ‘hey we want xyz senator to beco-sponsor of this bill, what can we do.’ Then I getinto the weeds on action history, donationhistory, geography and really try to pull thepeople the government affairs’ team reallyneeds to talk to – the people that will be mostlikely to do what we need them to do.”SERVICE AND SUPPORT –As Critical as the TechnologyEWG would be the first to tell you that theypush all of Salsa’s features and functionality tothe limit. Because they cover a wide range ofissues, EWG needs to do a lot of segmentingbased on geography. They use Salsa’s dataanalytics to capture the data and segment theirlists to make their email blasts more effective.They focus to understand what each supporterwants to get out of their individual visits.2 It’s a Basic Right to Know
  3. 3. “I utilize the support team all the time to learn more and to dive further into thestatistics on streaming emails,” said Colleen. “We want to look at our supporters’first experiences and make sure they know what all we do because we cover a widerange of issues. I am always asking questions and wanting to dig and to do more.How do I utilize a page this way – which wasn’t necessarily how it was created but Iknow it’s possible so let’s figure it out. The support team is right there with me. Theyare responsive and they come up the solutions that help to make us successful.”RECENT SUCCESSESBPA PETITIONEWG has been educating its supporters on thenegative impact bisphenol-A (BPA) has had onthe environment and people’s health, specificallyinfants for years. In 2007, they released aresearch study that showed BPA was leachinginto canned foods, beverages and liquid infantformula. They furthered their research with a studyon the umbilical cord blood of 10 Americans withresults that showed that these infants were beingborn pre-polluted.Through EWG’s advocacy campaign, the nonprofithad 110,000 people email the FDA urging them toban BPA from food packaging – all in the course ofa week and a half. Colleen added, “Thegovernment needs to know that Americans will notstand for food contaminated with toxic chemicals.We did three different emails for the BPA initiative. It was a really powerfulmessage for our community and something they care really deeply about.”Unfortunately, not all successful campaigns end the way the EWG or itssupporters would hope. On March 30, 2012 the federal Food and DrugAdministration announced it would not take immediate steps to bar bisphenol-A,or BPA, a synthetic estrogen and plastics component, in canned food and liquidinfant formula containers. EWG saw success last year in California, when thegovernor signed into a law a bill banning BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.Colleen said the BPA campaign was good to use as a list growth tool. They willcontinue to educate and work with their supporters to get the message out. And,they have no plans to slow down just because one petition didn’t go their way.TRUTH IN LABELINGAccording to Just Label It’s website,,92 percent of Americans want the FDA to labelgenetically engineered foods. Yet, for twenty yearspeople have been denied that right. Without labelingof genetically engineered (GE) foods, people cannotmake informed choices about their food. The JustLabel It campaign was created to advocate for thelabeling of GE foods.As a member of the Just Label It campaign, EWGrecently delivered 100,000 petition signatures againstthe FDA calling for labeling of genetically engineeredingredients. The larger campaign overall deliveredmore than one million petition signatures.3 It’s a Basic Right to Know
  4. 4. BUILDING SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGNSIt wouldn’t be possible for EWG to provide the services it does without donors. The nonprofit’s fundraisingcampaigns are primarily driven through their email lists. They are thoughtful with how they time their fundraisingmessages, usually right after a major research report. EWG likes to give back to their supporters by creatingpremiums like wallet guides that are filled with tips based on the nonprofits research. If supporters want to knowwhile they are shopping for produce or personal care products what apples are really high in pesticides, theycan pull out this guide and see that immediately.“We really try to be thoughtful of our donors,” said Colleen. “We try to give. Not just with research reports like ourannual sunscreen guide, but with smaller tips. We try to be the experts and share that knowledge with oursupporter lists. We give back as much as we can.”Looking ahead, EWG plans to duplicate its successful Skin Deep concept, which is a cosmetic safety database.The Skin Deep database enables its users to input a cosmetic brand and then receive a score based on theingredients in that particular product. The score should be the lowest possible. They plan to launch a seconddatabase to provide the same type of research and information with basic household cleaners.Always juggling the many different causes EWG supports,Colleen added, “It’s really been interesting to see what’shappening on Capitol Hill with the Farm Bill and withaccess to healthy local organic food. How are the politicsand campaigning having an affect on that right now? Whatcan we do, what can be done, and how much influence dowe have during an election year?”At the end of the day it all comes down to a basic right toknow and being able to live in an environment that ishealthy. EWG has made it their mission to make this a reality.And with the technology available and the multi-tieredcampaigns they launch to drive awareness and convertsupporters into activists, EWG will continue to be a drivingforce to protect those basic rights for many years to | p 866-796-8345 | | @salsalabsSalsa Labs (Salsa) is the creator of the online platform built specifically for nonprofits to organize and energize peopleeverywhere. In one easy-to-use, integrated, and flexible platform, groups of all sizes can manage their supporters,communicate, fundraise, advocate, and much more. Organizations can create their own unique recipe for organizing bychoosing from dozens of packages as well as by plugging in other applications produced by third parties in the Salsa Market.Salsa currently supports more than 2,000 nonprofit groups’ relationships with more than 75 million supporters, members,donors, activists, and fans all around the world.The mission of the Environmental Working Group(EWG) is to use the power of public information toprotect public health and the environment. EWG isa 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1993by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles. EWG specializesin providing useful resources (like Skin Deep andthe EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™) toconsumers while simultaneously pushing fornational policy @ewgtoxics“We really try to be thoughtful of our donors.Not just with research reports like our annualsunscreen guide, but with smaller tips. We giveback as much as we can.” – Colleen Hutchings, EWG