Pratham USA

Retooling a fundraising campaign to reboot learning across India

Pratham USA is a large non-governmental educational organization on a mission to achieve universal literacy and numeracy in India, and ensure “every child in India is in school and learning well.” Their approaches are data-driven, and have received international praise and support for their work in learning and literacy; girls’ education; vocational training; and research and advocacy. 

Pratham selected Message Agency as their strategy partner for a fundraising campaign centered around their Digital Learning Villages, one of Pratham’s COVID response initiatives. 

Student writes on chalkboard in front of other students.

The Challenge

In 2020, when schools closed across India because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pratham stepped in and launched Digital Campaign Villages. This initiative worked to provide children and families with access to high-quality learning content throughout the pandemic to mitigate the loss of learning in a country where literacy and numeracy rates among young students is critically low. 

A fundraising campaign was developed around Digital Learning Villages in 2020 and was incredibly successful, largely because of the urgency of the cause during the height of the pandemic. In 2021, COVID fatigue struck and the sense of urgency to contribute to COVID-related projects declined, even though the pandemic was and is far from over. Also, some major donors maxed out their giving budgets in 2020 and are unable to give such high amounts in 2021. 

How could we develop a campaign strategy and messaging that would reengage previous donors, reach new ones, cut through the end-of-year-giving noise, and inspire them all to make a donation?

Various phone devices displaying Pratham's social media posts.

Our Approach

Create a Slogan that Lasts 
For consistency, we maintained the existing look and feel from the 2020 campaign, though the slogan needed to be rethought to better connect to the audiences and the mission of the Digital Learning Villages. 

The slogan we developed—Reboot Learning. Renew Hope.—more clearly communicated what the Digital Learning Villages sought to accomplish, and helped donors understand the big-picture impact their gift made. Because the slogan is more tightly aligned with the initiative itself, it can be used year-over-year and, ultimately, build recognition among Pratham’s community.

Reboot Learning. Renew Hope. Slogan on Emails.

Center the Audiences 

We focused on three audience segments: anyone who gave to the Digital Learning Villages in 2020; anyone who previously gave to Pratham’s other initiatives; and new donors who have the capacity to give $1,000 or less. 

Through discovery conversations, research, and analysis, we connected each donor segment to personas that guided our strategy, messaging and tactics that would most effectively resonate and inspire action from each of our audiences. 

From direct mail, voice broadcast, organic and paid social, email and Pratham’s website, this multi-channel fundraising campaign allowed us to not only cater content depending on the channel, but also expand our knowledge about each of our audience segments' behaviors.

Listen to the Story the Data is Telling 

Evaluation of performance mid-campaign positioned us to be able to make adjustments along the way to optimize the campaign in real-time. Also, thoughtful data collection, including new tactics to get data, during and post-campaign allowed us to have a deeper understanding about where to reach our audiences. With this information, Pratham now has a more accurate benchmark for this campaign moving forward, and a roadmap for future strategies to implement. 

Content from email campaigns.

Inspiration quote from Fareed Zakaria

Various phone devices displaying Pratham's social media posts.

Learning Moments & Impact

This campaign was the first time Pratham strategically targeted new donors at a smaller gift level. By identifying this audience segment and creating messaging specifically for them, we unlocked a massive amount of engagement potential. Impact we saw from this campaign included:

  • Increased engagement on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Increased email engagement
  • Recruited new donors

Person on phone looking at Pratham's social media post.

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