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Case Study: Leveraging Prospect Portal Emails at Year-End

With limited time and resources, Development teams cannot afford to leave money on the table. That’s why PBS provided a turn-key solution to stations as part of a December 2015 year-end fundraising campaign: sending prospects station-branded email appeals written and delivered by PBS on behalf of participating stations, using email leads from PBS Prospect Portal.

As of December 2015, more than 60 stations were identified as not having downloaded emails from Prospect Portal in the previous twelve months. These stations were invited to participate and take advantage of a combined pool of more than one million names available in Prospect Portal. Fourteen stations agreed to participate in the December fundraising campaign, and eight of those opted in to PBS delivered communications.

Over an eleven-day period, PBS sent the multi-part, co-branded email series to individuals who signed up to receive communications from their local station, and who were accessible via Prospect Portal. None of these leads had received any type of prior communication from their station; all had been sitting idle in Prospect Portal.

Given the highly competitive season (December is the biggest fundraising month of the year for non-profits)  the eight participating stations had a very strong average unique open rate of 16%. The overall unique click through rate was .09%, and the unsubscribe rate was just .01%, well below the industry average of 2%. Together, their performance is a positive indicator of the value of these names with continued cultivation.



More importantly, for the eight stations there was a combined campaign flow of roughly 230,000 Prospect Portal names. This resulted in an overall housefile growth of 64% – five times the industry benchmark for the participating stations.

For a more in-depth analysis of the results,  
please visit the full case study here.

Online fundraising continues to grow across public media – in 2014 online revenue ($19.32 million) surpassed telemarketing ($17.72) and represented 8.3% of total giving. During the same period, on-air revenue declined 11%5. Given recent trends, it’s critical that stations increase the number of email prospects by growing their housefile.

Read the full case study by PBS Development Services on Year-End Campaigns. 

Natasha Hilton | Senior Associate | Development Services

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