The Michigan Humane Society wanted to find an effective way to cultivate newly registered constituents into donors as quickly as possible, and maximize retention rates.

After partnering with Blackbaud Interactive, Michigan Humane Society experienced consistent growth in their email list, donor base and site traffic. In all three areas, they met or exceeded year-over-year growth benchmarks of other animal welfare clients. The next challenge was to convince new site visitors to donate soon after they registered. An immediate donation quickly connects donors to an organization, and the organization wanted registered site visitors to become lasting members of their community.

Three messages, three actions

After years of sending a single email to welcome newly registered site users, Michigan Humane Society worked with Blackbaud Interactive strategists to design and implement a three-part ‘welcome series’ of emails. The first email welcomes new registered users, the second provides information about the organization’s work, and the last introduces the president of the organization to forge a personal connection. Each message offers three ways to engage with the organization: adopt, volunteer, and/or donate.

Repeated contact, repeated results

The welcome series generated a 10% higher retention rate of individuals who received the three-part series versus the single email response to registration. Donations by welcome series recipients averaged $2.17 higher than single email recipients, and the number of gifts given per donor also increased. Email series recipients donated $60,000 more than traditional single email recipients.

MHS Home page

“A welcome series is your chance to engage with a new constituent, and explore shared interests and passions. It is the first critical step in your digital cultivation pathway.”

– Andrew Shoaf, Donor Engagement Services, Blackbaud

10% Higher Retention Rate for Welcome Series Recipients

Organization Type

Animal Welfare


Content Strategy
Email/Newsletter Design
Interactive Marketing Strategy
New Donor Cultivation