Case Study – Christian Children’s Fund of Canada – March 2017

We increased awareness of Community Rise which in turn, resulted in increased donations.

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We leveraged video and banner ads to reach potential donors, raising brand awareness for a monthly charity program called Community Rise. This brought about a massive spike in door-to-door sales, as well as a boost in search volume and online donations while the campaign was active.

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Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (a.k.a. CCFC) is a registered Canadian charity whose mission is to create a future of hope for children, families, and communities by helping them develop the skills and resources needed to overcome poverty. CCFC has been in operation for nearly 30 years and continues to work in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay.

Christian Children’s Fund of Canada developed a charity program called Community Rise which allows donors to give monthly – to support children (and their families) in developing countries. The program provides funding for community-based projects in health, water and education. It is designed to teach self-sufficiency by helping communities grow and thrive independently. Community Rise has a lower price point than CCFC’s already-popular child sponsorship program, which provides a broader audience to market to. Building awareness for this new venture was the key to its ultimate success.

The Strategy

In February 2017, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada approached Catalyst requesting a plan of action to increase brand awareness for their Community Rise brand.

Catalyst responded with a strategy to use video ads to promote the project, growing awareness and engagement and building demand in other channels like paid search, organic search, direct website visits and door-to-door canvassing; the focal points for donor signups and contributions.

Keeping quality traffic in mind, Catalyst optimized existing Community Rise videos to use as video ads in Facebook and on YouTube. The video campaigns ran for a seven-week period beginning in February, 2017. The effort was designed to promote brand awareness and encourage viewers to donate through education on how their support will help communities in need. With these objectives considered, the campaigns targeted specific age demographics and related interests.

In addition to the posted Facebook and YouTube videos ads, we also ran banner ads (to help build awareness on other sites using very specific targeting), as well as search ads (ensuring CCFC was always present when a user was looking for CCFC or Community Rise).


Facebook Targeting
The Community Rise video ad was displayed in the Facebook News Feed and Facebook Audience Network (a network of publisher-owned apps and sites where Facebook ads can be displayed). The News Feed ads were shown to users who matched these targeting criteria:

  • Interests: hunger, poverty, water, education among others
  • Ages: over 34
  • Geography: all of Canada
  • Language: English

Catalyst divided the campaign into 10 unique ad sets, optimizing each based on their individual results. For each interest, we also split the ages 34-54 and 55+ in order to see which ad sets responded best and further optimize targeting based on results.

Google Video Targeting:
We ran in-stream video ads via AdWords on both the Google Display Network and YouTube. Targeting for in-stream ads was achieved by included the topics of Charity and Philanthropy and using a supplied custom email list audience.

Display Ad Targeting:
Using the Google Display Network, we created banner ads to raise awareness about Community Rise. We targeted by audience and by topic, displaying banners on sites that matched either criteria:

  • By audience: avid readers, social media enthusiasts, etc. (8 different audience types)
  • By topic: sites related to charity, philanthropy, hunger, etc. (6 different topics sets)

The Results

The resulting data showed a dramatic increase in search volume, which suggested successful awareness and branding efforts.

Site visits also increased significantly, as did traffic to the Community Rise page which had fifteen times more page views than it did during the same period the previous year*.

At the end of the 7-week campaign, Google Videos had over 7,300 views, with 36% of viewers watching to the 25% mark. On Facebook, the results were outstanding, with over 64,000 views and 54% of viewers watching to the 25% mark.

CCFC shared with us that a major upsurge in door-to-door sales occurred during the time these videos ran, and that traffic from paid search results increased by a staggering 639% while organic visits increased by 181% when compared to the same period the previous year*.

After analysing the data and considering all the factors, we concluded that the video and banner ads considerably raised interest and awareness in Community Rise resulting in increased donations.

*Time period for comparison: February 6th to Mach. 31st 2016 vs. February 6th to March 31st 2017.

Key learnings

Over the course of the 7-week campaign, we were able to make clear observations about the differences in Facebook and Google Video audiences. We also noted that in all three channels, the 55+ age group was more likely to click on the ad or watch the ad longer than the 34-54 age group.


  • Facebook Audience Network worked best for getting ad clicks
  • Facebook was more effective at engaging users as observed through likes, shares and comments
  • Facebook cost less on a CPM and CPC basis
  • The 55+ age group outperformed the 34-54 age group, having a higher click through rate

Google Video Ads

  • Google worked best for getting 30 second views, particularly in the Google Display Network (GDN)
  • Users viewed videos for a longer period of time on the Google Display Network and YouTube outperformed the Facebook News Feed (though not the Facebook Audience Network)
  • Google cost less from a cost-per-view perspective
  • The 55+ age group outperformed the 34-54 age group with a view rate of 4.8% vs. 3.5%.

Overall, Facebook Video ads were the most effective in driving viewer engagement (i.e. likes and shares), whereas Google Videos generated higher, longer-lasting view rates.

Google Display Ads
With display ads, the 55+ age group also outperformed the 34-54 age group with a higher click through rate.


The objective of raising awareness for Community Rise in order to increase signups was achieved. This was evident by the expansion in traffic and signups from channels that reach users at the decision stage.