Success Story

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund Case Study

“As a non-profit, we need to maximize the efficiency of our marketing dollars. Rocket Fuel’s platform helped us inspire more year-end giving at a better return on ad spend than ever before.”  

Aviva Downing
Digital Acquisition, Environmental Defense Fund

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Boost fundraising among existing Environmental Defense Fund supporters and identify new donors.


Drive year-end online fundraising with a positive return on ad spend, while consistently reducing cost per acquisition.


Direct Response


Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is one of the world’s largest non-profit environmental organizations, specializing in working with businesses, government and communities to create lasting solutions to some of the most serious environmental problems.  With more than one million members and a staff of 500 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world, the advocacy group works on issues including climate change and clean energy, ecosystem restoration, oceans, and human health. Contributions from individual donors provide 69% of the operating funds that make the organization’s work to protect the environment possible.


EDF partnered with Rocket Fuel by deploying a two-pronged approach.

First, EDF carved out a segment of key donors from their database.  Rocket Fuel then facilitated moving that donor segment online for ad targeting through an onboarding partnership.  Directly targeting first-party data in conjunction with Rocket Fuel’s Moment Scoring™ technology was a unique and powerful combination for driving donor activity.

Second, EDF allocated nearly 40% of the Rocket Fuel budget toward finding new donors. Rocket Fuel’s artificial intelligence ran audience models focused on identifying prospective donors.  The models proved so successful that EDF increased their media spend 25%.


Overall Return on Ad Spend (ROAS):  41% increase over 2014

  • Existing Donor ROAS:  When targeting people who had donated previously, the return on every dollar spent was 241%.
  • Prospecting ROAS:  Rocket Fuel’s prospecting program had a 70% ROAS. This was 13% higher than the next best performing vendor.

“Rocket Fuel had the lowest CPA and the highest ROAS among all of our ad serving partners. Thanks to Rocket Fuel, we have a unique, successful playbook to prospect more, prospect smarter, and find new EDF members that can help support our work,” said Aviva Downing. “We were able to attribute 33% of conversions from our Rocket Fuel program to prospecting.”

Environmental Defense Fund raised $1.94 dollars
for every dollar invested in this campaign.



Why Rocket Fuel?

“Rocket Fuel has made a serious commitment to its Politics and Advocacy business with an office right in Washington D.C. and a dedicated team. The support they provided was outstanding. They helped us drive great results with full transparency,” said Aviva Downing.