3X Active Email List Size Growth in 6 Months: A case study in acquisition with The Digital Co-Op

Nonprofits considering The Digital Co-Op as a solution for their growth challenges often ask: Is The Digital Co-Op a better fit for organizations of a certain size? We know that our answer – that at nearly 200 organizations of varying sizes from every vertical, The Digital Co-Op gives programs of every size quick-returning access to high-quality leads – is even more exciting when we can look at real results and the stories behind them.

Members from organizations like yours are taking advantage of the more than 100 million unique email addresses in the co-op, and the modeling power that identifies the individuals most likely to support your mission.

For a smaller nonprofit organization with a lower email volume that joined The Digital Co-Op in August 2022, list growth using our AdvantageAI tool allowed them to dramatically expand their active file of prospective donors, driving growth in immediate donations and ongoing revenue from sustaining gifts – all while seeing a full payback on their investments in an average of eight weeks.

When this international health organization joined The Digital Co-Op, their goal was to grow their donor base and maximize revenue as quickly and efficiently as possible. Working with their team first as a strategic partner, and then additionally through their new membership in The Digital Co-Op, we aimed to achieve this by enriching their list of prospective donors and serving compelling content to drive growth across their fundraising program and power long-term success.

Beginning in August 2022, this organization invested in a series of monthly list-growth buys from the co-op. We added these cohorts of new names into their existing prospect segment, and sent appeals to their full audience: inviting prospective donors to make their first gift, and donors to become sustainers. With the combination of a substantially increased email list and these strategic messages, this organization was able to drive results that far outperformed their previous fundraising campaigns, seeing explosive growth both in their active email list and in revenue.

Welcome Streams for Acquired Leads

Given the lower email messaging cadence of this organization, a welcome series created the opportunity for co-op acquired prospects to gain context and understanding of the organization’s mission and work. By serving these new audience members with compelling and informative content, we were able to get these acquired leads acclimated to the organization’s messaging and invested in the positive impact of their work.

With their prospective donor segment augmented using list growth from The Digital Co-Op, this organization found that their prospects file managed to outperform their active donor file, generating new growth and momentum for them. With a strong response to their November and Giving Tuesday campaigns, higher open rates among their acquired cohort, and an increase in recurring gifts, this organization was able to generate substantial ongoing revenue from the new, actively engaged members of their audience.

In their first six months in The Digital Co-Op alone, this organization saw:


Their active email list triple in size.


An average return on investment in co-op acquisition of 240%, with a full payback on each list growth investment in an average of eight weeks.


In one fundraising campaign, over four email sends to their full list, their prospective donor file augmented with names delivered by The Digital Co-Op outraised their house file by 27%.