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Houston SPCA

Case Study

Houston SPCA

How Houston SPCA boosted donor engagement to record breaking levels that ignited surprising generosity from their donors by doing one key thing: Strengthening relationships with the donors who care most about their organization.


Houston SPCA is one of the leading animal rescue and protection organizations in the country with more than a dozen programs and services, including cruelty investigations and rescue, disaster response, adoptions, and much more. During spring of 2020, in the face of a global pandemic, Houston SPCA reached out to Pursuant How Houston SPCA boosted donor engagement to record breaking levels that ignited surprising generosity from their donors by doing one key thing: Strengthening relationships with the donors who care most about their organization. to help create a new fundraising strategy. Inspired by the outstanding results of using Pursuant GivingDNA, they set out to boost donor engagement even more. Houston SPCA discovered the powerful advantage of letting technology do the heavy lifting … freeing them up to cultivate genuine connections with those who will best support their organization with long-term impact.

The Challenge

As a nonprofit relying on donations for nearly a century, Houston SPCA certainly has a long list of donors. But to sort through that list to determine which donors have the greatest potential would require hours of review and analysis; it would be a massive undertaking.

Houston SPCA needed a strategy for identifying key donors quickly and efficiently. And most of all, they wanted to understand their constituents better – why they cared about the organization, what has kept them connected, and how to keep them engaged. Especially in the aftermath of COVID-19 as Houston SPCA faced increased demand for their services, the task of strategic fundraising became even more critical.


It’s remarkable to feel the support we had for the personalization process from Pursuant. It allowed us to align our message with the right channels for the right populations. In less than 15 minutes, we were on our way – we had identified where to invest our time, effort, and resources so we could focus on making human connection and increasing engagement.

The Potential

Houston SPCA knew that relationships drive value. They understood the importance of retaining loyal, committed donors. They even knew that if they asked their most faithful constituents to do more, they would be willing to step up to the challenge. Pursuant was able to lead Houston SPCA to a valuable solution.

Utilizing Pursuant GivingDNA, Houston SPCA discovered the powerful advantage of leveraging hyper-personalized data to create highly personalized donor engagement strategies. With valuable real-time data informing their strategy, now they could focus on forming meaningful communication journeys with their key supporters.


The Solution

Pursuant GivingDNA offered Houston SPCA a simple, user-friendly intelligence tool to target major gift prospects – existing or previous givers with potential to give more. With a few clicks and a short conversation, Pursuant GivingDNA generated a refined list of prospects characterized by hyper-personalized data and insights. From this data, they determined this target prospect profile:

  • Annually giving between $500.00 and $2,500.00 

  • Made donations of $500.00 or more to other organizations 

  • Discretionary spending of $25,000.00 or more 

  • Net worth of over $2 million 

  • Interested in animal welfare 

  • Preferred communicating digitally 

  • Likely to respond to email

For this narrowed, strategic segment of prospects, Houston SPCA created a personalized monthly email series in addition to their existing direct and digital marketing. Houston SPCA intentionally used simple mail merge campaigns using Microsoft Outlook purposefully connecting with prospects in personal and familiar ways. Because GivingDNA had done the heavy lifting, they were freed up to focus on personalizing their interactions with constituents that generated overwhelming positive results.

The Results

Using proven solutions, Pursuant gave Houston SPCA an effective way to identify opportunity and tap into what had always been available, just not easily extractable. The process was fast, highly productive, and sparked impressive results including: ´

  • Five $100,000 gifts from four families who had never given more than $2,500 in a single prior year 

  • Dozens of donors increased their giving to $10,000 or more 

  • Overall increase of 26.8% donor engagement that has led to retention

With the inspiring results that came from simple monthly emails, Houston SPCA is now imagining what they can do when they really dig into portfolios and focus on specific needs of their donors. They plan to build on the insights they’ve learned and expand the way they interact and engage with supporters especially as they endeavor to match the ever-increasing needs of their community. If your organization desires to transform your fundraising strategies and results, Pursuant can help. We’ll connect you with the right tools to strengthen your relationship with key supporters who care most about your organization.


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