Sandy Hook Promise

Gun violence prevention, Digital strategy, Fundraising, Lead generation, Email strategy, SMS strategy, Strategic planning

As the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary faded from the headlines, growth and revenue slowed – but the sheer urgency of the organization’s work necessitated we find new ways to capture attention and convert audiences into long-term supporters.

$48 million raised online

The Goal

Sandy Hook Promise’s holistic view of gun violence prevention encompasses a variety of priorities: from legislative advocacy to implementing solutions that empower students to know the signs of gun violence and  get help before a tragedy happens. Our mission, then, was to capture the audience’s attention by leveraging content that elevated all parts of Sandy Hook Promise’s mission and create cross-channel strategies that could turn that attention into a lasting movement to protect children while growing the organization’s bottom line.

The Strategy

Capturing Sandy Hook Promise’s Emotionally Powerful Voice

The Sandy Hook Promise stories were difficult to tell and difficult to hear, but it was impossible to capture the essence of the organization without giving voice to the raw emotion parents and loved ones of those murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary were feeling. We worked to develop a compelling voice for the organization, which included parents and loved ones telling their stories in the most direct, emotional way possible.

Leveraging Moments To Drive Growth Across Channels

While responding in moments of tragedy is, sadly, a big part of Sandy Hook Promise’s program, it’s also critical for us to sustain energy outside of those moments.

We’ve organized around legislative pushes for mental health reform and background check bills, spoken out against the development of a school shooting video game, and called on public figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene to renounce harmful conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook – all critical components of the organization’s mission and important news hooks to get back in front of supporters over email, SMS, paid ads, and more.

Promoting Lifesaving Programs

Sandy Hook Promise brings their Know The Signs programs to schools and youth organizations across the country at no charge, and these programs have been proven to help avert school shootings and save lives. We’ve managed robust, dedicated signup and ongoing cultivation streams for those participating in programs like Start With Hello and Say Something – plus promotion for the organization’s award-winning PSAs.

Leading The Latest Innovations

The digital world moves fast, and it’s critical to have the ability to zero in and iterate on the tactics and technologies that can really move the needle and drive big results. We rigorously tested upsell experiences – combined with our proprietary user journeys – to increase sustainer conversions by 314%, with the organization now bringing in more than $4M annually through recurring donations online.

Elsewhere, we saw an opening to maximize reach and audience response through SMS – a platform that’s more immediate and urgent than email and thus incredibly lucrative for both fundraising and advocacy efforts. We launched a dedicated SMS program in 2020, and quickly grew an audience of more than 500,000 supporters who are responding at unheard-of rates: Over $1 million came in through SMS in our first year, with one SMS campaign driving 41% more revenue and 30% more actions than email … from a list of 8X fewer recipients.

MissionWired has been a strong partner from the very beginning. Because of their support, strong storytelling, and fundraising expertise, we are able to save more lives and prevent more violence in schools and communities across the country. Dawn Lyons, Vice President, Marketing & Programs

The Results


lifetime ads ROAS

$4 million

annual recurring revenue

$48 million

raised online


SMS subscribers

6 million

digital supporters acquired