Gritty nonprofit campaign increases donations 42%


Presbyterian Night Shelter has worked to eliminate the chronic cycle of homelessness since 1984 through a 360-approach designed to help get clients back on their feet.
Our online giving last year increased overall – which is great! As far as meeting the fundraising goal – a resounding yes!

– Michael Handley, Director of Communications, Presbyterian Night Shelter

The Challenge

Presbyterian Night Shelter is Tarrant County’s largest provider of services to people struggling with homelessness. But this vital organization has long flown somewhat under the radar amid the large Fort Worth nonprofit community. Balcom was challenged with developing a campaign to assist in fundraising while also positioning the shelter through bold, arresting creative to help raise the shelter’s profile.
PNS digital ad
PNS billboard


The team reviewed current research about homelessness in our community and beyond to understand perceptions of the problem and uncover the lesser-known issues at play – all with the goal of creating that “aha” moment capable of compelling our audience to action.


In a break with the look and feel of much of the marketing material in this space, the team created a stark, graphic and even gritty visual style that works to dramatize not just the conditions of homelessness but also the many life events that can lead to it. Through digital display banners, social media advertising and billboards, the campaign tells the story of how the Presbyterian Night Shelter focuses on breaking chronic cycles of homelessness, no matter their root causes.


To make the most of this nonprofit’s limited budget, the media team developed a plan that combined highly targeted display advertising with the broader tactic of out-of-home to amplify the campaign’s message. Additionally, the team maximized the budget by repurposing animated banner ads as video placements, capitalizing on the known conversion power of video without the budget demands of a full-fledged production.

The Results

As a crucial part of the fundraising efforts, the campaign helped increase online giving by 83% in its first month and 42% at the close of 2019 (compared to the same time periods in the previous year).


7.1M combined impressions

29K total clicks to website

1:20 minutes average time on website

1.1K click-to-donate goal completions


2021 Worthy Awards

  • Award of Excellence – Presbyterian Night Shelter Campaign – Social Media/Digital Communications

2020 Fort Worth American Advertising Awards

  • Bronze ADDY – This Is Where It Ends – Public Service – Pro Bono Online/Interactive Campaign

2020 DFWIMA Excellence in Interactive Marketing Awards Show

  • Most Effective Nonprofit – “Homelessness”

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