Nonprofit group ACSTO increased visitors to their donor portal by over 200% with Genius Monkey


Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO) is a nonprofit that provides scholarships for students attending Christian schools using the Arizona tax credit program. They find donors to fund scholarships for students and try to reach out to parents who want to afford a Christian school for their child. For more than 24 years, they’ve helped students attend school through this program, relying on direct mail and old-school marketing. Once they discovered digital advertising through Genius Monkey, a team who understood their organization and its goals, they realized they had found the missing piece to their advertising puzzle.

The Challenge

ACSTO had three main challenges: 1) Reaching more people, including parents, schools, and donors, 2) Educating others about ACSTO on a limited budget, and 3) Moving to a digital marketing strategy without any prior marketing knowledge.

Finding donors was a big challenge for ACSTO, because less than 5% of Arizona taxpayers participated in this program, simply because they didn’t know about it or understand how it worked. They traditionally had been sending mailers to church congregations, but they were only reaching the same people over and over without expanding their donor base.

Outside of mailers ACSTO had only been using word-of-mouth or email blasts as they didn’t know where to start in a true digital marketing campaign and how to track results. To grow their donor base and spread awareness, they needed help from the experts at Genius Monkey

ACSTO focused on these primary goals with their programmatic vendor:

  • Reaching More People Reaching More People
  • Working with a Limited Budget Working with a Limited Budget
  • Moving to a Digital Marketing Strategy Moving to a Digital Marketing Strategy

Our Solution

During their first meeting with ACSTO, Genius Monkey outlined what the first 30-60 days would look like and put the marketing team at ease with their friendliness and understanding. Sally Henry, Director of Communications, said she immediately knew they had the right partner. “What I value most is how they really care about what we do,” Henry said, “They’re not always focused on how much money we spend on the services, but what they care about is ‘Is it working? Is it helping?’”

Genius Monkey helped ACSTO make the move to digital advertising, even with a limited budget. For a nonprofit, any money spent on marketing can feel risky at first, so Genius Monkey worked within their budget to bring them amazing results that they could take back to their Director. Genius Monkey ran display ads and introduced them to their Client Dashboard, where they could see how ad spend was being used in real-time. ACSTO is now looking to expand their marketing, and they are currently exploring audio and OTT with Genius Monkey.

The Results

Here are some of the amazing results ACSTO has seen with Genius Monkey:

  • 920 donations in the last 5 months that came directly from Genius Monkey marketing
  • 200% increase in donor portal after 4 months of working with Genius Monkey
  • 24.5% growth in donations this year
  • Increased understanding of digital marketing and programmatic power
  • Stronger relationship with a real Genius Monkey team member, not an automated customer service robot

Amy Hawkinson, CFO and Assistant Executive Director, said that Genius Monkey has brought nothing but great results, and she has no regrets making this leap of faith. To other nonprofits or groups interested in programmatic, Hawkinson says, “Do it—invest in digital marketing, specifically with Genius Monkey. Your rewards are so worth it.”

"Genius Monkey has brought nothing but great results...Do it – invest in digital marketing, specifically with Genius Monkey. Your rewards are so worth it."

- Amy Hawkinson, ACSTO CFO


For ACSTO, their goal was to get as much money as possible to students for their schooling scholarships, working with an 8% budget and having little-to-no marketing experience. Over the past four years of working with Genius Monkey, they have seen tremendous growth through adding in digital marketing, programmatic, and working with a team who truly cares about their success. ACSTO Creative Director Chelsea Oglebay said, “Digital marketing is the way of the future, and I would encourage other nonprofits to do it. We would do it again in a heartbeat.”