What is your organization’s story?
The Carlisle Family YMCA is an independent stand alone Y (short for YMCA) as opposed to other areas that might have twenty to thirty branches. Our mission is three-fold: healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility.
What does the fundraising campaign cover for the Y?
Every year we raise money in an annual campaign that’s used to pay for scholarships for many of our programs. This includes swimming lessons, summer camps, and reduced rate memberships for families in need. We never want to have to turn anyone away because of the inability to pay and this is one reason we have an annual fundraising campaign with the goal of $90,000.
We have given away $300,000 in scholarships to the community; part of that is raised in our annual campaign. We also get significant funding from the United Way.
What was the aim of your fundraising campaign?
Usually our target goal for the annual campaign is $90,000, but it hasn’t been enough this past year, so we decided to raise it to $100,000 for this year. In addition to wanting to raise money for our programs and scholarships, we wanted to increase awareness of the YMCA’s mission in the community and engage millennials. I’d say the number one thing YMCAs struggle with is people don’t know we’re a charity!
What was your fundraising approach?
For the last several years my board members have been asking about adding an online component so we decided to try it out this year! Online fundraising is a brand new approach for us!
- We had 50% committed before we started. Traditionally our campaign starts off with our Board of Directors finding donors to commit to give. We want to make sure to target leadership donors quietly behind the scenes before launching.
- We established team captains. We form ourselves into teams and each captain of the teams goes out and finds people who could be great potential donors. We are able to accomplish a lot when we “divide and conquer” [it together] and that’s what we did! CauseVox’s option to use individual fundraising pages mirrored what we do with fundraising captains so we had everything we needed in a platform to have an online component.
Were you surprised by anything?
Pleasantly surprised! We turned on the feature to allow for donation tipping and a great majority of people were willing to check that box and pay that fee for us! At least to two-thirds of all our donations paid the fee! This made a huge difference for us!