Customer Story

How Junior Achievement of Greater Washington Used A Creative Corporate Engagement Fundraiser To Raise $500,000

Junior Achievement of Greater Washington is dedicated to helping the youth of the D.C. area graduate high school with the skills they need to be financially literate and ready for the workplace.

But engaging over 70,000 K-12 students and fulfilling their mission to, “inspire the next generation to be financially capable and equipped with the tools to manage risk effectively, solve problems creatively, and welcome opportunity in the complex modern economy” takes upwards of 4.5 million each year.

To meet the needs of the organization and the children they serve, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington’s Director of Development and Events, Lauren Meltzer, works with companies and professional groups to run Bowl-a-Thon events. On average, Lauren facilitates between 20 and 25 Bowl-a-Thons, each of which raises around $4,000 to $65,000.

Of course, there are challenges in running multiple peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, which is why Junior Achievement of Greater Washington began using CauseVox to power each effort.

Since this organization has used our platform quite successfully, we wanted to learn more about their experience with CauseVox, as well as any takeaway they have for other nonprofits and charities looking to run event-focused peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.

Here’s what we learned.

Bowl-a-Thon Snapshot

Junior Achievement

Year Started: 1985

# of Bowl-a-Thons Per Year: 20-25

$ Raised Per Campaign: On average, between $4,000-$65,000

Total Raised Annually: Around $500,000

Types of Campaigns: Peer-to-peer and event fundraising

The Solution To Managing Multiple Fundraising Campaigns

Development is difficult, especially when you need to bring in millions of dollars each year through various fundraising campaigns, grants, and foundations.

To help with their fundraising efforts, the team at Junior Achievement of Greater Washington relies on a robust group of partners, loyal donors, and volunteers who, as Lauren puts it, “go above and beyond to help the Junior Achievement mission to succeed.” These partners help the organization secure corporate partnership dollars, assist with peer-to-peer fundraising with the Bowl-a-Thon, and serve as program volunteers.

Out of all the fundraising activities they run over the course of a year, the Bowl-a-Thon is Junior Achievement of Greater Washington’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event. Naturally, managing the sheer number of Bowl-a-Thons takes a lot of preparation and organization, even with the support of partners, so Lauren went in search of a fundraising platform that would meet her specific needs.

“We needed to find a platform which would be user-friendly, attention-drawing look and feel, and that would help Junior Achievement to maximize our fundraising dollars – all while making each Bowl-a-Thon a successful, fun event for our participants,” she explained.

She wanted a platform that was flexible and adaptable for Junior Achievement’s specific fundraising needs, but also easy to use for staff and fundraisers alike.

Lucky for us, she chose to power her campaigns with CauseVox.

Pillars To Success

Junior Achievement

Each Bowl-a-Thon had two components: an in-person event and an online fundraising campaign. Therefore, it was vital that CauseVox delivered the right support and structure to host the features Lauren and her team needed for such a robust operation.

To learn more about what peer-to-peer fundraising platform features were vital to these company-driven events, we asked Lauren to break down a few key pillars to the success of each campaign.

Team and Participant Registration

When you’re working with people who may or may not be comfortable with many aspects of software and technology, user-friendliness is essential. Lauren appreciated how easy it is for Bowl-a-Thon participants to register for an account and set up a website through CauseVox.

“This platform enables participants to register as individuals, join a team, and have all donations to the participant add to the total of the team. It also lets teams get creative with team names!” she told us.

Of course, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and Lauren had to go in and manually register individuals herself. With her previous fundraising platform, this process was cumbersome. However, she didn’t mind registering people through CauseVox, given that, “the registration process is extremely short and simple, so I’m able to register full events quickly.”

Reporting

When push comes to shove, much of fundraising boils down to the numbers, and it’s important to be able to track each campaign’s progress in real time. For Lauren and Junior Achievement’s corporate partners, reports are vital, which is why they appreciated CauseVox’s reporting options.

According to Lauren, “these reports drive [each company’s] marketing and outreach pushes on the back end… and helps them determine what needs to be done in order to achieve their fundraising and participation goals.”

Customization Options & The Junior Achievement Leaderboard

A little friendly competition helps generate excitement and rally more donors. To capitalize on the benevolent rivalries between teams within companies and between local companies, Lauren likes to use a customized widget she created with the help of CauseVox’s team.

This widget “takes all data from the 20 to 25 separate events, and converts it into a ‘’Leaderboard’ consisting of fundraising dollars (ranked), number of teams, and number of participants.”

Advanced customization options like this Junior Achievement’s Leaderboard are easy to integrate on a CauseVox-powered fundraising website.

Customer Service

“Being a fairly complex campaign, the ability to reach the owner to discuss our personal needs, and see them delivered, timely and effectively, has been a major relief on our end,” Lauren said of CauseVox’s personal customer service and support team.

She noted that when CauseVox goes the extra mile, this furthers the success of her own campaigns.

Bonus Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Tips From Lauren

At this point, virtually every Bowl-a-Thon administered by Junior Achievement of Greater Washington runs like a well-oiled machine. If your nonprofit or charity is considered running a similar event or peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, Lauren has some useful tips for you.

  1. “Learn how to get the word out.” Move beyond saying who your organization is and what you do. Instead, cater each message to the recipient.
  2. “Tweak your template.” Once you create your fundraising website, continue tweaking it from campaign to campaign and year to year. If you can get assistance from your organization’s marketing or communications team, then do it!
  3. “Remember, it’s not their full-time job.” Provide your fundraisers with toolkits that contain templates for emails, fliers, a week-by-week outreach guide, fundraising strategies and more to help guide them through the process.

Lauren notes that, at the end of the day, CauseVox is a good fit for Junior Achievement of Greater Washington’s needs. “We’ve gone through multiple platforms and this one is by far the most straightforward, easy to use one that we’ve used…Overall, the fact that it is user-friendly for both participants, coordinators, and myself as an admin is one of the most appealing factors.”

We’re thrilled that Lauren, her corporate partners, and the Bowl-a-Thon participants found a fundraising platform that works for them, and provides the flexibility and ease they need to meet their fundraising goals.

Congratulations on your efforts, Lauren! We look forward to working with you in the campaigns and years to come!

We believe that with CauseVox, you get more than a tool. We combine powerful fundraising tools with best practices and an experienced team dedicated to helping you succeed. And we sweat the details, including API and fundraising widget integrations, back-end tech management, and unparalleled customer support, so you have more time to connect with your donors and personal fundraisers.

To view a demo of how CauseVox can help you meet your online fundraising goals, start here.

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