Over the last year or so, nonprofits have had to make quick pivots, and for health organizations that was more true than anywhere else.
Woven Health Clinic began their year planning an in-person fundraising luncheon, but quickly realized that in-person needed to become virtual.
Despite having a board that wasn’t comfortable with social media or virtual fundraising, they turned to CauseVox and created a virtual awards ceremony event that knocked their fundraising goals out of the park.
About Woven Health Clinic
Woven Health Clinic is a 501(c)(3) community healthcare clinic that helps uninsured and under-insured adults build healthier, happier, and more productive lives. Through an innovative patient-centric model of healthcare, Woven Health provides high-quality integrated care–focused on wellness and disease prevention–that’s accessible, affordable and comprehensive.
Woven Health Clinic not only provides amazing care, they also do it at an astoundingly low cost: $500 covers one patient’s care for a full year. They have served over 25,000 patients with just 9 full-time paid staff. They truly know how to take dollars and make them stretch.
In previous years, Woven Health Clinic held a luncheon that recognized amazing folks from their community. Board members would sell tickets and fill tables to help make the fundraiser a success. When they realized the event needed to be virtual, Lisa Rigby (Executive Director), knew she needed to find a platform that was easy, accessible, and great for peer-to-peer fundraising. Not only that, but with COVID making its way across the country, providing quality health care was more important than ever. Enter CauseVox.
Raising More With Less Effort With Peer-to-Peer Fundraising On CauseVox
When Lisa found CauseVox, she knew it was the right fit because it was simply so easy. She knew her board members would need to be able to set up their own virtual “tables” and reach out to family and friends to ask for donations and support. Many of her board members were unfamiliar with social media and digital fundraising overall, so it was incredibly important that all of the processes were simple and straightforward. CauseVox fit the bill.
She set up her page and began with a goal of $70,000.
What quickly became obvious was that the ease of use that came with CauseVox was going to take them much further than $70,000. Historically, board participation was uneven in the event. Some of her board members went above and beyond in their fundraising, but others were hesitant to participate. But digital fundraising changed things for Woven Health Clinic. All of the board members were suddenly excited to get involved. They found it was much easier to simply ask for a donation than to sell tickets to an in-person event.
They doubled their original goal and brought in over $140,000 during the campaign.
Lisa says it was the peer-to-peer fundraising that did it.
“What we learned is that when people come to an actual event, that’s a lot more work. When you do a virtual event, we realized you can multiply it. The peer-to-peer element allows you to multiply it.”
Woven Health Clinic didn’t start with a big database of potential donors or fundraisers. This was truly a grassroots campaign. It started with the board. Each member used CauseVox to send emails to their networks and share on social media. Because the event was virtual, they weren’t limited to those who could attend the in-person luncheon, and their efforts spread far and wide.
In addition to board members, they also announced award-winners who would receive recognition at the virtual event. These were respected names in the community, and brought in even more donors.
Not only was it easy for board members to set up their pages and ask for donations, it was also easy for Lisa to manage on her end. She found that it was incredibly simple to add any donations that came in via pledge, cash, or check to the CauseVox site and export all the information for her accounting team when the campaign was over.
Providing Support And Making Space
One of Lisa’s favorite elements of using CauseVox was that she could provide all of the information her fundraisers might want in the form of templates and copy. Paired with this, her fundraisers could still personalize all of their copy, photos, and information. She credits that freedom with bringing in donors.
Because of the templates, her fundraisers felt supported: they didn’t have to start from scratch and could use some of the copy explaining Woven Health Clinic’s work. But the personalization is what truly appealed to donors. When Lisa set up her fundraising page, she wrote from her perspective as the Executive Director. But other fundraisers spoke about their own experiences and love for the organization. It was their passion that inspired their family and friends to donate.
Using Virtual Space To Bring In Donors
One of the major differences between an in-person event and the virtual event that Woven Health Clinic ran was how easy it was for participants to watch. It was important to Lisa that they include some kind of event in the campaign to bring people together and showcase the clinic’s work.
“It’s so much more powerful to show people what you do than tell them what you do,” she said of their program. What she didn’t expect was that viewers would prefer the digital format. Where her board members used to struggle to sell tickets, this year supporters were happy to make a donation from their own home, and tune in without having to get dressed up, go out, and deal with all the hooplah of spending their day at a fancy event. It was easier and more accessible to run a livestream event.
Because this was Woven Health Clinic’s first year running a virtual campaign, they learned a lot. Here were their major lessons.
1. Start With Your Supporters
Woven Health Clinic started their campaign without large lists or huge groups of possible supporters. What they did have was a dedicated group of board members who wanted to make the event succeed. They learned that focusing on the asset they had, their current supporters, was far more important than trying to find ways to bring in new fundraisers.
Starting with the folks who already loved their organization was what allowed Woven Health Clinic to succeed. Empowering those board members as peer-to-peer fundraisers then expanded their reach exponentially.
2. Give Them Resources
If your fundraisers are using their time to create a fundraising strategy, or are too nervous to ask for donations, they’re not really fundraising. Lisa gave her fundraisers plenty of support by creating a toolkit to help them set up their page, write their asks, and share their stories. With these tools in hand, even her most tech-phobic board members felt comfortable setting up their CauseVox page and sharing via email and social media.
3. Make It Personal
Lisa found that the combination of resources and personalization was the most important formula for her success. Not only did she give her fundraisers resources and sample language, she also encouraged them to make it their own.
Each board member used Causevox to send email and share on social media to reach their networks. What worked incredibly well for them was that each fundraiser could customize their own story in those emails and posts, sharing why they were fundraising. These personal stories created an emotional pull on potential donors, and were all the more powerful because they came from someone donors knew.
4. Use Your Donation Form Fully
The donation form is an easily overlooked element of storytelling and communication in virtual fundraising. Woven Health Clinic learned that spending a bit of time creating a solid donation form makes a big difference in the long run.
They focused first on their donation tiers. Lisa said they wanted to give people an idea of “if you give a certain amount here’s what that can provide.” It was very effective: people responded to knowing what their donation could actually do. But they took it one step further.
Woven Health Clinic had never offered the option of monthly donations in the past, but because it was so easy to add to the donation form they added it on. While they only received a few monthly donations, it helped them see that they could run a monthly campaign, and they’re planning to focus efforts there in the future.
To hear Lisa’s full story, make sure you check out our Nonprofit Leader Panel Webinar.
In today’s uncertainty, it can be hard to make the call for in-person vs. virtual events.
But Woven Health has decided to go virtual again, and reach for the stars. They just launched their new virtual awards ceremony fundraiser with CauseVox, setting their goal at $150,000 – more than double their goal from last year!
Run Your Virtual Event On CauseVox
CauseVox can help you jump start your virtual fundraising efforts, whether it’s your first campaign or your fiftieth. Easy for you to set up and easy for your fundraisers to navigate, the whole process is a delight for donors and nonprofits.
Whether your next fundraiser is in-person, virtual, or hybrid, let CauseVox make the process more simple with less clunk.