For many of us, it’s impossible to imagine the limitations and barriers that result from vision impairment. From mobility and education to employment and more, the 441 million plus individuals who struggle with visual impairments and blindness face unfathomable hurdles. But thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology courtesy of eSight, people who are legally blind or visually impaired now have access to a revolutionary eyewear product that allows them to see.
The problem is, this technology can be quite expensive to those who need it. That’s why this forward-thinking brand, which recognizes that cost is often an obstacle for their customers, developed a campaign to help minimize the financial strain on the families they serve.
Through their Make Blindness History campaign, eSight has committed to helping end vision loss by 2020 by providing their groundbreaking product to everyone who needs it. It’s a hefty goal, to say the least, which is why Affordability Manager, Jamie Silverberg, along with his team of Affordability Advocates rely on peer-to-peer fundraising to organically increase awareness and funds raised.
We wanted to know the secret behind eSight’s peer-to-peer fundraising successes from the past two years, so we spoke with Jamie at-length about his fundraising journey and experience using CauseVox. Here’s what we learned.
Campaign Snapshot as of June 2018
- Campaign Name: Give Sight to The Legally Blind
- Total Raised: $4,112,067
- Timeline: Ongoing
- Number of Personal Fundraisers: 614
- Number of Donors: 11,576
What Fuels eSight Eyewear: Their Story
To understand the “why” behind eSight’s campaign, it’s important to learn about the company itself.
The founder, who grew up alongside two blind sisters, recognized the limitations of blindness and sought to find a solution that would provide better mobility and more independence for them and others. Jamie reiterated the struggles of those with visual impairments by explaining that the unemployment rate of the legally blind population is around 70%.
eSight was designed to change lives, but the cost is a big factor when it comes to accessibility.
According to Jamie, the biggest challenge eSight faces “is knowing that there are so many people whose lives can be changed with restored vision, yet don’t have eSight and continue to live with vision loss.” So they designed an Affordability Program, where a team of bright and dedicated people works around the clock to help those who could use eSight, access this life-changing technology.
CauseVox’s community-driven fundraising-centered platform, which eSight uses to power peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns for their customers, plays a significant role in their overall development strategy.
Finding The Right Platform: Criteria For A Good Fit
When it came time to find a fundraising platform that would accommodate their robust online fundraising goals, eSight looked at a number of criteria, including simplicity and responsive customer service, when deciding to use CauseVox.
Simplicity: A simple, straightforward, and user-friendly system was a must for Jamie and his team. They wanted their fundraisers to have the same streamlined experience as the administrative team did on their end.“At eSight, one of our core values is simplicity, and we love how simple it is to navigate through Causevox, both from an administrative, and a consumer perspective,” he explained.
Customer Service: Managing a dozen personal fundraisers can take a toll on development staff, so you can imagine the possible workload when you’re talking about 600+ personal fundraisers. That’s why customer service was a key factor when eSight chose CauseVox. Jamie told us, “We have many people signing up every day, and we appreciate how responsive CauseVox’s staff are when our fundraisers have any questions.”
Functionality: eSight required very specific functions for their peer-to-peer fundraising. They wanted a central page with multiple offshoots for each personal fundraiser/customers and a way to show prospective fundraisers previous campaign pages. Over time, they fine-tuned their online fundraising process to best meet the needs of their customers and spread their message far and wide. “We have been using people’s Causevox campaigns as a central page to distribute to other facets of our Affordability Program, such as to schools, employers, foundations, philanthropic and kind-hearted individuals, Lions Clubs, and many others. We have seen lots of success with this strategy as well”
Hurdles And Solutions
As eSight ramped up their fundraising, they quickly noticed that one of the biggest hurdles wasn’t raising money, it was encouraging people to sign up in the first place. “Many of the people that we work with are introverted, and over half of the legally blind population suffer from depression,” Jamie told us. Naturally, it takes a lot of motivation and rallying to get people to take that initial leap to start fundraising. As a result, eSight spends a lot of time mentoring fundraisers from the minute they start their fundraising journey until they meet their goal.
Another way eSight has found ways to support their fundraisers is by helping them share their message with others. Jamie and other Affordability Advocates use their influence and knowledge to share campaign pages with school principals, service clubs, and workplaces. This wrap-around strategy ensures that each deserving eSight recipient meets their goal.
A Big Surprise Along The Way
It’s not surprising that donors connected with the stories of those looking to get eSight. After all, each person who fundraises to purchase eSight has his or her own journey and network of friends and family to help make it happen. But what surprised Jamie and others at eSight was the magnitude of success they’ve had so quickly.
“With the help of CauseVox’s platform, we have been able to help hundreds of different people see with eSight. From young children in school, to working age people with full-time jobs, to those who are older and retired who are settling down and enjoying life with their family,” Jamie reiterated to us.
Although they’ve grown in visibility and traction, eSight continues to celebrate each personal campaign and milestone like it was the first one. What a heartwarming perspective!
We are so pleased that eSight has decided to power their life-changing efforts with CauseVox, and we’re thrilled to see this relationship flourish in the future. “We see our use of Causevox continuing to grow, which means that even more people will be able to see!”
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