Customer Story

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Take Their Fundraising Over The Edge

When you think about Girl Scouts fundraising, your mind probably goes straight to cookies. But these successful fundraisers from the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois go beyond the Thin Mint. Speaking of mints, look how much they’ve raised with CauseVox!

About GSNI

Before using CauseVox, the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI) struggled with using clunky peer to peer fundraising software. Today, they use CauseVox to raise more with less effort. For the last two years they’ve run peer to peer and #Giving Tuesday events on CauseVox, raising more than $133,000.

GSNI provides programming to 15,000 girls in 16 northern Illinois counties as part of their mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The council operates six Resource Centers and four camps. 

Nancy Ramos, Annual Giving Manager, is part of a 5-person development team. She oversees fundraising events and special campaigns and has run peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns on CauseVox for the last two years. 

The Campaigns

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Over the Edge

Over The Edge is a peer to peer fundraising event. Participants raise money, and if they reach their $1,000 fundraising goals, they get to rappel down a 16-story building.

 

Sounds exciting, right? Nancy agrees, “When 11 and 12-year-old girls tell their friends and family that they’re going to rappel down a 16-story building…it’s pretty easy to engage people.” 

The fundraisers include both Girl Scouts and the adults who support them. They use CauseVox’s online fundraising tools to raise money, along with their own off-line ideas, like bake sales and car washes. The money they raise supports GSNI’s programming. 

In 2018 GSNI raised $63,296, and in 2019 they raised $64,963.

Giving Tuesday 

GSNI also runs their Giving Tuesday campaign on CauseVox. In 2017 they raised nearly $4,000 in a single day, and in 2018 raised more than. $5,000. CauseVox’s fundraising tools made it easy to update supporters about why Girl Scouts matters.

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Why CauseVox?

Nancy chose CauseVox for her peer to peer fundraising because:

CauseVox Is Easy For Fundraisers To Use

Nancy hadn’t had a great experience with her previous peer to peer software. “Fundraisers could never get it set up,” she says. “Even when I walked them through it, it was difficult.” She switched to CauseVox because of its ease of use. 

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Remember, some of Nancy’s fundraisers are eleven, and they’re not likely to spend hours wrestling clunky software. 

“CauseVox has been so easy for everyone to use,” Nancy says. Fundraisers set up their pages quickly and painlessly. They can put all their efforts towards their ambitious fundraising goals, not trying to figure out how to set up a page. 

CauseVox Makes It Simple For Donors To Give

Nancy wanted a fundraising platform that was simple for everyone who used it–including donors. She says, “If it’s hard for their donors to make a donation, then they’re just going to forget about it, leave the page, and move on. CauseVox makes it so simple for the donors and for my fundraisers.” 

With CauseVox, donors don’t have to open a PayPal account or fill out endless forms. Making a donation is fast and without frustration. 

CauseVox Is Affordable, Functional, And Fundraiser-Focused

Other peer to peer platforms are expensive and contract-bound, but not CauseVox. Nancy was pleased to see that its affordability didn’t mean a loss of function. CauseVox had the features she needed at a price that worked with her budget. 

With CauseVox, Nancy could set up her campaign easily, without struggling. “Honestly, it could take 10-15 minutes to set up if you already have the content and graphics you want to use,” she says. 

CauseVox’s team was always ready to answer her questions. When she had new ideas for adding even more functionality to the platform, she found that they always took her seriously. “They’re always trying to improve the platform and make it what their fundraisers need and give us the tools that we need,” she says. 

CauseVox Simplifies Events

Events like Over the Edge can get complicated quickly. If you’re fundraising on one platform, running registration on another, and then asking people to email you their t-shirt size, you’re likely to get overwhelmed. 

With CauseVox, you can run your fundraising event in one place, saving time and effort by tidying up your fundraising. Forget annoying ticketing forms–participants can choose their registration tier and pay in one step. Then, they’ll instantly be directed to a pre-filled personal fundraising page, all ready to go.

When you run your peer-to-peer event on CauseVox, all your data is in one place. You can track your fundraisers and donors and keep an eye on fundraising progress, all from your easy-to-use dashboard. 

 

Tips From GSNI

Stay In Touch

During Over the Edge, Nancy communicates with her peer to peer fundraisers a lot. “The goal is to keep them fundraising and give them different creative ideas,” she says. 

Every week, she posted to a private Facebook group for fundraisers and also emailed them the content. She gave them graphics and text to share on social media, along with campaign updates and fundraising tips. 

Nancy used CauseVox’s tools to cheer fundraisers on. “The nice thing about CauseVox is that you can see when people are fundraising,” she says. When alerts like, “Annie just got six donations!” popped up on her CauseVox dashboard, Nancy made sure to check in Annie to congratulate and encourage her. “Keeping in contact with your peer to peer fundraisers is the biggest thing,” Nancy advises. 

Engage Fundraisers With Each Other

GSNI serves 16 counties, so the participants were spread out and didn’t all know each other. To help them interact and get acquainted, Nancy created a private Facebook group for fundraisers to share ideas. 

This had three advantages. First, it kept fundraisers inspired and made them feel like part of a community. Second, fundraisers could benefit from lots of different ideas and share their own, rather than only hearing from the organization. Third, at the real-life event, people felt like they knew each other. “They’d say, ‘Oh! You’re the girl who made the key lime pies!’” Nancy noticed. 

Reach Out Into Your Community

When searching for corporate sponsors, Nancy looked to GSNI’s vendors. Their bank and insurance company were both happy to come on board. She even found partners in the companies whose products troops sell in the fall–the companies sponsored the top sellers of the fall fundraisers to participate in Over the Edge as an incentive.

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Prepare Ahead

Finally, Nancy makes good use of the lulls between campaigns. She creates most of her fundraising messages and materials ahead of time, so she doesn’t have to do it during the active fundraising period.

That way, she can spend her time running the campaign, encouraging fundraisers, and actively fundraising, instead of scrambling to create content. 

Nancy makes fundraising page templates for fundraisers to customize. Even if they don’t, each personal fundraising page has a message explaining the campaign and the impact a donation will have. With CauseVox, Nancy doesn’t need her supporters to create content. 

CauseVox’s automation tools make distributing content a lot easier. An automatic welcome email goes to everyone who signs up for the campaign, and campaign updates are easily shared.

Learn more about Nancy’s fundraising experience by watching our recorded Nonprofit Leader Panel as she chats through insights learned from her Over the Edge campaign!

On Our Honor, We Will Make Your Fundraising Easier

Just like Girl Scouts have the Girl Scout Law, CauseVox has our own set of principles we operate by. 

We believe in the good you do in the world, and want to give you better tools to accomplish it by helping you waste less effort on administration and less time fighting clunky software. 

You can raise more for your peer-to-peer fundraising event with less complexity and frustration. Find out how much you can raise, and how much time you can get back with CauseVox.

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