Almost one out of every 100 babies is born with a heart defect. And although these defects are life-threatening, advances in medicine have helped the majority of these children live to adulthood. Today, there are close to 1.4 million adults and over 1 million children with congenital heart disease (CHD) in the United States alone. Unfortunately, these individuals don’t always receive the lifelong monitoring and support they may need.
That’s where the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) comes into the picture.
This essential organization’s mission is to “improve and extend the lives of the millions born with heart defects through education, advocacy, and the promotion of research.” They offer many programs, services, and activities for patients across the country.
To raise the money needed to continue providing these essential services, Development Manager Jessica DiGiovanni appeals to donors, volunteers, and service recipients through annual appeals and volunteer fundraising.
One large online fundraising campaign spearheaded by Jessica is their annual #GivingTuesday effort. In 2017, ACHA exceeded their wildest expectations and raised an astounding $19,332 in 24-hours.
How did they do it?
We asked Jessica to break down the campaign’s highlights, and this is what we learned.
Fundraising Staff Size: 2
Total Raised: $19,332
Length of Campaign: 24-hours
Choosing The Right Platform
Jessica, who has served in the development department at ACHA for eight years, has always faced a major fundraising challenge: combating public awareness and understanding for CHD. She believes that CHD isn’t on many donor’s radars because it’s widely unknown.
So, when it came time to choose an online fundraising platform that helped spread education and awareness about CHD to rally support, Jessica was eager to find the right fit. She discovered CauseVox, and the rest is history.
Now, each time she wants to start a new online fundraising effort, she simply copies the campaign over. “CauseVox is an easy tool to use,” she told us. “It’s something I’m able to use to create a peer-to-peer opportunity and create a sense of community with our donors.”
Jessica highlighted that CauseVox gives her donors a single channel to give, while also providing both goal and donor transparency, which appeal to prospective supporters.
“Before 2016, we were lucky if we raised a couple hundred dollars on #GivingTuesday. With the added perk of a matching grant and a helpful tool in CauseVox, we…were able to crush our goals the last two years,” Jessica explained.
Planning & Promoting #GivingTuesday
As she began initial preparations for 2017’s #GivingTuesday campaign, Jessica chose to set a goal based on the match amount they were awarded. It was the same tactic they used in 2016 to much success.
“Prior to this, like most organizations, we tried to drive #GivingTuesday donations through our social media channels, but did not see the momentum we were able to capture with the added match and a single channel to donate,” she explained.
To promote the campaign, ACHA used a mixed media approach, including Facebook and email blasts. Jessica found that regular email blasts throughout the day beginning in the morning, supplemented with three to four Facebook posts, is sufficient.
By early evening, she transitions all their communications to the CauseVox blog feature to ensure that active campaign participants can follow the progress and read time-stamped updates in real time.
Pillars To Success
Through meticulous planning, institutional knowledge, and following giving day best practices, ACHA nearly doubled their #GivingTuesday goal. Here are some of the ways Jessica rallied supporters and raise money.
Promoting The Matching Goal
As you may recall, ACHA based their fundraising goal on their match amount. This helps motivate donors to give because each gift is leveraged. “We offer two campaigns throughout the year that have matching opportunities, and they are our largest annual fund appeals,” Jessica explained.
For 2017, ACHA secured a $10,000 match, which makes the grand total for this 24-hour blitz an astounding $29,332!
Capitalizing On Momentum
As the end of the giving day draws near, Jessica always notices an uptick in giving, which is why she continues to update supporters through CauseVox. “We see more momentum when we’re a couple thousand dollars away, and right after we’ve met our goal,” she told us.
She credits the progress meter for helping build excitement and suspense.
Building a Sense of Community
According to Jessica, one of the highlights of using CauseVox is the ability “to create a sense of community,” particularly through the donor listing. When donors get to see the names and donation amounts of their peers, they are immediately drawn into the tight-knit community.
Reflection & Moving Forward
“What’s been great about using CauseVox for our #GivingTuesday campaign is that our webpage becomes a one-stop-shop place for people to learn about ACHA and our campaign, make a donation, and check back for updates throughout the day,” Jessica told us.
She believes that CauseVox has allowed her to decrease the amount of email marketing and social posts she makes throughout the day. Instead, she focuses her updates on the CauseVox blog feature.
Jessica advises other nonprofits who are preparing a #GivingTuesday campaign to set a goal and stick to it. She also suggests perfecting your communications and making them more meaningful throughout the day.
For 2018’s #GivingTuesday campaign, Jessica has plans to create a top donor listing meant to increase major gifts of $1,000 or more. In addition, she told us: “We are in the process of securing a matching grant for our #GivingTuesday campaign and will be using CauseVox again. We are excited to create another record-breaking campaign this year. “
When nonprofits like ACHA succeed, we all do! We are so thankful that Jessica chose to work with CauseVox to inspire, activate, and rally her donors, and we’re excited to see what happens in November 2018.
If you’re interested in increasing your exposure and boosting your #GivingTuesday results, consider CauseVox.
Unlike expensive and confusing fundraising tools, CauseVox is purposely simply while providing flexibility for your unique fundraising needs and personalization to your organization’s brand without the help of IT or web developer.
This makes it easy for you to manage relationships with your supporters and create personalized fundraising sites, peer-to-peer campaigns, and donation pages, all in one place, while also providing a remarkable giving experience your supporters will love.
If you’re still curious, click here to watch a CauseVox demo.