Pensacola’s Habitat for Humanity started their own Women Build initiative back in 2013 in an effort to bring women together to change the lives of deserving families in Pensacola. At that time, they used a general website equipped with a few fundraising plugins to capture all their much-needed donations. But as the scope of the fundraiser grew, so did the need for a stronger fundraising tool.
Fast forward to 2016, and the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity knew they needed to try something new. They wanted to avoid fundraising tools that were cumbersome or required regular maintenance. Functionality was an important factor as well.
After some research, the organization chose to power the Pensacola Women Build peer-to-peer fundraising campaign using CauseVox. Because of their successes during campaigns in 2016 and 2017, we wanted to learn more about their online fundraising experience. Thankfully, we connected with Blaise Moehl, Communications Associate at the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, who gave us a great rundown.
First, here’s a quick snapshot of their 2017 campaign:
Type of Campaign: Peer-to-peer fundraiser
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Funds Raised: $84,606.03
# of Personal Fundraisers: 140
Length of Campaign: 70 days
Fundraising Staff: None, but they do have a 6-person Community Engagement team
About Women Build
Women Build, a national program for Habitat for Humanity Affiliates, “seeks to encourage women to empower other women all while advocating for affordable housing and building a home for a family, typically with a female head of household,” Blaise explained. However, Pensacola Habitat took that concept and ramped it up, promoting it as a full community event that includes a fundraiser and participant engagement.
Blaise loves how his organization has transformed the event to meet their community’s needs. “This model works great for us—we’ve exceeded our fundraising goals for the last two years!” he told us, excitedly.
All participants are asked to raise $500+ before participating in a build day during the campaign work week.
Necessary Fundraising Tool Features
After trying online fundraising from 2013-2015, Blaise and his team understood they were on the right track—they simply needed the right tool to help streamline their efforts.
“I scoured the internet to find a fundraising platform that met our needs,” Blaise told us. “Eventually, I found CauseVox to be the best match for us.”
According to Blaise, there are a number of reasons for this.
For starters, Women Build participants work in teams to raise money for the big build event. Unfortunately, not all fundraising tools accommodate team fundraising, but they searched until they found a product that met that particular need. “Our fundraisers work in teams to complete their fundraising goals, so that was essential,” he explained.
In addition, Blaise appreciated the campaign page and domain customization options and the fact that there weren’t a lot of technical aspects to tackle. In years past, Blaise often created fundraising profiles for his personal fundraisers, but during the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, “it was easy for people to make their own.”
By using CauseVox, supporters had an easier time participating in the fundraiser, while, at the same time, Blaise was able to focus his efforts on the “bigger picture.”
Click here to learn how your nonprofit can create and manage your online fundraising campaigns with CauseVox.
The Keys To A Successful Campaign
After 5 years, the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity continues to build on and improve the Women Build campaign. Blaise explained that there were no big changes between 2016 and 2017 fundraising cycles. However, there were three keys that he believed helped these two campaigns, in particular, succeed.
- An easily identifiable and attainable cause
- In-person donor engagement and coordination
- Easy access to the donation website
Staff and volunteers tasked with managing Women Build had effectively built up the campaign over the years, so some of the Pensacola community was familiar with the cause. However, they also customized their peer-to-peer fundraising website to include their logo and other brand-recognizable features—which ensured the entire online fundraising felt familiar and local.
Recruiting personal fundraisers was another challenge the organization handled with ease. “When we started, we had a small group of interested individuals who then recruited their friends into it.” Besides word-of-mouth, Habitat staff also hosted interest meetings and talked with people to build interest and develop relationships. Of course, they made sure to have all their promotion materials ready beforehand—website included.
From there, they worked so that everyone had access to the fundraising website, including the friends and family of the 140 personal fundraisers they recruited.
Looking To The Future
With a remarkable 2017 campaign under their belts, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity is looking forward to another great effort in 2018.
“2017 was a great success, and I think we’ll continue on the same course for next year,” said Blaise.
We can’t wait to see what they have in store!