HOPE worldwide, an international faith-based organization that mobilizes volunteers to deliver disaster relief and community empowerment programs for families in need in 60 countries, is one of the thousands of nonprofits that use CauseVox’s online crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising tools to power their own #GivingTuesday and year-end campaigns.
Since 2014, HOPE worldwide has used CauseVox’s fundraising platform to exponentially grow their online fundraising efforts and stand out from the noise. So, we recently spoke with Russ Hargrove, Vice President and Chief Development Officer at HOPE worldwide, to unpack their success and how CauseVox has helped them streamline and grow their online fundraising.
Here’s what we learned.
HOPE worldwide: Challenges & Solutions
Volunteers, often high school and college-aged students, are the people who fuel HOPE worldwide’s mission and boost fundraising efforts. After serving on the field for as little as seven days, many of these volunteers come back home with a great appreciation for the work they’ve done, and the needs that remain out there. According to Russ, “our challenge is to raise funds from our dynamic volunteer population in a way that is strategically organized.”
In 2014, Russ and his team found a solution to help them mobilize hundreds of volunteers from around the world: online fundraising on CauseVox.
What did they look for in an online fundraising platform? Russ notes the factors that led HOPE worldwide to the platform include:
Reliable: The platform needed to operate effectively without fail “We appreciate that CauseVox works…It’s reliable, doing everything a crowdfunding platform should,” said Russ.
Individual and Personalized: Russ wanted to ensure that each personal fundraiser had the opportunity and the flexibility to personalize their fundraising page and their outreach.
Responsive Customer Service: If a problem arose, Russ needed to know that his online fundraising platform was there to assist.
Cost Efficiency: HOPE Worldwide wanted to balance features with cost, and sought a platform that allowed them to take home the most amount of money without losing key features.
Engaging: The same high school and college students that power HOPE worldwide’s impact are also helping drive the organization’s fundraising strategies. Russ wanted a platform that was engaging for these young donors and fundraisers. “We recognize that we’re building for the future. They’re not the highest net worth, but they’re involved, and that involvement filters up,” he said.
#GivingTuesday: Past & Present
“We see #GivingTuesday as the launch of our giving season,” Russ explained. He told us that all the messaging and “buzz” about #GivingTuesday tends to stick with donors. So, even if they can’t give on that day, they do later on.
And they’re definitely doing something right because their fundraising totals have increased significantly over a three-year span. “In 2015, we raised $8,000. In 2016, we raised $12,500, and in 2017, we raised $21,000!” said Russ.
The essential funds raised on #GivingTuesday go directly into the HOPE Youth Corps scholarships– allowing low-income students to attend the two-week service leadership programs located in 18 places.
#GivingTuesday Campaign Snapshot
Fundraising Staff Size: 5
Length of Campaign: 1 Day
Total Funds Raised: $21,000
# of Personal Fundraisers: 16
To elevate their #GivingTuesday results, HOPE worldwide follows these fundraising best practices:
Build-Up: Preparing donors is a key factor in HOPE worldwide’s fundraising successes. They use the days and weeks before #GivingTuesday to thank donors and other supporters for their past gifts and participation in volunteer activities. In these communications, they also mention future #GivingTuesday and year-end efforts. Keep in mind; they don’t make an officially “ask” before #GivingTueday. They focus instead on stewardship. “The week before Thanksgiving is all about storytelling and thank yous. We shower [our supporters] with good stewardship…”
Gift Match: Gift matches are an effective way to leverage a donor’s dollars, and they often encourage donors who are on the fence about giving to “give it a go.” HOPE worldwide relied on a gift match during their #GivingTuesday campaign to maximize their fundraising efforts, and it worked in reaching an unprecedented one-day campaign goal.
Multi-Channel Approach: Online donations were the bread-and-butter of their #GivingTueday campaign, but since HOPE worldwide has a diverse donor population, they made sure not to alienate donors who prefer to give in other ways. In addition to their CauseVox-powered site, they used direct mail and personal meetings to capture every possible donation.
Finishing The Year Strong
HOPE worldwide followed their stellar #GivingTuesday showing with an equally strong year-end outreach campaign in 2017. By the end of December, they raised $331,000!
During the busy 6-week period from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, Russ and his team continued to follow online fundraising best practices while also unifying their online and offline fundraising themes across all platforms.
“In 2017, we combined the tried and true strategy of obtaining a matching gift donor for gifts through December 31, with the social network building strategy of benefitting our youth service scholarship programs. We were able to capitalize on the energy that a matching gift brings while at the same time engaging the youth make the campaign fresh and grow our network reach,” said Russ.
Building On Their Successes
Now that they have three years of online fundraising under their belts, HOPE worldwide is busy fine-tuning their formula for 2018’s campaigns. “In this infinite space, we could be giving time and energy to hundreds of fundraising initiatives at any given moment. Knowing where our high-yield opportunity and keeping focus [on them] can be challenging,” Russ notes.
Once again, Russ plans to use a matching gift and multi-channel approach to drive year-end fundraising efforts. However, he’s also considering adding another component: recurring giving.
“A major feature of [2018’s] messaging will be focused on recurring monthly giving. We hope to turn many of our seasonal givers into regular members of our COMMUNITY OF HOPE monthly giving program,” he explained.
HOPE worldwide is an excellent example of an organization that continues to build on their triumphs; ultimately bringing more and more engaged supporters to the table.
Congratulations to HOPE worldwide. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish this year-end!
If you are interested in using online fundraising to elevate your #GivingTuesday or year-end campaigns, schedule a demo with CauseVox.
CauseVox is a community-driven fundraising platform designed to help nonprofits grow giving and build a community of supporters activated for their cause.
CauseVox 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.
With CauseVox you get more than a tool. We combine powerful fundraising tools with best practices and an experienced team to guide you to success.