“CauseVox is the sexiest fundraising platform I’ve ever used. So simple, so easy to understand.” – Chantelle Baxter
This case study discusses how One Girl’s “Do It in a Dress” campaign raised over $42,000 through their CauseVox fundraising site. In addition, their campaign strategy, techniques, results, and lessons learned from their campaign are discussed in detail.
About One Girl
One Girl is an Australia-based nonprofit that provides education opportunities for girls in rural Africa. It was founded in 2009 by David Dixon and Chantelle Baxter. One Girl keeps one important fact in mind as motivation for the work they do: 60 million girls around the globe are not in school. Thousands of girls in Sierra Leone alone lack access to basic education, with only 1 in 6 making it as far as high school, a luxury many people in western countries tend to overlook.
Education is the pathway out of poverty. With this in mind, One Girl believes that, “When you educate a girl, she’ll change the world,” and that educating girls has a “multiplier effect,” which means that educating one girl can lead to educating an entire community.
Do It In A Dress Campaign
The Do It In A Dress campaign was a week long campaign organized by One Girl. Hundreds of people around the world, both young and old, took part in fundraising activities and helped raise awareness for women’s education while donning a school dress. The ultimate goal for the campaign was to raise $40,000 in order to send over 100 girls to school in Sierra Leone in Africa and to provide start up funding for a social enterprise called LaunchPad.
Initially, the campaign had a slow start because finding the right campaign manager was difficult. Dave and Chantelle, realized that if they wanted to run a successful campaign, they were going to have to do it themselves. Despite the initial setbacks, One Girl pulled together a team of four people to manage the campaign.
This team was aided by 76 supporters that created fundraising pages within the campaign site. These supporters not only helped fundraise, but also helped raise awareness through their own social networks.
In total, One Girl was able to collect 737 donations and over $40,000 USD in donations, with some donors donating multiple times. More metrics in the “Key Metrics” section below.
During the campaign, One Girl used several techniques to reach their goal.
One Girl’s goal for the campaign was to make fundraising fun. For the last two years, One Girl organized a team to run in the Melbourne Marathon, despite facing initial issues of recruiting members for a team. This year, One Girl wanted people to be able to have a lot of fun, and raise awareness for the cause. They weren’t attached to the monetary outcome, but were more focused on engaging people in the work One Girl does for girls around the world.
- Making It Fun – One Girl’s message was: “60 Million Girls Around the World are not in school. Will you Do It In A Dress and change it?” One Girl relied on the idea of fun. They played on the fact that a very specific kind of guy likes to put on a dresses for a laugh, and that girls like to dress up so the campaign was an excuse for both guys and girls to dress a little crazy, and to have a really great reason for doing it.
- One Girl also used local media to empower their volunteers – Every advocate (in Australia) was asked whether or not they’d like media attention. If they said yes, One Girl sent out a press release on their behalf to their local newspaper. We had more than 10 articles in local and national newspapers – and all the advocates that participated in the media opportunities became One Girl’s biggest fundraisers.
- Identifying with the Situation – A lot of One Girl’s female advocates spoke about how access to education had changed their life. They realized how different their lives would be if they hadn’t gone to school. One the other hand, many of the guys seemed to put on a dress just for fun. They wanted to have fun at work, or at a BBQ or at a party, and make people laugh – this was a great opportunity to do it for a good cause.
- Providing Resources – One Girl provided a downloadable campaign pack on the website that included information about where to buy a school dress, some basic fundraising ideas, some profile pictures for Facebook, a blank media release, and even some logos to help aid the fundraising process for supporters.
- Empowering Volunteers – One Girl had an amazing volunteer called Bianca from Fish Community Solutions who became their resident ‘Empowerment Guru’. Every week Bianca sent out emails to all of One Girl’s advocates, thanking them for their efforts, sharing stories about what people were doing in their dresses, putting up a leaderboard to show who was raising the most money, and sharing tips and hints. Besides just that, every person that signed up received a personal email welcoming them to the campaign. It made the campaign much more personal, which ultimately helped lead to each person raising more than $500 on average.
- Social Media – One Girl used both Facebook and Twitter to promote the campaign. The most successful method was having their advocates Tweet about their own personal campaign. When the Twitter-verse got to see how much fun people were having by putting on school dresses, they wanted to join in. Many people made a donation via Twitter or Facebook, simply because they saw how much fun advocates were having. One Girl also spent time constantly collecting photos from Facebook and Twitter, and sharing them with their followers. Many of One Girl’s advocates were big Twitter users, so the #doitinadress hashtag got everything moving too. Advocates felt appreciated when they saw their photos reposted on the official One Girl Facebook page.
- Donation Tiers – The donation tiers in CauseVox have an area to list what each donation can buy, resulting in larger donations from many people because they saw that $250 could provide a full scholarship.
- CauseVox – The CauseVox interface helped One Girl organize their campaign efficiently with its easy to use interface and design. With the CauseVox team being very responsive with any questions One Girl had and with the very personalized service, One Girl was able to have a successful fundraising campaign. CauseVox also helped by constantly providing encouragement, sending through case studies which they thought would help the cause, and also engaging One Girl’s advocates. The CauseVox platform overall was both customizeable and easy to use, which led to a great looking, “very sexy” campaign website, without the cost of thousands of dollars to a digital agency.
By the end of the campaign, One Girl raised over $40,000 through their customized CauseVox fundraising site.
Key metrics of the campaign include (rounded figures):
- Total number of fundraising pages: 76
- Fundraising pages that raised $10 or more: 49
- Highest amount raised on fundraising page: $4075
- Average funds raised per page: $526
- Average online donation size: $53
- Total number of online donations: 737
- Facebook “Likes” on the campaign site: 512
- Facebook additional “Likes” on One Girl’s Facebook Page: 100
- Planning makes a difference. One Girl did not create a strategy for their campaign, yet luckily things worked out. Next year, One Girl plans on having a solid strategy, with a solid team, and with the hope of at least tripling their fundraising goal from this year.
- Balance. Keep a balance between holding onto targets without making the whole campaign be about hitting those goals. One Girl let go of their financial targets in the first week, and figured that as long as everyone had fun, and became engaged in the work, they were successful.
- Measurement. Create different measures for success and realize that just by launching a campaign, you’re already successful. Most people don’t even get that far!
- Team building. Give enough lead time to pull together a reliable team. Create a plan as to how the campaign will work and what targets you want to reach. Have a rough plan on how you will get there with the team that you assemble.
- Focus on joy. One Girl didn’t use guilt to sell their campaign – they focused on humor, joy, and empowement.
- Keep fundraising light, keep it fun, and keep it easy to do. Most of the people engaged in the campaign had never been involved in any of One Girl’s work before. One Girl’s experience was so great they hope to focus on ways to make fundraising “fun” and simple in all of their work.
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