As the director of Mortgage Professionals Providing Hope (MPPH) and the community manager at Fit for Hope, Jake Vermillion is helping folks from Florida and across the country connect with fun and meaningful fundraising opportunities.
And whether he’s engaging athletes or mortgage company professionals, Jake is always looking for ways to make the fundraising process easy for his volunteer fundraisers and streamlined on his end. Unfortunately, that’s not always an easy task.
In his search to find a platform that met his organization’s needs and was also user-friendly for fundraisers, Jake discovered CauseVox and immediately got to work engaging eager volunteers and advocates in the process of storytelling and fundraising.
How did CauseVox help Jake reach his goals and rally fellow do-gooders? Let’s talk about Jake Vermillion’s CauseVox experience.
Two Causes: One Solution
Although Jake works with two different organizations, he noticed that his fundraising needs were fairly similar. He needed a fundraising platform that offered features like:
- Custom pages
- Recurring/ongoing campaigns
- Storytelling options that encourage people to come alongside the cause.
He also sought a platform that could handle basic back-end tasks to help streamline his workload, while at the same time remaining intuitive enough for novice fundraisers who may be uncomfortable with new technologies.
He started the search process by asking his supporters what they wanted from a platform, and the message was clear: blog updates, social media sharing options, and an easy-to-use interface.
When he found CauseVox, he realized that a lot of his needs, as well as those of his fundraisers, were met.
“CauseVox is easy to use, with no IT department needed,” he explained. “One of the most important features for me is that it looks great, and I can go in and customize each and every campaign, creating a great donor experience.”
Fine-Tuning To His Specifications
By choosing a peer-to-peer fundraising platform, Jake wanted to give donors an opportunity to:
- Showcase their giving
- Show what they’re doing outside of their job
- Invite others to give in partnership with them to causes they believe in
After outlining his needs, Jake got to work customizing his main fundraising websites. He added each organization’s branding specifics and all other pertinent information to help spread the word for both MPPH and Fit for Hope fundraisers. CauseVox’s dashboard makes personalizing the website simple.
Along the way, Jake reached out to the CauseVox support team to ensure he was following best practices. “We worked closely with CauseVox to create a page for our MPPH fundraising initiatives, [in particular]” Jake said.
Helping Fundraisers Along The Way
After implementing CauseVox into his fundraising strategies for MPPH and Fit for Hope and creating custom products to meet his needs, Jake’s work still wasn’t done.
“CauseVox makes things easy. The capacity is there, and it’s mindless how easy it is to create a campaign and write an appeal. But the actual work of fundraising is still work… and part of the work is showing supporters how to use these features.”
In fact, it’s common for those unfamiliar with fundraising to feel overwhelmed by the process, even if the platform is easy to use and intuitive. Jake knew he needed to give them tools to succeed, but he wondered what that should look like.
He quickly realized the importance of working alongside personal fundraisers and guiding them from the website set-up to the end of the campaign. “We have to come alongside them, check in, encourage, and give them fresh ideas,” he explained.
Aside from one-on-one training, Jake also likes to highlight key fundraisers who are acing their role of “personal fundraiser.” Using seasoned fundraisers to educate helped Jake reach the rest of his volunteer team at their own level.
Storytelling: The Heart of Fundraising
Fundraising and storytelling go hand-in-hand, and Jake was happy to find a platform that didn’t just help with storytelling, but enhanced it.
“One of our biggest questions is, how do we get people to get others to come alongside the cause? And the answer is: how well can you tell a story?”
Jake encourages his fundraisers to put a face behind the story and focus on the end-goal of the cause, not necessarily the action steps to get there, on their CauseVox-powered fundraising website.
CauseVox features such as social sharing, blog updates, and the ability to upload pictures and video help naturally increase the overall effectiveness of a fundraiser’s storytelling.
Shaking Things Up
Through CauseVox, Jake is rallying MPPH and Fit for Hope fundraisers, helping them maximize their efforts and support their favorite causes in the process. Since he started with the platform, Jake has fine-tuned what works and what doesn’t for his audience.
Here are some of his online peer-to-peer fundraising takeaways, tips, and tricks.
Do Something Crazy: “On one of our first fundraising efforts, I issued a challenge that if people met their goals, I would take a pie to the face. That worked, and people are still talking about it.” The moral of the story is don’t be afraid to do something crazy to stoke excitement. Fundraising challenges are a perfect accompaniment to a traditional peer-to-peer campaign. CauseVox makes it easy to implement these extras with features such as custom donation fields.
Remember That Your Message May Change (& That’s Okay): “You have to be willing for the message and the campaign to not be totally yours.” The minute a personal fundraiser creates a page and writes their story, the narrative becomes theirs. And that’s okay because personal fundraisers are more successful when they take ownership. While you can control things like branding or your logo, let your personal fundraisers share their own story. Remember, Causevox allows you to transfer your campaign branding across all peer-to-peer pages, ensuring that setup is a breeze.
Add It To Your Schedule: “Recognize that peer-to-peer is like any other fundraising initiative in that it’s cyclical. Your donors will get familiar with it if you make it cyclical.” By implementing a peer-to-peer campaign at the same time every year (or season), you’re preparing your fundraisers for subsequent years. Plus, it’s easy to duplicate your CauseVox-powered campaign page from one year to the next!
Moving forward, Jakes plans to continue utilizing CauseVox to power the fundraising efforts of Mortgage Professional Providing Hope and Fit for Hope. As his community of personal fundraisers grows, the energy and support around the causes they hold dear are sure to follow suit.
We’re thankful for champions like Jake Vermillion who help spread the power of community-driven fundraising.
Thousands of organizations from small community-service charities like MPPH and Fit for Hope, to global development nonprofits use CauseVox to grow their impact by inspiring, activating, and rallying people to advocate for their cause.
CauseVox is a digital fundraising platform designed to help you grow giving and build a community of supporters activated for your 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.
Plus, CauseVox’s team is behind you! Each customer, receives 1-1 support and guidance from real people determined to help you feel confident and hit your goals.