Customer Story

Movers & Shakers: National Domestic Violence Hotline’s GivingTuesday Campaign

Kristin Campbell’s fundraising story is not an exception to how current events can quite literally change the course of history for your nonprofit.

Three months before their GivingTuesday campaign, TMZ Sports released a shocking video. It showed Baltimore Ravens star, Ray Rice, punching his then-fiancé in an elevator, knocking her unconscious. He then tries to drag her lifeless body out of the elevator when bystanders approach him. Once this video was released, their 160 office staff couldn’t keep up with the call volume, a volume that rolled over into their GivingTuesday campaign.

You never know how chaotic factors will change the game for your nonprofit and those you serve. That’s exactly what’s happened at the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas.

Let’s hear from Kristin.

Can you tell me about the National Domestic Violence Hotline?

The hotline started as a result of the Violence Against Women Act that was passed in 1994. Since then we have responded to over 3.5 million calls for help from women in abusive situations. We seek to provide compassionate care and support to every person. If someone’s not ready to leave, we help her think through a safety plan for the next twenty-four hours. We meet the callers where they are because we believe they know their situation best.

What was your fundraising approach?

Small donation “asks.”

Our GivingTuesday campaign was titled, #Gingerbreadforgood to help people understand it takes an entire community to end domestic violence. Every time someone would give $20 we added a gingerbread person to our village, illustrating the idea that every person can do something. $20 helps us to open the door to safety for one person. $20 is a few lattes or a concert ticket. It’s something that’s doable by everyone.

Be relatable.

We think the #Gingerbreadforgood theme gives people a fun entry point to talk about an issue that’s not always easy to talk about. If we’re providing imagery that people can relate to it can be one more entry point for a new person through social media outlets. Most people don’t relate to what it’s like to be in a domestic violence situation, but they understand needing safety and reaching out.

What were the easiest aspects about the campaign?

The timing.

We had no control over the current events and media exposure we would receive. After the Ray Rice elevator video was released our call volume jumped by 84%. This happened on September 8th and the call volume hasn’t gone back down. A lot of people called saying, “When I saw that video I knew I wasn’t alone so I knew I could call.” As a result, our CEO has been on every national media outlet and five news crews show up to cover our fundraising campaign!

What would you do differently for the next year’s GivingTuesday campaign?

We’re going to need a bigger space! We were running out of room at the end for all of our gingerbread people. GivingTuesday is the most important time of year for us to engage our supporters in our database and open the conversation a little further to new people and after this year’s success, we’re going to have to plan for an ever-larger response for next year – which means more space! We always want to be about moving forward and taking our success and adding to it. We’re eager to see how next year’s goes.

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