According to the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services Office on Women’s Health, one in 9 new mothers has postpartum depression, a feeling of sadness or hopelessness following childbirth.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) understands that when the health of the mother is compromised the impact has a ripple effect on the entire family. Their mission is to provide current resources, information, and education, and advocate for further research and legislation to support perinatal mental health.
Over the past 3 years, PSI has used CauseVox to streamline fundraising efforts and implement strategic digital campaigning tactics to raise awareness for their cause. The result? $220,000 raised to support mothers across the world.
About Postpartum Support International
PSI was established by Jane Honikman in 1987 at the first annual conference on “Women’s Mental Health Following Childbirth” in Santa Barbara, California.
With volunteer coordinators in every one of the United States and 36 countries, PSI promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing both across the country and around the world.
One of PSI’s ardent supporters and key digital fundraisers is Emily Newton, their Climb Out of the Darkness Manager. Climb Out of the Darkness is a community climb event and international campaign to raise awareness and funds for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Emily worked in higher education before the birth of her first child and personally suffered from both postpartum depression and anxiety. She found it difficult to find effective treatment where she lived in the D.C. metro area. After finding the support she needed at PSI, she was inspired to lead the Climb Out Of Darkness event where she lived.
In 2017, Emily’s ideas to improve the program led her to be hired to run the national campaign. In just 3 years, the campaign has nearly tripled its fundraising dollars, and attendance and engagement have grown exponentially.
CauseVox Helped Postpartum Support International Convert More Donors
Emily tried a few different fundraising platforms and struggled. One platform she used advertised their brand significantly on their fundraising page, which distracted supporters from the cause.
They then acquired a CRM that included a fundraising component, but the features were clunky, difficult to navigate, and not user-friendly.
“I donated [through the CRM fundraising component] — it took 3 separate screens, filling out 3 separate sets of forms before I got to filling out credit card information. How many people are going to lose interest before that point? In my life, my kid is going to come in and demand a snack, I’m going to put my phone down and I am never going to go back to it — and that’s our audience.”
A key takeaway from the lessons Emily learned was: Don’t neglect the donor experience. In order to recruit, engage, and retain supporters, build your campaign around the people who support you, making it easier and more personal for them.
With CauseVox, Emily is able to assure that her donors have a great experience, making them more likely to convert. With a 2-step donation process, mobile optimization, and mobile giving options (like Google and Apple Pay), donors can make a payment easily on any device they prefer. When donors know they can easily give to a cause they care about, they’re more likely to complete their donation.
CauseVox understands that a great user experience is key to successful online fundraising. Learn how to optimize your fundraising for any donor’s device, with an easy-to-implement page designed to increase the number of donations you get by 32%.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising With Less Stress
The fundraising goals of Climb Out of the Darkness rely on super advocates hosting their own local events all around the world, which Emily oversees. The fundraisers are ongoing throughout the year, with nearly 2000 peer-to-peer fundraisers participating in events in over 120 cities.
“Our peer-to-peer fundraising… is a behemoth,” Emily explained. “It’s sort of like running a breast cancer or a heart disease walk by yourself…I kind of describe it as riding a tiger.”
Because Emily is in charge of an unforeseeable amount of events for a large part of the year, she relies on CauseVox for more than just receiving donations.
“We use CauseVox not only for our peer-to-peer fundraiser but we also use it as our event sign-up, and we use it to distribute our liability waiver”
With CauseVox, Emily can rest assured that the fundraising signup process is as easy as possible for her participants, with fundraisers able to set up their page on any device in 60 seconds.
With CauseVox, Emily spends less time helping her fundraisers get setup, with less stress, so she can focus her energy on empowering fundraisers to succeed.
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
Once Emily realized that her super advocates were best reached on Facebook, she was able to target her campaigning more strategically.
“The target market is absolutely the people who are always on Facebook…three-fourths of the people who volunteer to run these local events are very adept and skilled at using social media already and don’t need me to tell them why to hashtag or why to tag the national organization — they already know how to utilize all of those tools. On the other hand, we have one-fourth of the people who may not know anything about how to utilize social networking for this purpose.”
Providing additional support to peer-to-peer fundraisers who need it will make their investment more personal and they’re more likely to continue to devote their time, energy, and dollars to your cause.
Emily explains: “I view my job as less of a fundraiser and more of a person that keeps the volunteers coming back.” Emily has been able to provide her supporters with the materials they need to advocate for their cause. Learn how to build your own nonprofit fundraising toolkit.
“We have pre-recorded online videos and if people in other countries have poor Internet connectivity they can take screenshots and…write in their personal story.”
Emily also runs a private Facebook group for her fundraising team leaders. In the group, She shares tips, updates, and also points people to her CauseVox campaign to set up their own personal fundraising pages.
Having supporters set up a fundraising page is easy on CauseVox, and the personal pages can be shared on multiple platforms in just a few clicks. They can customize their pages, add text, join teams, update their supporters, and share their progress easily with their self-service dashboard. Learn how to help your fundraisers set up their pages on CauseVox.
In the group, she also models the actions she’d like them to take in their local communities and offers encouragement. She gives shout-outs to individuals that have done something incredible toward the cause that’s worth commending. Never underestimate the power of a “thank you”, identifying, and shouting out a project champion.
Emily makes sure that members stay engaged and keeps the conversation going by giving team leaders a quick, small action that their volunteers can do like changing their profile picture on CauseVox every few days.
During this year’s climb, Emily’s goal is to raise $200,000 dollars for mothers across the world. Supporters can find a climb near them with their handy Climb Map.
Emily had these parting words for anyone who is digital fundraising for their non-profit for the first time: “If you’ve never done this before there is no metric to measure yourself against, so anything you do is better than not doing it.”
Digital fundraising doesn’t have to be intimidating or stressful. You can start small, and grow your fundraising predictably and sustainably using Digital Fundraising best practices and strategies, just like Emily did.
Raise More Money With Less Effort on CauseVox
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