Lauren Barnes, Executive Director and the inspiration behind The Motherhood Collective, has passionately advocated for and supported women and their families in and around Lynchburg, Virginia for the past six years. Since the nonprofit open its doors in 2011, the entire team of staff and volunteers at The Motherhood Collective has sought ways to meet the needs of mothers from preconception all the way through the postpartum period.
This nonprofit is truly changing lives, from providing community classes, to frequent meet-ups and playgroups, during which mothers and their children can learn, grow, and bond over shared experiences and camaraderie.
We’ve taken notice of The Motherhood Collective, not just because of their notable mission and work, but because they used CauseVox to run a successful fundraising campaign two years in a row. This year, in particular, they blew their initial goal out of the water!
We recently talked with Lauren about her fundraising successes and we can’t wait to let you in on all the practical takeaways.
But before we jump into all the exciting details, here’s a quick rundown of The Motherhood Collective’s 2017 Maternal Health Matters campaign:
- Maternal Health Matters is an annual giving campaign
- 29 personal fundraisers mobilized
- $24,764 raised over a 32-day period
- An emphasis on nonprofit and personal stories
At the end of the campaign, The Motherhood Collective raised 4x more than their 2016 campaign and more than doubled their initial goal of $10,000!
“The Motherhood Collective raised 4x more than their 2016 campaign and more than doubled their initial goal.” tweet this
Fundraising: Not For The Faint Of Heart
Be honest, do you sometimes get a knot in your throat when you think about fundraising for your nonprofit? If so, you’re not alone. The idea of creating a fundraising plan, implementing said plan, and coming out better than when you started isn’t easy. It takes time, resources, and ample preparation.
And that’s the point The Motherhood Collective was at. Frankly, fundraising isn’t comfortable all the time and Lauren admitted to feeling a bit timid when asking for money in the past. She told us “money is how good work gets done,” but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to come by.
That’s one of the reasons she was immediately drawn to CauseVox.
Lauren and the Collective’s managing director, Maria Hayden, realized that online fundraising would maximize their exposure and help them meet their goal, all while catering to the needs and interests of their online audience. Plus, this method mobilizes the voices of many, not just staff.
In short, online fundraising was the best way for The Motherhood Collective to reach a large audience using the influence of their own supporters.
Online Fundraising: Powering Relationships
Fundraising is as much about building connections as it is raising money, which is one of the reasons why fundraisers are often called “friend-raisers.”
“Fundraising is as much about building connections as it is raising money.” tweet this
Thankfully, The Motherhood Collective has a strong backing of donors and other supporters eager to engage on a deeper level— they just had to activate them!
By using CauseVox’s peer-to-peer fundraising tools, The Motherhood Collective engaged donors and clients alike by converting them into sounding boards for the campaign and cause.
Throughout the campaign, Lauren and her team reached out to their most loyal supporters to thank them for their efforts, which kept everyone active and engaged in the process.
Online fundraising with CauseVox helped The Motherhood Collective build on their relationships with supporters by engaging them in the fundraising process.
Fundraising Anytime, Anywhere
Today’s donor isn’t just on a desktop computer. In fact, they’re more likely to access a fundraising website on their mobile device than a PC. The Motherhood Collective, like any nonprofit that needs funding, wanted to capture as many donors as possible, but this meant finding a platform that wasn’t just accessible, but also user-friendly.
One of the features Lauren really appreciated was the mobile-optimization of a CauseVox website, which came online in 2016 and helped elevate the results of their recent campaign. “I really appreciate that you guys are mobile-friendly … that was a big addition and I honestly think that was something that influenced the campaign’s success this year.”
But that’s not all. Each website is up and available during the entire duration of the campaign, meaning that donors can give anytime, anywhere.
Personalization & Continuity
A big problem many nonprofits face isn’t finding the time to plan a fundraiser, but actually putting all the pieces together so the campaign goes off without a hitch.
For last year’s campaign, Lauren spent a lot of time perfecting her website. Everything from the url to the fonts and layout were custom to match The Motherhood Collective’s branding. It’s important, after all, to maintain the “vibe” of your nonprofit so donors feel confident about who they’re giving to. According to Lauren, “I love that we can customize the campaign site… it makes it very much “our” site. It feels very unique to us.”
Then, this year, all it took was the click of a button and Lauren was able to reuse her old website— layout and all! “Oh my goodness that was like the best thing in the world and retained me as a customer, because I didn’t have to go back and do it all over again!”
The duplication feature allowed for the continuity of the nonprofit’s personalized website, saving Lauren time and ensuring a similar experience for donors one year to the next.
“At The Motherhood Collective, we don’t want to tell our story… we want to tell their story.”
At the heart of every fundraising campaign is a compelling story. Stories act like a glue that connects a prospective donor to the cause and encourages them to give.
Most often, this is the story of the people, places, and things your nonprofit serves. Naturally, each mother who gathers for The Motherhood Collective’s programming has their own story to tell about how the nonprofit has impacted them.
Because client stories are plentiful at The Motherhood Collective, Lauren knew they had to use these for the Maternal Health Matters campaign. In fact, Lauren believes these stories added a human element to the fundraiser. “I think one of the reasons why the CauseVox platform works so well is because it allows individuals to tell their story and share it with their immediate circle. How I tell The Motherhood Collective’s story is different than how one of the women we’ve helped would speak about us—but she’s telling her own story in her own words, which then tugs at the heartstrings of her family and her circle of friends…”
Supporters could set up their own personal fundraising page or share their story on social media to bring attention to the cause and show others how they can help. Not surprisingly, social media played a big role in The Motherhood Collective’s 2017 campaign. With social sharing buttons, it’s easy for personal fundraisers, donors, and even onlookers to look at the campaign website and share it on their preferred social media platform.
“One of the most touching or impactful parts of our campaign promotion was highlighting women’s stories who have benefited from our services on social media and adding “Read More” or “To donate personally… and ensure that more women like her know that they are not alone click here” (and we inserted the link to their page).”
When push comes to shove, every supporter has their own “story” and it’s important to give them a medium to share it with others.
“Every supporter has their own “story” and it’s important to give them a medium to share it with others.” tweet this
The Motherhood Collective: Mastering Online Fundraising Year Over Year
“Because of our successful campaign, we can fully launch a well-funded adoption support program for women walking through the adoption process.”
We’re so excited for The Motherhood Collective! By using CauseVox and following online fundraising best practices, they were able to blast past their initial goal and, in the end, they’re better able to serve their client base. In the process, they inspired the community through personal stories, activated supporters to give, and rallied those willing to go the extra mile to share the campaign and/or become a personal fundraiser.
“The thing that changed between this year and last year is absolute boldness and confidence in the work that we are doing and never apologizing for it… never apologizing for reaching high financial goals. …Money is what helps us do the work that we do…”
To check out the Maternal Health Matters campaign, follow this link. If you’re interested in learning about how you can use CauseVox to activate your supporters and raise money for your cause, schedule a 1-on-1 demo.