The Ophelia Project & Boys Initiative – Tampa Bay more than DOUBLES its Annual Fund Drive results using DonorPages™
Founded in 2002, The Ophelia Project–Tampa Bay started as a community initiative focused on girls’ issues related to bullying and peer aggression, as well as social and emotional well-being. A brother project—The Boys Initiative of Tampa Bay, was formed in 2006. Today, The Ophelia Project & Boys Initiative- Tampa Bay (OPBI, Inc.) operates their Annual Fund Drive, highlighted by a mid-year Match Challenge. For 2009, the challenge was to raise $100,000 (double the goal set the year before) in order to receive $100,000, compliments of two generous anonymous donors.
Increase results of 2nd Annual Fund Drive. Provide easy-to-use fundraising tool for volunteers, staff, board and supporters.
Cynthia Salas, Director of Development, was looking for a solution that would not only help meet this year’s goal, but would make it easier for supporters to reach out to friends, family and colleagues – without having to spend a lot of their time calling and following up. “We wanted a tool that made it simple for our busy staff and board members to make the one-on-one ask, all the while educating the audience about OPBI’s mission, and providing a way for our kids to tell their story and why our programs serve a purpose in their lives. Since we were already using DonorPerfect, we looked into DonorPages and decided it was the right solution for us.”
DonorPages™ Social Network Fundraising webpages and DonorPerfect Online™
OPBI customized their DonorPages site with their own colors, messaging and, photos – even including a video embedded from YouTube. Once the OPBI DonorPages site was ready, Cynthia sent invites encouraging constituents to register and personalize their individual fundraising pages. “We had 48 participants, many having 100’s of personal contacts in their email accounts, fundraising for OPBI with their own DonorPage. Using DonorPages to invite those contacts to donate online was a time-saver – our board members and staff describe DonorPages as ‘painless fundraising.’ They appreciate how it helps them raise both money and awareness towards OPBI’s wonderful mission.”
DonorPages simplified the donation process. According to Cynthia, in previous years, donors had to go through four or five clicks just to make a donation. “Now with DonorPages it’s ‘one-stop shopping.’ Visitors just click the Donate link and make a donation, all the while viewing our video and reading about our success stories.”
DonorPages also greatly reduced paperwork. Before, most donations came in as checks or cash, collected by supporters or via postal mail. All requiring manual entry. This year, 80% of donations came online, and were automatically imported into DonorPerfect, cutting way down on manual data entry! “Go DonorPages! We raised over $100,000 in three months – we surpassed our goal! There’s no way we could have done this without DonorPages. And to have all these donations come online – no data entry – was fantastic!”
Go DonorPages! We raised over $100,000 in 3 months – we surpassed our goal! There’s no way we could have done this without DonorPages. And to have all these donations come online – no data entry – was fantastic!
Cynthia was especially delighted with one of the automated features. “We planned our campaign using a timeline, so we updated our DonorPages at certain times. For example, we first emphasized the girls story, using appropriate colors and photos. Then did the same for the boys. When our fundraisers followed-up with contacts, we discovered that DonorPages automatically updated the email groups, removing those who’ve made a donation. That saved us a lot of time deleting those donors, and kept us from bothering people who had already donated.”
How did the OPBI participants like using DonorPages? “The feedback was amazing! Everyone thought it was a wonderful tool that gave our supporters more ownership as fundraisers. Easy to manage. Easy to modify. Easy to personally thank their friends and family for their contributions. It was an all-inclusive tool. We were able to embed a video and tell our story. Our supporters definitely enjoyed the process. I doubt they would ever go back to our old way of fundraising.”
Cynthia was also impressed with the support. “Support was great! Response time was fast and courteous. Casey (DonorPages Support Specialist) didn’t just respond to my questions, but he made suggestions and even anticipated my needs.”
OPBI plans to use DonorPages for more events, such as the Annual Benefit Dinner and a potential new Golf Tournament. And OPBI Leadership Groups, headed by teenage boys and girls who benefit from OPBI’s efforts, are getting ready to use DonorPages to raise money for their specific program goals. “They really like DonorPages, and want to use it to raise money for their groups and for their own fundraising events. Teenagers have grown up with social network websites, and how DonorPages operates is very familiar to them. They’re drawn to it because of this familiarity.”
Cynthia thinks DonorPages is the right tool for this new era of online social networks. It’s a great way to get things done in the era we live in, with Facebook, MYSpace and Twitter.”
“Given the state of the economy right now, I am impressed that we were able to meet our goal, much less surpass it. I don’t believe we would have gotten this far without it and the effort put forth by my board members and staff. It’s a really great tool to give your volunteers and supporters. I’ve already recommended it to another nonprofit.”