In 2020, Birch Family Services, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, celebrated its 45th anniversary. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic placed limitations on in-person fundraising events, Birch Family Services needed another way besides their typical spring fundraising event to fundraise and celebrate their anniversary. The Birch Team knew they could not forgo this vital opportunity to fundraise and celebrate their milestone.
The Birch Team created Birch@45, a 45-day virtual campaign consisting of a 5K Challenge and Celebrating Today, Building Tomorrow gala. They hosted Birch@45 on a [GiveSmart] Event Page with essential event details such as event honorees, links to registration, donation and sponsorship forms, text-to-donate instructions, and a donation progress circle showing their fundraising results in real-time. Also included were links to a peer-to-peer fundraising page so supporters could sign-up for the 5K and fundraise through their social networks. Additionally, the organization provided peer-to-peer fundraisers with email and social templates to share Birch@45 with their friends and family. Solomon Schecter’s Development Officer, Sherri Pliskin, was the first to hear of MobileCause. She was impressed with the platform after seeing another nonprofit organization display a MobileCause live fundraising thermometer at their event, and decided Solomon Schecter needed their own for their upcoming Annual Ner Tamid Gala. Hosting between 200-300 attendees, Ner Tamid is Solomon’s annual fundraising gala for parents, students, staff and supporters of the school. After much research and comparison, Sherri chose the MobileCause platform because of the fundraising thermometer’s ease of use and the ability for donors to give effortlessly from their seats, and in any amount, using text-to-donate keyword and shortcode.
By creating a virtual fundraising event, the Birch Team was able to celebrate its 45th anniversary and raise over $366,000. Incredibly successful was the peer-to-peer fundraising portion of their campaign. Initially, the Birch Team’s goal for the peer-to-peer fundraising was just $25,000, but after they quickly surpassed that goal, they aimed for $35,000, then $45,000, and in the end, raised over $83,000. Engagement amongst peer-to-peer fundraisers was higher than in past campaigns, as it was easy for participants to share their peer-to-peer pages through email and social media. Birch Family Services crushed its goals with its first-ever virtual fundraising event, helping to reach new donors and increase engagement among existing supporters.
Birch Family Services provides children, adolescents, and adults with autism and developmental disabilities across New York City with opportunities to reach their fullest potential. They offer individualized education and community services programs for individuals 3-21 years of age and comprehensive, practical supportive services for both adults and children.
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Disclaimer: This case study originally featured a nonprofit that used MobileCause. MobileCause is now fully integrated into the GiveSmart platform. All mentions have been edited to reflect the new naming conventions.
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