United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Building Together with United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Raised with GiveSmart
Award-Winning Fundraising and Donor Management Platform
Mobilized donors from
unique ZIP codes

"It's [GiveSmart’s] really easy to set up and embed on any website. If you need to make an update to the form, it just automatically is applied … that's a thing that is really valuable to us ... that ease of setting it up quickly, of updating it quickly, and of embedding it where you need it to be."

- Jennifer O., Director of Marketing and Communications at United Way of Buffalo & Erie County


The greater Buffalo area has had a fair amount of crisis and hardship within its community since 2020. With as many as four in 10 people living in hardship, the COVID-19 pandemic was disproportionately difficult for so many and created a deficit so that when other challenges came, the community needed dedicated fundraising and support.    
United Way of Buffalo & Erie County had well-established workplace giving and other funding sources, but when their crestfallen constituents experienced several high-profile catastrophes in a short time period, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County quickly realized they needed an avenue for evergreen, individual giving.   

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When the racially motivated May 14 shooting happened, several partner organizations collaborated with United Way of Buffalo & Erie County to stand up a fundraising form and page, so that individual donors had an avenue to provide both short- and long-term community support. GiveSmart offered an easy-to-setup webpage and form so that this new group of fundraising and grant-making organizations could mobilize quickly 
Then, a devastating blizzard arrived in December of 2022, claiming over 40 lives and leaving countless other people without power and heat for days, with significant property damage, lost wages, lost groceries, and more. United Way of Buffalo & Erie County knew people would expect a way to give 
GiveSmart allowed them to respond in an agile way and to mobilize a fund within days of the onset of the crisis. GiveSmart’s customizable, embeddable forms allowed the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County team to better engage with their support network in creating The Community Resilience Fund.   

Erie county resilience fund


United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, recognizing that the need for crisis response is likely to occur again, realized setting up an evergreen emergency response fund would be prudent. The Community Resilience Fund and its predecessor have engaged donors from over 1,000 ZIP codes; an easy way to give online has proven critical to the Fund’s success. Now, when a crisis occurs, they do not need to wait to set up a new outlet for giving. The existing Community Resilience Fund can be repromoted anytime within minutes of a need arising

One surprising piece of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County's response fundraising was the way donors used the Note feature, an available field on all donation forms. As funds poured in from around the country, donors began leaving touching notes of encouragement and support. This bit of inspiration was just one more way that GiveSmart's easy-to-use platform made a challenging period of time a little less difficult.  

United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has been a GiveSmart customer for nearly eight years, originally turning toward the solution for a text-to-donate platform. Their team finds the platform intuitive, which has opened up additional opportunities to use the platform. They’ve more recently tried new-to-them things, like peer-to-peer giving as a part of their largest volunteer day, QR codes in marketing, voting competitions, and as an outlet for third-party fundraisers.  

GiveSmart offers unlimited campaigns and use of these tools with every contract, so when United Way of Buffalo & Erie County was looking for more, they already had all the tools they needed to best support their goals.   

About United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

For over 100 years, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has worked to close the health, education, and financial divides that threaten the well-being of their community. By forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, and mobilizing the best resources, they inspire individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting social crises. Breaking a cycle of hardship to build a strong, equitable Erie County. One that is resilient in times of emergency—and beyond. 

About GiveSmart

GiveSmart is a fundraising and donor management system that enables organizations to accelerate fundraising through configurable, mobile-friendly campaigns, peer-to-peer giving, auction and event management, simple tracking, and secure payment processing.  

Our mission is to help nonprofits and organizations reach their fundraising goals while creating an engaging, exciting, and easy giving experience for their donors. All. Year. Round. Click here to get started with GiveSmart.