SOAR_Header_Image

Supporting Our Aging Religious

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increase in net profit for DC Gala

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increase in net profit for NY Gala

“Thanks to [GiveSmart] our virtual galas were successful financially (which was a big relief) and in quality (which was just as important to us). We experienced a higher net profit for both of our virtual galas compared to in-person galas of previous years.” 

– Kevin R. Callahan, Director of Special Events, SOAR! 

Challenge

Solution

Supporting Our Aging Religious or SOAR! is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to raising funds and grants to help Catholic congregations across the U.S. care for their elderly and infirm members. SOAR! holds two important fundraising galas each year, one in New York City and the other in Washington, D.C. Both galas have been a significant source of funding for SOAR! 's beneficiaries for the past 34 years. However, in 2020, SOAR! was forced to cancel both events due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The SOAR! team decided to create virtual events in place of both galas and began searching for a virtual production partner.

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The SOAR! team vetted ten different online fundraising platforms before choosing [GiveSmart]. The platform stood out for its robust virtual fundraising capabilities and expert support. SOAR! broadcast the live events in Washington DC and New York City on separate event pages with text-to-donate instructions and a donation progress circle. Attendees could see their donation amount and name displayed on the screen, creating a live-giving experience.
During the planning process, the SOAR! team decided it would be a mistake to try and imitate their usual in-person event and decided to focus on creating a program highlighting SOAR!'s mission while giving honorees an opportunity to accept their SOAR! awards in a stylish setting. Their primary focus was to present the religious communities of Sisters, Brothers, and Priests as the star of the galas. SOAR! promoted both galas through social media, email marketing, and direct mail channels. SOAR! kept both to a 40-minute program to keep attendees' attention, while their president Sister Kathleen Lunsmann emceed both events.

Impact

SOARS!’s New York City and Washington, D.C. galas were successful both financially and in quality. Their net profit (revenue minus expenses) for the 2020 SOAR! New York Awards Gala (a virtual gala) was approximately 40% higher than the 2019 New York Awards Gala (an in-person dinner). The 2020 D.C. Gala, raised nearly the same amount of revenue as the 2019 DC Gala with a 15% increase in net profit. The SOAR! Team discovered they could create a compelling virtual event program that engaged supporters, honored beneficiaries, and still raised critical funds with less overhead costs.

Smiling African American woman using digital tablet.

SOAR!, or Supporting Our Aging Religious, works to raise funds for Catholic congregations across the United States to support their retired and infirm Sisters, Brothers, and Priests. They also work to educate individuals about the retirement needs confronting the population’s aging religious leaders and develop a network of concerned individuals to respond to this need.

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Sydney,Australia - August 24,2014: Competitors in the 'Color Run' fun run in Centennial Park. Runners are doused in coloured powder, bubbles and water as they run the 5K course.

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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