The Washington Timbers Football Club is a nonprofit soccer organization in Vancouver, Washington. Affiliated with the Portland Timbers Major League Soccer franchise, the group provides soccer camps for area youth, and each year they provide scholarships for underprivileged young people to attend.
“We have a diverse membership, so the auction that we put on every year helps raise money for scholarships to help kids play soccer that otherwise would not be able to afford it,” said Michelle Beard, Soccer Operations Manager.
Recognizing the need to offer an engaging fundraiser experience, the club decided to hold a “Shave Jeff’s Beard” event for their 2016 auction. In addition to the usual tiered giving rewards of gift baskets, team jerseys and stadium jackets, one of their coaching directors volunteered to have his beard shaved by the highest single contributor.
The Club previously used PayPal for fundraising, but received negative feedback from their donors about its ease of use on mobile devices.
“We decided to try Givelify because we wanted something truly mobile native rather than a mobile-optimized website,” said Beard. “We wanted to give donors something quick and easy to allow our members to donate whether they were visiting with friends over drinks or sitting on the couch watching TV.”
The Club had also tried text-to-give with disappointing results. Their members were hesitant about providing information that could then be used for unsolicited and unwanted contact.
“A lot of people don’t like the text thing,” Beard said. “When we ask our members about that for general communication, people don’t want to receive that. They’re afraid to sign up and then get texts about events or future things they’ll no longer be interested in.”
How Givelify Helped Fundraising Efforts
The Club followed these steps to promote giving with Givelify:
- Beginning a month prior to the event, the Timbers promoted the fundraiser via Facebook, Twitter, email newsletters, and on their website.
- In addition to encouraging their members to download and use the Givelify mobile giving app, they included the social giving link in all digital communication.
- They also added their Givelify Donate button to their Facebook page.
Thanks to Givelify’s easy implementation and reporting, organization staff were able to dedicate time and resources to other critical tasks.
- The Club utilized their customizable online and mobile giving app profile to promote the fundraiser via the cover photo and event-specific giving campaign.
- They were also able to stay abreast of the ongoing giving totals and provide regular updates on their fundraising progress, using donation reports to thank donors by name on social media.
“Unlike other solutions, we didn’t have to write code for buttons and that sort of thing,” Beard said. “And when it comes to reporting on capital campaigns, we can check the balance to see if we’re meeting our goals. We can collect large amounts of money with minimal administrative requirements.”
Results and Future Mobile Fundraising Plans
Not only did they exceed their fundraising goal before the night of the event, many people donated while in attendance and afterwards.
Beard reported that since the organization achieved such success with their first Givelify campaign, they are now working on a recurring giving campaign.
And yes, Jeff did indeed have his beard shaved.
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