How can we use the enthusiasm of our staff and social media to engage new donors?
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
In an effort to increase end of year contributed income and reach new, younger donors, YAOW created an easy to share digital campaign in Fall 2013. Centered on a short video created from existing footage of students and artists in schools, the ask was simple, straightforward, and easy to understand: $14 for 2014. The language of the video ask was repeated on the donation page on YAOW's website. Each staff member sent the video and a personal message to at least 10 peers, shared the video through their social networking sites, and wrote a short testimonial about the role of arts in their lives. These testimonials were gathered and shared out by YAOW through our blog, social media, and e-news. (See attached examples.)
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
YAOW is sharing this with the YA network as part of the 2014 call for Best Practices. Every affiliate is tasked with finding individual donors to support their work and mission, and we believe that our experience offers an easy to replicate model.
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
The $14 for 2014 campaign was highly successful. Not only did we double our year-end giving from 2012, we brought on 60 new donors with personal connections to YAOW and our mission. This campaign also served connect staff personally with development work; while YAOW holds an annual gala event to which the entire staff contributes time and energy, the price point is such that attendance and participation by many peers is not a realistic expectation. Participation in the 2013 end of year campaign, on the other hand, had a low entry point and, thanks to the personal messages shared by staff, tangible outcomes connected to the giving.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
Yes. By creating a straightforward, easy to share video with an integrated online platform, YAOW was able to capitalize on the enthusiasm and passion of our staff to increase year-end contributions without taxing busy schedules. By involving our whole staff in the year-end effort, we increased "buy-in" from our staff and, consequently, our community. By working with existing video footage and making minor, in-house changes to our online donation page, we created a relatively seamless experience for donors (the look, message, and impact of their gift was clear) without breaking our budget or overly taxing our staff.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
While it is vital to engage deeply and often with major donors, it is important that we offer many entry points to supporting our mission. Creating an online campaign is not a replacement for traditional our end of year ask (hand signed letters with personal notes), rather it is a way to reach new donors, remind donors to give, and encourage our donors to share our mission with their own message of support. This project also reminded us that while giving is ideally about the organization, it starts with people. We are lucky to have practicing artists and educators in our ranks, and their personal stories (from childhood and today) are as moving as the ones we share as an organization.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
Each year will require a strong, unique message grounded in our mission. As we move from year to year, it is also essential that we find ways to deeply engage these new donors and show our gratitude for their contribution -- be it $14 or $1,400. Making an online gift is the first step to becoming an involved donor; for some that means an increased contribution the following year, for others, joining us as a volunteer or a vocal community advocate. By re-imagining what our ideal donor looks like, we can continue to broaden our support base and build a strong YAOW for the future.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
In 2014, YAOW is thrilled to participate in the Willamette Week Give!Guide, an online giving site created by a local paper to encourage year-end philanthropy by people under age 36. While we anticipate participation in the Give!Guide will connect us with new donors, we are again creating and distributing our own online video. As donors to our 2013 campaign are now receiving a paper letter (as all prior year donors do), those individuals will also receive a hand written note from their primary contact at YAOW, furthering the personal connection between staff and our work. Being able to easily (and inexpensively) create an end of year video underscores the ongoing need for high quality video.
Core Content Standards
21st Century Learning Skills
National Core Arts Standards