January 28, 2021
Here are the highlights:
Building Community at a Virtual Event
“One of the biggest challenges in having an online virtual gala was that our leadership said we could not charge people to attend. How can you charge a person to just watch something for 30 minutes on their computer? In the past, we usually had about 50 to 60% of the money raised pre-event, so we knew that we had to up our game. Mobile allowed people to give during the event, make it a fun experience, and build community around giving all together at the same time.”
Making Donors Aware of the Keyword and Short Code
“We made sure our keyword was built into our messaging before the event even launched and then throughout the event. All people had to do was text “KIPPNJ” to a number, and they'd get a great little text back confirming that they're making a donation to the right organization. Some of our videos were pre recorded so we put a banner at the bottom with a text-to-give reminder. We were also able to do a QR code. People could just take a photo. It would bring them right to the donor site, and they could make a donation there. Then we were able to put the goal thermometer slide up on the screen and show everyone, in real time, the fundraising progress we were making.”
How Much Did KIPP NJ Raise?
“We came in with a goal to raise around $500,000, an eager goal for doing something virtually. We were able to raise $350,000 in advance from sponsors. During the event, we really tried to use the people in the room. We knew the benefit of virtual events is that you can invite anyone from anywhere. We had kids in the room. We had teachers in the room. We had alumni in the room, and we were able to pull from that energy. We made a goal of $150,000, and in real time, we were able to show that we were approaching it. In the end, we ended up raising around $200,000 from that night, for a grand total of over $600,000 for the event.”
Why Did KIPP NJ Choose Give by Cell?
“This is what really sets you guys apart. We signed up. We had training with a live person, Fred, who walked us through every single tab of the platform and made sure we understood. He allowed us to test things out in real time, which I really appreciated, because one of the challenges of setting things up on the back end is knowing what's the user experience like? The availability of the customer service team was just impeccable. I had a question. It was answered, very fast, very efficient. When you're running an event for the first time virtually, there's a lot of nerves. So I really wanted to make sure things went perfectly smoothly. With Fred’s support and your whole team’s support, it did.”