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Friends of Youth

Founded

1951

How we helped

Digital Fundraising Services

Text-to-Donate

Online Giving Form

Live Event Thermometer

Segment

Human Services

Size

Medium

$32,000+

total raised

$16,050

raised via text-to-donate

$553.40

avg. text-to-donate gift size

“Our Digital Fundraising Strategist was an incredible asset. She walked us through the process of transitioning our in-person event into an online one. She was a fount of information and a cheerleader when we needed it most.”

– Lynn Juniel, Director of Development

Challenge

Friends of Youth, a child welfare, youth & family, and homeless youth services organization scheduled their 14th annual Celebration of Youth luncheon for March 6, 2020. Located in the Greater Seattle metropolitan area, Friends of Youth is located in the epicenter of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Their annual luncheon averaged 700 attendees each year and was a major source of annual funding. For the safety of all involved, on March 3rd, just three days before the scheduled event, the Friends of Youth team made the difficult decision to cancel the luncheon. Friends of Youth’s Director of Development, Lynn Juniel, reached out to MobileCause for ideas on how to continue the luncheon without jeopardizing the health of members and supporters.

Solution

With help from their MobileCause Digital Fundraising Strategist, Lynn and the rest of her team responded rapidly, converting their annual Celebration of Youth luncheon into a fully virtual event. They utilized Facebook Live to share the pre-recorded videos they were going to present at the luncheon. They also hosted a live Q&A session about Friends of Youth, their services, and why they need the help of supporters. They included text-to-donate keywords on their Facebook page and during their Facebook Live with donation matching opportunities. Lynn noted how text-to-donate worked best when audience members were most engaged, similar to an in-person ask. After the virtual streaming event concluded supporters continued to give online through a MobileCause online giving form. Also on display throughout their virtual event and on multiple posts on their Facebook page was their live event thermometer showcasing the amount raised, progress toward their goals, and the names of donors. With this virtual event, Friends of Youth was still able to create a connection with supporters and encourage in-the-moment giving among their 600 plus viewers without meeting in person.

Impact

Despite this being their first virtual fundraising event, Friends of Youth raised a considerable amount within an incredibly short turn around. By pivoting their annual luncheon into a virtual event, they were able to raise over $32,000 in total. During the live broadcast, they raised over $22,000, while the online event generated an additional $10,000 from donations submitted via direct mail and website the following weekend. Friends of Youth originally partnered with MobileCause to display its Live Event Thermometer at the luncheon, but in pivoting to a virtual fundraiser, the team realized they had an entire platform of online tools to generate excitement among viewers. This allowed Friends of Youth to still hold their Celebration of Youth luncheon and continue supporting the safety, stability and success of youth, young adults and families in the Greater Seattle area. The Friends of Youth team is now planning to incorporate virtual events into their regular annual communication strategy.

What is DFS?

Our team of Digital Fundraising Strategists have experience in nonprofit management and are power users of MobileCause. Using best practices and extensive fundraising, marketing and communications experience, the team provides fully-integrated development and setup of your campaigns. Enabling you to spend your time executing programs and connecting with your constituents. We create and implement campaigns for you so you can focus on running your organization.

Friends of Youth

Friends of Youth serves 6,500 children, youth and their families each year, at 26 sites and programs in 18 cities across the Greater Seattle metropolitan area. As one of the few nonprofits recognized by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children in Washington, Friends of Youth has been helping young people in challenging circumstances get back on their feet for over 65 years.

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