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Mobile fundraising from Give by Cell builds excitement at live event
For nearly a century, Hillel’s network of dedicated student leaders, professionals and volunteers have encouraged generations of young adults to celebrate Jewish learning and living, pursue social justice and connect to their peers. The nationwide service network offers life-changing trips and campus initiatives. Hillel engages with and inspires the leadership of more Jewish college students than all other endeavors combined. It’s mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students.
Technology impacts every aspect of Hillel’s organization, beginning with the CRM the organization uses to house its knowledge database for hundreds of campuses nationwide and donor management. But the task of fundraising has often been the realm of outbound email campaigns.
Hillel leaders needed a way to accept donations in real-time at the organization’s annual black-tie fundraising gala while also having the ability to view the donations being made and tracking where they originate.
“We wanted something we could do live,” said Jake Green, Hillel’s communications manager at the Office of the President. “We wanted to build off the excitement of the event in the room and be able to not only bring in donations live but be able to show people how the progress is going as it was happening.”
The fundraising gala was quickly approaching and the organization had a lofty goal to raise enough capital to pay the salary of interns at some of its campuses. Attendees included Hillel’s most significant major gift donors. Tickets cost $1,500 each, with the proceeds benefiting both the national organization and regional departments. The client researched other mobile giving solutions but chose Give by Cell because we offered a wider selection of services for a more competitive price.
Hillel purchased a custom solution that included the Give by Cell Mobile Donate service, allowing donors to make donations instantly using their credit cards, as well the Screencast fundraising thermometer, which displayed the donations being made in real time for guests to see.
A master of ceremonies gave a speech that included instructions about how to make donations—texting a keyword to a shortcode and being directed to a payment page. A Hillel staff member tracked the donations in real-time at the back of the room, and an anonymous donor matched each of the donations made, which energized attendees to make donations even more.
Hillel set a goal to raise $25,000 through live donations at the fundraiser, and raised more than $47,000. The amount raised was considerably higher than any previous year, Green said.
The organization has several other strategic fundraisers planned throughout 2017 and is now rethinking its giving strategies.
“Based on the success, we plan to incorporate the Give by Cell text-to-donate service in all of them,” Green said. “It’s in our thoughts for any future fundraising event.”