Treating Donors Like Family Allows Garces Foundation to Increase Giving by 775%
Based in Philadelphia, PA the Garces Foundation is committed to helping the city’s underserved immigrant community get access to healthcare and educational services.
Like many organizations, COVID-19 changed the foundation’s fundraising plans. Robin Morris, the Garces Foundation’s Executive Director, canceled the Foundation’s annual benefit and used the organization’s reserves to start a food pantry that served 225 families.
With that kind of commitment to community, it’s no wonder that Robin is known for her relationship-building skills. And with Network for Good, she is able to make those bonds even deeper. According to Robin, it makes fundraising feel like family:
“Network for good honestly adds to my love for my job…You give me all the communication tools, all the information about a person – now I have their birthdays, my notes, everything. I love it. I send my cards because Janet (CFRE) tells me. So it’s all about deepening relationships. It feels like a family.”
Taking a Tailored Fundraising Approach
Before Network for Good, Robin had difficulty finding the donor information she needed, when she needed it in DonorSnap. In fact, only about 40% of the donor information the system was relevant to the organization. Robin also had difficulty segmenting donors or identifying retention rates. “I could not pull those lists easily,” she says “It was not intuitive.”
That all changed with Network for Good. Instead of using a system with general features, Robin received one-on-one guidance to help make Network for Good’s Donor Management System work for her organization. Her Personal Fundraising Coach, Janet Cobb, offered tips to ensure a positive donor experience through segmented outreach and provided feedback to promote strong stewardship.
For example, the Foundation used to send a quarterly newsletter. Now, they send two newsletters a month. They also started focusing on recurring donations. Combined with Robin’s relationship skills, these small changes are leading to big results for the Garces Foundation. The organization went from raising $8,000 in 2016 to over $70,000 in 2020 at year-end using Network for Good’s engagement plans. That’s a 775% increase!
Here is what Robin had to say about their success: “We had our best year ever coached by Janet with all the tools…I downloaded the engagement plan…I followed it and we raised over $70,000. People knew us better from that. They were invested in the stories I shared. It was like an appeal of an emotional connection”
The Value of Video Recognition
With Janet’s support, Robin also uses Network for Good’s video features not only to thank donors, but also to show them their classrooms directly. She believes that the videos brought the Foundation’s mission to life in a way that no note could:
“I always write a personal note, and I think they’re great. I don’t know how they’re received because people don’t usually respond to me after receiving a personal note of thanks. But they respond to the video. There’s something thrilling, it’s the first time they’ve ever gotten it, it feels really appreciated.”
Fundraising + Vision = The Next Level
With an all-in-on fundraising program in place, Robin can now focus on how the Garces Foundation is using the funds raised to fulfill their mission. Their English classes are at record enrollment this year, and the organization vaccinated more than 100 restaurant workers at their health clinic. As Robin says, the organization is at the “next level” and it’s possible because of Network for Good:
“We’re doing a lot, and it’s because I can raise the money to keep doing it, keep deepening those relationships, sharing the stories from tomorrow and the new classes we’re doing…because we have the money now. I’m really good at my job now. I love it also allows me to stress a little less and enjoy it a little more because it works so well.”
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Photo courtesy of Garces Foundation