Meet our guest: Kimberly Watts
Fundraising Campaign Changes
CGI does an annual Match Madness fundraising campaign, a take off of the NCAA’s March Madness, that uses a matching gift to encourage additional giving. When the tournament was cancelled due to COVID, they had to rethink the entire approach to the campaign. This was made even more complicated by the general impact of COVID, not just its impact where basketball was concerned. After considering canceling the campaign altogether, Kimberly’s team made the decision to move forward, taking a very vulnerable approach. They acknowledged the pandemic and its economic and personal implications for their donors. However, they explained that they wanted to continue to meet the needs of the people in Cambodia, both now and in the future. They emphasized that every dollar counts and that any level of giving was helpful and appreciated. This approached worked well initially, and then the giving became stagnant.
During this time, the CGI team had a desire to help in some way concerning the pandemic. They weren’t sure exactly how to do this and were at a loss as to how they could make an impact. Along with that, their BYTAVI program was struggling with sales as boutiques were closing for a period of time due to COVID. They wanted to find a way to keep the women working in Cambodia and had the idea for producing cloth face masks, which were becoming a need everywhere. All this led them to relaunch their campaign with a “Mask Madness” component, where a portion of all the funds raised were designated for mask production and donation. They had secured additional funds from some donors to match every dollar donated with $2. People really responded to this and CGI was able to exceed their fundraising goal by quite a bit.
Virtual Events and Creativity
CGI puts on an annual gala in the fall that is their biggest fundraiser of the year. This year, they made the decision to do an entirely virtual gala. CGI has not hosted a virtual event before, so Kimberly has been watching and learning from other virtual events to help plan this new endeavor. They quickly realized two upsides of going virtual — first, their fundraising goal could be reduced significantly without the overhead of a traditional gala fundraiser, and second, they are able to involve supporters from everywhere (even Cambodia!), not just those who are local. This has also been a great exercise in creativity, as Kimberly and her team were able to not only reimagine this event but also come up with ways to enable people to be engaged, active participants in a virtual setting. They have added several creative elements that will make it a fun and inspiring evening. Additionally, the CGI team has decided to use the entire month of August to communicate with their supporters, all culminating with the livestream event.
For more information about CGI’s 2020 Impact Gala, click here.
Inviting People into a Mission
- We mention one of our other podcasts where we discussed donor relationships (Episode 3). If you’re interested, listen to our conversation with Karen Spataro of Riley Children’s Foundation.
- If you need a face mask, click here to order from BYTAVI or go to their boutique in Franklin (linked above). They have both adult and kid sizes.