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Case Study: JDRF Personal Campaigns

DonorDrive has released some great improvements for Personal Campaigns. If you're not familiar with Personal Campaigns yet, don't worry. We're an early adopter of this great fundraising concept and are dedicated to making Personal Campaigns a must-have fundraising tool for everyone as we already have for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

How do Personal Campaigns work?Team JDRF Logo

The concept is simple: allow supporters to set up their own fundraising campaigns without requiring them to be part of one of your big events. Jenn Fishkind from JDRF is an avid supporter of Personal Campaigns and gives an example:

"We had an uncle to a little girl that had just been diagnosed with diabetes. He was already signed up to run in a marathon and decided to have people donate." So the uncle set up a Personal Campaign on the Team JDRF site and used the integrated social networking tools in DonorDrive to get the word out to friends and family by email, Twitter and Facebook.

The process for a supporter to create their own Team JDRF Personal Campaign is even simpler than setting up a fundraising page for a JDRF event, like a walk. The best part of the news? "This was a very last minute effort that he did and he raised $5,000. It's money we would never have seen."

T1 Day was the litmus test.Diabetes T1 Day Logo

Personal Campaigns present fundraising opportunities where there were none before. An example is T1 Day, a national event focused on generating awareness of Type 1 Diabetes. It's held annually on the first of November to kick off National Diabetes Awareness Month. This year JDRF used DonorDrive to offer T1 Day Personal Campaigns as an experiment (in Jenn's words) "to throw a little spaghetti to the wall and see if it sticks." The results of this test drive were impressive. "We had 115 campaigns. That's $15,000 we would never have seen." What was an awareness-raising event became a larger opportunity with Personal Campaigns backing it.

How Personal Campaigns developed for JDRF.

If it's a single participant running in the Boston Marathon, they can just go and set it up on their own and it's immediate.

Jenn FishkindDirector, Team JDRF

The idea of doing Personal Campaigns in DonorDrive really struck Jenn as having big possibilities. "We launched Personal Campaigns in April. It was a new idea and we thought we'd just see how people use them. They were first referred to as our Tribute Pages. Initially they raised $70,000. We suggested that people use them for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings."

Then supporters began to come up with their own unique campaign ideas. "We started to see some interesting trends with some categories popping up more than others. And then we decided to take it to another level and create themes in DonorDrive that went along with those categories."

Themes from festive to respectful.

Some of the campaigns required special care in page aesthetics. "The biggest concern for us was Memorial Campaigns because you have to be careful with that. You want to make sure you're respecting the family. We didn't want a goal thermometer on that theme. We wanted it to be a more subdued look as opposed to having our Team JDRF banner on there." The DonorDrive design team worked closely with Jenn to finesse the respectful feel of the Memorial Campaigns. "I'm very happy with the look we arrived at."

Serendipity: A new participant.

One of the bright surprises of Personal Campaigns for Jenn has been meeting new supporters. "Some of our most successful campaigns have been through endurance events, people running in a marathon or some other type of race. We've never met this participant before." And new participants also bring in new donors. As these donors and participants are both newcomers, they don't detract from JDRF's other campaigns. "They're not involved in our other events, like our walk. To me this is an opportunity for people who haven't been involved with JDRF only because they haven't found their niche. These are people who want to do something for JDRF."

Campaign on your own terms.

Jenn sees these campaigns appealing to those who want to do good, but want to do it their own way. Part of the attraction is the ease of setting up the campaign in DonorDrive. "You don't have to wait for an event to be set up or wait for it to occur. You can do it whenever and however you want to and do it immediately. If it's a single participant running in the Boston Marathon, they can just go and set it up on their own and it's immediate. That piece has been really great."

Screenshot of JDRF Personal Campaigns

The personal fulfillment that a Personal Campaign provides is a key factor in why participants have gravitated to them. "This gives them that immediate gratification to just go ahead and do it." These participants are fully vested since it was their idea, their personal cause.

There's also more incentive for the donors to take action since the participant is often someone they have a close personal relationship with. These donors seem to have more of a stake in the campaign as well and find the social tools that are built into the Personal Campaign page a convenient way to pass the word around. "The world has become a viral place." Jenn also feels that donors appreciate the convenience of donating quickly by credit card or PayPal from Personal Campaign pages on DonorDrive to be a convenient way to spread the word. "People now would prefer to give online instead of through the mail."

Being your own test subject.

Jenn tried it out for herself and created her own Personal Campaign. "I held my own T1 Day campaign this year. I did it entirely through Facebook and raised $1,800 dollars." Jenn has participated in many other organized events before, but this one showed her firsthand just how effective a Personal Campaign in DonorDrive can be. "I raised more in my Personal Campaign than I have in any other event I've participated in."

Success for all JDRF Personal Campaigns has been evident for Jenn. "We're really excited about it. There's a ton of potential in Personal Campaigns. We've really just scratched the surface with it and have been quite pleased so far. I think it's a wonderful tool and appreciate that DonorDrive is working on developing it and is committed to continually making it better and more user-friendly."

Whether the new participants and new donors are committed long term remains to be seen. Jenn feels many of the endurance participants will make their Personal Campaign a yearly event. She also sees many opportunities for Personal Campaigns that haven't been tapped yet. "I think the possibilities are endless."


JDRF Quick Stats

Who: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is the leading global organization supporting Type 1 Diabetes Research.

What they do: More than 80% of the funds raised supports research and education.

JDRF's Key Benefits of DonorDrive Personal Campaigns:

  • They bring in new participants, donors and funds.
  • There's minimal involvement needed from their staff.
  • It's an alternative way for supporters to help raise awareness and money for the mission.

Metrics: As additional funds, Personal Campaigns have raised over $100,000 from new supporters in less than a year.

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