In this video, Danielle from Faces in Between shares how they raised over $30,000 for their SNACC program and COVID-19 Food Support Initiative. SNACC began as an after-school cooking initiative, providing nutritional education programming for youth growing up in limited-resource environments—then COVID-19 hit. In their commitment to address food insecurity during the pandemic, Faces in Between partnered with a local farm to deliver over 16,000 healthy meals directly to community members’ doorsteps! They used the Givebutter platform to invite others to support their mission of providing nutritious food for families in need—all for less than $2 a meal. Danielle also chats about:
- What made them choose Givebutter for their fundraising efforts
- How they made it easy for supporters to click donate
- What made their fundraising campaign so successful (Hint: Custom donation amounts!)
- Tips, tricks, and lessons learned for fundraisers hoping to make the most of Givebutter’s features
“I love using the Givebutter platform. In the past, we've tried other platforms and I've had the most positive experience with Givebutter. I think that the donor engagement is really awesome on Givebutter. I love how it tells the story and it's presented in such a friendly way. I think having the customizable donation amounts . . really brings it home. It makes it personal. It makes it something that we can all comprehend. [Givebutter provided] the ability to customize our campaign and our donation level, so people can really make sense of their donation. They see our story, they see our ask, and then they're directly able to click that button and complete that ask. I think that's a really special and unique part of Givebutter as well.”
Campaign at a glance
Full video script
Rachel: Hey everyone, Rachel here with Givebutter again! Thanks for joining for another Success Story from the Givebutter community. Today, we are featuring a nonprofit called Faces in Between in New York City. We are going to be highlighting a COVID-19 emergency fundraiser that recently raised over $30,000 on the Givebutter platform. This program provides nutritional meals for families in need. We have Danielle here with us who’s going to dish on how they were able to make this fundraiser so incredibly successful. She is also going to be sharing what made them turn to Givebutter for fundraising, as well as tips, tricks, and lessons learned like always so that anybody who’s following along right now can give better with Givebutter. Danielle, thank you so much for joining us today.
Danielle: Thanks so much for having us! We’re excited to be here.
Rachel: Awesome! We're so glad to have you. So to start, if you could just introduce yourself, your role, and a little bit more about your nonprofit and what you all do.
Danielle: Yeah! So, as you said, my name is Danielle and I am the President of Faces in Between and the Executive Director of the SNACC program. SNACC stands for Sustainable Nutrition and Community Connection. We provide food education and culinary experiences as well as actual food itself to high-need youth in New York City and their families.
Rachel: Incredible. So, diving right into your recent campaign—that I just mentioned that raised over $20,000—walk us back to when COVID-19 was hitting your city really hard and your program. What led up to this virtual fundraiser?
Danielle: Yeah! We had launched our program as an afterschool program which was of course in person. When COVID-19 hit it really kind of presented us with challenges—as it did to everyone else. We had to figure out who we were going to be at this time of crisis, and how we were going to continue to carry out our mission and support the community. At that time, we really kind of took a step back and looked inwards and took another deep look at our mission statement and knew that we really needed to come up with a way to continue providing nutrition and nutritional resources to those who need it most—especially during these unprecedented and challenging times. At that point, we knew that we had to figure out a new way to connect with the community and get this food to them. We decided to partner with a farm, a local farm, and have meals delivered directly to the doorsteps of our community members. But that comes at a cost. We got it down to be less than $2 a meal. Daily nutritious meals for each student and every member of their household, so that's grandparents, aunts, uncles—whoever lives in that house. At least one really nutritious meal every day was provided and sometimes more than that. Some were pre-prepared foods. Others were fresh ingredients, fresh vegetables and fruits, and other dry ingredients for them to prepare meals for themselves. At that point, we knew that we needed to rely on the community and really leverage every person that wanted to help and create a space where people could give. When COVID-19 hit, I think that it brought out this feeling from all of us of just wanting to be part of the bigger community, wanting to give whatever we could whether that was $2 or $200 or more. But knowing that, especially when we were able to get these meals to be such a low cost, that every dollar would be able to count. No matter what you were going through there was a way that you could make a meaningful impact for your community. So we launched this campaign, and we ended up receiving so much support not only from our existing network, but from the entire school that we were serving. The classmates and the friends of the other families who they knew were struggling, the gym teacher, the music teacher, and the principal—it became such a strong community effort because everyone had an opportunity to help out in this way.
Rachel: Wow. Just incredibly important work that you all are doing. As you created this emergency fundraiser, it sounds like you know community effort—everyone really rallied around it. What was running through your head as you were building your beautiful campaign page? How did you think about telling your story? I'm going to go ahead and screen-share as you start describing that.
Danielle: We wanted it to be friendly. We wanted it to be clear. We wanted it to be welcoming, not intimidating at all, very easy for anyone to come, understand what we're about, see very clearly and quickly what they can do to help, and what our ask is. We just wanted it to feel, it to be a feel-good experience. I think that having the supporters with the ability to write notes—especially the donations that came from people who are involved with the school and directly know the students that we were serving. I think that having that ability to kind of communicate, for the teachers to post and show that they support it and then other teachers to like that post and kind of get on board with it and rally with us, really made a big difference. I think that overall just keeping it friendly and community-oriented was a large part of our goal and our success.
Rachel: I definitely agree with you. From what I've seen, people were really engaged in your supporter feed, sharing lots of heartwarming messages. A couple other things I noticed that I think made your campaign really successful and stand out was you kept your story to the point. It was very concise, very clear this was an emergency campaign. You needed help now and you made it easy for them. Here are some suggestions and here's what it will accomplish. Just making it really simple for people to hit the donate button. Then something that's really small, but we don't always see on Givebutter campaigns is you link to your website and social at the bottom. That may seem like a no-brainer, but it's something that can be really easy to forget when you're in the rush of creating an emergency campaign. For everyone who's following along, that is a best practice. Definitely include that at some point when sharing your story. But just want to highlight that you did that so beautifully. Obviously, when you click donate you match the dollar amounts that you mentioned in your story and the impact that they will make which I just thought was really engaging. Again, just making it easy for people to want to hit donate.
Danielle: Yeah, and I think that putting it in this way was such a big part of our success. Just made it so easy for people to decide what to donate and know that whatever they donated was going to make that direct impact. I think so often when people donate, you're kind of not really sure what's going to happen with those dollars and exactly where they're going to go, how they're going to be used. This was just a very clean and clear way to show that every dollar donated went directly towards a meal and provided for a child or a family for a day, a week, a month. It made a really big difference.
Rachel: Right. So what are other tips, tricks, or lessons learned that you have from this campaign that you could share with other fundraisers?
Danielle: Yeah! I would say my experience with Givebutter overall, between this campaign and our other campaign that we've used, we learned a lot. In our first campaign, we used teams. For each representative, we set goals for each team member, and that was a really big part of our success for our first campaign. I think knowing when to use that and knowing when it's appropriate is a really important tip for fundraising and for using the Givebutter platform. Because I think it’s what allowed our first campaign to overall just launch a SNACC program to be a success. But in a time of emergency like this when people in the community just want to contribute whatever they can in that moment, it's bigger than a team or those individual people—it's part of the whole community. Making that decision to not have individual teams here and to just kind of all stand together as one unit was, I would say, a tip and a success point for us. It’s something that is just important to think about: how you want to outline this campaign, and each campaign, and the goals that you have, and the feel that you want people to have when they come to this page . . . why are they donating? In our first campaign, people were donating because they were moved by each of our individual stories. But in this, it was a story that we were all experiencing together. We didn't need to have defined teams there.
Rachel: Yeah, it was a moment for solidarity. I love that you highlighted a really specific, tangible way you to do that is by, maybe for this campaign, is we’re pausing on team fundraising and we're just going to all do it with one voice which I think is a really beautiful perspective and obviously was successful for you. Were there any other reasons why you turned to Givebutter for pulling off this fundraiser? Or features that you used that were helpful? What was your overall experience like with Givebutter?
Danielle: I love using the Givebutter platform. In the past, we've tried other platforms and I've had the most positive experience with Givebutter. I think that the donor engagement is really awesome on Givebutter. I think that it makes it easy to communicate—even from just being able to love their comment and being able to have conversations in this way with your donors. I love how it tells the story and it's presented in such a friendly way. I think having the customizable donation amounts, like you showed before with the $14 goes towards feeding one student for a week. I think that that really brings it home. It makes it personal. It makes it something that we can all comprehend. What does $14 mean? It's very abstract. Or any other donation that we make we're not really sure what that amount means ever. But having the ability to customize our campaign and our donation level so that people can really make sense of their donation and feel like they have a better understanding once they leave the page. They see our story, they see our ask, and then they're directly able to click that button and complete that ask. I think it’s a really special and unique part of Givebutter as well.
Rachel: Well to close, what would be your word of encouragement to other fundraisers that are using Givebutter right now that are in the middle of their campaigns? What would be your word of advice or encouragement to them?
Danielle: I would say, play around with all the features, play around with the colors, and play around with all the experiences that you can use because Givebutter has so much to offer in terms of the live events that you can do and different types of engagement that you can have with the community and with the donors and with your team. I think that it's really important that as you launch each campaign, you think about what you need, how to really connect with the people that you're trying to connect with, and really explore everything that Givebutter has to offer. Figure out what the best path for your specific goal is.
Rachel: Great word of advice. Thank you so much for your kind words about Givbutter. We are so incredibly proud to have hosted your campaign so far. We cannot wait to see what your future success looks like for your world-changing program. Thanks again so much for doing this.
Danielle: Thanks for having us!
Rachel: Take care.
View campaign: SNACC by Faces in Between
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.