How One Small Charity Inspired “Abundant Giving” with Chimp

Research | September 2, 2014

Fundraising is hard. And it’s especially hard for small charities on a tight budget with limited time and staff.

No one knows that better than Beth Carlson-Malena, co-director of Jacob’s Well, a small Vancouver Downtown Eastside charity with only four staff members. JW_blog “We already have enough trouble covering all the basics,” she says. “Finding a way to raise money beyond our usual donor base, and doing that in a way that doesn’t take up too much time, has been tough.”

But when Chimp reached out to Beth to let her know about a fundraising and matching opportunity through Clara’s Big Ride, a campaign powered by Chimp, she was on the fence.

“I was very sceptical,” Beth remembers. “We assumed it’s going to take a lot of our time, there’s going to be strings attached and it’s not going to be as good as it seems to be.’”

Beth passed the invitation on to her co-worker Yolanda Bonkowski, who followed up with Chimp.

“We ended up raising over $15,000 for Jacob’s Well in the middle of the summer. It’s basically a miracle for us, and working with Chimp has been an incredible experience.” JW_blog7 $6,500 in Matching Money & No Fees

With help from Chimp’s client success team, Jacob’s Well set up a fundraising page and had donations — totalling $6,500 — matched automatically.

“Giving through the Chimp fundraising page was such a positive experience for our supporters,” Beth says. “And the matching money helped us to expand our donor base. It really inspired abundant giving in people.”

The matching money helped us to expand our donor base. It really inspired abundant giving in people.

Her colleague Yolanda adds: “On top of the $6,500 in matching money, Chimp promised that we would get one hundred percent of donations, because Hootsuite was covering the 3% fee on Chimp. That totally came true. We got every dollar given to us.”

JW_blog5 With their campaign contributions, Jacob’s Well will be able to hire another staff member and maintain their programs focused on “building a community of unlikely friends”, as Beth puts it.

A Community of Unlikely Friends

Jacob’s Well’s headquarters couldn’t look more different than what’s commonly expected for a DTES community hub. There are no food line-ups or TV, but exposed brick, neatly framed portraits, hanging flower jars and an inviting open-concept kitchen.

JW_blog2 A plethora of instruments is arranged around a makeshift stage, and every Thursday is music night at Jacob’s Well.

“Arts and music are very important for Jacob’s Well and a place where we all can meet on level ground,” Beth explains.

Since she started working at Jacob’s Well six years ago, she has seen first-hand how making music or art together can foster healing, acceptance and friendship. JW_blog6 “Jacob’s Well is a community where people from vastly different background can find common humanity. A lot of people here have been coming by regularly for years, and I’m just so grateful that they trust us enough to open up and enter into these transformative friendships with us.”

One of Jacob’s Well’s most loyal regulars is Robin. Most afternoons he can be found at Jacob’s Well  — on occasion expressing his love for poetry and drama by reciting monologues from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. JW_blog3 “This is like family, like a home. You can just walk off the street and escape from the noise and the mayhem and just come in and talk to somebody, or read, or share things,” Robin says.

“I always find it hard to leave, and I always want to come back.

Interested in fundraising and matching? Give us a call at 1.877.531.0580 and ask about ongoing campaigns, matching opportunities or how to run your own fundraising campaign on Chimp! We’d love to talk to you.

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