Friends of Wye Marsh Inc
The Friends of Wye Marsh are a non-profit organisation based in Ontario, Canada who raise funds for the Wye Marsh Nature Centre which opened in 1969. Committed to connecting people with nature and maintaining the beautiful landscape on which the non-profit is located, fundraising is a vital part of daily operations.
There are more than 3000 acres of wetlands and federal forests that make up the centre. The area itself also acts as an educational and tourist location, which are the other fundraising routes relied upon to keep operations running smoothly.
Givergy has been supporting the Friends of Wye Marsh since 2020 when the pandemic hit and when fundraising actives needed innovative alternatives. In 2022, they hosted their third online auction which has allowed the non-profit to improve its fundraising capabilities with digital solutions even after restrictions have lifted.
Held over a two-week period, the online silent auction saw people as far as Toronto bid for items. More people could participate in the fundraising campaign because location was no longer a barrier to attendance. As the biggest event in their calendar, the online auction was carefully managed by the team, with prizes being selected based on their local relevance and significance to the centre itself to make maximum impact.
As a small volunteer-based organisation, time can be limited, but thanks to the Givergy system storing data from past events, campaign messaging was quicker than ever to peak interest. Our capabilities made other marketing tasks much easier and provided a mix of new and returning bidders to the online event.
The Friends of Wye Marsh raised $13,096, more than double what the first online auction raised back in 2020. They found that people shopping online, even in auction format, were looking for a good deal, and this has helped inform decisions about future events.
Friends of Wye Marsh found value in the Givergy platform through the following:
- Being able to re-engage past clients meant that 120 more people were able to participate that would have otherwise not been contacted and made aware of the 2022 event
- Participants were all happy with the system and found that it worked well
- The webpage design and customisation features allowed a professional image that was simple to achieve
- The instant guest messaging also worked well for contacting guests around the even
We asked Heather Keery, Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator, what the non-profit’s top tips were for harnessing the power of online auctions to achieve a growing fundraising result.
She commented that “One of the main things to get right is to choose the prizes that will appeal to your audience. We had a couple of trips further afield but found that the experiences based within an hour performed much better. Also, look at what performed well in previous years to see how to balance the types of prizes you offer.
We also had some local prizes, cookies in fact, that were donated and made big money. Therefore, bringing in the storytelling and community side of things did really well to remind people that we are raising money for a much-loved and worthy cause.
Finally, retargeting past clients did well for us, and thanks to the Givergy system, was easy to do.”
“We are so thrilled with the Givergy system and their online support”.