Success Story: United Way of Mesa County raised $11k on Givebutter to support local nonprofits and give back to community restaurants

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Rachel MillsWhite arrow icon

Success Story: United Way of Mesa County raised $11k on Givebutter to support local nonprofits and give back to community restaurants

In this video, I’m joined by Holly from United Way of Mesa County. Through a unique Ticket to Taste Booklet fundraiser, this organization was able to raise $11k through a virtual event aimed to raise funds for 27 local nonprofits while supporting local restaurants. Follow along to find out how they made their first-ever Givebutter campaign so successful. Plus, Holly shares:

  • What made them turn to Givebutter
  • Tips, tricks, and lessons learned for designing a beautiful campaign page
  • Words of wisdom for first-time fundraisers
“When we realized we needed to do a virtual event for the pandemic year, Givebutter was really the best for the event side and for being able to host other fundraisers or giving forms or text-to-give if we need something like that. Givebutter was the most well-rounded option. When it came to our event, we were able to create several different pages for the same event and really make it creative and help distinguish them but to have everything in one place. It was a really easy way for us to collect donations online, sell things online, and host a live video event all in one year.”

Bon appétit!

Campaign at a glance

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Full video script

Rachel: Hey everybody! Rachel here with Givebutter. Thanks for joining for another Success Story from the Givebutter community. Today, we are featuring United Way of Mesa County. This nonprofit raised over $11,000 through its Ticket to Taste Booklet fundraiser. I have Holly here with me who’s going to share how they were able to create such a unique and successful event—one unlike we’ve ever seen before on Givebutter. She’s also here to share what made them turn to Givebutter with tips, tricks, and lessons learned. You’re going to want to stay and hang around to learn how they made use of their first Givebutter campaign to be so successful. Holly—from one former United Way employee to another—thank you so much for the work you do and for joining us today.

Holly: Yeah, absolutely! Happy to be here.

Rachel: To start, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself and what you all do for your county.

Holly: Absolutely! My name is Holly. I am the Resource Development Manager here at United Way of Mesa County. What we do is we fundraise to help raise money for 27 other local nonprofits that are fighting in the areas of health, education, and self-reliance. This way, we can really provide everyone in our community the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Rachel: Amazing! You turned to Givebutter for your Ticket to Taste fundraiser. What was that all about and what were you raising funds for?

Holly: We had been researching software similar to Givebutter just in general. When we realized we needed to do a virtual event for the pandemic year, Givebutter was really the best for the event side and for being able to host other fundraisers or giving forms or text-to-give if we need something like that. Givebutter was the most well-rounded option. When it came to our event, we were able to create several different pages for the same event and really make it creative and help distinguish them but to have everything in one place. It was a really easy way for us to collect donations online, sell things online, and host a live video event all in one year.

Rachel: Amazing! So, your Ticket to Taste fundraiser—for those that aren’t as familiar with the concept, can you tell them a little more about how that works?

Holly: Our Ticket to Taste is a coupon booklet—I actually have one.

Rachel: Oh!

Holly: They’re these little coupon booklets—oh, I have sticky notes on it. It’s a little coupon booklet and in it we have local food and beverage establishments: coffee shops, wineries, breweries, other food commodity groups. They were able to provide the coupons in it. This way, we were able to still give back to the restaurants that were really hurting during the pandemic while still raising money for our 27 nonprofit partners. That’s how Ticket to Taste came to be this year. We also did a video portion of the event that we also hosted on Givebutter.

Rachel: Ok, alright. How did you know that this Ticket to Taste Booklet format was right for you, right now? Because I know it’s new to your organization. What made you turn to that at this moment?

Holly: Definitely. In the past, our fundraiser in the spring has been a food festival. Getting 1,000 people in a ballroom to eat this year wasn’t going to happen. So we tried to figure out how we can still support restaurants, how we can still support nonprofits, and raise money but doing it safely. We created these coupon booklets with coupons that last until August. This way, people can go out—go to these places that they already love and support and that have supported us—on their own time, safely. We were actually able to include a lot more restaurants than we did in years past. Our reach was actually more than double this year; it was about triple what we’ve done in previous years. That’s something that’s been really rewarding and exciting as we got to include a whole lot more people.

Rachel: Absolutely. I’m just curious: how long did it take you to plan something like this. I’m going to share my screen here, so people can see your beautiful campaign page. You included so many local restaurants and businesses. How long did it take you to pull that off?

Holly: It was about a month.

Rachel: What?!

Holly: It was about a month. We did all of the recruiting, soliciting, coupon creation—all of that was about a month’s worth of work. It was a very busy month.

Rachel: I can imagine! How did you do that? Did you just send a warm intro in an email or…?

Holly: So, I didn’t do it alone. Our board members, and we have a campaign cabinet. We had a lot of volunteer help. We all had a group of restaurants that we were assigned to, and we all reached out to them. As soon as anyone showed interest, I would follow up. We had templates for the coupons to make it as easy as possible. We provided them with a link to sign up and pay for their spot because there was a small entry fee to be in the booklet to help us cover printing costs. They paid that on Givebutter through a separate form that we were able to make which was really nice because that was easy for them. Then, they got their coupons over to me, and I created the booklet.

Rachel: Very cool!

Holly: Yeah!

Rachel: Very impressive that you were able to pull that off in a month’s time. Kudos to you and your team.

Holly: Thanks! It was a lot, but it was good.

Rachel: As we’re looking at your campaign page here, what are some tips, tricks, or lessons learned that you would want to share to those that are following along right now?

Holly: Lesson number one, definitely: your Customer Success Rep is amazing. We worked with Tori a lot. She helped me with resizing photos and getting things right and making sure that the way booklets were purchased were going to go through and we could track all the right information. Definitely working with the Givebutter team was really helpful and really necessary just for us to figure out and make sure we were selling it right. Especially since we were selling something physical. Other than that, I think just focusing on making images that are going to be clear and easy to read and not too condensed with information. Then, resizing them correctly. After we were able to do that, that was kind of it. The backend of it...it’s super easy to create it. It really didn’t take me any time to create the page or any of the other pages we used. It’s all just been really easy quite honestly.

Rachel: Yes, so happy to hear that. Resizing is key. Your page was just so easy to follow on both mobile and desktop. I think that’s definitely a pro tip: don’t size for just one or the other. You’re going to have people who are using both views. This page looks absolutely beautiful.

Holly: Thank you! Once we figured it out, everything just worked flawlessly. It’s been really great to be able to use this. We’ve had nothing but good feedback. The only other tip I have is some people when it hit their bank account, it came from Givebutter. I think they got a little confused by that. I think as long as you're like, “Hey, the payment on your card is going to say it’s from Givebutter. That’s who’s hosting this page.” That’s perfect.

Rachel: That’s a good one! If you were to do this again next year, is there anything you would do differently?

Holly: On the Givebutter side of it, no. Givebutter was really great for us to use. It was super easy. I really loved being able to pull a QR code for everything and post those around because those really did help. Having those customized links also really helped. So, on the Givebutter side of it, no. I don’t think I’d do anything differently. Maybe just put a little disclaimer that it’s coming from Givebutter, but no one was upset about it. They were just confused like, “Is this right?” And I’m like, “Yep! That's correct.”

Rachel: “Givebutter? Is that real? Is that a real name?”

Holly: “What is this?” I’m like, “Oh no, that’s real. Trust me. Everything’s fine.” But, yeah. I had no complaints about it. Super easy. No one was confused with the process. I will say my favorite thing was the optional “Add a donation?” that it asks our supporters. A lot of people took advantage of that. When people went to buy a booklet, they would also add a donation and that actually really boosted some sales too. That was really great.

Rachel: Yes, I noticed that and I was like kudos! That looks so good. Any other words of wisdom that you might have for other Givebutter fundraisers who are following along right now? Maybe they’re about to create their very first fundraiser just like you. What would be your word of wisdom or encouragement to them?

Holly: Don’t get intimidated. It’s super easy to use. If you get stuck, the Givebutter support team is amazing and they’re super responsive, super helpful. They’ll walk you through anything you need to. There’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s just fun, it’s easy, and hopefully your supporters will help donate a lot more like ours did.

Rachel: Holly, congrats on all your success with this fun fundraiser. Thank you for letting us share your success with the entire Butter Fam today.

Holly: Yeah, absolutely! Thanks for featuring us and thanks for helping us along the way. It’s been a really fun process.

Rachel: For everybody else who’s following along, please remember to like, share, and subscribe to Givebutter’s YouTube channel. Thanks so much for joining, everybody. We’ll see you next week for another Success Story. Until then, happy fundraising!

View campaign: Ticket to Taste Booklet

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Written By

Written by
Rachel Mills
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.