Managing fundraising events can be challenging — we get that. There are so many things to keep track of. Any setback can feel like it could jeopardize the whole event.
At ClickBid, we’re dedicated to helping nonprofits overcome their challenges. Since 2002, it’s been our focus to help nonprofits raise awareness, strengthen donor relationships, and enable year-round giving opportunities to raise more money.
But how does ClickBid enable nonprofits to make it to the million-dollar milestones?
Introducing Success Stories — stories from nonprofits and charities just like yours on how they’re successfully managing their auctions, reaching more people, and raising more money.
Here’s one of their stories.
About Project 4031
Almost 25.7 million people are living with a terminal illness. At a point, instead of discussing treatment options for these patients, the conversation switches to what can be done to improve the quality of life for those dying from a terminal illness — and that’s an incredibly difficult conversation to have.
Project 4031 knows this conversation all too well. That’s why they partner with local hospice and palliative care professionals, to ease financial burdens and fulfill the last dreams of terminally ill children, adults, and their families. They strive to strengthen the patient’s end-of-life story — allowing them to end life comfortably.
Like many charitable organizations, Project 4031 fundraises to achieve its mission, but being unable to hold in-person events during a pandemic brought a new set of challenges and forced them to review their strategies and processes.
In-person events, where there was huge potential to raise support, were no longer allowed. Many organizations had to figure out a way to engage with their community virtually.
We sat down with Zoe Steel, Fundraising & Marketing Director at Project 4031, to learn how the Project 4031 team navigates these tough conversations with patients, families, and donors alike and how ClickBid has helped the organization raise more money in order to positively impact the lives of those facing end-of-life challenges.
More than a Mission
Zoe Steel has always been passionate about helping people. That’s why she joined the nonprofit, Project 4031, almost five years ago — striving to make a direct impact by bringing hope, strength, peace, and comfort to each person she comes in contact with. Her job consists of managing the fundraising efforts, hosting special events, and helping the nonprofit organization fund its programming efforts.
Project 4031 offers no-cost services to terminally ill children and adults with a current life expectancy of six months or less. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in Fort Worth, Texas, and only serves patients located in North Texas. They make every effort to help struggling families meet basic needs and make dreams come true for those unable to fulfill them on their own. The wishes granted, but not limited to, include taking one last trip with their family, visiting their favorite animal at a zoo, or being able to listen to the Bible at their bedside with their family and loved ones.
“We get a lot of requests to do experiences, which as a small nonprofit, we aren’t as well connected with celebrities or those types of requests,” Zoe said. “But through our channels, supporters, our advisory council and board, we are able to fulfill simple dreams like coordinating a bunny to visit the patient or provide funding for an end-of-life celebration.”
“One dream I will always remember is that we had one patient who was, I believe, turning 21, and she was obsessed with Darcy Lynn, who is [one of] America’s Got Talent’s winners. Celebrity experiences are very rare for our small organization. She loved her puppeteering and her singing, and through a unique connection they got to do a Zoom call — Darcy Lynn even sang happy birthday to her!”
“If we weren’t fundraising and building relationships with our community and donors, we wouldn’t be able to provide the services we can. We are grateful to our community and supporters.”
Each year, Project 4031 hosts an annual dinner and fundraiser, which is a large funding source for the organization. In 2020, due to the pandemic, they were not able to host an in-person event as normal and were worried they would not be able to serve as many patients as they normally do in years past.
At the time, they were using a different mobile bidding platform and were struggling to use the system. It never felt like they received personal “human” support and was more expensive than what was needed for a small nonprofit.
“So, as we moved into the pandemic, we realized we were going to have to shift to a virtual event. I was looking for affordable bidding platforms and event software, specifically for hybrid events. I found ClickBid through an advisory council member of ours and haven’t looked back,” Zoe said.
Zoe said in the past, it was constantly exhausting having to manage every part of an event. From getting RSVPs to managing the auction to simply organizing tables for our guests — it was consistently a challenge with a small team. To compare the two, ClickBid hands down was the more efficient and affordable option.
“[Using ClickBid] has made time management for myself and the team easier,” she said. “With a small team, this is a game changer… The communication between text and email is built in effortlessly, and you’re able to have each communication style drafted and sent out at the time you want to. This has been a tool we have used with great success.”
But because of COVID-era restrictions, the biggest challenge was connecting with remote donors and guests. That’s where ClickBid’s capabilities stood out for Zoe and her team.
They used the EventSteam feature to not only stream the event live but also have real-time bidding available on any device, making it easy for guests to feel a part of the event, even from home.
“In 2020 with a virtual event, we were planning our very best outcomes with also plans B and C in case of errors, we were all figuring it out as we went. Because of ClickBid, Project 4031 did not need a plan B and C. The smoothness and support the ClickBid team provided for our event was hands down top notch and we had the best auction we’ve ever had. We raised the most through our auction in 2020 through ClickBid than we ever had before,” Zoe said.
“And then our in-room giving has just continued to increase from there year to year.”
Changing the World One Event at a Time
Zoe said that even though there is so much planning that goes into fundraising events and making them successful, having an event fundraising platform like ClickBid helps to take the workload off of her team and make the event a simple and seamless process.
Project 4031 has conducted both virtual and hybrid events, but is now back to hosting traditional in-person events through ClickBid’s platform. The ClickBid team is also finding other uses and features to help streamline fundraising efforts for nonprofits including:
- Tax receipts: Now organizing and sending receipts is all done through the platform, freeing the team to work on other things after the event and follow up with our guests as they need to.
- Auction item displays: Listing them in the platform and exporting them into principal sheets allowed Zoe to quickly print them off and display something on tables.
- Tracking bidder numbers: This was always a headache for them in the past, but now they can organize them by table seating, and even pre-place bid numbers at the table.
“The hybrid event for us was much larger work even than a virtual event. Having the support from the ClickBid team beforehand with a dedicated advisor at the event was a must,” Zoe said.
“Last year, we went back to a fully in-person event. ClickBid was there to help and make our guest experience easy and efficient. It allowed us to have a sigh of relief and we knew everything was taken care of. As a result of our efforts, our in-room giving has continued to increase from year to year.”
“Fundraising is not always the most exciting area people like to hear about nonprofits, but if we aren’t fundraising and if we aren’t relying on our community support and using the tools we have access to, then we wouldn’t be able to provide our services. We couldn’t be here without it.”
Zoe and her team at Project 4031 are now gearing up for a new event and ClickBid is proud to be partnering with them to manage it.
“I am looking forward to the near future, adding to the guest experience, and because of our supporters and community we will be able to serve more terminally ill children and adults facing end-of-life challenges,” Zoe said.
Now, Let’s Go Make a Difference
Since 2011, Project 4031 has supported almost 1,000 hospice-eligible patients by fulfilling last dreams and providing financial support through basic necessities, rent, mortgages, and utility bills bringing peace and comfort to families who are going through one of the most difficult times in their life due to a terminal illness.
ClickBid is proud to partner with Project 4031 in their fundraising efforts which in return serves each terminally ill child and adult facing end-of-life challenges allowing them to end life well.
For more information about Project 4031, or if you’re interested in supporting their mission, please visit their website.
Is your organization ready to start raising more funds, delighting more donors, and changing the world? Click here to get a personal demo and learn how ClickBid can help.