For those of you who know me, or have read a prior blog, you know we welcomed chickens into our family last year. You have heard fun stories of naming the chickens, the one who ending up being a rooster, the day the fox came to dinner, and sequentially welcoming new chickens to the family! It’s been a fun ride and a great learning experience for my kids.
It was no surprise that my boys decided to turn their birthday party into a fundraiser for ZOE whose mission is to empower orphans and vulnerable children to become entrepreneurs who are socially, economically, and spiritually strong. And one of their programs allows donors to sponsor chickens for children living in poverty. The boys quickly doubled their goal of 10 chickens and my eldest was ready to do more.
Now fast forward to 2018. While getting back into the swing of things, I received an email from ZOE that said, “Welcome to the Family!” Once I clicked, I read a simple and sweet message that thanked us for being a new member of the family and they wanted to get to know us better, but first they wanted us to learn more about the ZOE program and why it works. While reading a smile spread across my face!
The cornerstones of good stewardship, like the donor engagement practiced by ZOE, are more critical than ever. According to the Philanthropy 400 which looks at the nonprofits who raised the most in private donations in 2016, charities who appealed to “investment-minded donors saw big gains.” Donors, or better yet investors, don’t want to give simply because it’s a good thing, they want to accomplish something and solve a problem. This comes back to communication and engagement.
As a nonprofit, we must share and engage the community in the problem we are solving. Donors are also more informed and tech savvy, so we must meet them where they are and create a seamless experience. At the end of the day it still comes down to relationships. Engaging people with your mission and sharing the return on their investment not only makes a donor happy, it helps you meet your mission.
Thank you, Zoe, for welcoming my boys and I to the family and for quickly showing us how you are empowering youth in poverty with social and economic skills. Who knew a chicken could do so much!