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Nonprofit Champion: Marnie from Launch NY

Launch NY is a nonprofit organization that helps startup companies thrive throughout Western NY!

Marnie Lavigne, President and CEO of Launch NY, provided us with some terrific insights into what went into her most successful fundraising campaign.Launch NY

What would you consider to be your most successful campaign and why?

Marnie:  Launch NY had been strictly funded by grants and other awards prior to the GiveGab campaign, so this starter campaign is our most successful!

What would you attribute to this great success?

Marnie:  Having a coordinated marketing plan in tandem with the GiveGab campaign.

Walk us through your plan of action for this campaign

Marnie:  Initial planning began 4 months in advance, then intense planning 2-3 months in advance.  We had key marketing partners, especially for our social media and PR pushes.  We used a detailed marketing communications plan paired with new content (e.g., new videos), plus we did a survey via social media to help us gauge our audience and set our campaign goal.

Of the donors for this campaign, about what percentage would you say were repeat donors versus new?

Marnie:  95% new.

Launch NY

What efforts have you made to reach out to new donors and were any of them particularly successful?

Marnie:  We had been making one-on-one approaches to organizational donors, which were helped by the crowdfunding campaign visibility. The campaign was our first move into a campaign-style approach vs. our usual grant and sponsorship seeking efforts. Having multiple fundraising methods is very effective.

How did you recruit your fundraising champions?

Launch NY

Marnie:  We only used individual champions minimally, and we engaged those who were most interested in being part of reaching out to others. We provided easy-to-follow instructions and support for our champions. I would plan ahead next time to use champions more actively, since it’s very effective.

How would you describe your relationship with your donors? How frequently do you interact with them?

Marnie:  Many of our donors are part of our monthly outreach, but some are on a quarterly communications schedule.  We use our listserve as the primary means to reach our donors with social media as our secondary method, along with a monthly #LaunchHour TwitterChat. Probably half of our donors are very involved with us and our ecosystem of partners, clients and community members.

Was there anything you learned from this campaign that stood out as something you could implement again?

Marnie:  Use of the individual personal champions would be key in our preparation and strategy next time we conduct a campaign.

What is your single best piece of advice for other nonprofits when it comes to launching a successful fundraising campaign?

Marnie:  Understand that you get out of the campaign what you put into it. You must be prepared to dedicate planning time, marketing resources and real-time campaign management efforts to make it a success.

Congratulations to Launch NY on your Fundraising Success!

 You are truly Nonprofit Champions 

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