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A Window Between Worlds – Funding Transformative Art Experiences

Posted in Success Stories by Shawn

A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) is a non-profit fundraising site dedicated to cultivating and supporting a network of transformative arts programs that empower individuals and communities impacted by violence and trauma.  IgnitionDeck is a WordPress Donation Plugin used by AWBW on their not-for-profit website to perform extensive fundraising campaigns for their community.

The Goal

Gather together their amazing family of supporters and enable them to get involved and make donations, ensuring that AWBW has the resources they need to meet the needs of their program partners and the survivors they serve.

The Mission

AWBW is a non-profit singularly focused on helping survivors of violence and trauma heal through the use of transformative art experiences. These programs take many shapes and sizes, but share a commonality in that they are brought to life by a combined effort of AWBW’s staff, human services agencies, and a very active and supportive community. As is the case with most non-profit fundraising efforts, their website serves as the primary vehicle for generating donations and campaign awareness.

Planning an Online Fundraising Campaign

Online Fundraising Campaign powered by the IgnitionDeck WordPress Donation Plugin

A Window Between Worlds dedicated three months of planning prior to building their new website. During that time, they knew they wanted to cover a lot of ground, and build a site “…that would last…for many many years and build a framework that could accommodate…future growth.” said AWBW Executive Development Associate Jaime Reed.

In approaching almost 15 different web development firms, AWBW knew that their biggest challenge was going to be ensuring they selected a forward thinking firm that would set them up for success long term.

Choosing the IgnitionDeck WordPress Donation Plugin as Part of the Bigger Picture

Upon completion of the grueling process that is selecting a perfect web development firm, AWBW came to the conclusion that the IgnitionDeck WordPress donation plugin would be the perfect engine to power their new fundraising platform.

“On our old website our developer built a custom online campaign tool.” says Jaime Reed “It was a really successful tool for us so we wanted to carry it over to our new site.”

AWBW’s new developer knew they needed to build a better campaign tool with enhanced features. One important feature for them was the ability “to show the list of folks who donated to the campaign and let them leave a message of support.”

Fundraising Campaigns and Their Benefit to Non-Profits

The importance of the online campaigns cannot be overstated. As Reed describes it, “When our supporters share their passion with their family and friends they are almost always more than happy to contribute, and the person making the donation has something to feel good about.”

The comments that the donors leave are an excellent opportunity for them to cheer on the person raising funds on the AWBW website, and that is very important to the campaign creators. On top of that, “Seeing those messages helps motivate other people to give!”.  Those messages are a key to the community building that AWBW strives for.

A lot of the supporters for AWBW (and all non-profits out there) would love to be able to make a large gift, but don’t have the capacity to do so. The IgnitionDeck donation WordPress plugin offers “…a way for them to spread the word about our work and raise a lot of money without making a huge gift on their own. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

IgnitionDeck WordPress Donation Plugin in use on AWBW.org

“Why We Do It”

One of the stand out projects for Reed was a teenager’s project to raise funds for AWBW as part of her Bat Mitzvah project. She set a goal of $500, which felt out of reach at the time.

She surpassed her goal after only one week, and “In the end she raised almost $2,000, far surpassing her original goal and now AWBW has many new supporters thanks to her.”

Tips for Building Your Own Non-Profit Fundraising Platform

Reed suggests that non-profits embrace uncertainty, and instead focus on successfully navigating the bigger picture. “We were discussing so much at every meeting and making so many decisions every day that it’s easy to lose some things along the way.”

How to emulate AWBW’s success in launching a not-for-profit website:

  • Clarify the roles of everyone involved in the development project.
  • Spend the time to develop a detailed requirements document.
  • Get to know your supporters, and ensure that your campaign successfully motivates them to action.
  • Create an informative and inclusive website that achieves more than the sum of its parts.
  • Select the right tools to power your website’s essential functions.
  • Put your donors on a pedestal and make it possible for them to feel good about the difference they are making.

Using Google Adwords to Help Raise Awareness for Your Non-Profit Crowdfunding and Fundraising Platform

Jaime Reed had one last tidbit we couldn’t wait to share with all of you.

Did you know Google provides grants to nonprofits to get free advertising? A Window Between Worlds doesn’t need much marketing in a traditional sense, as they get most of their support via word of mouth and local outreach. However, they’ve taken advantage of the wonderful grant opportunity from Google, and used it to help drive traffic to their site and their fundraising campaigns.

A Complete Website

Because AWBW took a wholistic view in building their website, they achieved a sense of completeness some non-profits miss out on by focusing solely on the fundraising side of their online presence. Many of their supporters and project creators hear about AWBW before AWBW solicits donations from them. The remainder arrive as they seek help and support for themselves or a loved one.

Each aspect of the AWBW’s website helps contribute to the success of their campaigns, and their use of IgnitionDeck as their WordPress donation plugin of choice make running their campaigns a breeze. Beyond just the fundraising platform on AWBW, they have sections for news, events, statistics, highlight stories, an online shop, donor spotlights, community programs and workshops, and a lot more.

Thanks to the versatility of the WordPress content management system, building a unique non-profit or fundraising website is easier than ever before. IgnitionDeck serves as a critical piece of that infrastructure.

Sign up for IgnitionDeck Launchpad, download the free IgnitionDeck WordPress Donation Plugin, and get started taking online donations immediately.