Thoughts

It started with a WhatsApp group…

Some of the greatest ideas and outcomes happen with careful planning, strategy, and intention. And some of the greatest ideas and outcomes come from intuition. I am about to tell you a really amazing story about the latter.

The 77-year-old Yeshiva, Montreal Zal set out to do a campaign with Charidy this summer. This Yeshiva came to us with a number of challenges.

The first challenge was that this organization had only had a computer for the last 10 years. Keep in mind, this was a 77-year-old institution! Despite even having the computer for those last 10 years, they only had around 200 numbers. We asked ourselves “How are we going to gain records and phone numbers, emails of alumni without anything written down?!”

The second challenge was that the Yeshiva had never done a public fundraising campaign. Yep, you heard that right, NEVER! In 77 years. Their strategy had been to solicit individuals in times of financial need and to depend on tuition. Luckily it worked to some degree, but we had bigger plans in mind.

The third and final Challenge was that this Yeshiva had a very small student body with very little tuition payments going into the school.

So with one, two and three as challenges we had our work cut out for us!

In addition to all the hard work that the organization did to prepare for the campaign, the Charidy team urged Montreal Zal to start a WhatsApp group promoting the campaign. We told them to call everyone they knew and add whoever they could to the group. The idea behind this would be to share photos, memories, funny stories about their time at the Yeshiva with current students, past alumni etc. to inspire giving. Well, a viral experience took place. Take a look at some of the conversations below:

The WhatsApp group took off and the conversation inspired people to not only give, but to also become advocates for the campaign. They started reaching out to people outside the group, shared on their personal pages and ultimately get more donations for this cause. At the start of the campaign, there were 30 members in the group and by the end, they had more than 100 people sharing in the excitement!

Montreal Zal reached 117% of their goal from 640 donors raising $342,356.00 in 24 hours!

We are sharing this story to not only show the power of the crowd, but also the power behind a simple idea. No idea is ever too small and we encourage our clients to continue to think outside the box. Congratulations to Montreal Zal on their smashing success!