Raise Awards Honors Nonprofits Shaping the Future of Fundraising

Innovation in Nonprofit Fundraising Celebrated at Virtual Raise 2021 Conference

September 14, 2021 — INDIANAPOLIS – OneCause, a leader in online and event fundraising, recognized fundraising innovation and excellence at its annual Raise Awards ceremony during the Raise 2021 Conference. More than 900 nonprofit fundraising professionals gathered online September 13-14, sharing lessons learned and exploring future strategies to reenergize fundraising.

“An important part of the Raise Conference is celebrating the continued innovation and resilience of our nonprofit community with the annual Raise Awards,” said Steve Johns, chief executive officer for OneCause. “Over the past 4 years we’ve received stories from hundreds of organizations and professionals who are truly changing the future of fundraising. This year’s winners represent nonprofit trailblazers who turned the challenges of the pandemic into opportunities for their causes, finding new ways to engage donors and grow impact.”

In its fourth year, the Raise Awards expanded its list of honorees to recognize two winners in each of the organizational categories based on nonprofit size and three individuals in the Fundraiser of the Year category. This year’s winners include:

Innovative Nonprofit of the Year

The Innovative Nonprofit of the Year Award recognizes two organizations that uniquely push themselves, inspire others, and consistently reach for new heights by implementing new ideas.

  • Food Outreach, Inc. developed a “Virtual Canned Food Drive” empowering supporters to form teams and compete against one another. The campaign became one of their largest fundraisers in the agency’s 33-year history – providing more than 26,000 medically tailored meals.
  • JDRF chapters across the United States shifted away from traditional in-person ballroom programming to digitally driven interactive experiences. The JDRF Signature Events Gala program is projected to exceed their annual goal by more than 35%.

Storyteller of the Year

The Storyteller of the Year Award recognizes two organizations for excellence in communicating their purpose through branding, narrative, and promotion that informs the mind and moves the heart.

  • Stray Rescue of St. Louis brings its donors along an animal’s journey from rescue through the healing process. Social media supporters are invested in these stories helping expand their reach to 358,000 followers and increasing Facebook donations by 21%.
  • Canine Companions featured stories of real clients, puppy raisers, and volunteers with a powerful message – “Disability doesn’t disappear during a crisis. Neither do we.” This has helped to propel their online engagement to 4.7 million impressions and acquire 2,872 new donors.

Fundraisers of the Year

The Fundraiser of the Year Award recognizes three nonprofit professionals whose leadership, passion, and success stands out among their peers.

  • Katie Koglman, Executive Director for United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties: Katie brought new energy to an organization that hadn’t hit its fundraising goals in over 10 years – guiding the organization to a record-breaking year, raising more than they ever have in their rural community.
  • William Miller, Chief Executive Officer for Kean University Foundation: Bill created a culture of philanthropy, helping the Foundation become a self-support operation with its best year in both total dollars raised, and the largest gift ever received, since its founding in 1984.
  • Nathan Smith, Vice President of Philanthropy for RAIN, Inc.: Under Nathan’s innovative leadership RAIN transformed its three major fundraising events, helping to grow the agency’s budget by 600% since he joined the organization in 2005.

Winners were selected by a committee of fundraising experts, OneCause customer advisory board members, and a panel of past Raise Award winners. In addition to the award recognition, winners receive a cash donation to their mission on behalf of OneCause.

To find out more about the Raise Awards, please visit: https://www.onecause.com/raise/awards/.

About OneCause®
OneCause creates user-friendly fundraising software that helps nonprofits engage donors, raise more money and save valuable time and resources. Our full suite of cloud-based fundraising solutions has powered 6,000 organizations, well over 38,000 fundraising campaigns and events, and helped nonprofits raise more than $3 billion. OneCause has been recognized by Inc. Best in Business, is a TechPoint MIRA award winner for Pandemic Pivot of the Year, Mobile Technology Excellence & Innovation, and a Stevie® Award winner for excellence and innovation in Customer Service.