Central Christian School: Creating a Seamless Event Experience with OneCause

Background

Background

Central Christian School (CCS) was founded in 1950 to provide an education for high school students from a Christian worldview. Today, CCS provides education to students from kindergarten to 12th grade by integrating faith, life, and learning.

CCS has grown significantly since 1948, and so has their need for fundraising! The proceeds raised through their fundraising efforts help ensure that future students enjoy the same quality education that has empowered its students for decades.

Elizabeth Walton, Director of Operations at CCS, was tasked with leading their annual spring auction event – with a mere six weeks to prepare. The event was to include both virtual and in-person audiences, and Walton was committed to creating a lasting and impactful donor experience for their guests.

Challenge

Challenge

After struggling with donor engagement at their virtual event in 2021, CCS was ready to provide their supporters with a new and more engaging event experience in 2022. Walton and her team knew they needed easy-to-use software that provided a flexible, hybrid experience for both their in-person and virtual attendees.

CCS had previously leveraged other fundraising software, but it was cumbersome and lacked the support and functionality that CCS needed to execute a seamless event. With only six weeks left until the auction, Walton began to search for a new provider to help CCS meet their fundraising goals.

“Because we had to pull this event together in six weeks’ time, a new software solution was the only way we could do it,” explained Walton.

CSS was looking for a new provider that would:

  1. Reach and connect with donors both in-person and virtually
  2. Rally the community around an impactful mission
  3. Engage donors and families in new and unique ways
  4. Provide support for an easy, consistent giving experience

Solution

Solution

CCS decided to partner with OneCause after seeing the value in the OneCause Fundraising Platform. The team knew it would provide all the powerful fundraising tools and event flexibility they would need.

With support of the OneCause Fundraising Platform, Walton and team were ready to launch a hybrid, Olympic-themed auction for the school’s supporters. And with the new fundraising tools in place, the team decided to leverage three key areas to help create a seamless supporter experience.

Through the creation of their event, CCS was able to effectively reach their supporters by:

Building Seamless Event Experiences

CCS was ready to quickly turn their auction idea into reality. Even with her limited timeframe, Walton was able to use the OneCause Fundraising Platform to build out most of her event site within a matter of hours. By getting their event up and running fast, CCS was able to save valuable time and focus their efforts on engaging their donors and promoting their event.

“I had 6 weeks, and a severe shortage of volunteers due to the pandemic, to plan and execute the event. Learning new software can be daunting, but in this circumstance, the support that OneCause provided allowed us to organize a great guest experience,” Walton expressed.

Walton was able to add various fundraising components to the event site that created a unified experience, so both in-person and virtual audiences could engage in the event. These included:

  • Silent Auction
  • Live Auction
  • Fixed Price Items (including limited edition CCS swag)
  • Targeted Achievements and other giving opportunities
  • Raffle

CCS Event Site

One of the best parts about using the OneCause Fundraising Platform to design their event site is that the CCS team didn’t have to worry about any additional outside tools to plan, organize, or leverage their event. With all the event activities created in one spot, CCS was able to save time and provide a single location to direct their supporters too.

This helped increase the visibility of their giving opportunities and the likelihood that supporters would engage with their mission before, during, and even after the event!

Creating Flexible Donor Engagements

When planning an event, it is critical to consider the dual experience needed to engage both in-person and virtual audiences.

To make sure everyone had the same opportunities to engage with the fundraising, Walton wanted to ensure that participants “outside the ballroom” could easily participate in the bidding and event activities.

With the OneCause Fundraising Platform, both in-person and virtual participants could simultaneously:

  1. Explore the silent and live auction prior to attending the event.
  2. Connect and chat with other attendees, increasing their excitement.
  3. Watch the event live, whether onsite or via livestream.
  4. Participate in the donation appeal with scoreboards.
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Additionally, CCS was easily able to direct supporters to bid on both silent and live auction lots through their phones, laptops, any device – anytime, anywhere.

“The coordination of bid paddles and projecting instant bids on the screen was a great excitement builder. Our live stream guests said they enjoyed the experience via their laptops,” stated Walton.

Leveraging the OneCause Fundraising Platform allowed CCS to create a broader reach for the live auction and real-time engagement with the virtual attendees.

Accessing Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

Nonprofits need an accurate view of how their event performed. Real-time access to event reports and analytics provides a clear understanding of what worked and how to best prepare for future fundraising campaigns.

Walton leveraged real-time analytics on the OneCause Fundraising Platform to get a comprehensive view into how the CCS event performed. This saved her and her team the time and energy that would otherwise be needed had she manually calculated their campaign results.

“When our business manager saw the analytics provided by OneCause, she was beyond ecstatic. It included all the analytics our team needed post-event and in one, easy-to-find place,” stated Walton.

In addition to the real-time analytics dashboard that is provided in the software, CCS was able to leverage data in many reports, including:

  • Proceeds related data
  • Donor information
  • Auction bid performance
  • Ticket and registration data

With clean and customizable data, the CCS team was set up for success in their post-event reflection. In the future, CCS can use this data for upcoming fundraising events as they strategize ways to increase donor retention and increase proceeds for their cause.

Results

Results

With the help of powerful and flexible software, CCS saw never before results:

  • 36% increase from prior year’s goal
  • 120+ lots sold during the silent auction
  • 160+ in-person and 40+ virtual attendees

Connect with a Cause

To learn more about Central Christian School, please visit their website.

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