How Make-A-Wish Georgia Reached their 1 Million Dollar Fundraising Goal



Since 1995, Make-A-Wish Georgia has been granting the wishes of local children facing critical illnesses. Over 8,000 lives have experienced the impact of a life-changing wish. Whatever the odds, whatever the obstacles, this organization finds a way to pour hope into the lives of local children and their families.  

As a fundraising team, Make-A-Wish Georgia holds multiple fundraisers each year thelp make these wishes come true 





Make-A-Wish Georgia is one of 62 Make-A-Wish chapters in the United States. Even with a recognizable national brand, it can be challenging to keep donors connected to the cause, and continue the giving momentum needed to fund so many wishes.

With over 1,000 Georgia kids waiting for their wish, the chapter knew that the pressure was on to deliver BIG results at their annual Wish Ball gala. 

Like many nonprofits, the Make-A-Wish Georgia team knew they needed to significantly increase their fundraising goal. The team said goodbye to their original $795,000 goal and set their sights on $1,000,000 in fundraising revenue from the event. 

Armed with a dedicated team and OneCause technology, Make-A-Wish Georgia was determined to stand out from the crowd and reach for the stars.





We entered the night knowing it was going to be a team effort. We had 500 guests in the room – sponsors, long-time supporters, and first-timers to the cause. The capacity was there, but we needed to inspire and ignite the giving spirit in the room,” said Lindsi Pearson, VP of Development.  

The evening consisted of a silent auction, live auctionlive donation appeal, Wish Kid feature story, and Wish Kid performer – all important fundraising components to reach the million-dollar goal.

Like many successful fundraisers today, seeding donations for the gala started well before the event. Make-A-Wish Georgia utilized OneCause technology for ticket sales, pre-event donations, and early bidding, allowing the organization to enter the evening having raised almost half-a-million dollars 

On the night of Wish Ball, the Make-A-Wish Georgia team needed to construct a stand-out live appeal to close in on the remaining $500,000All eyes would be on the stage, and they needed something to grab the crowd and drive fundraising upward.  

Make-A-Wish Georgia collaborated with OneCause to create a unique thermometer that worked in tandem with the mobile bidding software to capture live donations 

Everyone was captivated by the thermometer on the screen at the event. It was the Make-A-Wish star filled with Wish Kids photos in black and white. When donations started rolling in, the pictures started filling up in color. It was an incredible moment and something unique that Make-A-Wish Georgia donors hadn’t experienced before. It really resonated with people and took the appeal to an emotional level,” said Pearson.

Make-A-Wish Georgia Thermometer

Watching the thermometer light up with the faces of Georgia wish kids was just what the team needed to increase excitement, illustrate impact, and propel donations. 

The visual giving board and real-time updates, combined with an easy click-to-donate giving experience helped push the gala over the top.

With a 1-million-dollar goal, our auctions and appeal needed to be phenomenal. But our donors also needed an easy experience to make it happen. OneCause made giving at the Wish Ball easy, fun, and engaging,” said Pearson.





With the right team, the right technology, and the right donor engagement strategy, Make-A-Wish Georgia had its most impactful gala to date:

  • Surpassed their 1-million-dollar fundraising goal
  • Raised a record breaking $1,025,000
  • Created a 48% fundraising increase from the year prior
  • Capitalized on Make-A-Wish brand awareness
  • Executed a seamless event with OneCause technology  

With OneCause, it’s not just the technology, but the team behind it. They were eager to help and invested in our mission,” said Pearson.

Congratulations to Make-A-Wish Georgia for reaching their monumental goal. The groundbreaking success of Wish Ball continues to bring the organization’s mission to life. 

In the future, Make-A-Wish Georgia hopes to add an Ambassador Fundraising aspect to the event through OneCause software, an idea that she got from attending a OneCause webinar.  

I think Ambassador Fundraising will really drive our dollars to a whole new level,” said Pearson.

Connect with a cause

You can learn more about Make-A-Wish Georgia and support their cause by visiting their website.