Digital Success: PSYDEH’s 2023 Fundraising Impact with Lightful’s BRIDGE Program
In the contemporary non-profit landscape, charities and organizations are constantly striving to understand how best to harness digital tools for impactful campaigns and expanded community engagement. This case study highlights how Lightful’s innovative BRIDGE program empowered PSYDEH with the effective tools and tactics necessary to amplify the organization’s digital strategy and fundraising initiatives. Lightful is a technology company founded in 2015 that assists nonprofits and social enterprises in enhancing their storytelling and fundraising efforts.
“We’ve been running the BRIDGE programme at Lightful for eight years, and we’ve worked with over 2000 nonprofits around the world. We know that the digital landscape can feel overwhelming, particularly when grassroots nonprofits often don’t have the time and resources to invest in their digital channels, and so we want to equip people with the skills to think strategically about their digital channels in order to build trust, raise funds, and tell their stories online.” – Pumulo Banda, Head of Programs at Lightful.
Despite measurable impact in our fieldwork and an innovative online presence, PSYDEH, like many small grassroots organizations, faces ongoing challenges in maximizing the potential of our digital platforms for engagement, donor relations, and fundraising. These challenges include:
- Refining Fundraising: Fundraising tactics are always changing in the digital landscape and, without adequate training, PSYDEH’s team has lacked the skills to maximize the planning and execution of online fundraisers.
- Elevating Digital Media Presence: While PSYDEH maintains a robust digital presence, there is always room for improvement in increased traffic, follower engagement, and inspiring audiences to take action.
- Platform Diversity: Managing multiple digital platforms, such as social media, email campaigns, and website updates, pose a challenge in terms of time management and content consistency.
- Limited Budget: PSYDEH actively faces budget constraints restricting our ability to invest in paid digital advertising or specialized tools that could enhance our online presence.
- Changing Algorithms: Frequent changes in algorithms on social media platforms make it difficult for PSYDEH to maintain consistent visibility and engagement with our audience.
BRIDGE Program by Lightful:
“Over 80% of BRIDGE participants tell us their biggest challenge when it comes to digital is a lack of strategy, and by the end of the programme they graduate with a brand new strategy, which enables them to reach more people and raise more funds online.” – Pumulo Banda, Head of Programs at Lightful
In the spring of 2023, PSYDEH was selected by Global Giving as one of 160 organizations out of just over 260 to participate in Lightful’s 2023 BRIDGE program, which included being selected for a $1000 micro-grant upon program completion. Lightful’s BRIDGE program is a six-month training program that addresses digital fundraising and marketing challenges, like those faced by PSYDEH, by offering a variety of dynamic resources including masterclasses, digital drop-in help sessions, one-on-one consultations, and access to a robust online networking community.
Understanding Your Audience and Storytelling with Impact modules emphasized how to target specific audiences, crucial for achieving impactful messaging across PSYDEH’s social media channels. These insights were also immediately useful in PSYDEH’s July Bonus Day crowdfunding campaign which incorporated thoughtful video interviews with partners and staff and enhanced fundraising results across all digital platforms. Masterclasses like A Framework for Digital Success and Campaign Planning helped define PSYDEH’s SMART goals in digital strategy for the next quarters and helped the team develop a more structured marketing plan and measurement evaluation system.
Digital drop-ins are online sessions where BRIDGE participants can seek immediate advice to their specific digital challenges. These sessions provide an opportunity for real-time feedback and support from experts addressing our concerns. During the fundraising campaign review session, for example, PSYDEH’s team learned the top techniques for creating an appealing project page, and we were pleased to hear that our projects already looked solid overall. In fact, the only area requiring improvement was a technical issue related to the lighting of our pictures.
One-on-one with Lightful’s BRIDGE Team
The one-on-one sessions with the Lightful team were incredibly productive. These carefully planned meetings were all about boosting PSYDEH’s online presence. Through these sessions, the Lightful team provided practical advice tailored to our specific needs focusing on areas like GoogleAds and crowdfunding. One important lesson we learned was during a website review session. We discovered that while it’s crucial to have thorough information about our organization’s activities, it’s equally important to keep the website updated by removing outdated content in order to avoid overwhelming site visitors.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to coach the team at PSYDEH throughout their BRIDGE journey. They approached the programme in a really enthusiastic and strategic way, planning how they wanted to make use of our 1:1 coaching sessions in advance, and the amazing results that we’ve already seen are a testament to the hard work that they put into developing their digital channels. I’ve loved working so closely with Andrea and the team, and I’m looking forward to seeing the long-term impact of all the work we’ve done together!” – Jasmine Warren, Digital Communications Coach
Engagement with other non-profits associated with Global Giving enriched PSYDEH’s journey. Online conversations led to meaningful sharing on fundraising campaign experiences and challenges. With this community-building aspect of the program PSYDEH was able to establish new and inspiring connections with like-minded organizations.
- Elevated digital strategy: Lightful’s BRIDGE program components led to a more refined and effective digital strategy aligned with PSYDEH’s mission, vision and goals.
- Fundraising success: Implementing techniques from the program created more focused campaigns while also bolstering donations and engagement. For example, PSYDEH’s July Bonus Day campaign (designed and implemented with BRIDGE strategies) was PSYDEH’s most successful campaign on record, raising 2.5 times more than our 2022 campaign.
- Enhanced online presence: BRIDGE strategies amplified PSYDEH’s online visibility, which helps attract new supporters and nurture community growth. From April to July, PSYDEH saw an 8.1% increase in followers across different social media platforms, in addition to PSYDEH’s largest one-day fundraising campaign (July Bonus Day) in the last four years.
- Skill development: PSYDEH’s team acquired valuable digital marketing skills and overall enhanced professional development through the BRIDGE program. With the assistance of tools like Lightful’s content strategy platform, PSYDEH now organizes and plans weekly content in line with defined communication pillars and SMART goals.
Brenda Salazar, a Global Collaborators volunteer at PSYDEH, was also able to join Lightful training sessions to hone her professional skills and help improve crowdfunding campaigns on GlobalGiving.
“The feedback and advice provided by these professionals helped us identify areas where we might be facing challenges and offered valuable guidance on how to overcome them. This external perspective has been an asset in refining our social media approach and ensuring we make the most out of our online presence”.
Over the course of this six month program, coupled with Lightful’s unwavering support, the significance of having a well-defined digital strategy becomes evident here at PSYDEH. The program highlights the considerable impact that such a strategy can bring about. Equally important is the opportunity to engage with fellow nonprofit organizations, enabling the exchange of diverse perspectives from around the globe.
This collaboration between PSYDEH and Lightful stands as a strong testament to the efficacy of strategic partnerships in navigating a dynamic and ever-changing digital landscape in order to achieve organizational goals, while also highlighting the potential for growth and innovation that lies within every non-profit organization when supported by expert allies.