Fundraising has changed dramatically over the past decade. The way you manage your events, communicate with your community, and collect donations have also changed. Still, the heart of what you do is probably very much the same. You still collect money, supplies and provide services to those you support. The team at Karma411 took some time to talk to Randi Shubin Dresner, CFRE, The President and CEO of Island Harvest to discuss what she considers her best practices for fundraising, “foodraising” and awareness raising of Long Island’s Hungry.
Island Harvest hosts and manages so many events each year. There are food drive events across Long Island and beyond . There are also events that raise funds, like golf outings, races, concerts and partnerships with large corporations. Managing so many events all at one time can present a challenge to some but not for the team at Island Harvest. Randi has tried and true systems in place that enable Island Harvest to run like a well oiled machine.
One of the keys to Randi’s success is keeping a large volunteer base of over 6000 up to date and informed of opportunities to donate their time, dollars, food or other resources that are needed to support their mission; to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island. There are always volunteers that are willing and able to help. Communicating with them frequently and consistently is key. Captains have also been identified. Captains are special volunteers who are assigned and act as leaders to help keep structure in place for each event. This ensures that there is clear and concise direction at every event and the leaders of each event are visible.
Technology, specifically social media, plays a big role in keeping pace with the community, as well as reaching as far and wide as possible in support of their mission. Like most organizations, Island Harvest uses e-blast software to capture those supporters who are already in their network. Social Media is used to engage an audience of supporters, donors, and others who care about hunger on Long Island. Using Facebook and Twitter to reach the community has been key to successful outreach. Social media can work for an organization to connect all of the other communication vehicles. Social Media has certainly shown to be a key communication vehicle for Island Harvest.
When asked what drives Randi to try something new, she replied quickly that “change is so important to avoid stagnation”. She is excited by a risk, if the result could be a high reward. Change is what motivates her and that motivation has only helped Island Harvest with their mission and goals.