Case Study: The Empowerment Plan

When The Empowerment Plan, a charity dedicated to helping the homeless, wanted to expand their efforts, they also needed to find a platform to support their growth. That’s where GoFundMe Charity came into play. With features the organization was looking for to make fundraising easy and effective, the charity was able to raise much needed funds for their expansion. 

The Empowerment Plan’s cause

Educating, employing and empowering homeless individuals

Using GoFundMe Charity since 2015

Total raised on GoFundMe Charity $441,431

Key GoFundMe Charity features

  • Ticketing and registration
  • DIY fundraising
  • Customer support

About The  Empowerment Plan

The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit based nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. As part of their mission, they hire single parents from local shelters as seamstresses to create water-resistant, self-heating EMPWR coats, which supporters can sponsor the cost of labor, materials, and expenses as part of their Warmest Winter Chicago campaign. They recently expanded into a 21,000 sq. ft. facility to expand their programming and production, thanks to their capital campaign ‘Welcome to Empowerment Plan’s New Home.’

Why GoFundMe Charity?

A Q&A with Erika George, Chief Development Officer at The Empowerment Plan.
“When it was time to migrate to an online fundraising platform, we were excited that this was what GoFundMe Charity was intended to do. The platform makes it easy for donors to engage with our mission, and makes it easy to donate. GoFundMe Charity has just evolved naturally and it’s continues to be a really great fit for us.”

Manage and thank donors

“We love the campaign management dashboard and how easy it is to thank donors right from GoFundMe Charity. We have had a lot of donors successfully set up campaigns, as well, and have received nothing but positive feedback.”

Social fundraising

“We’ve always been really online driven with our fundraising, so it wasn’t new to our supporters. Our We Move campaign went from like 15% to 30% over the past couple of weeks of the goal raised, just from things like shares and people tagging us in campaigns. The power of social media has been really, really crazy and amazing for us.
“Our dedicated success specialist has been awesome in helping us set up the customization of our different campaigns, and making sure that everything really speaks to the core of the campaign and who it’s supporting.”

DIY campaign highligh

Warmest Winter 2016 fundraiser

“On our website, we didn’t just have a donate button, but we also had a fundraise button where people specifically could start their own campaigns and raise money to sponsor coats. That was really unexpectedly successful. We had a couple of people last year that raised close to or over $10,000 just on their own coat campaign. It was a really great way for our donors and supporters to take ownership of The Empowerment Plan in their own community. If someone emailed us through our website, and said, ‘Hey, we want to raise money to sponsor coats,” we directed them right to GoFundMe Charity and let them know that they could start an online fundraiser through this functionality, and the funds would come directly to us. We were able to track how many coats were sponsored, and everything. People have responded really well to using that. “

Capital campaign and peer-to-peer campaign highlight

Welcome to Empowerment Plan’s New Home

“Moving was something that we, as an organization, had talked about for a really long time, and we wanted to make sure that everyone could feel like they were a part of this process of filling our needs and making our new facility as functional as possible. It was definitely a balance of showing our need — we’re in this new space, it’s not complete yet, and we need your help — but it was also important to talk about how the campaign still directly affects programming and the people we serve. Even though it seems like you’re funding overhead, you’re actually funding things that help us serve everybody a lot better and helps us grow. That’s what the move is about — growing and scaling our mission. And every dollar that’s raised towards this fundraiser helps us get there. I think a lot of people, especially the people who have been here for a long time or have supported us for a long time like seeing that impact of the donations they’ve made and how it’s moving us forward now.”

Creating your first capital campaign

Through The Empowerment Plan’s capital campaign, Welcome To The Empowerment Plan’s New Home, they were not only able to tell the story of investing in location as a means of furthering their impact, but they were able to do so in a way that excited their supporters and made them want to be a part of the movement.
It might take a bit of a mindset shift to think about going out to your supporters and asking them for money for something other than going directly to the mission. However, focusing some efforts on investing in your nonprofit’s footprint and efficiencies through a capital campaign can make an enormous impact on your organization’s mission overall.

Ready to get started?

At GoFundMe Charity, we think that a strong fundraising platform can make a huge difference in a growth-minded charity. We’re happy to be the platform that helps get your next campaign off and running. Getting your organization started is easy and free.

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