Experience Camps Case Study

Improved storytelling and increased engagement were two things Experience Camps was searching for as they looked for a fundraising platform to serve their cause. As an organization that supports grieving children, it was highly important to them that their chosen platform offered a way to tell a compelling story that would inspire their supporters to get more involved. They found both these capabilities with GoFundMe Charity and the suite of features the platform offers.

The Experience Camps cause

Normalizing the grief process for boys and girls through a safe and nurturing camp environment. 

Using GoFundMe Charity since 2015

Total raised on GoFundMe Charity $1,434,735 as of 2018

Key GoFundMe Charity features

  • Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
  • CrowdRise Challenges
  • Success and support

About Experience Camps

Experience Camps are free one-week camps for boys and girls who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver.  It’s a place where kids can laugh, cry, play, create, remember the person who died, or forget the grief that weighs them down. 

Their supporters can help fundraise to benefit Experience Camps and the family-friendly fun and fierce activities that take place at the camp through their peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, like Day of Champions, or by contributing to Experience Camps during Challenges, like ‘Life is Good.’

Why GoFundMe Charity

A Q&A with Sara Geren, Founder and CEO of Experience Camps

“We have so many storytellers, so GoFundMe Charity was a natural platform for us to be able to monetize the value of that and put more fuel in the engine of Experience Camps. That’s where CrowdRise is such a great vehicle for us, because it allows people to connect to the real stories of the people who are asking them to give. All of a sudden, there’s an even deeper level of connection.”

Connecting to supporters

“We have a very genuine network of people who get it. They get what we’re doing, they feel very passionately about it, and they want to go out and figure out more ways to support. For them, telling their story comes very naturally, and in fundraising, that’s the most important thing we can do is connect people authentically to the stories that we’re able to tell.”

Making fundraising engaging and fun

“Overall the customer service of GoFundMe Charity has been great. Whenever there’s confusion about setting up a team or even for individuals reaching out, there’s such a quick and witty response at all levels. It’s been a fun company to work with.”

“GoFundMe Charity keeps the vibe and the culture of fundraising light and fun – like it’s supposed to be. Fundraising is something that is meaningful, but it also doesn’t have to be this burdensome activity. CrowdRise really personifies that.”

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaign highlight

Day of champions

“When we start an online fundraiser, we haven’t found that our other campaigns have been cannibalized in any way. In fact, I think more often than not, we’ll have people who are repeat donors throughout the year. Whether someone is giving twenty five dollars or a hundred dollars, chances are they can do that twice a year. So if they’re being asked through a GoFundMe Charity fundraiser and then they’re being asked again when we do our gala in May, it’s usually far enough apart that they’re not thinking, ‘Oh, but I already gave money.’ Most donors are happy to just be part of something a couple of different times in a couple different ways, as long as there’s variety in the approach.”

Experience Camps for Grieving Children

“The ‘Life is Good’ Challenge is the first campaign we did that really made a dent in our online fundraising efforts. Part of our camp philosophy and activities have to do with healthy competition, and a lot of our volunteer base and campers get kind of excited about trying to win a Challenge. So we knew we could get everyone behind the challenge. It was exciting for us to have that messaging and ability to get people really motivated and excited about something, because you could win something and you were competing in some way – even though it was all a win-win in the end. Our charity came in first place in that Challenge, and from then on, the Challenges became our thing and a staple in our fundraising strategy as we were growing.”

Getting started with peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising can be a very beneficial component to a modern nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Not only can a great peer-to-peer program expand your network, it can ultimately help you raise more money.  Starting your fundraising efforts with GoFundMe Charity is free and you’ll find all the features you need in one place. 

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