Julia Campbell · Founder, J Campbell Social Marketing | Get ready for your imagination to be captured by a dynamic, imaginative leader who's making her mark on the nonprofit sector: Julia Campbell. Julia is a nonprofit speaker, fundraising strategist, social maven, author, philanthropy professor, and nonprofit cheering section all rolled into one.
Getting through 2020 has been rough on everyone, and it's put a lot of pressure on nonprofits. In their work with organizations across the globe, both nonprofit consultant Julia Campbell and Funraise CEO and Co-founder Justin Wheeler have seen the effects play out, and in Justin's role as a nonprofiteer, he's experienced them firsthand.
Julia's advice for nonprofits looking toward a post-pandemic future is hopeful, but doesn't rely on luck—she advocates for creative campaigning, democratizing fundraising, and building strong partnerships across nonprofits of all sizes, budgets, and causes.
So if you're looking for ideas to seed your nonprofit's plans for a digital future, tune in to this conversation between Julia and Justin—you'll find laughs, AHA! moments, and the realization that you're never alone.
Discover your nonprofit's future with Julia at https://jcsocialmarketing.com/
Hello, I'm Justin Wheeler, and welcome to this episode of Nonstop Nonprofit!
Today I'm talking to Julia Campell—THE Julia Campbell. If Julia's name is new to you, I highly recommend that you listen in and get ready to start following the type of dynamic, imaginative leader that the nonprofit sector needs. Julia is a nonprofit speaker, fundraising strategist, and social maven who guides nonprofits through the wilderness of digital fundraising, and she does it with warmth and wit.
Getting through 2020 has been rough on everyone, and it's put a lot of pressure on nonprofits. Working with organizations across the globe, I've seen the effects, and as a nonprofiteer myself, I've experienced them firsthand. Julia's perspective on the way forward for nonprofits is hopeful, but doesn't rely on luck—she advocates for creative campaigning, democratizing fundraising, and building strong partnerships across nonprofits of all sizes, budgets, and causes.
So if you're looking for ideas to seed your plans for a digital future, tune in to my conversation with Julia—you'll find laughs, AHA! moments, and the realization that you're never alone.
Justin Wheeler All right, well, Julia, welcome to Nonstop Nonprofit. I have been so excited to bring you on the podcast, so thank you so much for making time to join us today.
Julia Campbell Ah, thanks, Justin. I'm really excited to be here.
Justin Wheeler For our listeners, tell them a little bit more about yourself and what you're all about.
Julia Campbell So, you know, I'm Julia Campbell. I have run my own consulting business for 10 years. Before that, I was a development director, marketing director, all duties as assigned, getting the balloons for the events and cleaning the coffeemaker and doing all the things. And right now, I'm currently I'm a board member. I'm a volunteer. I work in my kids schools and with several local nonprofits. I help organizations try to navigate the sort of crazy wilderness of digital fundraising and social media and make some sense of it and hopefully forge a roadmap for success.
Justin Wheeler That's great. What pushed you from being in the nonprofit, working for a particular organization to just starting your own thing?
Julia Campbell Well, this is a good story, so I'm an accidental consultant. I was laid off from my development director position when I was eight months pregnant with my daughter, who is now 11. So that was not the best time in the world, but it turned into something fantastic because I never would have taken the plunge, I don't think, to go off on my own. I had a trajectory. I was going to be an executive director. I was going to found a nonprofit. I had all of these sort of grand ideas, my five year plan, and it really got thrown out the window. And what I found was that I really enjoy working on a variety of causes and a variety of projects. And while I loved being a development director, I really enjoy what I'm doing right now.
Justin Wheeler That's great. I can resonate with the working with a variety of causes. So prior to Funraise, I was, you know, was working on very specific, like single-issue nonprofits like at first, Invisible Children and then second, Liberty in North Korea, which is focused on North Korean human rights. Coming over to Funraise, it's been fun to see just the really meaningful, different causes that exist across the really the spectrum of pushing society forward. So I can definitely understand that feeling and working with a variety of different types of causes. So what do your nonprofits, your clients look like? Are they I imagine they're kind of all over the place. But if you were to describe them or a few of them at least, what sort of, what do they look like and what what would you say your superpower is when consulting, whether it's marketing or fundraising, whatever it might be?
Julia Campbell Well, I have a variety of consulting clients, and then I also have my online course students. So I've got a lot of webinars and online courses and have hundreds of students who I wish I could get to know a little bit better. Sometimes they email me and I talk to them. But for my consulting clients, they're really mostly pretty small organizations, small to midsize. The vertical, there really is no specific vertical or specific cause area. I've worked with academic research institutions and tiny little food banks and universities, domestic violence and sexual violence and really everything from animal rights to human rights. My superpower, I feel like and I'm not really I'm not trying to brag, but I really do feel like I can relate to a very small organization development director and that I can get everybody on board. So, you know how organizations tend to be a little bit siloed. So in one of my development director positions, I was actually in an office building completely away from the programs and the executive director and everybody else completely siloed. And they said, OK, just here, go raise ten million dollars. We're never going to talk to you like we don't hear from you. Just raise it. So I have that background in that experience, but I feel like I can bring people together, the executive director, the marketing, if there is more than one department, which oftentimes there's not, and speak to the board in a way that helps them understand the importance of investing in digital or at least understanding some of these digital strategies.
Justin Wheeler That's great. I have never understood why. And this actually, and this is a totally like side note, but this is why we, several years ago, we made a musical. And I don't know if you've seen it.
Julia Campbell I have not but am a huge musical fan!
Justin Wheeler Well, I'll send you the musical. But the reason why I bring it up is early on we were starting Funraise, we wanted to put fundraisers in the spotlight. Right. Because for too long, it's like they're the people that, like you said, they are segmented, unsung heroes. It's the program people that are like on the front lines that get all the credit. And we're not in it for credit, but we wanted to make the fundraisers, the rock stars. And so we made this musical, over the top.
Julia Campbell I love it!
Justin Wheeler Yeah, so I'll share a share with you.
Julia Campbell What were some of the songs?
Justin Wheeler Oh, man, so the one the one that's probably the most catchy was I mean, because it was completely written. We had a someone here in L.A. write the lyrics for it. And I'm a terrible singer, but like basically like I think the chorus was like, there's no fun in fundraising. And I was just like over the top. I started black and white and then it went into, like, the super colorful production. So, yeah, I'll send it over.
Julia Campbell That is so fun because we need to have some fun sometimes?
Justin Wheeler Oh, yeah, absolutely. So on the note of working with small nonprofits, development directors, with small teams, what are some of the common challenges that you see in the small nonprofit ecosystem?
Julia Campbell There are really two main challenges that I see coming up over and over again. One is just feeling like they don't know where to begin. They don't know where to start. They don't know how to prioritize. Because oftentimes what happens in the nonprofit sector, as you know, is people are very well-meaning and very passionate. And they might be even a social worker. They might not have any training, formal training in fundraising or marketing. And then they're thrown into this position because of their passion or their connections. So they have to really learn everything on the spot. And then the second really, I think, might be how to work with the different pieces and the different people in the organization to get the stories and the content and the videos and the photos and how to feed that content, that digital content beast continually, but also do it in a way that's respectful and ethical, but not just kind of making it up as you go along. Like, how can they create a system to truly work with other people in the organization on the front lines and get those stories and get that content?
Justin Wheeler That's great. That was definitely our struggle at Liberty in North Korea. We were working on on a topic that was highly sensitive. And so the the North Korean refugees that we were helping most of the time, their identity couldn't be shared. And so we all know to raise funds, you need to be able to be transparent, need to prove impact. And, you know, typically there's no better impact than an individual willing to share their story. And all of our field program officers were halfway around the world. That was definitely a challenge. Just how do we streamline sort of communication? How do we tell the story in the way that's accurate, that's respectable or respectful of of the client and ethical. So that's definitely, I can imagine that makes for some tense conversations early on with nonprofits because I remember it was it was a tough topic for us for sure.
Julia Campbell And I have worked in domestic violence. I worked in domestic violence for years. I worked at a rape crisis center. I've worked with human trafficking organizations. So I really feel like my passion is helping these kinds of organizations realize that they can share stories in an ethical way without sharing identities. There are workarounds. There are ways that you can still use social media and email and video and not be talking directly to a client who is in your shelter, who is in crisis. But it did. It took me a very long time to kind of navigate all of that and figure out when you're dealing with confidentiality and people that are actually in danger, like the refugees. And how do you get their story. How do you share it online so that they don't feel like they're defined by it and they still feel like they have agency over what's being told about them and what's being shared.
Justin Wheeler Totally. Yeah, absolutely. So on the topic of digital fundraising, how do you help organizations level up their online digital fundraising? What are the kind of core principles you bring to help organizations really grow?
Julia Campbell I help them with campaign strategy, so I help them see digital fundraising in a holistic way, but how it can fit into what they're already doing. So I don't ever want to come into an organization and say you have to get on Instagram or you have to use Facebook fundraising or you have to use live video, whatever it might be. I take a look at everything going on in the organization and I see where digital can either fill in the gaps or even augment and enhance and up level things that are already happening. And then creating creative campaigns, hashtags, themes, all sorts of communication, multi-channel campaigns in accordance with the priorities of the organization, whether it be marketing, maybe it's raising awareness, maybe it's advocacy, maybe it is fundraising, maybe it's a little bit of all of those things and then creating the campaign plan and timeline and calendar so nothing falls through the cracks.
Justin Wheeler I imagine you're probably pretty busy with Giving Tuesday a few days away.
Julia Campbell Yeah, it's interesting. My clients right now, there's a lot of skepticism around Giving Tuesday, and I feel like I do a lot of answering questions. A lot of why should I do it? How should I do it? There's myths out there. There's misconceptions. There are a lot of there's a lot of false information, I think, about what it is and how to use it. So a lot of the education I've been doing is how to participate without raising money. Like there are tons of ways you can share donor thank yous. You can use it for gratitude. You can use it to kick off year-end fundraising. You can do a specific campaign. I mean, there are a lot of different ways that you can use it. Yeah, but yeah, there's a lot of questions certainly around it.
Justin Wheeler What would you say are the most prominent or important questions organizations are asking?
Julia Campbell How can I use it and how can I cut through the clutter and create an impact on Giving Tuesday. And what I say to that is you can't cut through the clutter. That's the wrong question to ask, because if you have not built up a community before Giving Tuesday, simply screaming at a bunch of strangers and taking out a bunch of ads and yelling into the wilderness, that's not going to work on a day like Giving Tuesday. So I don't actually think Giving Tuesday is all that effective for donor acquisition. I see it is effective for donor retention. Yeah, and I see it as a way to get your donors and supporters that really love you to spread the word about you and to raise awareness about you. But I don't really see it as effective to try to get five hundred thousand new donors on Giving Tuesday when there's so much noise out there.
Justin Wheeler Totally, I one hundred percent agree with that. Giving to Tuesday really is for your base. It's not an acquisition day. I'm a fan of Giving Tuesday and for...
Julia Campbell Me too!
Justin Wheeler Organizations that do it. And the reason for that is because I think if you're focused on your community, your donors, typically like you're going to you and you do something, you throw at a campaign, you send out some emails, whatever might be your donors will give and it'll likely it won't be there like their annual gift. It'll be their second or third gift to the organization. So you see a lot of low hanging fruit and Giving Tuesday. Organizations, you know, make these smaller donations. But it adds up if you can effectively reach your base but totally agree with you organizations that spend time trying to acquire a bunch of new donors I think that's a bit wishful thinking. Because there's so much noise.
Julia Campbell And focusing on the Facebook match and everything else that I'm not even going to go into. That's not the point.
Justin Wheeler Yeah.
Julia Campbell The point of Giving Tuesday is generosity and democratizing philanthropy, making, giving, normalizing, giving, making it seem and it is this is a reality. Anyone can make a difference with even just five dollars or ten dollars. And I don't just talk to nonprofits on Giving Tuesday or year-round, I talk to donors. So I have people calling me, emailing me, messaging me and saying, Julia, can ten dollars really make a difference? I'm worried about overhead costs. I'm worried about what I read in the news. There is so little trust in our institutions and our organizations and our government. There's so little trust right now that I really think nonprofits can leverage these kind of days when there's a lot of buzz and a lot of news coverage and a lot of social media mentions to normalize giving. To show people that ten dollars really, really, really can help and that everyone, no matter what their budget is, can still give back. Even if they can't give money, they can still be generous. They can still be kind.
Justin Wheeler Yeah. So that's a great segue to looking at sort of the landscape of where we're at today. We've got six weeks left, at least at the recording of the podcast of 2020, How do you see sort of current events shaping online fundraising organizations ability to raise during a pandemic and obviously other important sort of social issues that are happening today? How do you see current events kind of impacting all this?
Julia Campbell I think that we're going to have a giving season like no other. To be honest. I think that if you're asking right now, you will be receiving. So a lot of organizations, the studies that I've been reading have been fearful that they're not going to raise as much as they did in 2019. And that might be true. But you can't raise money if you're not asking. You can't raise money if you don't give your donors the opportunity to give. And if you're not asking, it might actually be kind of selfish of you. You're not giving your donors a chance to have agency and control over the great big world that we can't control. But if I have ten dollars and I can give it to that food bank, or if I can say, you know what, I don't want any Christmas gifts this year, I want to donate all the proceeds to this local organization that gives me a feeling of control. And it helps me sort of process a lot of the things in my life that I can't control right now. So I just think that if you're asking in an authentic and genuine way, you don't have to tie it to Covid-19. And that's the trend that I see right now. Well, my organization is not a front-facing Covid-19 charity. I'm not a social worker. I'm not in health care. I'm not providing PPE. So I don't think that I should be bothering my donors or or asking for support. And to that, I would say, well, do you need it? Do you need the support? And how are you going to use it? Because you're still solving a problem. Your problem, does it go away just because we're in a pandemic. Whether it's a community arts center or an animal rights group or whatever it is, you're the problem solving does not go away. In fact, it's probably just exacerbated by everything that's going on in the world. So, I would say, you know, I mean, the trend tends to be, well, donor fatigue or we don't want to ask or we're not a front-facing charity, a Covid-19 charity. But I would say you have to really ignore all of that and remember why your donors love you and remember the problem that you're solving and why you are vital and the you know, the change that you're trying to make.
Justin Wheeler Totally. Yeah. I think NextAfter put out some really great research on pandemic fundraising and specifically...
Julia Campbell And Steven Screen too, the Better Fundraising Co.
Justin Wheeler Okay, I don't think I've seen that yet. I'll check that out. But what I loved about it specifically was looking at email fundraising and basically organizations that were frontline responders and organizations had nothing to do with the pandemic and were fundraising and not mentioning Coronavirus then frontline workers mentioning Coronavirus they were actually raising at the same rate. So donors weren't like jumping ship or anything like that. It's just staying authentic to your brand, to your promise, to your donors and to your beneficiaries, I think is important.
Julia Campbell And donor fatigue is a myth. I believe it's a myth.
Justin Wheeler Oh yeah?
Julia Campbell I think that donors are fatigued with crappy fundraising.
Justin Wheeler Haha! What's crappy fundraising?
Julia Campbell Only emailing me on Giving Tuesday and having the subject line be it's Giving Tuesday. Give us a gift.
Justin Wheeler Yeah.
Julia Campbell Only emailing me every six months, three months, when you need something.
Justin Wheeler Yeah.
Julia Campbell Talking about your organization and not talking about the actual impact that you're making. And I mean there are probably lots of examples, but the point being not trying to build a community, not trying, like treating fundraising as a pure transaction and not as a relationship building tool.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, I got an email a few weeks ago. It was actually from an intern, which nothing wrong with with that. But it was our organization's message was the organization is going to go under if you don't donate today. That was like the basically the theme of the email. Like, yeah, that's ah, I would put that in the category of bad fundrasining.
Julia Campbell What's going to happen in the next few days then?
Justin Wheeler Exactly not worth, not a good investment from my prospective. When organizations ask donors to save their organization, I think that's when there's a big problem with this, the overall messaging and so forth. The other thing that I see with this is there's also... organizations, so I don't know if you saw our announcement last week, we we actually made Funraise free.
Julia Campbell That's amazing!
Justin Wheeler And the reason for that is there's, you know, 80 percent of nonprofits, right, that are operating here in the United States just don't have the same sort of budgets as the larger, more sophisticated fundraising organizations. And so we saw this trend within our customer base where they all look the same in regards to their budgets and we're like how do we, you know, to your point earlier, democratize fundraising? I think it's also giving them the tools that larger organizations have access to. And so we made Funraise free. And yeah, it's been awesome to see just the appetite for product that that will hopefully help organizations run their fundraising operations in a more meaningful and thoughtful way. That's at least the goal.
Julia Campbell Or at least take a jump a little bit, take a step into the water because there's no commitment. You know, if it's free, you can see if it works, you can establish your brand, you can try to use the tools. And it's it seems like it's a win-win for everyone.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, totally. And at the very least, give organizations a beautiful donor experience. With how much great product there is in the market today, there's just no more excuses for someone's donation page to look like I'm filling out a college application.
Julia Campbell No.
Justin Wheeler It's just, those days need to be behind us. We need to catch up with the rest of the world and really modernize sort of that experience to keep people engaged.
Julia Campbell If you think about customer experience, would you accept that kind of thing on any website that you checked out from?
Justin Wheeler No, absolutely not.
Julia Campbell I mean, if I see a Facebook ad, I want to go from the Facebook ad to the product to PayPal in like three clicks and you got the product. I mean, that's what we expect in our digital life as consumers. So that's what we expect in our digital life as donors. And there has to be that... I mean, there's that huge gap, I think, right now. So that's awesome!
Justin Wheeler So. Well, thank you. Thank you. Want to so talking about like this this divide specifically like the digital divide, have you seen this exacerbated during Covid-19? There's within organizations, whether it's your own client base or the research that you're looking at. Have you seen a greater divide in sort of organizations ability and propensity to go digital, or have you seen it kind of equal out or level out?
Julia Campbell I have seen a lot of organizations trying to cut and paste non digital ways into digital. So their golf tournament that is an actual golf tournament where you have to play golf, that is not necessarily going to translate. I know there are platforms and people have done really creative things, but that's what I've been seeing a lot, is, oh, we have this gala that is two hundred fifty dollars a person per head and we have it every year. And now we're just going to have to translate that over to digital. Well, it may or may not work, so you can't really cut and paste the old ways into the new ways. I think we have to be looking for brand new and innovative solutions. And I have seen a lot of organizations able to pivot, which, you know, we always hate that word. It's overused, but pivot and adapt to this new reality. And I think it's the organizations that understand that as fundraisers, we have a responsibility to reach five or six distinct generations of donors. I mean, you have got the maturers, the boomers, the millennials, Gen X, GenZ, and if you're going to be sustainable, you have to have a strategy, a multichannel strategy to reach all of these different generations of donors. However, they want to be reached. And that's very challenging. I mean, I understand that we're so used to maybe only trying to reach one generation of donors or two, but at this point in time, in order to stay viable and relevant, you really need to have a strategy to be acquiring younger donors as you still retain the older donors as well.
Justin Wheeler So what do you tell organizations? I imagine I imagine you hear this just with your background and expertize I hear it all the time, it's well our donors just don't do that or our donors don't give that way. And the organizations, you know, average data if you're to crunching the data, average donor age is like sixty five years old, which is great. I mean, they're very generous donors. But how do you respond to organizations when they tell you our our donors just don't give online?
Julia Campbell Well, that's a myth because we know that older people are shopping online. And what I would say to that is it's our fault. It's our fault. Let's look at our stuff. Let's look at our donation pages. Let's look at when we send an email. If I click on it from my phone, does it go to a seamless, mobile optimized page where I can just enter some information and be done? But like you said, is or is it a college application? Is a PDF? What is it? So I think we have to reverse engineer a lot of this where we say, OK, our donors are not giving on our website. Well, have you told anyone that is something that is an option to them? And what is the donor experience like? And you must hear this all the time Jusitin, that infamous, what is it, online giving's only 10 percent of giving whatever it is these days, 12 percent of giving. But what I say to that is, that is completely in line with e-commerce because shockingly, e-commerce is that exact same rate, 12, 13 percent, because it's not taking into account things like groceries and automobile payments and house payments and things like that. So when we look at those statistics and say, well, old people aren't online, we make these generalizations online, giving isn't a huge piece of giving. But then we actually look at our day to day life and how we function and how our parents function and how our children function. The story, I think, is incredibly different. So I would never assume anything unless you talk to your donors. And like I said before, you're going to have a handful that don't want to give online. You're going to have a whole heck of a lot of donors that do want to give online. So have options for both.
Justin Wheeler Totally, yeah. One hundred percent agree with that. And when organizations tell me it's only 10 to 12 percent, I'm like what you're talking about is 40 billion dollars.
Julia Campbell You're talking about that bequest that Harvard University got for the medical building.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, it's just too big to ignore for one hundred percent, regardless of what piece of the pie it is in total philanthropic dollars. But it's also growing rapidly and it's one of the only if you take a look over the last several decades, it's actually one of the only revenue channels that can sustain global recessions, pandemic. It actually it's a channel individuals don't stop giving regardless of what's happening because they're emotionally compelled to do so. And I think online giving is is highly effective to create emotional appeals to your community and to donors and so forth.
Julia Campbell And the other thing is, you know, you you can use it in accordance with other things. You can still make phone calls. You can still send your newsletter. You can still do all of these things. But just give people the option to donate via their phones. That's certainly where younger donors are going.
Justin Wheeler The other good excuse is like the cost. People say, oh, you know, the the credit card processing fees and so forth. But what I like to think about is, OK, like, let's say you receive one hundred donations, one hundred bucks each. What if that was one hundred checks mailed to you, like what's the cost to process one hundred individual checks?
Julia Campbell And the errors.
Justin Wheeler Totally! Yeah, so I'm glad we're aligned there. I mean it's definitely something that I hope to see more organizations do. And I do think that smaller organizations have the ability to grow this channel faster. There's less red tape, less bureaucracy, and they can experiment a lot more and do it faster and quicker.
Julia Campbell And so and they can get their donors used to it.
Justin Wheeler Exactly.
Julia Campbell So they bring on new donors and they just get them used to it. This is the way we fundraise. This is the way we do it. This is an option available to you.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. So I want to go back to something you also said about sort of, you know, not just, not taking your offline things and putting a digital label onto it, saying that's yeah, I think that's super interesting. And something that we've also seen. What, like maybe one or two examples of a campaign that you've seen that's been new, creative, something that you've appreciated that was, I don't know, I don't know, this is kind of putting you on the spot here. So if you have if you have an example, I would love to see what you've seen or heard or experienced.
Julia Campbell Well, it's not, it wasn't really intended to be a fundraising campaign, but I have absolutely loved how museums and aquariums have banded together. And there has been a bunch of different hashtags. One was the strangest thing you found or creepiest object. So if you look at the hashtag creepiest object on Twitter, all of the museums, a lot of museums around the country are posting their creepiest object that's in their museum. Whether it's a skull or someone had like a pile of hair or I don't know. But it's very, really creative. And what I loved about that is that everyone's retweeting each other and sharing and lifting each other up. And it's really it related it resulted in a lot of national news coverage and a lot of increased interest and memberships for these museums and aquariums that, of course, have closed doors. So the creativity that I've seen is how can you, when your doors are closed, still be top of mind and still be relevant and even just be fun and be entertaining? Yeah, and a campaign that I, one of the campaigns that I worked on that organization is saying to itself, well, we are really small, we're all volunteer run. We can't use social media. We can't use online fundraising. The National Filipino American Museum in California is all volunteer run. Their executive director started on March 17th, which is literally when shit hit the fan, and I know this is a family show, but he started that day and he took one of my webinars and he started a fundraising campaign on Facebook just to see what would happen. And he ended up raising two thousand dollars pretty much overnight because he told his story of how his parents came to America and what he has experienced and what the Filipino American community means to him and the museum means to him and spoke from the heart. And since then, he's done live streams, he's done concerts. They've done so much virtual programing in order to raise these badly needed funds because, of course, their doors are closed. So the key is he just tried something and he said, you know, I'm just going to try it and it's going to cost me nothing because I'm just going to put my story out there. And if it doesn't resonate, it doesn't. It doesn't. And if it does, then that's great. So I think just taking that little baby step, like if you think of something, if you think maybe this could work, then trying it out and just seeing because a lot of this is just testing, a lot of this is just experimenting and seeing what works.
Justin Wheeler Yeah. Another campaign I saw and this one's more political, but it was I thought it was just it was brilliant, regardless of who you who you voted for. But it was a campaign called Defeat by Tweet. And, have you seen this?
Julia Campbell No, I didn't. Defeat by Tweet?
Justin Wheeler It's Defeat by Tweet. And basically they were asking, this organization was asking for people to pledge to donate every time Trump tweeted.
Julia Campbell Yes, I did this. I did see this.
Justin Wheeler The original goal was a couple of million. They've now raised over four million and they're on their way to raise a bunch more. And now they're thinking is how do we, like, evolve this as a strategy once Trump is out of office.
Julia Campbell Oh, he'll still be tweeting.
Justin Wheeler He'll still be tweeting. That's true. But anyway, so, you know, I love that sort of like creative thinking. And then also going back to your point on just telling your story. I'm working with the organization, it's a smaller organization. But I was super compelled just by this. There's this rare disease like 30 kids in the world have. It's called Champ One. And this community of families here in the U.S. Are basically trying to raise funds for medical research to find a cure for, it's like gene therapy that needs to happen. And, you know, over the last five or six years, they've maybe raised twenty or thirty thousand dollars. And these stories and their kids are so compelling. And so they launched a peer-to-peer campaign, integrated it with Facebook, and they launched a couple of days ago. And they're breaking on $15,000 already in the first few days.
Julia Campbell Wow, for a tiny little rare disease.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, yeah. I mean, their goal is to $250K to kickstart the actual research. But I think that's the power of digital.
Justin Wheeler You just never know when a story is going to land and how it's going to impact and who your donor base is going to be. So that's the definitely the power of of what the Internet can provide to nonprofit organizations.
Julia Campbell And it just gives people that agency, like I keep saying, you know, if that was my niece and I who had this disease, I could then ask my community on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn to support the fundraiser for my niece. So you know me and if you're friends with me and you hear that you're much more likely to pay attention to the story than I'm telling. And then I can help raise money for this other organizations. It's got that ripple effect. I love that story.
Justin Wheeler Yeah. So turning the page, a couple of questions before we wrap up. I'd like to talk a little bit more about sort of just like the collective community nonprofits offer, because I think it's truly remarkable to see how organizations will rally together to support each other. I think of one of our customers, Innocence Project, shortly after the murder of George Floyd, they sent out an email to their entire listserv promoting different organizations, working on the front lines. And you would never see a business do this. You never see a business promote their competitors. And so what are your thoughts around this, this type of community? Like is it healthy? Does it stall growth, do you think? What are sort of the, what gets you excited about this being a value in the nonprofit culture?
Julia Campbell I love that. And I saw that a lot, actually. I saw that pretty frequently where organizations were shouting out other organizations that were working in racial justice and anti-racism because not everyone can be a superstar in that area. Not everyone's an expert in that area. And I really respected organizations that said this is something that's important to us. We're not the experts. Here are the experts. We're going to highlight them. I really wish more organizations would do this because like I say, I mean, that kind of was the point of Giving Tuesday was to normalize this idea of giving and understand that we are not in competition with each other. I do not say, oh, I like this organization's annual appeal letter better than this one I give with my heart. Most of us do with our heart. They give to causes that are important to them. And I think it's incredible when people are showcasing other organizations like that. So I wish that I would see more of that. I wish I would see local coalitions. I mean, we see like local foundations doing a great job of that. We see local nonprofit networks and associations doing a great job. But I would love to see sort of an informal coalition of nonprofits locally or regionally or maybe all working on the same issue together, doing things like that. And the zoos and aquariums do it. They do that on Giving Tuesday. They have a giving zoo day. They highlight each other and they talk about each other.
Justin Wheeler Yeah.
Julia Campbell And I'm sure there's more examples on Giving Tuesday than just giving zoo day. But I think that using the news coverage, using the fact that we are primed for year end giving, we want to give back it's Thanksgiving, it's the holidays, it's that kind of season. How can you maybe promote maybe five other organizations in your community? I think what happens is nonprofits are worried it's going to get political. They're worried they're going to leave somebody out. They're worried they're going to hurt someone's feelings. They're worried that maybe they will get five less dollars, but we really have to just start taking risks and start understanding that the sector itself, I mean, we're really, we're poised to lose several thousand nonprofits this year because of the effects of Covid-19. So the ones that remain, we need to stand up for each other. I mean, we really need to realize that, the quote that you shared that I absolutely love that quote. We're not all in the same boat, but we're all in the same storm.
Justin Wheeler Hmm. Yeah. That's I, I definitely agree. And I think that the way that organizations can leverage this sort of community is to find strong partnerships or even like to see this a lot in the for-profit space. But where, where, where maybe it's not a core sort of competency of ours. This organization does it better. And there's opportunity for program partnership. Right, where funds can be shared and split. I think there's just there's so much more room for innovation at that level because there's already the appetite. You already see nonprofits really gravitate towards this type of climate. And so creating some more structure or opportunity to promote it, I think could be could be super interesting.
Julia Campbell Well, Zu Le of Nonprofit AF, when he was the executive director of the Reinier Corps, he did just that. His particular organization. So he would invite other nonprofits and they would share an accountant. They would share an administrative assistant. They would share a copier because he's like, why do I need this photocopier? I make like two copies a day. Like, let's let other people rent it or pay for paper or help pay for ink. So the way he saw that I think is just really brilliant. Is that why do we all need to have a separate accountant? A separate HR person. If you're very, very small organization.
Justin Wheeler Yeah.
Julia Campbell Why do we need a separate copier? Why do we need to have a separate database? Like why can't we all come together and making sure that everything is proprietary and client confidentiality is, of course, followed, but. Just trying to think outside the box. Like why do we have to have these hierarchies and these structures that were set up hundreds of years ago, like why can't we just sort of blow everything up and figure out what works? And just rather than following these these paths that I think we've been told that we have to follow?
Justin Wheeler Yeah, no, I agree. And oftentimes it's a lot of principles that I mean, there's a lot of good things, a lot of good principles and learnings from for-profit. But this would never happen, you know, like in a for-profit sort of environment where you promote your competitors or whatever it may.
Julia Campbell Well, they have the chamber sometimes they do. But you're right. I don't think if it's your direct competitor.
Justin Wheeler Right.
Julia Campbell Like other realtors would not be promoting other realtors.
Justin Wheeler Right.
Julia Campbell But if it's somewhat, you know, if it makes sense, if it's a community partner and you can't do your work without them, then let your donors know because it only serves you and it only serves that organization.
Justin Wheeler Absolutely. Well, Julia, thank you so much for joining the podcast today. It was a great conversation. I was really looking forward to it. And thank you for joining and just dropping all sorts of knowledge for us today.
Julia Campbell Thank you. I wish that it could be in person. I wish that we could hang out at a conference, but maybe in 2021.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, or 2025. Who knows!
Julia Campbell Right. Maybe, who knows.
Justin Wheeler No, I'm, I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful it's 2021. We'll see. We'll see.
Julia Campbell I know I'm getting more hopeful or less hopeful. I don't know but definitely at some point.
Justin Wheeler Absolutely. All right.
Julia Campbell Thank you!
Justin Wheeler Well, thank you Julia. Have a good one.
Julia Campbell Bye.
Justin Wheeler Bye.
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