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From In-Person to Online: Fundraising Success at a Virtual Banquet

From In-Person to Online: Fundraising Success at a Virtual Banquet

Cincinnati pregnancy care center still meets
fundraising goal when annual banquet goes virtual

For more than 30 years, Life Forward, Pregnancy Care of Cincinnati has carried out its mission to help women move forward in their lives with hope and purpose. With two locations in the Cincinnati area, this organization provides confidential services like pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, consultation on options, education, and support to women in crisis pregnancies.

In April 2020, Life Forward was forced to cancel their annual banquet, a long-time tradition that raised nearly $200,000 last year. However, plans quickly pivoted to an online event.

“With an anticipated attendance of about 1,000 people, we put a lot of effort into getting table sponsors and recruiting,” reported Riley Mullins, Director of Development at Life Forward. “However, by switching to an online event, we saved $30,000 in expenses.”

On the day of the virtual banquet, attendees were sent a text message with a link to view the event on any device that would also allow them to text in their pledge. Through Vimeo, attendees watched inspiring client stories and listened to messages from Executive Director Steve Stephenson and keynote speaker Stephen Kendrick. During the event, pledges were screencast.


“People loved it,” said Mullins, “there was even a $15,000, single-donor gift.” After the event, donors were sent a reminder text to complete their pledge. All texts were sent through
Give by Cell’s text messaging platform.


Text message communication is nothing new to this tech-savvy organization. On a daily basis, clients are able to text or call Life Forward for help and donors even can sign up to receive prayer reminders via text.

While Life Forward continues to support clients during these uncertain times, some services are administered online or through drive up visits. Phone calls and texting have been effective ways to connect with clients during the stay-at-home order.

From a Facebook post, Melissa Guzman, Director of Client Services, said about this time, "I call this Brave Warriors Brainstorming the Battle Plan.”

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From In-Person to Online: Fundraising Success at a Virtual Banquet

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