Chariot Customer Spotlight: Northern Illinois Food Bank
Hear from Anne Moore, Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Strategic & Legacy Gifts Manager, on why DAFs are a critical part of their fundraising strategy and how Chariot is enabling their success in a critical period for their mission.
Northern Illinois Food Bank is currently serving 460,000 neighbors every month - that’s 60% more people than before the pandemic. The need for their services across their 900 member agencies and feeding sites have never been greater as they work to provide nutritious food and resources with dignity, equity and convenience, in the face of several headwinds like economic challenges, inflation and expiring government benefits granted during COVID.
In order to meet the demand of an expected 80 million meals this fiscal year, their fundraising department’s job has never been more critical to maximize their efforts across all fundraising channels - especially when many donors are facing some of the same financial challenges as the neighbors they are serving.
“Getting a DAF donor’s email right when they make the gift is a total game changer”
Anne Moore, Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Strategic & Legacy Gifts Manager, is focused on investing in stewardship and donor communications to increase their industry leading donor retention rate. Anne shared that they are “leaning on our major donors, asking for multi year pledges, increasing giving and working to convert our annual fund donors into monthly donors so that we’re able to budget more sustainably.”
A critical part of that strategy is effectively engaging with DAFs. Anne believes “Donor Advised Funds allow everybody to set aside a portion of their wealth to invest in the betterment of humankind, and as a nonprofit organization, we depend on these individuals and corporations who want to better humankind through their service of time or money. There’s a vast amount of wealth that has been set aside in DAFs for the future support of nonprofits - and our message to these supporters is really that the future is now, our neighbors need your help.”
[What’s a Donor Advised Fund? Check out this article for the DAF 101]
To ensure the potential for DAF giving is maximized, Anne is focused on streamlining the DAF donation process and improving their ability to steward those donors. That’s why implementing Chariot’s 3-click DAF donation solution on their website was a no brainer.
“Anytime something has too many clicks, or someone has to think too much, the chances of losing that donor from interest to donation is high and Chariot really helps streamline that process,” said Anne. “Then, the fact that Chariot also captures that donor information, and we’re not going to guess if and when we’ll get it.. That’s a super big win. Getting a DAF donor’s email right when they make the gift is a total game changer.”
Anne also loves how Chariot helps them identify donors with a DAF by putting an easy DAF giving option in the location where a donor may have otherwise donated with their credit card since it’s so much easier. “Our goal for Chariot is to help us convert cash donors to non cash donors. And so we're really using it on our website to help remind our donors who give cash gifts online that they might have these other assets that we also accept as donations.”
[See for yourself how Chariot’s DAF donation button works - check out our demo giving form]
Chariot also has a major impact on internal operations related to DAFs and her team’s ability to steward major donors. Historically, Anne’s team would get acknowledgement letters from different DAF providers in the mail up to a few weeks after the gift with incredibly limited identifying and contact information. This usually results in wasted time by the team, unnecessary follow ups with donors and delayed stewardship for some of the organization’s highest value donors.
That’s Anne’s biggest piece of advice for any nonprofit hoping to improve their DAF fundraising: “Steward and thank. Steward and thank in a very, very timely manner - within 72 hours makes a real difference. Each donor advised fund should be treated like a major donor. They are philanthropic, they have made the conscious decision to put this money aside - that right there says that they need to really feel the love.”
About Northern Illinois Food Bank:
We focus on delivering food and nutritious feeding programs to the Northern Illinois community. As part of the national Feeding America network, we serve our neighbors in 13 counties by providing 250,000 meals per day. Learn more at www.solvehungertoday.org
There’s $234B sitting in Donor Advised Funds and your organization deserves more of it. Chariot enables 3-click DAF donations directly on your website so you can acquire & retain more DAF donors while saving hours of staff time. ~40% of DAF donors give with a credit card on your website first - with Chariot you’ll get more of them to give from their DAF so you know who they are, get larger gifts, and better steward those relationships.
Chariot improves giving from every DAF provider and is directly integrated with fundraising platforms serving over 20,000 nonprofit organizations. You can set up Chariot on your website in minutes, then start accepting DAF gifts and thanking those donors immediately. Learn more at www.givechariot.com.