G.A.I.N. – powered by Lowe’s
Skilled volunteers helped identify a donor management system to improve individual fundraising processes at Youth Development Initiatives, so that they can be better positioned to meet their goals of improving academic and career outcomes for disadvantaged adolescent youth.
Youth Development Initiatives (YDI) provides caring adult connections and life guidance to disadvantaged adolescent youth. YDI scholars engage in an individualized development process that combines project-based learning applications with real-world learning experiences to build critical life skills, career planning and post-secondary education preparedness. YDI strives to lead the way in ensuring ALL youth live in stable and caring communities where they receive meaningful educations, develop vital life skills and engage in essential social capital-building opportunities that ultimately result in successful futures.
Youth Development Initiatives has embarked on their next journey of G.A.I.N., an Apparo program generously sponsored by Lowe’s and EY. In this phase, the worked with skilled volunteers to assess their current donor data management processes and select the best application to meet their needs.
Volunteer team: Jon Shannon (WSP USA, Change Agent), Brad Richmond (Duke Energy), Matt Anderson
We checked in with Darryl Bego upon completion of this project to learn about the significance of the work and its anticipated impact. He shares, “This is a project that we could not have afforded, but at the same time, this is something that we couldn’t afford not to do. That’s the type of catch-22 that this program helps us avoid.”
Before this project, he dedicated little to no time to individual donor cultivation because he did not have the tools to do it correctly or efficiently. “I know we have great potential for individual fundraising because when people learn about us, they want to help. But I haven’t been able to get out there to talk to new people or do anything to cultivate our current individual donors.”
Upon implementation of Neon One, the donor data management tool selected in this project, he anticipates:
- Increased Board engagement around individual fundraising
- More time for donor cultivation – Darryl shares that he expects to quadruple his efforts in this area
- Increased donor retention
- Improved donor acquisition
- Increased presence as a professional, well-established nonprofit
As a result, he anticipates an increase in revenue that:
- In the short term, will cover YDI technology needs ($11,000 – which is triple the highest amount ever raised via an individual fundraising campaign.)
- In the medium term, will allow for hiring a development manager and increased wages to staff (thus increasing their retention)
- In the medium term, will allow expansion of YDI’s one year program to two years, which has been proven to improve student outcomes
Darryl shares his appreciation for Apparo, the G.A.I.N. program and his volunteers:
“For several years, I felt like I’ve been swimming upstream against a staunch current … But over the past two years, the assembling of our new board of directors and the critically important and valuable work of our Apparo volunteers has given YDI that jolt in the arm that reinforces our belief and our hope we can continue to passionately and purposefully carry on with our vital mission. My two years with Apparo has been the best experience and the most tangible support I have ever had during these 24 years of nonprofit work. Your structure is second to none, especially through the pandemic. Thank you for being awesome at what you do.”
“We’re grateful for the wonderful Apparo CIP volunteers –Brad Richmond, Matt Anderson, and the incomparable Jonathan Shannon –who engaged and guided YDI through this CRM review, identification, and selection process! Implementing a new CRM will truly help us shore up a glaring organization weakness of recruiting and managing potential and existing donors in a responsible and responsive manner, and it will immediately strengthen our overall capacity and capabilities as a smaller but dynamic nonprofit. So, thanks Apparo and our CIP volunteers for giving us a ‘chance to do our little dance’ to improve our noticeability on Charlotte’s vast non-profit stage!”
The project volunteers also share their appreciation:
Brad Richmond: “This has been my second CIP and once again, it’s been such a pleasure working with Apparo, my fellow volunteers, and Darryl with Youth Development Initiatives! One of the reasons I’m so passionate about volunteering with Apparo is that I get to learn about and support the phenomenal non-profit organizations doing such critical work in the Charlotte area. I feel honored to have been a part of this team that worked hard to identify an impactful solution for Darryl and YDI.”
Matt Anderson: “Great to work with Darryl to help find a solution that would work for YDI. In the end the Apparo network was key to identifying the best solution for them.”
Jon Shannon: “The Youth Development Initiatives (YDI) team led by Darryl Bego is an incredible organization that’s making a real difference in the community. YDI deserves so much recognition and support for what they’re doing. The donor application selection phase of Apparo’s G.A.I.N. grant program, driven by professional volunteers Brad Richmond and Matt Anderson, gives YDI a vital tool that will help generate an even greater impact. It’s been a privilege to work with such compassionate and generous people.”