We talked with Alma Magsombol, the managing director of ABS-CBN Foundation International, about their nonprofit, the current market trends, and using Rally.
“There are a lot of needs right now, so whatever amount people can give, it’s a big help.” -Alma Magsombol
What They Do: Serve Filipinos wherever they are.
Founded: 1997 (US)
Learn more: abscbnfoundation.org
ABS-CBN Foundation is the public service arm of the ABS-CBN Network, which is the largest TV channel in the Philippines. Based in San Francisco, the ABS-CBN Foundation focuses on serving Filipinos through disaster relief, education, environmental protection, and child welfare.
- Disaster relief: “The Philippines is prone to a lot of typhoons—an average of 20 typhoons a year. So we try to be proactive because it’s just a matter of when.” It’s not just storms either, they had a volcanic eruption, hunger, and an earthquake in July and there’s also frequent flooding.
- Environmental protection: “One reason there’s so much flooding in the Philippines is because of illegal logging, mining, and so on.” They try to create sustainable solutions that can protect the environment while also providing for families.
- Child welfare: They rescue abused and neglected children, providing food, shelter, and whatever interventions are necessary.
- Education: “We believe once a child has that basic education, you have someone who can help people in need.”
The COVID-19 and continued global challenges have thrown many nonprofits for a loop, and ABS-CBN is no different. They’ve seen changes in donor behavior through the pandemic and continue to see donation amounts and frequency shift with rising inflation.
“Donors are also affected with the rising prices of everything, but we wanted them to feel that donating should not be a burden for them. Whatever amount they can share will definitely go a long way to support the ones in need. Whether it’s $1, $5, $20—when we put it all together it will definitely help change someone's life."
How are things going lately?
- Decreased donations: ABS-CBN is seeing lower donations and Magsombol suspects it has to do with inflation. “They would still like to help but their capacity is decreased.”
- COVID-19 tech: They’re used to seeing first-generation Filipinos donate with cash or checks, but there’s been a movement to embrace technology during the pandemic.
- Scams: People are worried about scams and fake texts, so it’s more important than ever to follow proper compliance guidelines (Rally can help) and be authentic.
What a successful text looks like:
- “We ask them to donate for a specific cause, especially when there’s a calamity. We tell them a short description of what the pain is all about and then there’s a link that will go to our website.”
- “Donors react more when there’s a calamity or an emergency rather than the usual ask.”
Why did you choose Rally?
- “The bulk of our donors are first generation, so more seniors. They’re not really that into using technology, but they would like to try it. Now it’s actually an easy way for people to donate.”
- “There are a lot of options and after filtering everything I narrowed it down to three to propose to the director. We looked at the advantages and disadvantages, the pros and cons, and decided to use Rally as our first texting platform.”
Tips for implementing Rally:
“It’s the top of our call to action. So before it used to be ‘visit our website or mail your check,’ now it’s ‘text to 24365’ because we would like to catch the donor right away.”
Here to Help
Like a lot of nonprofits, Magsombol struggles with having to do a lot of the work herself. That’s why Rally is here to help as much as we can.
“James and his team are doing very good supporting us, but it’s hard for a person like me who’s working alone.”
“Listening to the stories, I wish I had a lot of money to give. But of course they need something that can be sustained. Once you give the money and they use it, it’s already gone. But if you can teach them something they can sustain and later on use to survive, that’s more effective.”