We talked with Marisa Tucker-Alleyne, the director of communications for Anchor Point, about challenges they face, how they use Rally, and the power of texting.
“All of our donors and volunteers that are close to us, they're totally in favor of texting.” -Marisa Tucker-Alleyne
What They Do: Support families in the Greater Houston area.
Learn more: AnchorPoint.us
Anchor Point gives families hope. Their goal is to ultimately help families thrive. Lifelong relationships are built through their family network of services which consists of the Obria Medical Clinic, Hope Family Center, Hope House Maternity Home, and Home Community Resources. Ultimately their hope results in lives changed and communities strengthened because we are stronger together.
“We’re opening up more and more to be able to meet more needs in the community and grow beyond what we were able to do before.” -Marisa Tucker-Alleyne
Like every nonprofit, Anchor Point faces challenges:
- Growing pains: Expansion can mean new opportunities, but it also means new challenges. “Every time we add a new division, there’s so much you have to learn,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “We have to pivot and see what’s missing and add that in.” It’s meant figuring out organizational structure, legal hurdles, staffing, and more. “The last year was a huge transition and growth year,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “You can imagine that’s a lot of roadblocks and hurdles. But this year has been a lot smoother.”
- Faith-based: Being a ministry can pose an extra challenge for fundraising. “There are many people who like the work we do but struggle with the faith aspect. Many ultimately engage with us but we have to walk them through that emotional hurdle of being OK with an organization that is faith-based.”
- Central building: “We’ve been talking about getting everyone into one building over time, because right now we’re all in different buildings,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “It will just require people to stay faithful in giving and see the impact we are making together.”
The Pandemic Challenge
Every nonprofit faced pandemic challenges, and Anchor Point was no different. They stayed open as an essential service during the pandemic.
“I think the community really rallied behind us,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “People still really need our resources.”
They also had to shift their biggest event of the year online, their Celebrating Hope Gala. “I love Anchor Point,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “But we’re mostly staffed by women ages 40 and older. When it comes to technology, they’ll tell you it’s not their forte.” As one of the youngest staffers, some of the tech and social media questions fell to Tucker-Alleyne, but they were able to work through it.
How They Use Rally
Here are three ways Anchor Point is using Rally:
- Engagement: “Quick personal communication is our goal with our supporters. Rally has helped us with quality touch points for engagement with our supporters,” Tucker-Alleyne said.
- Monthly donor updates: They send links to YouTube videos of the CEO giving monthly updates.
- Event volunteers: They share forms, meeting updates, and specific event details with volunteers.
Anchor Point launched an effort to share emergency prayer needs that’s attracting people from all over the country who are eager to pray and interested in their work.
- Conversational: They have more than 850 people on the list. “Each time I send out a prayer request, we usually get a minimum of 70 replies from people just letting us know that they're praying, which I think is really impactful,” Tucker Alleyne said.
- Updates: They follow up by sending updates to let supporters know how something turned out. “We are able to send updates and keep people in the loop, which makes people feel like they are important and really matter. Because they do,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “It's awesome that we have that many people that care, and they're all around the country.”
- Follow up: “A lot of people ask questions about who we are, where they can find more information, and we have some people ask where they can give.”
- New features: “I’ve only been using it myself for a year and a half at this point, and they’ve added a lot of things in that time frame that have been helpful.”
- Quick response: “[Rally founder] James responds so quick to me every time and I’ve been on the phone with him, so I feel like we’re friends,” Tucker-Alleyne said.
- Owning failures: One time a brand-new link shortening feature wasn’t working, so Rally created the link manually. “James said, ‘OK, I’m going to get my team working on this to make sure it works better in the future,’” Tucker-Alleyne said. “He’s super great at responding.”
Email vs. Texting
Tucker-Alleyne appreciates the ease and control that comes with texting.
“I think with texting you have more control over whether you get a text or not because you can opt out so easily,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “Sometimes with email it’s impossible. You feel like you have a thousand emails, you have to get rid of spam, and then there’s always more. So you just stop doing it.”
That simple opt out is the power of permission marketing.
“We always have people opt out and don't want to get texts. But it's the same people that don't want to get emails either. They just don't want any communication,” Tucker-Alleyne said. “But there are some great people that prefer getting texts that are donors.”
Download: Building Close Ties With Texts
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