We talked with Darryl Carnley, the founder and CEO of My360Project, about their nonprofit, the current market trends, and using Rally.
“The texting is incredible for us. It's always an ROI. There's always someone who responds to a text, which is so awesome.” -Darryl Carnley
What They Do: Humanitarian shoe organization
15,000: Shoes given away by My360Project
Learn more: My360Project.org
My360Project changes lives with shoes. They hire local artisans to create the shoes, providing sustainable jobs and sourcing local materials. Then they personally distribute the shoes to children in need, washing their feet and fitting the shoes. That face-to-face interaction is important, communicating love and value. The shoes themselves keep kids’ feet safe and healthy, and also open the door to education as schools often require shoes.
“It's really fun to see the children and just how they warm up to you so quick because their feet are being washed.”
“To stand in front of an audience or whatever it may be and encourage people to sponsor shoes to help change a life. So it's finances. It's just that continuous need to find a creative way to encourage someone to give.”
What a successful text looks like:
- “We were raising money for our shoe die machines in Africa and we needed to raise $5,000. Out of the three texts we did over a period of time we raised most of the money. And not from people who are normal givers.”
- “We try to put it out there with a need and there's definitely a call to action on it.”
- “Then we send a text back that says here’s how much we received. There’s a competitive nature to people and they love to see that.”
How are things going lately?
- Shifting donor priorities: Carnley described a good year with an increase in larger donations. But they are seeing a shift in their trips with fewer people signing up than before—even compared to the tail end of the pandemic. He attributes it to people returning to vacation and traveling.
- COVID-19 generosity: “There were a lot of generous people during the pandemic.” Carnley describes people donating their entire stimulus check: “They just didn’t feel like they needed it, so they gave the whole amount.”
- Recession/inflation: “I think there’s a little bit of petering out of how generous people are. They’re wondering what’s next, are we in a recession?”
- Ukraine: “We lost—I don't know if I really want to use the word ‘lost,’ but it is what happened—we had a couple of really decent donors that directed their money to Ukraine.”
- Bright future: Despite a few challenges, Carnley is overwhelmingly positive. “I’m that way in life. My dad always taught me the cup is half full or half empty, it's up to you. At this moment there are some really amazing things going on for our organization. … Our future is looking really bright, unless something crazy happens with politics or the government, I think we're really going to have a good end to this year.”
Why did you choose Rally?
- Effective: “The first time I ever saw text-to-donate, they were raising money for water wells and we were in front of tens of thousands of people and seeing how many responded—it blew my mind, and it was so simple.”
- Simple: “The simplicity of it is what brought me to Rally because we already had a text-to-donate number, we just didn’t use it. I can't even remember the last four digits of my social security number, but I can always remember 24365.”
Tips for implementing Rally:
“The biggest thing is to get your staff and everybody on board so everything—your branding, everything—can have ‘Text SHOES to 24365’ on it.”
- Want to add surveys: “We’re trying to figure out how to use Rally better. I don’t know that we’re using it to its fullest. We’re not big enough to have someone focused on it. For instance, I just left the doctor's office and I got a text from them to take this survey. I know Rally can do that and we've talked about doing a survey. But we haven't done it yet, because there are so many things going on.”
- Consistent opt-ins: “We did an audit and noticed some of our registrations don't have the opt-in. So we’re adding that to our registrations for trips and things so people can check a box and opt in to receive text messages.”
“I was out at a pizza joint, sitting at the bar with a friend of mine. This lady sees ‘My360Project’ on my shirt and asks about it. I said, ‘Hey, you want to know more? Text SHOES to 24365.’ About an hour later my phone buzzed. She had checked it out and donated $100. So it's just the simplicity of it.”
Download: It Simply Works for My360Project
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