The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Today, they are changing the lives of families globally through 380+ Ronald McDonald House programs, 265+ Ronald McDonald Family Room programs, and 40+ Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs.
Recently, OneEach Technologies was honored to partner with one of the largest House programs, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati (RMHC Cincinnati). This nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation offers a community of compassion, support and the comforts of home to families with critically ill children. From when it first opened its doors in 1982 as a 21-bedroom House, the demand for a service like this was immediate. To keep up with the request for rooms, the House has expanded several times and now has 177 rooms to serve families from all around the world.
With growth and expansion comes increasing needs for various items for House guests, such as snacks, toys, toiletry items, craft items, and household items. RMHC Cincinnati has used wish lists to notify supporters of needed items.
Although an Amazon wish list was used to notify supporters of their needs and to provide supporters with a convenient way to shop for and ship those items, no donor information was provided to the charity. Packages would arrive randomly, with nothing but a slip of paper with a QR code for generating a canned email thank you message. Usually receiving no other information except a first name on occasion, RMHC staff had no way to adequately thank the donor or to provide a tax-deductible receipt. New supporters could not be added to the CRM, and gifts from existing donors would often never be recorded in the CRM. The reality was that some supporters could be donating hundreds of items and the RMHC Cincinnati staff and volunteers would never know who they were.
This challenge was really felt during the holiday wish list drive campaigns. The packaging slips numbered in the hundreds some days. The staff attempted to sort the slips by the donor and then manually sent a brief thank you to the donor using the QR code. Then the staff would attempt to add as many as possible to the CRM, which often wasn’t many. It was a huge resource burden, and donors were slipping through the cracks.
Another challenge the team struggled with was not knowing what donated items were coming. They could enter in their wish list, for example, that they needed 10 bars of soap and that three bars were purchased. But they couldn’t see when they were bought or who bought them. It was difficult for them to track and manage their inventory accurately.
The Solution Partner
OneEach has been providing digital services to businesses and nonprofits since 1999. Our team of professionals has over 150 years of combined experience working with and for nonprofits across the United States. We specialize in website design/development, hosting, text messaging, and fundraising solutions and currently serve and support over 750 nonprofits across the globe.
We became an Amazon Business integration partner in June of 2021 in order to provide an innovative in-kind donation fundraising solution that integrates with the Amazon Business store to our nonprofit customers.
OneEach and Amazon Business held a webinar together to inform nonprofit organizations about the innovative new fundraising platform for in-kind donations called OneEach Mindful Giving. The Ronald McDonald House Charities global office recommended that RMHC Cincinnati attend the webinar. They really were hoping this could provide the solutions to their challenges. And they weren’t disappointed.
The Solution? Mindful Giving
After the webinar, the RMHC stakeholders determined Mindful Giving was the solution they had been looking for. According to Shirley Wuske, Stewardship Coordinator, “All the decision-makers were okay with the price of Mindful Giving and the OneEach team was so responsive. The decision was, ‘Let’s go for it. And so we did.”
Following is the process all new Mindful Giving customers walk through to set up their platform.
The Set-Up Process
With every new Mindful Giving customer, there are a few steps to set up the platform.
- Set up an Amazon Business account
- If the customer doesn’t already have an Amazon Business account, they will need to sign up for an account and then grant the OneEach team access. We can help set things up within the Mindful Giving account.
- Next, the customer needs to set up the Payments within their account. With Mindful Giving, they will have the option to receive a line of credit so they can be invoiced by Amazon or they can add a credit card to pay directly.
- Set up the Stripe payment processor
- Our Mindful Giving tool uses the payment processor Stripe. Customers will need to sign up for an account and send over developer access to our OneEach Team. We can take the configurations from there.
- Get invoiced for donations each month
- Depending on how the customer wishes to set up payments within their Amazon Business Account, they may receive invoices from Amazon or a credit card may be charged directly. Since the donor purchase will go directly into the Stripe account the customer sets up, they can use those funds to cover the invoice or credit charge from Amazon.
- CSV files
- Within the Mindful Giving tool, there is an option for the customer to export their Order Data as a CSV file. This file can then be manipulated as they’d like and imported into another CRM tool.
From the operations side, OneEach took the RMHC Cincinnati’s previous wish list and copied and pasted it into the Mindful Giving platform, which was a very smooth process. According to Elizabeth Paxson, the Operations Coordinator, “The implementation and transition to the Mindful Giving platform was great. I can go into the system and delete products that we have enough of and add new items that we need. Managing our inventory is so much easier and less time-consuming.”
The development (fundraising) team also loves that the customized thank you email with tax deduction language gets sent immediately to the donor as soon as their donation is processed online. The customized email is written in the House’s voice and the messaging is tied to its mission. Detailed gift and donor information can be added to the CRM for further stewardship. No more slipping through the cracks.
Prior to implementing Mindful Giving, RMHC Cincinnati’s donors were used to going to the website to look at the wish list, so they knew what to shop for. Now they can purchase those items right from the website. There haven’t been any complaints and donors have even been receptive to paying for the credit card fee automatically, which has saved RMHC Cincinnati money.
Marketing The New Platform
In order to get internal buy-in of the new Mindful Giving platform, communications first went to the staff and volunteers. A simple email notifying the team of the platform and the new URL and highlighting the benefits was a success. The most compelling part…
“Please note that you will no longer be asked to collect the small packing slips in each package because we already have the donor’s information.”
The volunteers love that Mindful Giving makes their jobs easier and saves so much time messing with packing slips. And since the transition to the new platform didn’t disrupt operations, and actually made the processes simpler, the platform has been well-received.
There hasn’t been an official fundraising campaign about Mindful Giving yet because supporters know to go to the website to find out the products the House needs. RMHC Cincinnati made it easy and seamless for donors to get accustomed to using Mindful Giving by offering a “View Our Wish List” section on the website home page. The Wish List button takes donors to the Mindful Giving platform.
Image Source: https://www.rmhcincinnati.org
Donors can then scroll through the wish list items, select what they want to donate, the items get added to the online shopping cart, and then they pay for the donated items.
Image Source: https://wishlist.rmhcincinnati.org
They also have the option to donate cash from Mindful Giving. Then Amazon Business ships those products to the address RMHC Cincinnati has selected.
Image Source: https://wishlist.rmhcincinnati.org/cart
The process is simple, convenient, and no hassle for donors.
According to Ms. Paxson, “The whole process is really easy for our staff, volunteers and donors. Mindful Giving is clean and simple. We really just switched the link on our website and donors started purchasing. Knock on wood, everything has gone pretty smoothly with the internal and external process.”
In the past, what used to be a time-consuming process for donors to search for the organization’s wish list, contact the offices to arrange donations and deliver the items, can now be set up in as little as a few hours to one day depending on how many products are added to the catalog. This allows donors to get supplies to RMHC Cincinnati quickly, and without incurring shipping costs.
Even without launching an official fundraising campaign, RMHC Cincinnati has received $3,613.04 in product donations in three months, with 46 orders and 180 items received. In addition to that, they’ve received $145 in cash donations on the Mindful Giving platform. The total number of donors is 45, with 1 repeat donor, and 18 new donors. It’s off to a great start!
The excitement about Mindful Giving has been encouraging from the Board, staff, and donors. The Board has been enthusiastic about the ability to generate new donors and actually have their contact information.
From the staff and volunteers’ perspective, they’ve found Mindful Giving easy to use and the time savings for tracking donations and knowing immediately who the donors are has been “a game changer.”
As for the donors, no complaints are good news. They don’t appear to be having issues with using the platform and donations continue to grow each month.
The relationship and collaboration between OneEach and RMHC Cincinnati have been invaluable. With each launch, OneEach gains valuable feedback to add to the Mindful Giving product roadmap. OneEach looks forward to offering more features in future upgrades.
OneEach’s integration with Amazon Business to provide Mindful Giving has been a game-changer for nonprofits that are including in-kind donations in their fundraising strategies. Initial installation of Mindful Giving can be set up in about three weeks, once Stripe and Amazon Business accounts have been set up by the customer. Learn more about OneEach Mindful Giving.