Anne Holcomb, Supportive Services Supervisor at Unity Parenting and Counseling, gets her inspiration from gardening or reading the Sunday Times. However, nothing compares to when a teen graduates because of the support her nonprofit provided. And when skilled volunteers help the organization raise over $100,000 with a newly developed social media strategy.
The best results come from clear goals
Unity is out to bring positive change to our community by providing safe and caring foster homes for abused or neglected children, housing and supportive services for homeless youth, and permanent supportive housing for homeless adults with disabilities. When a homeless youth secures housing or a foster child is adopted; those are the moments that make the long hours all worth it.
A few years ago, we first sought out pro bono when looking to expand our board of directors. Through this introduction to pro bono, I learned that the best results come when your organization is very clear about the goals they hope to achieve from the project. Our goal was to diversify the range of skills and expertise that members could bring into our organization. A group of Taproot volunteers worked with us to develop a board recruitment plan that resulted in four dynamic professionals joining our board. The recruitment plan they built with us is still in use to this day.
Faced with fire
This year, we were in the midst of a Taproot Plus digital content strategy project for our art programs when our youth emergency shelter was struck by a serious fire. Our skilled volunteer immediately pivoted focus right along with us and threw himself into developing a GoFundMe campaign to assist our shelter in recuperating from the severe fire damage. Our volunteer’s efforts paid off; this initial social media campaign raised over $20,000 from new donors within two months.
The power of social media
Unity’s vision is that through our programs and services, there will no longer be any homeless youth in South Side Chicago. Our youth emergency shelter is a key part of making sure that goal comes to fruition. Our Taproot volunteer helped us raise awareness through the media and laid the groundwork for us to raise $100,000 (and counting) to repair our damaged shelter from individual donors, corporations, congregations, and foundations.
We came to Taproot with these two big challenges; building and maintaining a diverse board and revamping our social media fundraising strategy. Now, we have a thriving, young, and passionate board of directors and will be able to rebuild our youth shelter. To Taproot and our awesome skilled volunteers; thank you. Unity Parenting and Counseling is a stronger, more viable organization today because of you.