Charting Success: How Mujeres Aliadas reach their goals time after time

Trayectoria de Éxito: Cómo Mujeres Aliadas alcanza sus metas una y otra vez

Pulling off your first crowdfunding campaign is a feat, but reaching your crowdfunding goals every year, twice a year? That puts you in a different league. That’s just what Mujeres Aliadas have achieved. Over the last three years, this small team of women  in Michoacan, Mexico have raised over $57,905 over six crowdfunding campaigns, an average of more than $9,800 and 112 HIPGivers per campaign! 

What’s the secret to their success? As Lisel (Executive Director), Ana (Community Director), Erandi (School Director), Isabel (Clinical Director) and the team embark on their seventh campaign this month as part of #GOMujeres 2024, we delve into their journey and share four key strategies that drove their success in their previous “RUN RUN Midwives on Wheels” campaign. 

1. Shared leadership

Collaboration is an essential feature of the Mujeres Aliadas approach. While most organizations delegate fundraising campaigns to the development or communications coordinator, at Mujeres Aliadas each campaign is led by a different staff member. From the Community Coordinator, to the Director of Midwifery Training, everyone takes their turn.

In March 2023, for example,  Isabel, Clinical Director, was new to the team. By November she had taken part in HIPGive’s “Step by Step” training workshop, put together the creative concept for “Midwives on Wheels”, and was working closely with Lisel to oversee the campaign’s overall communications strategy while also creating content for her colleagues to share out to their own networks.  “I ended up exhausted,” she says, “but that’s OK because someone else will take over next year. It’s really a great way of generating solidarity in our team.”  

This is a brave tactic, but one that can really pay off given that so much of crowdfunding nowadays is based on authenticity and personal contact. By rotating the leaders, Mujeres Aliadas is able to come up with fresh new campaigns each time, while building an increasingly strong culture of collaboration and teamwork around fundraising. 

2. Compelling storytelling

A personal story is at the heart of the Run Run campaign: the entire creative concept is built around the real life experience of the midwives who may be called out at 2am to travel to assist  a birth.  “There’s so much competition, so many things circulating,” explains Isabel, “so it’s important to create a story and make it resonate with people.  I wrote the script in half an hour, but it took a lot of thinking beforehand.”  The script was then brought to life in a video, thanks to the help of Miguel (videographer).

There’s no doubt that the visual storytelling served as a compelling medium to convey their message, eliciting an emotional response from audiences. However, the real strength of the story is in its “shareability”, the connections it created.  Rather than feeling obliged to take part in the campaign, staff members were proud to share the story with family and friends. Isabel herself received lots of messages, mostly from friends who expressed disbelief; “I had no idea this is what you go through.” 

3. Keeping it personal 

Which brings us to the next strategy, summed up as: “talk to the people you want to donate.” In other words, it’s not enough to just share the campaign link or post on social media. Instead, the team at Mujeres Aliadas know the importance of sending emails, making phone calls, sending lots and lots and lots of personal messages. “When I did that,” reveals Isabel, “not only did they all donate, but they were among the highest donations.” 

It can be hard, admits Lisel. As Director, she often has to ask team and Board members to keep sharing, even when they find it difficult to make the ask. The secret, she says, is to explain just how much of a difference it makes, how people respond so differently when the request to give is made personally. 

The results, too, are evident: Mujeres Aliadas have moved from 74 HIPGivers in early campaigns, to an average of 119 per campaign. In recent campaigns, the team has also noticed a rise in contributions from donors based in Mexico (as opposed to the US). 

4. Matching Funds Tactics 

Finally, Mujeres Aliadas are no strangers to a little bit of friendly competition. On days when matching funds are available, they bring their A game, planning all their communications to drive donations in those few key hours. 

As you can see, it’s a tactic that really works! However, it requires careful planning of your communications strategy. Even if most of the funds were donated around the matching funds day, the team at Mujeres Aliadas promoted the campaign assertively from day one, consistently raising awareness and helping keep the campaign “top of mind”. Thanks to this solid foundation, when switched to personalized requests via messages and phone calls, people were primed and more willing to give at a time when their contribution would make the most difference. 

If you’re about to begin your crowdfunding journey, there’s no better place to start than with these four key strategies. By involving the whole team, embracing authenticity through storytelling, focussing on personal connections and making the most of matching funds, organizations of all sizes can make crowdfunding a really integral part of their annual fundraising strategy, year on year.

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