St. Mary’s Dining Room featured its cook, Maria Elena Maturana, in its Facebook posts and has been giving her spice-rub recipe to thank donors.

Social-Service Groups Try Creative Holiday-Season Fundraising Tactics
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
December 18, 2014
Some social-service groups, which generally have fewer resources to spend on fundraising than colleges, hospitals, or museums, are engaging their supporters in creative appeals this holiday season.

The YWCA in Fort Worth, for example, invited 30 multiyear donors who have given $1,000 or more to attend its annual holiday party for low-income clients, mostly single women and their children.

The five donors who attended were “elves” who gave out gifts to the children. They also talked with mothers and worked at stations where kids helped make cookies or wrapped presents. After the festivities, the donors spent about 45 minutes in an intimate chat with the Y’s chief executive, Carol Klocek.

“We are calling this ‘mission moments,’” the group’s chief development officer, Trish Rodriguez, said a few days before the party.

“It’s about engaging donors and making them feel like they are part of the work you are doing,” she added. “None of us could do the work we do without our supporters.”