Friday, March 20, 2009

Impromptu Fundraising Using Facebook

Yesterday, the New York Times reported a study that shows that online donors don't return to repeat donations. I'm not terribly surprised. The internet is a noisy place that requires extreme competition for attention. The article talked about using internet fundraising as a way to find donors, but then following up with those new donors in more traditional ways, such as direct mail.

Liz Bazini, Young Hadassah International Chair, illustrates how using your organization's cause page on Facebook, can lead to an instant fundraiser. Cause pages are great because you have an interested audience, people have to opt-in to a "cause" and those who opt-in are much more likely to respond to an appeal. As an additional bonus, Young Hadassah International gained 100 new Facebook members. Not bad for a day's work. Bunnie

Impromptu Fundraising Using Facebook

by Liz Bazini
Young Hadassah International Chair

Using Facebook Young Hadassah International (YHI) raised $2,500 in 48 hours for the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem.

The impromptu “event,” part of the “Help Hadassah Heal” campaign, was held in response to the significant decline in donations made to the organization due to the economic crisis. “Help Hadassah Heal” was launched on the Hadassah International January 2009 featuring podcasts from the Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Director General, Hadassah University Medical Center and the Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk.

The virtual YHI Facebook fundraiser reached 1500 people; the majority of the money raised was in the form of $20 contributions. In addition, during the 48-hour period individuals changed their profile pictures to the YHI logo which increased exposure for the hospital and the fundraising organization. As a result, we now have over 100 new members of the Young Hadassah International Facebook Cause Group (

The money raised will benefit the much-needed renovations of Hadassah’s Pediatrics Department on Mount Scopus, and provide crucial state-of-the art diagnostic and treatment equipment to give the children the best care possible. Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus has a special history, as it was the region’s first modern medical facility when it opened in 1939. Today, the hospital serves both Arabs and Jews from the northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the surrounding towns and villages, the Palestinian Authority, as well as patients who come from all parts of the country.

When these children are first admitted to the hospital, families from diverse backgrounds oftentimes do not appreciate the common bonds that unite them. As contact between Arab and Jewish families increases, there is a gradual dissipation of the pervasive suspicion, fear, and hostility. In time, one family goes down to the cafeteria for coffee and brings back snacks for the other families. As parents from opposite sides of the divide come to know one another as individuals, perspectives gradually begin to change and stereotypes blur. To one another, they are now only parents of sick children, battling a common enemy—disease.

Today, the Pediatrics Department has an annual occupancy of well over 100%, reaching 150% in winter months. The needed renovation and expansion will:

• Reduce the number of children in a room

• Allow parents to stay with their child overnight

• Provide consultation rooms for parents and medical staff

• Add staff and seminar meeting rooms

• Provide for the purchase of advanced medical equipment

The mission of YHI is to build awareness and generate long term support among young adults for the Hadassah Medical Centre which impacts medical care globally. Serving the Middle East, the Hadassah Medical Centre is a pioneering university hospital that provides cutting-edge research and healthcare without discrimination. Its global outreach ranges from offering aid to African communities to being first on the scene at natural disasters.

The men and women who comprise YHI organize fundraising events and promote networking among likeminded people. YHI chapters include Argentina, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. To learn more visit


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