The Vichy Mothers Club encourages and organizes parental involvement at Vichy Elementary School, located in Napa, California. The organization has a clear mission: “To make decisions that use financial, physical, and technological resources to positively impact and improve the education experience of Vichy students, from building a better education environment, to fundraising.”
Vichy Alternative Association president Jack Irby got involved in the Vichy Mothers Club’s annual fundraising in 2009. “The perception is that Vichy has a lot of money out here,” said Irby. But in reality, Vichy is a classic elementary school that supports a widespread, rural neighborhood with a low population density. The Vichy Mothers Club raises nearly 65% of the school’s revenue during annual events, which pays for school supplies and important student programs that the school otherwise couldn’t support. The organization needed to reach a wider audience to make their fundraising goals.
After a parent recommended Greater Giving, Irby attended a webinar, and then scheduled a demo. He wanted a solution that multiple users could access and use at the same time; he also needed a way to sell event tickets online, take donations online, and streamline the event’s check-in and check-out processes. To expand the organization’s donor base and reach a wider audience, Irby wanted an online auction platform, too. In the end, Irby purchased the Greater Giving Event Package to meet all of the Vichy Mothers Club’s wide-ranging needs.
Irby combined an online auction with a live event, a tactic learned from working with the Napa Valley Education Foundation the previous year. One bidder from the online auction was so thrilled with his purchase that he actually flew out to attend the live auction! “The beauty of the online auction,” Irby said, “is we had the opportunity to raise funds outside of our area.”
Online sales and registration were also a big success, with the school selling 90% of the event tickets online. The online registration process and easy table assignments saved volunteers huge amounts of time and work.
And as for those lines at check-out? This year, there were no lines at the Vichy Mothers Club annual auction. Irby chalks it up to preparation: they did a dry run of the event in advance, and made sure everybody was trained on what they needed to do.