The Front Lines of Hunger | npENGAGE

The Front Lines of Hunger

By on Dec 6, 2011 | NONPROFIT-FUNDRAISING

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It’s that time of year when the holidays just start barrel rolling into one another and before you know it, they’re over and it’s 2012. So before all that happens, I wanted to share an amazing Client story from the Food Bank For New York City (FBNYC). Thanksgiving is obviously a busy time of year for food banks. With over 1.5 million New Yorkers who rely on FBNYC’s programs and services, Thanksgiving is always a large initiative. Each year, FBNYC distributes turkeys, chicken roasters, vegetables, and other nutritious food items to those in need during the Thanksgiving holiday. Knowing whether or not a food assistance program receives state funding, has a freezer or not, and what type of program they are – not to mention the fact that certain individuals work at soup kitchens AND food pantries – communicating with their network about how to order can obviously be very complicated. In the past, FBNYC would send an email that would print 10 pages long. Network members would then have to sift through the order categories to find the instructions that apply to their programs. Everyone would get a single email loaded with information that didn’t pertain to them.

Using the Convio database, FBNYC is now able to segment their emails so that food assistance programs receive only the instructions relevant to them. Utilizing the database, the Food Bank can identify whether a contact is from a soup kitchen, food pantry, low-income day centers; whether they receive state funding; if they have a freezer; etc. Thanks to a system of fully-imbedded conditionals, the men and women who are on the ground, providing healthy meals on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the year, can easily learn what they need to do to be fully prepared for the holiday. “Donors are now given just the message that they need,” explained Daniel Buckley, Senior Online Communications Manager at FBNYC. “Not a 10 page email that includes 4-5 different options.” Convio’s database enabled FBNYC to store information in different ways, allowing them to effectively communicate to different segments.

“These are the people that are the soul of our mission. They are on the frontlines. And being able to communicate to them effectively is key.”

This year FBNYC was able to distribute over 10,000 turkeys and chicken
roasters as well as thousands of pounds of potatoes, carrots, onions and
apples. Thanks to the support of their donors and volunteers, families
in need throughout the five boroughs in New York City had a warm,
nutritious meal with their friends and family on Thanksgiving. Be sure
to check out the organization’s blog to get a close and personal report
on the hunger front lines of Thanksgiving Day.

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