Employee Spotlight: Meet Tom Eisenman

Employee Spotlight is a new CauseMatch blog series meant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our platform.

We’ll interview people who are developers, graphic designers, coaches, marketers, customer success representatives, and all those in between… THESE are the people who make CauseMatch GO. These are the people who guide fundraisers through the invigorating process of online campaigns.

Today, let’s get to know Tom Eisenman, Director of Business Development. 

Tom is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. What makes him so good at his job is that he always has the best interest of the customer at heart. He understands what it takes to run a successful campaign and helps clients like you achieve their fundraising goals. Oh, and he’s a volunteer medic, too. 

  1. You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick? 

I stick to stuff that I’m good at. You won’t find me on a Karaoke stage.

  1. What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator? 

A bottle of prune juice – and even as I answer these questions, I’m wondering why I still have it. Mentally, I’m committing to throwing it out. Realistically, I’m just not ready to take that step yet. 

  1. If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, which animal would you choose to be and why? 

For sure a monkey. I mean, wouldn’t it be the coolest thing to hang out with a pack of monkeys all day? Plus they have a lot of energy, which is great. 

  1. What is one detail that all great crowdfunding campaigns have in common? 

They all work hard – from the most senior person at the organization all the way to the bottom. One of the greatest assets of a crowdfunding campaign is that everything is fully transparent. So when the higher ups are working hard, the rest of the organization sees that and are inspired to work hard as well. It creates an incredible ripple effect. 

  1. If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest? 

My grandmother. I think when we’re younger we don’t always appreciate the wisdom of our elders, but as I’ve gotten older, even with such a technologically advanced world that they didn’t have – there’s so much core insight to be gained from this generation. 

  1. What advice do you have for prospective CauseMatch clients? 

Get ready to work hard. Don’t forget, as important as the campaign itself is, the post-campaign follow up is just as important.

  1. What has been your proudest moment at CauseMatch? 

When a Yeshiva in Jerusalem that has been around for many years told me that if it wasn’t for our campaign, they would have had to close their doors last year. 

Additionally, while at a conference recently, I bumped into the principal of a large NY day school and he told me that thanks to our campaign, they were able to give each teacher a $10,000 bonus. I was like, wow, during the Covid pandemic, we were still able to pull off such a successful fundraising year. 

  1. What do you buy way more of than most people? 

Funky socks and Jameson

  1. If you had to delete all but 3 apps from your smartphone, which ones would you keep?

Without a doubt, WhatsApp, Gmail, Waze. 

Setting a fundraising goal is part art and part science

When you’re launching a crowdfunding campaign for your organization, the first question that your colleagues and supporters will ask is “what’s your goal?” You want your answer to be both ambitious and achievable.

The good news is that we’re here to help you utilize your own data so you can formulate a smart fundraising goal.

In order to do that, you’re going to answer several key questions. 

Internal Inputs

It’s important to look at the forest before you look at the trees. Take some time to understand your own organization. 

  • Where are the various sources of your organization’s annual income? 
  • What percentage comes from donations vs government grants vs foundation grants vs corporate sponsorship? 
  • What other sources of income do you have? Perhaps you have a revenue-generating service, for instance.

Once you have that information, you can begin to zero in on your donorbase, i.e., individuals who have given you (or can give you) a donation. For the purposes of this exercise, we’re going to solely focus on donors and not on government/foundation grants or other sources of income. 

Segment your donorbase into different categories. You may choose to categorize your donors into: alumni, personal friends, event attendees, parents, donors from past crowdfunding campaigns, and miscellaneous.

Export that list so you have a comprehensive breakdown of each segment that includes

a) the total number of donors within each segment

b) the total amount that each segment gave last year. Once you have that data, calculate the percentage of each number, too. 

Finally, add a column for the total number of people in your database (donors PLUS non-donors) with each segment. 

Number of Donors% of DonorsDollar Amount% of DollarsAverage Gift SizeTotal # in Database

The value of this list cannot be overstated. This list contains the data you need to make an informed decision about your campaign goal. This list provides the light so you are not shooting in the dark. 

Now let’s look at external inputs. 

External Inputs

Thinking about the factors outside of your donorbase, the first of two key questions you have to answer is: What is the sense of urgency around raising a certain amount of money? 

In other words, let’s say that if you fail to make an upcoming $100,000 payment in three months, your organization will be evicted from the premises. In that unfortunate scenario, external factors will influence the goal. 

Hopefully you are not in such a dire situation. So ask yourself, “How much money do we need to function as a healthy organization?”

The second question you should answer is: Where does this campaign fit into the rest of the annual fundraising strategy? 

For some organizations, their CauseMatch campaign is IT, their only major fundraiser of the year. For these organizations, an ambitious goal is crucial since their yearly budget relies on it.

For others, their campaign is one piece of a larger ecosystem. If they don’t set an ambitious goal, they can find the sources of income from other streams of income. 

Decisions like setting your crowdfunding are never made in a vacuum; other details matter.

Campaign Personalities

Each of your donors can fit into one of seven personalities for the purpose of this campaign. 

Donor – anyone who gives anything (not just money!) to your organization. These folks may have donated their time or social capital to support your cause. 

Crowd – this group will be the largest in terms of numbers of people but smallest in terms of dollar amount. These folks will be called on the day of the campaign to contribute a modest donation.

Matcher – these are your largest financial supporters. They want to help and are willing to incentivize others to donate by doubling every dollar that comes in on the day of the campaign. 

Pro tip: not all matchers are current donors to your organization. You may find someone outside of your current donorbase who wants to amplify donations. 

Accelerator – people who want to ignite your campaign with a large gift on the day of the campaign. This group can add a spark when your campaign needs rocket fuel. They differ from the crowd in that you want to solicit them in advance of the campaign. They differ from matchers in that their gift won’t amplify other donations but will help your campaign progress.

Ambassador these folks take on personal fundraising goals so you can reach an even wider audience. They will open up their contact books. They will post on social media on your behalf. Ambassadors are critical pieces of your volunteer army.

Influencer – someone who can mobilize the masses. These people generally have a platform to speak, and people listen. They are generally mini-celebrities in their own communities

Pro tip: Don’t just ask your influencers to tell their audience to give; ask them to recruit ambassadors! If an influencer recruits five ambassadors, and if those ambassadors each bring in 10 new donors to your campaign, then you’ve just successfully recruited 50 new donors with ONE ask.

Team Captain – a group, often volunteers, who each take on the responsibility of ‘holding the ambassadors accountable’ for the goals that they have set.

Time For Math

Let’s say you think you can get $100,000 in matching money from your major donors. And you want to do the math to see if you can raise another $100,000 from the crowd. 

Here’s how you could break it down.

Could you recruit 20 ambassadors to commit to raising $2,000 from their family and friends?

Could you find five accelerators who could add in $5,000 gifts in the middle of the campaign?

If so, you have just accounted for $45,000 of the remaining $100,000. 

Now is when you ask yourself, “where does the remaining $55,000 come from?”

Potential sources could be: 

  1. Recruit another 10 ambassadors to raise money for you
  2. Go back to your original segments and find non-donors whom you have cultivated… it’s time to make the ask!
  3. Go back to your original segments to see where there is potential for increased gifts. In the example above, parents had the largest average gift amount so it would make sense to start from there.
  4. Ask your ambassadors to raise their commitment another $1,000
  5. Think about different people you have inspired over the years; exercise the leadership capabilities that got you here in the first place!
  6. Utilize your influencers! Ask them if they have ideas to mobilize their audiences and generate support

Hedge Your Bet

Once you have your goal, you may want to reduce it by 20%. There is often at least one “whoops” on the day of the campaign. 

Maybe one of your Accelerators gets sick. Maybe one of your Ambassadors fails to reach his goal. Maybe the ball just doesn’t bounce your way on the day of the campaign. 

Factor in some swings and misses. 

Putting It All Together

You’ve studied the data on your donorbase. You’ve accounted for the external factors driving you to fundraise. You have a sense as to how many prospects you may be able to turn into donors and how many donors you can ask for an increased gift. You’ve even used conservative numbers to ensure that you don’t overestimate your Ambassadors.

Now, it’s time to name your goal. 

One of the many advantages to working with CauseMatch is that you never have to feel alone in your campaign. We’re here to help. Tell us how much you think you can raise and why! Our team has run THOUSANDS of campaigns, and we put that experience to use. 

We’ll provide feedback and ask pointed questions so that you can qualify your campaign goal, positioning your organization for maximum success.

Fundraising help is just a phone call away. Contact us today and let’s get to work.