Nonprofit Online Store Partners with Jimmy Kimmel to Raise Over $150k for Children in Kenya

Ecommerce sales add to excitement of donations for CTC International

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Zane is very passionate about creating sustainable change in an area that desperately needs it. So passionate, that we couldn't help but get involved

Austin, TX (PRWEB) March 07, 2013

Volusion nonprofit customer, Comfort the Children International (CTC), recently took the spotlight, with the help of Jimmy Kimmel, to raise money and awareness for its mission of working alongside Kenyan communities to create sustainable change.

CTC is a for-impact non-profit organization that builds local relationships with the people of Kenya to help meet their challenges of everyday life, helping to serve 60,000 residents in the Rift Valley. To help boost its efforts, in January, CTC raised over $150,000 for their organization in a contest sponsored by Mozilla Firefox (#FXChallenge). In this contest, organizations competed to raise money through the fundraising web site, Crowdrise. Firefox donated $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000 to the winners of the contest, and after raising over $120,000, CTC was awarded $30,000.

Jimmy Kimmel played a huge part in promoting CTC’s fundraising efforts for this contest. A friend of the organization for over four years, the late-night celebrity entered donors into a drawing for the chance to win VIP tickets to his show where he would punch them in the stomach. This garnered heavy media attention and even more donations for CTC. Kimmel even got into some friendly trash-talking with other celebrities, as seen in a Huffington Post article and an interview on Mashable.

"My fiancée, Molly, volunteered with CTC for three summers in Kenya. Her longtime friend, Zane Wilemon, founded the organization. Zane is very passionate about creating sustainable change in an area that desperately needs it. So passionate, that we couldn't help but get involved,” said Jimmy Kimmel.

In addition to big gains from the Mozilla Firefox contest and Jimmy Kimmel exposure, CTC’s ecommerce store, powered by Volusion, was an important player in the fundraising efforts. Volusion’s Stores to Change the World program provides eligible non-profit stores with a free store for life, allowing them to sell products and accept donations online.

CTC’s fashion line, L.I.F.E. Line, had grown to employ over 400 women in communities across the Rift Valley in Kenya, and due to their new partnerships with Whole Foods Market and Whole Planet Foundation, they were in need of a reliable ecommerce solution. With its growth and success, the L.I.F.E. Line needed its own home outside the CTC website. In November 2012, CTC partnered with Volusion’s Stores to Change the World program to sell online and accept donations. With room to grow on the Volusion ecommerce platform, the L.I.F.E. Line is thriving and creating a space to share its story and provide customers with a great shopping experience.

The outcome: the L.I.F.E. Line was losing money three years ago and in 2012, it generated over half a million dollars in sales. The L.I.F.E. Line store was open for seven weeks in 2012, November 1 through December 21st. In that time they did little advertising other than mentions on social media, and the website URL printed on the tags of their product already in stores. After opening the Volusion cart, there was a 78 percent rise in customer visits to the store. In just two months, sales increased over 178 percent compared to the previous 10 months of 2012 and their average order also increased by 55 percent. In just two months with Volusion, CTC closed half as many orders as they had in the past three years combined. The organization was truly able to embody the mission of Stores to Change the World with its impact in Kenya and beyond.

“More than anything, the Volusion Stores to Change the World program has given us the chance to level the playing field with other for-profit businesses,” said Cali Huffman, Creative Director at CTC. “It’s hard to request funding for a monthly subscription to an ecommerce platform instead of allocating that funding to a special needs school or other education programs. The benefits of Volusion's non-profit partnering program are huge and have allowed CTC programs, like the L.I.F.E. Line, a fair chance to be a significant player in the ecommerce jungle.”

About Comfort the Children International
Comfort the Children International (CTC) is a for-impact non-profit organization that works alongside Kenyan communities to provide resources that create sustainable change. It started 10 years ago by constructing a school, and is now the largest employer in a city of 60,000+ people. CTC’s initiatives focus on education, environment, economy, health and community development that directly impact the community as a whole. Our programs are delivered through local relationships, creating the foundation necessary to make lasting changes while ensuring that donations of time and money have a maximum positive effect. For more information about CTC, please visit http://www.ctcinternational.org.

About Volusion
Volusion ecommerce software gives you everything you need to open a successful online store. Whether you're an ecommerce novice or seasoned online seller, you will receive the ultimate set of business tools, including your own fully-hosted website, effective marketing tools, and much more. Over 40,000 customers such as Deloitte, Nalgene, and 3M trust Volusion to power their online business, leveraging a full suite of customer support offerings, including free 24x7 assistance via phone, email and live chat. For more information about Volusion, please visit http://www.volusion.com.


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