$100,000 raised in 24 hours after Sandy destroys Ali Forney Center

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Ali Forney Center uses DonorDrive Social Fundraising Software to raise and rebuild.

DonorDrive Social Fundraising Software Logo and Ali Forney Center Logo
The generosity of people and of the community that cares, especially in a situation like this, was punctuated by DonorDrive.

Rescue organizations are often the ones who respond to natural disasters. But what happens when the rescue organization is the one that's hit? The Ali Forney Center location in Manhattan provided shelter, counseling, medical attention and food to New York City's homeless LGBT youth until Hurricane Sandy hit. Alex Roque is their Director of Development. “We lost our clinic, vaccines medicines and food supplies. We served 10,000 meals a year out of our kitchen there. Our Clothing Closet was also destroyed by flooding. We lost our entire space.”

Executive Director Carl Siciliano announced the news through a post on Facebook and immediately there was an outpouring of support. Through DonorDrive Social Fundraising Software, the Ali Forney Center raised $100,000 in the first 24 hours. To date, they've raised $450,000. Alex was able to monitor donations closely as they came in. “It was pretty amazing. People really cared and they created urgency around our need.”

In those first 24 hours, social media played a big part in raising donations. “We were tweeted and retweeted significantly and celebrities picked up on it. Facebook was huge.” Alex watched social media to see which was generating the most donations. “The number one source of revenue was Facebook and through DonorDrive, we were able to see what was trending and where the traffic was coming from, which is a beautiful thing to watch. It told us Facebook was trending, so we did more on Facebook. Facebook themselves actually called us and said 'We heard what happened and we want to help' and that made it even more of great response.”

Google obviously played an important role in finding where to donate online. “I don't know how DonorDrive does it, but whenever you google us, our fundraising pages come up on top. That was really important after Sandy. If you googled 'Sandy' and 'Ali Forney', in spite of all the media coverage, our donation page was right there. Our previous fundraising software couldn't do that.”

Two months later, those donations are being put to use. “I'm happy to report we opened up in our new space on December 19th. It will still be several months before we're up and running at 100%, but we're open and providing services.”

Alex chose DonorDrive as the Ali Forney Center's fundraising software a year earlier based on ease of use and social integration, which proved to be a big asset after Sandy. “The generosity of people and of the community that cares, especially in a situation like this, was punctuated by DonorDrive. DonorDrive allowed that generosity and that care to be shown in a very clear way. It really made it easy to see that love.”

The Ali Forney Center is the nation's largest homeless Gay-Lesbian-Bi-Transgender youth shelter with 10 sites in the New York City area. For 10 years their mission has been rescuing GLBT teens who have often been abused and are living on the street. Learn more at AliForneyCenter.org

DonorDrive® is truly effective software dedicated to event-based social fundraising for medium and large non-profits. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Doctors Without Borders, Autism Speaks Canada and Team ASPCA are a few of the causes that use DonorDrive Social Fundraising software for their runs, walks, rides and virtual campaigns to engage constituents and maximize donations. Every year, people are raising millions for great causes through DonorDrive. Learn more at DonorDrive.com


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Karin Neri
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