The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 3 with Lori Devillez | Local Community Fundraising Ideas

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 3 with Lori Devillez | Local Community Fundraising Ideas
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Listen to Lori talk about 2 unique fundraising ideas to meet the local community and increase support.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr from the Pro-Life Team Podcast, and in this episode, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Lori Devillez about some innovative fundraising events her team has organized. We discussed two unique events that have been successful in garnering support for her cause.

First, we talked about the “Sip and See” event. This creative approach was used when they were remodeling their facility and needed new furniture. They invited a select group of people to tour the empty facility, displaying lists of needed furniture and costs in each room. The event was a massive success, raising $20,000 in just 45 minutes. Lori emphasized the power of inviting people to physically see the space and understand the needs, enhancing their willingness to contribute.

Next, Lori shared insights into their “Pop-Up Marketplace” event. This event involves inviting vendors to set up stalls at their center, selling various products. It’s a dual-benefit event where vendors get a platform to showcase their products, and a percentage of the sales go to the center. This event not only raises funds but also increases awareness about their services and attracts a diverse crowd, including college students and community members.

Both events highlight the importance of engaging the community and showing them first-hand the impact of their contributions. Lori’s strategy of making donors part of the mission by allowing them to see and invest in specific needs has proven to be effective. It creates a sense of ownership and connection between the donors and the cause.

Lastly, we discussed how these initiatives resonate with the spirit of Psalm 20:4 – “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Lori sees this as a promise from God, where aligning our hearts with God’s desires leads to successful outcomes. She believes that as our desires become intertwined with God’s, especially in life-affirming work, our efforts are blessed with success.

These insightful fundraising strategies serve as an inspiration for other pro-life organizations looking to engage their communities and raise funds in creative and impactful ways.

#Hashtags: #ProLifeFundraising, #SipAndSeeEvent, #PopUpMarketplace, #CommunityEngagement, #LifeAffirmingWork, #DonorInvolvement, #CreativeFundraising, #SupportingProLifeCauses, #BuildingAwareness, #Psalm20:4Inspiration.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome. This is Jacob Barr and I’m with Lori and this is the pro-life Team Podcast. Welcome, Lori.

Lori Devillez :

Well, thank you. It’s good to be with you today.

Jacob Barr :

So this in this episode we’re going to talk about some fundraising events that you have put on and they’re unique i don’t think I’ve heard of any other clinics using these exact recipes for a fundraising event so I wanted to, you know, start off with tell us about the Sip and C fundraising event like what is it, how’s it work? What are you know, Tell us about what that is.

Lori Devillez :

Yeah, I’m very fortunate we have an Advisory Council with a lot of creative women who have done a lot of events. But a Sip and see was one that we were introduced to and that was when we were remodeling our facility and we were to the point of needing I wanted new furniture. So what we did is for each room we made a list of the furniture we wanted and the cost. And so then we invited 30 strategic people we invited to come to what we called a sip and see so that was basically, you know, having tea and water and snacks and having them come and walk through the building and at that point the building was empty. We were remodeling, we redid the floors, we added walls, we painted, just completely redid our building. And so the C was see what we’re doing and what we still need. And I’m here to share with you in 45 minutes from 30 ladies, we raised all the money we needed it was like twenty thousand dollars to finish our remodel and get all new furniture. So you could use a sip and see for pretty much anything if you’d open your center up and you just pray about the specific people you might want just strategically for a certain project or for your center. I really think getting people to your center to walk through your facility and actually see where you are and see the services you’re offering is the most powerful thing you can do so that they can then know where you are and what you’re doing and what you need so having your wish list ready so you can put it in their hands, even if they make a donation that day or you know, have an envelope they can mail back a donation specifically for what you need. I think it’s important to have our homework done. That’s why in each room, having on the outside the room exactly what we needed and what it cost, it’s for people right away to be able to invest in what you’re doing. It can be a fun thing, It can be an educational thing, It can raise awareness, but it can also raise some pretty strategic funds specifically for projects you may need to do.

Jacob Barr :

So let’s walk through this so someone shows up at the at your clinic and they walk in the door and then as they as they walk into a room there’s something on the wall like a paper that lists out the items that they, you know, you’re looking to you know purchase for that room like what might that include in a given room like, what might be on that list?

Lori Devillez :

Yeah, we did some fun things too, ’cause we had the list, but we also had little yellow sticky notes. And so, like, for my office, I wanted a new desk, a new chair, a lamp, 2-2 chairs for if I was meeting with people, side table, one of those artificial plants, a little credenza to put, you know, any educational stuff that I do, TV, you know, that was kind of stuff we were doing for my, well, we had the little yellow sticky notes. And so I’ll never forget it one of the donors pulled the sticky note for my chair. That was like 50$.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah.

Lori Devillez :

He said, I want to buy this and I want you to know that every time you sit in that chair, just know I’m praying for you. And so and she’s staying in touch and I let her know I’ve been sitting in that chair, you know, But the significance of how people think as they’re pulling those little yellow sticky notes off, they’re also helping us accomplish getting the furniture and items that we need wow.

Jacob Barr :

That’s, yeah, so essentially it walked into the room and then they would see sticky notes in certain spots identifying like, you know, this, you know, a chair so there might be a sticky note right there somehow close where the chair might be, I guess or maybe it’s on your folding chair or whatever you had before.

Lori Devillez :

Yeah, I mean, you can be creative like that and i think people really enjoy that i mean, if we had we need and we did for some rooms we need twelve hundred dollars total, that would get everything we need for this room some people just, well, two sisters came together and they gave 600 each and they adopted a whole room. But what was neat is they could do a whole room, or they could just. If they couldn’t do a whole room, but they could do part of a room, they could pull that sticky and still participate.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, such a creative idea. I love how you know, sort of like making like a wish list for like when someone’s getting married, they make their list on targets, you know, you know they’re yeah, whatever It’s called the bridal.

Lori Devillez :

Registry.

Jacob Barr :

Registry. Exactly, Yeah. And so it’s just sort of like taking that concept and applying it to real life with paper and sticky notes and putting down the amount that’s there and then letting people be creative with wait, which ones they want to purchase for the center that’s a beautiful yeah. And I think people like.

Lori Devillez :

They like vision. I want i’ll never forget we needed 21,000 thousand to redo the floor and we had someone that gave like the 7000 I think we still needed 14000 thousand.

Jacob Barr :

Ok.

Lori Devillez :

Anyway, a donor called ’cause I had sent out an email i never do crisis or whatever. It’s never if you don’t do this, then we can’t do this it I always say here’s an opportunity god is moving. We are remodeling our facility we want to look like a sorority house and fit in more with the students so they’re more comfortable anyway. So when the donor called, she said, I got your email, tell me about your floor. So I was telling her we wanted to do all wood floors, we wanted to get rid of the old carpet that was stained and worn down and we just wanted it. If we’re sharing that God is our provision, then we should be able to show God is our provision. And what we had was not showing that. So I’m sharing with her that we wanted to reach more college students we’re right there at the University of Texas, and that’s why this remodel was so important anyway, after I was finished sharing with her the vision of what we were doing and what we wanted to accomplish, And I think that’s important because what her response was, well, I was going to give 10.000, thousand but because you’ve shared and i see the vision, I’m just going to take care of the rest of it i’ll send you 14.000, thousand you’ll have it. Tomorrow so again, I think it’s not just about when raising money, it’s about giving an oppor, giving people an opportunity to invest and giving them the vision as to why are they investing? We want to reach future generations we want to reach the college students. We want to not only reach them if they’re in a crisis pregnancy, but we want to reach them to mentor them, to lead in this issue further than we’ve ever gone, and by where we are and by setting up our facility correctly, we can do that. And when she saw that, she’s like done, i’ll send you what you need. So I think that’s important.

Jacob Barr :

And I remember visiting your sensor, I remember seeing some things on the wall that reflected this sip and see concept and you had some pieces set up and I was just super impressed that it had the like the exact items you wanted to have purchased it had the amount and it just reflected like we have a vision for where we want to be and we’re just asking for people to fund these puzzle pieces that we’re trying to acquire to have a fully you know to fully build out this room as we’ve planned and poured our, you know poured time into like creating where we’re going the road map and it sounds like people yeah so people have enjoyed the fact that you’ve, you know, provided planning, you know where you’re going and it sounds like this is even a fun event, like people have enjoyed this experience. How you know, Have you used this event you know a few times or is it? How many times have you been able to use this as part of your development work for your for charter house and?

Lori Devillez :

I think we’ve used it probably three times. We used it again in our Cedar Park location we opened another location last year and we did the same thing and we were offered actually a break room at a facility and they just said this is all the space we have, but if you can turn it into a pregnancy center, you can have it. So we did the same thing because it ended up costing about 15.000 thousand to remodel and put walls in and change a bathroom and all this stuff for a break room into a pregnancy center and so we did the same thing but I’m here to tell you we started on that project in January and we were done by March and it was paid for.

Jacob Barr :

Interesting so I was, I was talking a few months ago with the center in San Bernardino, california about one of our ideas which is to have they’re remodeling one of their rooms they’re a boardroom or like a conference room. And we were talking about the idea of using one of the walls to put a backdrop, like for a photography studio backdrop that can be pulled down to install a few lights connected to the ceiling. And then to have like a basket and a blanket and a few props for taking professional baby photos and then having a 10 year old really high quality camera so it’s like 600$ but yet it takes really good photos, just like it did 10 years ago kind of camera versus one that’s like twenty five hundred or three thousand today that takes even better photos, but only about like a small margin anyways. So we essentially built out this plan for their room. That’s like fifteen hundred bucks, really not that much for having a professional photography studio. And we sent them like the list. Like to me, I just feel like, you know, having the plan is so important, more so than just trying to raise money for raising money’s sake. It just feels so ambiguous and but they actually know like there’s so much excitement built with like here’s what we need and then there’s excitement in like why and what it’s going to produce. Like why we need it and like what how we can use this because the idea behind the professional backdrop light camera well and it was twofold one was really because we could then, you know, offer professional photos to the women after their baby’s been born to honor her and gift her with professional photos. And then the people who are working at the clinic, you know, the staff, the team, the volunteers will get to sort of a good, you know, essentially it’s a reason for the one more reason for the mom to come back with her baby and the baby will be dressed up because of the photos. And so it’s a way to honor them as they catch glimpses of the staging and the photo photography pieces. And then it also it encourages the donors because well, I mean step back. So after the photos are being when they’re being taken or after they’re taken, you know, we could essentially this. The next step is to ask the mom for permission to be able to share these photos on the donor facing social media accounts. And the mom is going to be super excited, you know, loving to show off pictures of her, you know, these professional photos of the baby and so we’re expecting that they’ll be a high, the number of people who say yes, and then those photos could be shared on Facebook and, you know, the donor facing social media pages in order to encourage like, you know, here’s the fruit of your prayers and your donations and volunteer like, you know, look at this beautiful mom and her wonderful, precious young, you know, baby girl or boy. And yeah, just simply showing these photos there I think is a huge blessing, an encouragement for people to, you know, just to be, you know, to see the fruit of their efforts and investments and work to help intervene. And so anyways, all I have to say is like i feel like, you know, having that list is super exciting because you can, you know, to know that, you know, to know that the executive director is going to sit in this chair every day in that, you know, my 50$ investment is going towards, you know, comfort and support of this very important person making a difference in my community. And then the fact that I can then think about that and pray like that’s a beautiful and the person, actually, I think it sounds like they volunteered that part of praying for you regularly. And so anyway, that’s just very exciting to show i think there’s excitement in showing that planning because they can see, you know, they can get excited about what’s going to come from that investment because they don’t even know how it’s going to be used before they even invest.

Lori Devillez :

That’s right and they also become part of it, right they become part of that plan because without them, without her 50$ that chair may not be there and her prayer. And so the ownership of, I think it’s real important that we have open hands, right it’s really God’s ministry and the ownership of his body to make it be what He desires our centers to be versus what we think it should be.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome well, so there’s another event that I remember you sharing a bit about before in a previous talk it was called the Pop Up Marketplace. I wanted to highlight, highlight that idea as well in this podcast so tell us like how does that work like what is it? How you know what what’s it what’s it like for someone to participate or to visit and donate at this kind of event?

Lori Devillez :

Oh, the pop up marketplace is really fun one of our Advisory Council members, it was her idea. But basically the way you do a pop up marketplace is you invite vendors and vendors love to go anywhere to show what their creative thing is that they sell. For us the first time we didn’t. A lot of times vendors you charge a certain amount for a space we didn’t know our we just wanted to invite vendors and we had we probably had 25 to 30 vendors around our center that came that day one i’ll never forget her vendor. What she sells are croutons, different flavored croutons, and she raised like 700$ just selling croutons. It was fun because everybody went by the crew timetable anyway. You can encourage first you can, if you want, you can ask the vendors for a certain amount to come display you know, with the table. Second, you can ask, and we did ask if they would give like 10 % of whatever they sell back to the center. So it becomes a fundraiser, but it’s fun. And everybody was checking out everybody else’s stuff. One lady, she sells socks. They’re called pop socks. Anyway, they have magnets in them, and so they’re supposed to help you with your circulation and stuff. They were all decorated and they were made out of bamboo and just created. The people that have vendor displays are usually very creative people they have all kinds of creative things of course we had clothing, we had jewelry, different kinds of vendors we had food on the front porch. So you know, when people came through to check out the vendors, they could get them a snack and a bottle of water and stuff. But at the end of the day it’s a great, again, awareness, bringing awareness to the work that you do in a fun way. I think our work is so serious that it’s important to be able to laugh and be light lighter attitudes. And also it was raising funds again, you could make money by offering the space for a certain amount of money and they’re used to spending money for a space and if they want to get their whatever their service or the product they’re selling out, they’re willing to do that and then if they give a certain percentage of the sales like the 700$ of Croutons, 70$ came back to the center, the vendor person is they’re getting, they’re making money, but they’re also contributing to help the work that you do. And we just had a fun day and we had about 300 people that came through that day just checking out people from the neighborhood. We advertised with our donors we had donors come through and just having fun we had music playing and like I said, the snacks and then and all of it was for a good thing it was a win and I really like the win because I know people are in business to make money and I like to again, I look at what can I contribute to, what they’re doing, what can I add. And then of course that it’s a win because then they’re giving back to what we need.

Jacob Barr :

How many hours was the event take place for is it like a four hour event or did it go longer than that?

Lori Devillez :

It went longer than that, but it can be whatever time frame you desire i think we got there at nine and we wrapped up around three four something like that.

Jacob Barr :

And was it mostly outdoors because of the number of tables and everything that would be that’s a lot of space to put up 30 tables, Yeah.

Lori Devillez :

It was where?

Jacob Barr :

Did the tables were those brought by? Yeah did your group have the tables or did you have to rent the tables or, you know, no.

Lori Devillez :

We actually partnered with the church, yeah so we didn’t have to. And then our volunteers helped, you know, get the tables from the church to the center and back.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, yeah, that’s a lot of work to move 30 tables that’s a good amount of volunteer work.

Lori Devillez :

Definitely, yeah.

Jacob Barr :

Well, that sounds really. And then when it comes to advertising, did you use like an E letter and social media or how did you get the word out?

Lori Devillez :

Well, we weren’t real strong on social media at the time, although you could. We actually made little postcards and gave them to our Advisory Council and volunteers and all, and asked them to take it to their churches, to their families and get the word out that way.

Jacob Barr :

So you might have even connected with some new people who weren’t previous, you know, supporters or donors by yeah, it was more of like, yeah, included.

Lori Devillez :

Yeah.

Jacob Barr :

And then and do you think that, you know, what was the kind of what kind of you said she had 300 people that came? What was the age range like? You know, were there families or was it mostly adults or?

Lori Devillez :

We did have families coming through. We had a few from foundations, just connections that some of our volunteers had and they did come through so that was being where we are we had college students. Some of the students from the sorority next door wanted to see what we were doing and so they walked through and they ended up becoming volunteers. Great, because we love having.

Jacob Barr :

The students.

Lori Devillez :

Volunteer with us yeah so it was a great opportunity to really reach out and enlarge our territory.

Jacob Barr :

How did the local sorority hear about it they just Did you did they see the set up or did they just saw it being set up outdoors, I suppose?

Lori Devillez :

Yeah, a lot of the students walk and they’ll run, you know, exercising, walk their dog. So students are out all over the place. And they saw, and we had the music going and they saw food. Food always helps with college students. They wanted to come check us out.

Jacob Barr :

So it sounds like it’s beneficial to have it located at the clinic more so than like on a indoor facility at a church, because that way local neighbors will get to see that there’s some traffic and an outdoor event around your around the clinic and that’s, yeah, otherwise the sorority, the women at the sorority wouldn’t have seen it set up if it was set up like at an indoor gymnasium somewhere else, it wouldn’t have had that local exposure so that’s interesting.

Lori Devillez :

Well, I think the most, the more you can get people in your facility and see how you’re set up and what you do as an even an education as you’re giving them a tour. It’s real important because a lot of times people have never been to a center. They don’t really know for sure what we do and when you walk them through and you show them each room and what you do, then they can really see what you’re doing. Like I’m going to be able to share the church for Mother’s Day the pastor’s giving me the whole service on Mother’s Day for two services and he is offering that we set up more than one table and I haven’t had a pastor offer this before, but I think it’s a great idea because we’re going to set up 7 tables at the church so when after I get to share and he said I get 20 minutes in each service, when they leave the sanctuary, they’re going to see 7 tables. It’s all Trotter House, but each table represents a different service we do. So one table is going to be prayer, one table is going to be Advisory Council on board, one table is going to be life skills and Trotter health. So all the different one table is going to be pregnancy center, pregnancy test and sonograms. So all the different pieces that it takes that we do so they can see on a bigger scale all the parts that make the pregnancy center function.

Jacob Barr :

Wow that’s a beautiful That’s, yeah essentially, it just sounds like it’s such a smart idea to have to have more, because you probably have. How many volunteers supported those seven tables?

Lori Devillez :

Yes, I’ll have at least two volunteers at each table and I have one of the clients coming to share her testimony with her daughter. So we’re going to have a good team there to share they’re going to kick off the baby bottle campaign. And instead of, not instead of but in addition to giving the baby bottles out, this pastor also he said a huge percentage of their giving has gone to being digital, online giving. He said 38 % of their giving is online now, sometimes 50 %. So because they’ll be in person and virtual, he’s going to. We’ve created AQR code for that baby bottle campaign so when they’re going to show that and have cards at every seat, so at the end he’s going to encourage people to give, but he’s going to run the campaign for two weeks after Mother’s Day as well. So who knows what God will do with that but that will spread us out huge in a lot of different ways.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, that’s exciting. Going back to the pop up marketplace, when those the two local sorority ladies when they walked up, did they end up taking a tour of the of your clinic as part of like their like exploring like who their neighbor was?

Lori Devillez :

Yeah, they did. And they were both nursing students. And so when they saw our pregnancy test, Oh.

Jacob Barr :

My goodness, what a interesting connection does it have a future nurse volunteer possibly.

Lori Devillez :

Yeah it was very exciting and you know it fit perfectly for their studies, what they were studying, so.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s awesome. So and I guess that, yeah, that’s how many people ended up taking a tour, like you know what % out of the 300 who came? I’m guessing a lot of them may have wanted to check out the clinic and it’s a really good way to get people there and invite the men to walk around and see the vision and mission.

Lori Devillez :

Yes, huge number of, well, we had a whole lot of new people so I would say probably 75 % came through for a tour from that 300 yeah.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s good. That’s really good yeah is that is that the most tours you’ve ever given in a single?

Lori Devillez :

Day in one day. Yes yeah when we opened, we did what do you call grand opening with pastors to prayed to start our center. But we had 500 people come through that day. Just oh wow.

Jacob Barr :

That’s a lot of tours that’s a lot of people that’s amazing.

Lori Devillez :

That day too. But that was a come and go all day long. Grand opening too.

Jacob Barr :

Ok. But I guess that’s the benefit of having an event that goes from you know mid morning to mid afternoon so that you have room and space to give that number of tours because if there’s 300 people there for just two hours, it’d be really hard to give tours 75 % but yeah, by that being like a six hour or whatever it is event, there’s a lot more space for, I bet, I bet your team. How many tour guide? Who are the tour guides and how many tour guides did you have?

Lori Devillez :

Well, one thing we did was have the people in the rooms that maybe that’s their office, like their life skills. Deitra was in her room, Tabitha was in her room, Roxanne was in her room, you know, so we could just walk through and then each person in the room could say what they do. So it really that was fun too, ’cause it involved more people than just one person or all the chores were all the person had to do was just walk them to the rooms and then the people could tell them what they do.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s good. And we’ve been shopping for a new Christian School for our kids and we visited one yesterday and as we walk into a classroom, that’s how it also works there they, you know, the teacher introduces and engages with us and shares, you know, ideas that they’re using to teach the kids and so I think that’s a really good idea so you know, the tour guide brings someone to the room, but then the person in that room gets to fill in the story. And so yeah, having multiple voices and in order to build this experience for the people who are visiting.

Lori Devillez :

Yeah, well.

Jacob Barr :

That’s really good. Awesome well, i appreciate you sharing these beautiful, you know, stories and event ideas and I just think I’m excited to see, oh, before we wrap this up though there’s a Bible verse that we had picked out based on discussing before it’s Psalms 24 And so it reads May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. How would you say, you know when it comes to that verse May he give you the desire of your heart, make all your plans succeed how would you say that reflects on this event work or the event work you’re doing or the different work you’re doing for Trotter House? How do you leverage, how do you look at that verse or lean on that verse?

Lori Devillez :

Well, i see it as another promise because as we spend time with him, we stay. Stay in an unceasing attitude of prayer. Our hearts become i see it as his heart, right? I was sharing with the pastor the other day that the life issue is the heart of God there’s just it is. And he agreed with me that God creates life and he desires for eternal life, right so that’s what we’re doing. And so as we that becomes our heart’s desire, then God moves in and sees that those desires are successful, that he brings it around to accomplish what we desire for it to do. So i see so many of the planning scriptures that say so that you may succeed or so that you may prosper. As powerful as we submit it to Him, we have the confidence that it will succeed.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome well, I appreciate your time and I think that this, these stories and event ideas will be blessing a blessing to pacey clinics across the country as they as they see a new way to connect with people in their community. As they see a new you know another option for how to fundraise and just grow their life minded support community and growing awareness in their local neighbourhood or area as well so these are some really good ideas i appreciate you sharing these, Lori, and I’m looking forward to our next conversation down the road.

Lori Devillez :

Yes, me too thank you, Jacob. I appreciate it.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome.


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