How Both Hands Used Kindful to Increase One Day Donations By 538%


Adoption Assistance

Nashville, TN


Both Hands helps families fundraise for their adoptions through serving widows in their community. Thanks to Kindful’s central data hub, intuitive filter and reporting features and its ability to automate their donation acknowledgements and donor mailing lists, Both Hands has seen online giving triple!


The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s The Big Payback is a 24-hour, online giving event created to increase philanthropy in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee. The goal is simple – inspire Middle Tennesseans to come together, show their pride in their communities, and contribute to support the life-changing work of local nonprofit organizations.

In 2014, Both Hands participated in The Big Payback and raised $7,200 to help families fund their adoptions. But communications manager, Jared DeLong, knew that with the right strategy and tools in place, they could raise a lot more. And thanks to strategic planning and Kindful, DeLong was right.

“The more I learned about Kindful and how to track donors, use groups, and analyze statistics for donor histories, the more I was able to use that knowledge to develop a strategic plan.”

– Jared DeLong



Both Hands approached donors who they knew had consistently given in the past – and loved their mission – to see if they would be willing to provide a matching gift.


DeLong used the groups he had set up in Kindful and determined a plan of action for how each group should be treated. This included different messaging, asking for specific gift amounts, and more.


One month before event

Advertised the event in their monthly newsletter sent out to donors and families.

One week before the event

Both Hands sent emails to potential matching gift donors as well as all donors who give to their operating expenses budget telling them about The Big Payback. They also sent emails to the families they serve asking them to help promote the event on social media.

Day of event

One aspect of The Big Payback is nonprofits can win prizes throughout the day if you hit certain giving goals. Both Hands decided to sign up to get the highest number of unique donations between 6am-9am and 6pm-9pm.

Because of this, Both Hands sent out strategic emails throughout the day:

At 6am an email was sent reminding everyone to give as much as they could between 6am-9am.

Throughout the day the team at Both Hands tracked people who opened their emails, but had not given yet.

They sent each donor a personalized email with targeted language reminding them to give during the day.

At 6pm a reminder email was sent with a “9 Hours Left” urgency subject line.

Sent a last chance late night email.


Thanks to strategic planning and using Kindful, Both Hands raised over $46,000 during the 24 hour Big Payback event. That’s a 538% increase over the year before. In 2014, they had 30 donors participate. In 2015, they TRIPLED that number by having 90 donors participate – with an average gift of over $200.

15% of donations came from new donors (meaning the emails they sent asking their participants to share with their friends on social media worked!)

According to DeLong, one reason this campaign was so successful was because they let their donors know this event was happening and how they could help. “If you have a need and a goal, you aren’t going to reach it if you don’t let your donors know about it with constant reminders. There were donors who read our email at the beginning of the day but didn’t give until we sent them a reminder email.”


Kindful was the other main reason this campaign worked. DeLong says one of the biggest challenges in fundraising is finding creative ways to reach out to your donors. “It’s great to have Kindful because when you need to look up giving history, contact info, or sort different donor groups on the fly, you can.”

Kindful also gave them the ability to ensure they were not leaving anyone out.  DeLong looked at different groups and catered to them in unique ways.

For example, for donors who gave to operating expenses, he knew that they loved the mission of Both Hands and they could be intentional about asking them to give. For donors who gave to specific families trying to adopt, he needed to approach them with messaging that explains that their gift goes to helping more families.

They were then able to look at any groups they hadn’t contacted and came up with strategies on how to uniquely communicate with them.

“Kindful is great because it gives you the data you need quickly and it’s right at your fingertips. The more we’ve learned about the tools within Kindful the more it has helped us improve every fundraising campaign we do.”


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