Nonprofit Fundraising


The challenge

Inspiring Minds exists for the benefit of our youth and our communities. Inspiring Minds engages, inspires and empowers underserved youth to reach their full potential through education and exposure to life-changing experiences. When the pandemic hit, and the organization expanded their services to full-day programming to meet the needs of the community, executive director, Stephanie Gilchrist, had no additional time for fundraising.

Marquee created a plan for thematic black entrepreneur cocktail events for the Summer 2020, but it quickly became apparent that the event could not go forward due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, so Marquee pivoted and created an online development campaign.

To prepare for an alternative fundraising campaign, Marquee curated and built up their email contact list. With a good list to begin outreach, Marquee worked closely with the executive director to develop a campaign that included a series of emails sharing how the organization was helping families during the pandemic and what was needed to help students with modified summer programming. 

This was complemented with setting them up to receive funds via social media and a text to donate campaign. Marquee was quick to incorporate the national attention brought to the organization after the students were invited to appear on an NBC Nightly News segment with Lester Holt.

The summer social media and email outreach campaign allowed Inspiring Minds Youngstown to raise nearly $27,000 to continue programming as well as purchase the necessary classroom equipment to offer supervised programming for their students to meet at the facility when the local school district did not open in-person classes in the Fall of 2020.