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Growth Trend

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This group made up 17% of the nonprofits included in the analysis. Organizations in this group increased their percentage of donations from out-of-state donors. Of these organizations, the median percent of gross transaction volume from out-of-state donations increased by 11%.

If we look at the month-over-month change in percentage of donations from out-of-state donors, we see that this group performed better than other organizations in 2016 and increased that gap in 2017. There was a particularly large jump about halfway through 2017.

The effect does not appear to be a result of a change in campaign types (e.g. a large shift away from ticketed events to donation pages).

How All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response Mobilizes Supporters Around the World

We could not have foreseen the devastation caused by three consecutive hurricanes in the fall of 2017, or the scale to which we would need to mobilize volunteers to assist affected communities. Lauren Muldowney, Chief of Volunteer Experience, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response

All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response didn’t simply want to grow in 2017. They needed to grow—quickly.

And that’s just what they did. In fact, in a single year, they raised their gross transaction volume on Classy by 423 percent. In 2017 they raised over seven million dollars and more than a half million was thanks to their just 18-month-old peer-to-peer fundraising program, which saw an impressive 52 percent fundraising participation rate from their volunteer base.

As a disaster response organization, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response is on a mission to address the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters. To do so, they listen to local people and deploy a unique model that engages volunteers to create a direct impact. Their volunteers rebuild safe and resilient schools, homes, and other community infrastructure.

As an unusually impactful hurricane season drove the need for a large amount of immediate response in 2017, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response needed the right plan, team, and tools to incite action from all over the world and connect helping hands with people in need.


We have made every attempt to remove barriers. Lauren Muldowney, Chief of Volunteer Experience, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response

In order to fulfill their mission, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response connects people who want to help with people who need help. But they don’t limit their outreach just to willing volunteers in neighboring communities. All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response aims to truly embody their name.

Our inclusive approach encourages those of any age, country, or background to get involved in disaster relief. As such, our volunteers come from all over the world. In 2018 alone we have had volunteers from over 90 different nationalities. Inevitably, when they reach out to their networks in their respective locations, we find that we continue to access new supporters in various parts of the globe. Lauren Muldowney, Chief of Volunteer Experience, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response


Across all 50 states, and across all campaign types, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response saw an average increase of nearly 10 times more donations year over year. While they saw the most volume from states like California and New York, even states with smaller populations experienced a huge spike, including West Virginia, which increased its transaction volume by 12520 percent year over year.

In fact, the states that saw the greatest growth in transaction volume were far and wide from the organization’s base in Massachusetts—further illustrating the organizations shift from a local to a more distributed reach.The states that saw the greatest growth included West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, and Missouri.

So how was it that All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response was able to mobilize individuals around the world, and across the entire country from West Virginia to Montana?


When All Hands and Hearts considers their substantial growth in the last year, they attribute it to maintaining a close sense of community among their volunteers, supporters, and beneficiaries as their number one key to success.

No matter how much time passes between disasters, when an event happens, our people show up. Not only do they show up, but they continue to tell their friends, family, and colleagues about the impact we have on disaster-affected communities around the world. These testimonials and stories from real people who have experienced our organization firsthand cannot be underestimated. When we share stories and ideas with our community we ensure they are not only compelling but easy to share and spread so our message organically multiplies in reach. Lauren Muldowney, Chief of Volunteer Experience, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response

To support this strong sense of community over time, All Hands and Hearts not only provides these stories and results from the field as often as possible, but they also make sure these messages resonate by segmenting donors based on the programs they engage with and tailoring the content accordingly. Additional efforts, such as the development of their alumni network, act as a way for volunteers to not only stay in touch with their organization, but also with each other throughout the year.

All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response focuses on providing many options and opportunities for people looking to engage with their brand. At any given time, individuals can donate, explore volunteer opportunities, fundraise, host events, or share messaging with their network.


When All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response first started, there were concerns about the best way to mobilize supporters. Would asking volunteers to fundraise seem contradictory to their no-fee approach? Would the option to peer-to-peer fundraise put off internal community members and hurt their volunteer participation rates?

What we actually found as we created and implemented our peer-to-peer strategy is that by offering volunteers the opportunity to do more, should they wish, we actually enhanced their engagement. Our volunteers want to help fund the work they are doing and recognize the value of their advocacy. With regards to our ROI, this has been our biggest success. Lauren Muldowney, Chief of Volunteer Experience, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response

Their peer-to-peer fundraising strategy is now a seamless extension of the efforts of their organically growing volunteer base. To support the program’s growth and encourage volunteers to achieve different success metrics, All Hands and Hearts uses what they call “the hoodie incentive.” When a volunteer raises over one thousand dollars on their fundraising page, they receive this piece of branded merchandise as a badge of honor. Not only does this tactic increase brand awareness, but it also incentivizes individuals with a tangible item that allows them to feel more connected to the organization.

As a result of this initiative, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response has seen the results carry over from 2017 into their 2018 success.

According to Lauren, “Over the last year our average dollar amount raised per fundraiser increased by 18 percent from $440 per fundraiser to $520 per fundraiser.”

Looking ahead, their goal for volunteer fundraiser participation in 2018 is 60 percent. At just halfway through the year they’ve already surpassed that goal, with current analysis indicating that 66 percent of their volunteers are now engaging with their peer-to-peer outreach. Additionally, those volunteer-turned-fundraisers raise 18 percent more per fundraiser on average. This further illustrates the value of equipping volunteers with fundraising options.


Since 2004, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response has implemented 96 volunteer programs and mobilized over 50,000 volunteers. They’ve helped 1,180,000 people affected by disasters, and this includes the construction of 206 schools.

We take ordinary people with the desire to help and offer them the resources and expertise to have a real impact on the lives of other human beings. It’s powerful. By harnessing that energy and empowering individuals, the impact on communities in need is significant. It’s a culture of energy, enthusiasm, passion, drive, motivation, and heart. We bring hope to people who have lost everything. Lauren Muldowney, Chief of Volunteer Experience, All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response