Kajsa Messell talks with us about how Trampoline House started a monthly donor program with MoonClerk, growing their monthly recurring donations from $0 to $70,000/year in under 12 months.
Can you tell us a little about Trampoline House?
Trampoline House is a community center for asylum seekers, refugees, and other citizens. As the only place of its kind in Denmark, we support asylum seekers’ integration while they are waiting for an outcome of an asylum application.
Combining language classes, skills-building internships, and counseling with a democratic social community, Trampoline House offers asylum seekers the possibility to participate actively in society and to better their quality of life.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I work with fundraising, lately more and more with recurring monthly donors, as recurring donations have the potential to ensure Trampoline House has a sustainable long-term income that can help us cover some of the expenses that are more difficult to fundraise through traditional channels. Working with asylum seekers (who aren’t yet formally citizens in Denmark) as our main target group, we have next to no possibilities of public funding, so donations from ordinary people mean the world to us.
As part of our strategy to increase small, recurring donations from individuals, I also work closely together with our executive director to raise the general public’s awareness on asylum seeker, integration policies, and Trampoline House’s proposals for alternative responses to the challenges in this field.
How did Trampoline House get its start?
Back in 2009, a group of artists, asylum seekers, researchers, and others carried out a series of workshops aimed at improving the living conditions for asylum seekers in Denmark. Unfortunately, the passivity and uncertainty of the asylum seeking process poses a large risk to the physical and mental health of people living in the camps. As a result, Trampoline House opened as a place that would enable asylum seekers to participate actively in a community away from their camps for a few days every week.
How did you get started with the organization?
I started out as a volunteer in 2013. In 2015, I wrote my Master’s thesis on how Trampoline House’s physical structures enable its democratic community to co-create the space as a home. Now I work here as an intern.
What have been some key factors in growing your donor base?
During the last few years, we have become known more and more to the public. This is obviously of great value for our advocacy work, but it is also very important financially because a greater reach means a greater number of potential monthly donations. MoonClerk provides us with an easy way for people to sign up to support our work on a monthly basis – and with an easy way for us to manage our relationships with those people.
What do you use MoonClerk for?
We use MoonClerk to manage all monthly donations to Trampoline House.
What do you like about MoonClerk?
We use a few different systems for different tasks, and MoonClerk is definitely the easiest to use. MoonClerk has an interface that is for us as well as for our monthly donors, an engaging and no-nonsense design, and an easy integration into our website – all the things we need to take donations and make the management of them as simple as possible. This simplicity is a big advantage in an organization like ours where we always a lot of small tasks that need to be done, and we don’t always have time to read detailed manuals and guidebooks. We also really appreciate how quickly MoonClerk replies whenever we have questions.
How has MoonClerk helped Trampoline House grow?
One year ago, we hardly received any monthly donations. Back then, we received the majority of our funding from a governmental pool that was suddenly closed. That left us with almost no funds left for the entire year of 2016. It was the wake-up call that we needed to start raising recurring donations from individuals instead. Now, one year later, we’ve raise more than $70,000 through MoonClerk in recurring donations– and those funds provide a sustainable source of income that enables a good start for long-term financial planning. Because those recurring payments have become such a central part of our finances, MoonClerk’s ease-of-use is so important to us and to our donors.