Community Improvement
Location: 
Fond du Lac, WI
Organization size: 
3 employees
Five boys smiling outdoors
“From the beginning, I had a great relationship with Ryan and everyone at Harness. It felt like Harness was there for us—they were super supportive. Two years later, we’re still here.”
Amber Kilawee
Executive Director of Fond du Lac Area United Way
The Situation:
A limited donor base
“If we were at an event and someone didn’t have any cash, we had no mechanism for that person to donate.”

Fond du Lac County United Way needed a new strategy to handle individual giving. With no technology to support digital donations, they were missing out on key opportunities to raise funds by limiting their donor reach.

The Challenge:
Getting board buy-in
“Our board is really fiscally conservative, so we needed to get buy-in from the beginning.”

Working closely with Executive Director Amber Kilawee, Harness took the time to understand Fond du Lac County United Way’s intricate board dynamics. Together, they came up with a plan to leverage the board’s companies to sponsor Fond du Lac County United Way’s Harness subscriptions. This unique arrangement successfully secured buy-in—and over time, the Harness platform began to pay for itself.

The Solution:
Activate donor acquisition
“Harness has been key to our success. I love seeing new donors come through in real time, which lets me connect with those donors immediately.”

Harness helped Fond du Lac County United Way implement tools that allowed new donors to give seamlessly to specific impacts through a simple text. With a new, easy way to give, funds—and new donors—began rolling in.

The Result:
A clear return on investment
+221%
Increase in donors
“Our return on investment is obvious—it’s right there on the Harness dashboard. I can just pull it up to show the board how all the costs break down per initiative.”

With a new strategy for individual giving and technology to support digital donations, Fond du Lac County United Way was able to gain 177 new donors, improving their previous numbers by 221%. Even better? The staff and board enjoy collaborating with #TeamHarness to proactively and enthusiastically suggest new ways to utilize Harness tools.

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