Growing a Nonprofit to 7-Figures in Donations with Mandi and Dina Simon
It’s time to come clean. Half the reason the hotlou show exists was for the eventual opportunity to interview the unstoppable mother-daughter team Mandi and Dina Simon. At just 7 years old, Mandi approached her mother Dina wanting to help other kids. Soon after, the Minnesota-based nonprofit Simon Says Give was founded. And just a few years after that, Simon Says Give raised nearly $1 million in donations to help kids in need. Listen to the interview and hear their story of how they went about growing a nonprofit to 7-figures in donations.
What is Simon Says Give
Simon Says Give is a kid-founded and kid-operated nonprofit.
- Tagline: Kids Celebrating Kids.
- Our Mission: To develop the next generation of leaders to be unstoppable.
- Our Goal: To impact 2 million kids by 2022.
More specifically, Mandi’s idea to help kids has morphed into 2 major focuses:
- Birthday Celebrations: At just 7 years old, Mandi was a bit disappointed to learn that not every kid gets to celebrate their birthday. Shortly after, it became part of the mission to help throw birthday parties for kids who had never had one.
- High 5 for Supplies: After a few years of celebrating other birthdays, it was time to celebrate Mandi and her birthday, which lands in August. Hence, High 5 for Supplies was born. H5FS is a back-to-school backpack drive. The backpacks filled with school supplies are then donated to kids in need.
Full disclosure, Lou sits on the board of directors of Simon Says Give as the Vice Chair.
If you’d like to make a donation, please use the blue donate button on the Simon Says Give Facebook Page. Note: Facebook covers 100% the credit card fees (the only platform we know that does that).
Growing a Nonprofit to 7-Figures in Donations
As they say, to raise a child, it takes a village. The same could be said about a nonprofit. But the village needs to include partnerships, too.
That said, an army of volunteers helps a ton. And it helps to have an awesome and compelling story to tell. So work on your story to inspire your supporters. Soon, they’ll be telling your story and helping you recruit more supporters.
The Importance of Partners
Among the many aspects of growing a nonprofit to 7-figures is having terrific partners. Simon Says Give is endlessly grateful to Mall of America, Guinness World Records, MoneyGram Foundation, and countless others.
Mall of America asked Simon Says Give to be their non-profit partner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mall of America in 2017. 2017 also happened to coincide with the 5th birthday of Simon Says Give.
The event was called the World’s Largest Birthday Celebration. With their help and separately running High 5 for Supplies during effectively the same week, nearly $1 million was donated and then distributed to kids.
The event was such a success, Mall of America turned to Simon Says Give and said “let’s talk about next year.”
The lean Simon Says Give team said “ok” and Mall of America said “how about the Guinness World Records?” and an even bigger event was born.
And after 2 years with Mall of America and adding in Guinness World Records, High 5 for Supplies was able to pack 8000+ backpacks again in 2019.
The Importance of Efficiency
It’s worth noting that the Guinness World Records event would not have been possible if not for the Facebook page. It was undoubtedly part of growing this nonprofit to 7-figures.
Most notably, an executive at MoneyGram Foundation discovered Simon Says Give after seeing a post that was published via Evergreen. Evergreen publishes 3 to 6 times daily for Simon Says Give and posts are seen by more than 10,000 people every week.
Like the Simon Says Give page yourself to see the evergreen content hard at work that helped grow the nonprofit to 7-figures in donations:
Just to recap, what Evergreen has powered Simon Says Give to do:
- Reach 8000+ likes/follows on Facebook
- Secure an annual $50k single corporate donor
- Fundraise roughly $1 million in donations in a single year
- Reach about 10,000 people weekly with their posts
If your nonprofit or organization could benefit from something like this, please reach out.
And again, if you’d like to make a donation to Simon Says Give, use the blue donate button on the Facebook page.
Make Unstoppable Simple
Lastly, Dina wrote “Make Unstoppable Simple” a terrific account of the challenges she’s faced and overcome in her life to make unstoppable seem quite simple from the outside. You can get a copy at her website or Amazon: