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United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen has put on the Maxine Dehart Ramada Hotel United Way Drive Thru for the past 19 years. This year, they decided to try online fundraising for their event. The result? A record-breaking $110,053 in donations and still counting, 18% of which came from their online campaign powered by trellis.

It may seem intimidating setting up an online campaign for the first time, but event manager Sarah Anne Taylor found it to be a pleasant process, sharing, “The trellis team was there to help me and answer questions.” The team at United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen (United Way CSO) found their experience with the trellis to be “amazing!”

customization: the benefit of having an online platform

For United Way CSO, they appreciated creating their online event through the trellis builder because they could customize it to suit their needs. The team at United Way CSO was in complete control of the web page layout, and trellis gave them the ability to upload various videos and photos from previous events.

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“It allowed us to share the important impact the United Way CSO makes with the funds we raise, connecting more people to our cause.”

Sarah Anne Taylor, Manager, Resource Development, United Way CSO

As well, the mobile-friendly nature of the trellis platform made it simple for donors to make donations from the convenience of their mobile devices.

United Way CSO raised $19,809.54 through trellis.

United Way CSO recognized they were losing opportunities because if people weren’t able to show up in person for the Drive Thru, it would be more challenging to make a donation or get involved in the event.

“Having this website allowed us to reach a whole new donor base and it increased our event presence and donations…”

Sarah Anne Taylor

By powering Drive Thru donations through trellis, people were able to view the event’s campaign online for the first time, and actively donate online in the days leading up to and following the event.


The United Way CSO was able to save time and overhead costs because trellis simplified the process of designing an engaging campaign for the event’s organizers while taking care of all behind the scenes technical initiatives including donor data and automation of customized tax receipts.

$758.17 in event fees were saved.

Compared with the leading competitor, United Way CSO was able to save hundreds of dollars on event fees by using trellis. Impact-driven fundraising: this is the trellis effect.

increased engagement by 20%

United Way CSO used the data-driven pages trellis offers to optimize the donor experience of their campaign, thereby promoting engagement and accelerating donations.

Sarah Anne Taylor was impressed by this new-found engagement, sharing, “Kelowna came out in spades for this one.”

Organizers were amazed at the number of people who came out and showed their support for the Drive Thru breakfast; the event’s 1500 breakfast bags were sold out by 8:45am. This is the first time United Way CSO has used online software and fundraising tools for the Drive Thru event, and it helped to make this event their most successful one ever!

Book a demo with Justin and discover how you can make your next event fundraiser a success.