Doubling Your Gift to RAINN, Doubling Your Impact for Survivors

People are turning to the National Sexual Assault Hotline and in record numbers, seeking help and information about sexual violence. To meet this unprecedented demand, RAINN has been adding hotline staff as quickly as our budget allows. To make sure we can keep pace, RAINN’s fundraising team has worked with some of our most generous donors, who have agreed to match donations in December, dollar-for-dollar.

Funding a 24/7 hotline is no easy task — just ask Chelsea Bowers, RAINN’s development director. For more than a decade, Chelsea has been raising funds to support RAINN’s victim services and outreach programs. Here, she talks about the importance of supporting survivors of sexual violence and how to maximize your contribution during December.

With the holidays just around the corner, the development team has been pretty busy. What have you been up to?

In the last month, we’ve seen an outpouring of support from donors. People are donating for the very first time, setting up recurring donations, and sometimes doubling or tripling donations they’ve made in the past. They recognize the importance of the hotline, and the urgent need to expand to meet record demand.

That’s incredible.

It is. And it’s coming at such a critical time.


I’m glad you brought up timing. There are so many charities running fundraising drives this time of year. Why should people donate to RAINN? 

This year, RAINN’s victim service programs will help more than 202,000 survivors—that’s up 31 percent from last year. Both our online hotline service and the phone hotline (800.656.HOPE) are helping far more people this year. 

The hotline runs 24/7. We don’t take a break for holidays, nights, or weekends. But there is a physical limit to how many people we can serve—and that all comes down to staffing. While we’re helping many more people, we’ve also seen wait times increase quite a bit, and thousands of people who want help leave before we’re able to provide it. 

There’s a direct relationship between the number of support specialists available during a shift, and the number of people we are able to help. Put another way, the more people we can hire to work on the hotline, the more survivors we can help. 

How can donors help? 

Any donation, big or small, makes a difference. A $42 gift helps one person through the online hotline. Also, by giving this December, your donation is automatically doubled through RAINN’s matching gift campaign. 

How does a matching gift work? 

That’s the best part—donors can double the value of their gift to RAINN without lifting a finger. 

A group of generous donors from around the country have pledged to match all donations to RAINN in the month of December, up to $45,000. For example, if you donate $50, your gift will be matched by one of these donors—automatically doubling your gift to $100. 

For a lot of people, the end of the year is budget-crunching time. How can people who are watching their wallet still make a difference? 

The matching gift campaign helps a lot with that. Folks who wanted to make a larger donation but can’t afford the full amount can feel great knowing their gift will be doubled through the month of December. 

Pledging a monthly donation of any amount is even better—it allows us to plan ahead and keep the hotline running. On average, our monthly donors pledge $23 dollars a month. A monthly donation to RAINN allows a donor to give in affordable increments, and it still amounts to a substantial gift over the course of a year. For example, a monthly donation of $25 will help 18 survivors through the National Sexual Assault Hotline in 2017. A monthly gift to RAINN allows us to sustain our vital services over the course of the next year—coming at a time when the need for support is at an all-time high. 

Questions about donating to RAINN? Read through RAINN’s Donation FAQs and learn about other ways to give.