The 2022 Founders Weekend marked a remarkable collaboration with Mercy Ships, spanning an impressive two-week period and featuring three distinct events. The primary objective behind these gatherings was to unveil their latest addition to the fleet, the "Global Mercy," which was docked in Rotterdam, Netherlands, all while celebrating the organization's 50-year milestone. Notably, during their previous Mercy Ships Donor Event in 2019, they successfully raised over $17.5 million dedicated specifically to the construction of this remarkable vessel.
This Founders Weekend served as both a continuation of appreciation for past donors and a warm introduction to prospective contributors. It aimed to demonstrate the profound impact of their generosity. Attendees were treated to exclusive in-person tours of the "Global Mercy," engaging in special events that allowed them to deepen their connection with the organization. Moreover, they had the opportunity to gain insights into Mercy Ships' vision for sustaining their global impact over the next half-century, which includes ambitious plans for the construction of yet another transformative vessel.
Mercy Ships is a global organization with a dispersed team, all steadfastly committed to fulfilling their noble mission. Their dedicated workforce spans the globe, with individuals stationed in various territories, diligently working towards the organization's goals. However, this geographical spread posed a challenge, as it limited the opportunities for meaningful interaction with both current and potential donors.
Recognizing this challenge, Mercy Ships knew they needed to find a strategic partner capable of transforming their vision and compelling case for support into a vibrant and engaging event. The aim was clear: to gather the entire Mercy Ships team, from across the world, under one roof. This gathering would serve as an invaluable opportunity for their founder and team members to connect with donors on a personal level, sharing their profound commitment and unwavering dedication to their mission in a more intimate and impactful manner, leaving a lasting impression on donors.
In essence, Mercy Ships sought a partner who could orchestrate an event that would serve as a catalyst for deeper engagement, bridging the geographical gaps and creating an atmosphere where the organization's mission could shine even brighter.
In addition to their Major Donor Experiences, Mercy Ships organized these Unveiling events for their "Global Mercy" vessel, providing donors with a firsthand opportunity to witness the tangible results of their generous contributions. This initiative not only strengthened the bond between the organization and its supporters by bringing them together but also forged a deeper emotional, intellectual, and transformational connection to the Mercy Ships' mission.
During these events, donors had the privilege of interacting with the dedicated medical staff on board and witnessing the remarkable healing and humanitarian work being carried out. The experience was enriched with engaging exhibits throughout the ship tour, heartfelt testimonials from the staff, comprehensive presentations, event details, and a visionary address from Founder Don Stephens. These elements combined to offer donors an immersive and enlightening encounter, allowing them to truly grasp the profound life transformations Mercy Ships brings about on a global scale.
A remarkable $5.5 million donation has been secured, along with a generous $125 million matching gift designated for constructing Mercy Ships' upcoming vessel. The dedicated teams from Mercy Ships and Westfall Gold are currently in the midst of strategic planning for their next major donor event. This event will center on the exciting addition to its fleet and the organization's visionary outlook as it celebrates its 50-year legacy of transformative impact.
Westfall Gold sets a high standard when it comes to donor-centric events. They helped manage a complex event with many elements and leaders, with grace and excellence. We trust them to understand the heart of our partners and create memorable experiences together.
- Don Stephens, Founder & President Emeritus