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‘What If We Could’ connects nonprofits in need in new ways

What if We Could

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Launched last year by a marketing manager seeking to be of greater service, WhatIfWeCould is a cause multiplier, helping communities increase engagement with its nonprofit organizations through marketing programs directing potential donors to support organizations all year long.

In addition to financial support, WIWC also helps connect interested volunteers, ambassadors of all ages, to organizations needing support. It also helps businesses create workplace campaigns, further amplifying the traction and impact of nonprofits, as it did last year in Central Oregon. Essentially, WIWC acts as a crowdsourcing platform for nonprofits that need to continually expand their reach to attract substantial funding year after year.

In response to the current pandemic, WhatIfWeCould Founder Rys Fairbrother has been reaching out to nonprofits and offering to share their needs at no cost on a new page, Bend’s Giveback Portal, to coordinate efforts and deliver support right where it is needed. In this way, WIWC matches people seeking ways to help with those who are on the front lines providing it, such as Pandemic Partners Bend and The Giving Plate. 

The Giving Plate’s Ranae Staley comments, "The Giving Plate, a local food bank, was in need of approximately 40 volunteers at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. We signed up 42 volunteers within three hours after launching our campaign on WhatIfWeCould. Because of the need and willingness of the community to support, we opened up 20 more volunteer positions the next morning and filled them within two hours. WhatIfWeCould gave us a way to articulate our needs on their website, which allowed volunteers to identify their role and sign up very easily."

Other organizations currently participating in WIWC’s Bend Giveback Portal include Kids Center, Wash it Forward with Express Eco Laundromat, Furnish Hope, and Every Child Needs You. OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab is a sponsor of Bend’s Giveback Portal. Nonprofits seeking to be included should email

Fairbrother elaborates, “Businesses and nonprofits are rocked by this crisis. What if we could come together and help each other, make our needs known to the community, and give community members the opportunity to support those that will surely need it in these uncertain times? Though Central Oregon is known for its generosity, WhatIfWeCould acts as an additional catalyst.”

Through his annual marketing program, in partnership with The Source’s Central Oregon Gives, Fairbrother was able to generate $578,000 in total support for 72 organizations in 2019. Through efficiencies of scale, Fairbrother provides nonprofits a cost-effective, high-impact marketing campaign which includes a personalized website link, inclusion in a print ad, social media posts, promotional video, radio mention, and email campaign for just $850/year. A basic campaign including the website link and ad is $150/year.

Given that our current economic crisis may negatively impact nonprofit fundraising for some time, Fairbrother intends to roll out the program nationally to help other communities provide the WIWC platform to their nonprofit organizations. A chamber of commerce, publication, city government or other umbrella organization could join, and for a minimal fee, Fairbrother will set up (and maintain) their own Giveback Portal, providing a webpage, email template, and social media posts, similar to Bend’s. Interested communities should go here to sign up.

Betsy Warriner, Former Executive Director of Volunteer Connect Now, comments, “Our organizations need volunteer and funding support to achieve our missions, and Rys has designed a way to engage a whole community in supporting these organizations and their missions. There is always a struggle in activating community members around a cause, but WIWC does just this. 


WhatIfWeCould connects local nonprofits and their community in a unique way, supporting the nonprofit’s initiatives by amplifying engagement among current supporters and their circle of influence. WIWC produces marketing assets and media exposure for these organizations, helping them cast a wider net and attract new supporters to participate in the nonprofit’s mission.

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