Tell us about your cause.
I am a cancer survivor and I benefited greatly from the support groups offered through the Ellen Hermanson Foundation. I wanted to do something to promote these lifesaving services, as well as to pay homage to those that have passed from the disease. I own a clothing store called Asparagus Beach and I decided that I could use the visibility provided by my retail presence to promote support for the Foundation. I partnered with the B East Fitness Studio to organize a spin-a-thon. This was the first full fundraising event for both companies.
Walk us through the planning process.
The planning process began three months ahead of time. It was not much time to get everything organized, but the ball really got rolling with the purchase of our DoJiggy website. Once the website was up, everything else fell into place. There was not much time to find sponsors, but I was able to get support from local businesses by organizing a “Chinese Auction” that helped in promoting the event. We solicited in kind donations and then sold raffle tickets for a chance to win the donated items. We distributed the prizes to the winners at the live event. Besides being a great way to promote the spin-a-thon, the raffle also amplified our overall fundraising potential.
Did you do any advertising to get participants?
Most of the promotion for the event was done on site at the Fitness Center. The majority of the participants were members. It was hard to get participants to commit, so we took the responsibility for registering many of the participants ourselves. We also used the vacation season influx of new people to the community to promote the event. Many of the supporters became involved with the event because of some kind of personal experience related to the work of the Foundation. Some of the biggest fundraisers were last minute registrants.
How did DoJiggy help with the planning and success of your event?
DoJiggy is a great tool and well worth the investment. It allowed for a wider span in reaching out to the local community. The personal fundraising pages available to participants through the website allowed for them to relay personal stories. The participants were proud to share their stories and demonstrate their support for the organization through their fundraising efforts. This created a feeling of greater contribution for the participants and donors, rather than just giving a general donation.
Tell us about your success…How many participants? how much did you raise? Did you accomplish your goals?
We had a pretty lofty goal: 40 bikes and the goal of each participant raising $1000. We ended up with 42 participants and raised almost $26,000!
Do you have any advice for other organizations?
The main thing is just to start early. The website should be up and promotion started at least 3 months before the event. We used the design on the homepage of our website as the flyer for promoting the event. We sought support from the local radio station and publications and we had a few press releases. Since our main sites for promoting the event were our businesses, there was virtually no advertising costs. By getting local sponsors, as we did with in kind donations, the overhead costs were drastically reduced as well. By promoting the event, it is really calling attention to the organization. Besides the fundraising achieved by the event itself, this public promotion for the programs offered by the organization is very beneficial as well.
- Based on an interview with
Lisa Levitin, owner of Asparagus Beach Clothing Store