Mission: Restore

Tell us about your cause.

Mission:Restore is a new foundation which began in September of 2010. It evolved when a group of 14 plastic surgeons from the US decided to combine efforts involving their passion for travel, and helping those in need with their expertise. These doctors provide free medical services to victims of warfare, genocide, and misogynous discrimination internationally. They offer state of the art plastic surgery services to repair the damage and mutilations suffered by these victims who are often children.

Mission:Restore has taken the collective energy of these 14 individuals and funneled it into a three-fold mission:

  • To provide clinical attention to those in the most need
  • To provide education for local doctors in innovative techniques
  • To use their field study for clinical research, especially in the area of burn surgery

What kind of special event fundraising do you do to support your mission?

Since the organization is so new, the spin-a-thon we just hosted with DoJiggy was our first major fundraiser. We don’t yet have our website up for taking general donations. We do plan on doing about 6 fundraising events during the year. We have a gala in September that is in conjunction with the U.S. Open, and a wine tasting event in October.

Also, we hold small receptions in the homes of our doctors who invite friends and family to an informal gathering designed to present our program and spread the word about their work. Although these receptions are not formally designed as fundraisers, we end up getting lots of donations anyway. The last reception brought in $15,000 and we didn’t even have to ask for the donations.

Did you reach out to local sponsors?

We have a great public relations person who contacted local politicians. In addition, the director of a popular local publication is a supporter of our organization and published an article and provided advertising for the event for free. The gym where we held the event was a sponsor as well.

Also, we sent an email blast to a list from our database, but most of the promotion was done through personal contact. The participants came both from supporters of Mission:Restore that decided to spin, as well as spinners who thought it was a good cause. Many of our doctors are into spinning and they got a lot of participants through their personal contacts. It was about 60% supporters of MR and 40% who found out about it through the advertisements or at the gym.

How did DoJiggy help with the planning and success of your event?

I worked on another spin-a-thon last year for the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation and they used DoJiggy. I found it very easy to use and believe it was crucial to the success of the event. We couldn’t have done it without DoJiggy! The ability to manage participant registration online is essential. Probably the best feature is in empowering participants to do fundraising by using their social networks. The DoJiggy system makes this easy and effective.

Tell us about your success…How many participants? how much did you raise? Did you accomplish your goals?

Our 88 participants raised over $30,000. We had set a lofty goal of $50,000. Even though we did not make that mark, we felt that we did very well for our first event.

Do you have any advice for other organizations?

The main thing is to start promoting at least three months from the date of your event, although we did receive most of our donations in the last few days before the event. A spin-a-thon is one of the least labor intensive events you can do. First you have to identify the venue. The Hot Ryde gym provided an amazing and unique space for a multi faceted fundraiser. We had ongoing barre and yoga classes, so participants could actually mix their day up. Our location was a warehouse space, so there was ample room to set up an art education area for children and have a cocktail reception too.

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