Tag: run

Using Twitter to promote your Fundraising Events

If you’ve read my blog at all -you will know I think social media can be a powerful tool to promote a charity’s mission, educate users or other possible stakeholders. I do strongly believe that most of your posts should not be about fundraising events or asking people for money. Now you may argue that to deliver your charity’s mission you need money so of course you are going  to use every means at your disposal to ask for money.

Well I too think social media is a vehicle to ask for donations but I do think out of 10 posts on social media 8 or 9 should not be about asking for money but instead talking about what you are doing with that money. With all that said -we have a little way we use twitter to promote one of our fundraising event. This weekend is the 9th year we have held the Rock the House Run. On our website this is how we describe the event:

Rock the House Run 2015 – Ronald McDonald House

Rock the House Run™ is one of Calgary’s biggest runs. With entertainment along the entire route, you never know what might be around the next corner!

In its ninth year, over 1,500 runners and walkers will come out to participate in the 10K and 5K run, 5K walk or the 1K McDonald’s Go Active walk for kids.

A few years back we were just starting to use twitter and we thought social media might be one more way to market the event. We came up with the idea of deploying a “Stweet Team” based on a twist of the “Street Teams” some charities would employ to deliver service. So here was the  idea -we would reach out to some of our local twitter influencers and ask them to promote the event on their twitter account and use a common hashtag #RocktheHouseRun . We also asked the team to come to the event and live tweet and tweet pictures of the event all along the route. The first year was a great success with the hashtag and our twitter handle trending in Calgary and Red Deer. The next year we were able to trend across Canada. Needless to say the Stweet Team has become a permanent fixture at our event and a way we get to share the fun -with all of our social media followers whether they can make it to Calgary on the day of the event or not.

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Team Ronald

I am not sure that organizational leaders for a charity should take themselves too seriously. We do quite serious work, but the ability to have a little bit of fun and even take a little bit of personal embarrassment can be character building. One of our MarComm staff members said to me recently “when you dyed your hair pink and shaved it bald to raise money for the House and the local chapter of Make a Wish-we knew we could probably get you to do almost anything.”  Subsequently I was a willing participant in a fundraising stunt where I had to have a 5 km race with Ronald McDonald at our annual Rock the House Run. Both Ronald and I both raised pledges and the challenge was mainly geared at drawing attention and awareness to our new version of our peer to peer fundraising pledge pages. The stunt was a success as we did raise a little more incremental revenue for the event, but mostly because our pledge fundraisers were able to help us double the ROI for the event. The pledges also become the biggest source of fundraising for this event. In the past our sponsorships and our registrations had made up the majority of the revenue. Both sponsorships and registration went up that year but pledge donations still became the largest source of revenue.

Locally right now the price of oil is down, oil and gas is a major driver in our local economy. When the economy is depressed charitable organizations need to think creatively and be willing to try new things. For leaders of these organizations this is really a good time to personally use your influence to try newer and more innovative fundraising approaches. At this year’s Rock the House run I suppose I couldn’t just race Ronald again, watch the video below to find out what my team has cooked up for me this year.