After their incredible fundraising push day in September, we asked University of Alabama Dance Marathon to share some tips for how they made it such a successful initiative:
1. Give Your Day a Theme
We challenged each of our staff members and Miracle Makers to raise $100 in 24 hours. $100 Day gives fundraisers an attainable goal and a time limit. These factors create a sense of urgency amongst our Miracle Makers and staff, which in turn, motivates them to push even harder for donations and get creative.
Outcome: Our goal for $100 day was to raise $30,000. At the end of the day, we had raised $50,160.58 For The Kids in just 24 hours.
2. Partner with University Administration
This year, Dr. Sterritt, our VP of Student Affairs, agreed to let us tape him to the wall of our student union in order to help us fundraise. We charged $1 for each one-foot strip of tape used to tape him up and had sold enough tape to have him securely stuck to the wall within a few hours. Our media team was there the entire time, documenting the event and spreading the word on social media.
Outcome: This activity resonated with many faculty members who had never had the opportunity to tape their boss to a wall before. Dr. Sterritt even made his own fundraising page for the event and broadcasted the opportunity for his friends to help tape him to a wall by donating on his personal Facebook page. This opened our event up to an audience we had never reached so successfully before–faculty and staff of the university.
3. Dress Up and Can
Staff members were encouraged to dress up in full UADM fashion (tutus, face paint, flower crowns etc.) and collect money throughout campus. Color teams and friend groups coordinated outfits and canning times in order to gain the most reach across campus while still having fun.
Outcome: You could not walk anywhere on campus without seeing someone decked out FTK. People were more likely to approach a member if they were dressed up because it sparked conversation, which led to donations. Internally, we were so motivated because we had an extensive support system cheering each other on. Externally, campus saw that this organization matters.
4. Give Your Campus What It Wants
Every week, we sell humorous Alabama football-themed game day buttons. We pushed button sales a little extra on $100 Day and encouraged staff to wear their buttons with their costumes for extra promotion. We set up a table with our merchandise at popular locations around campus.
Outcome: Not only did we raise money through our button sales on $100 Day, but we also got our name out there as the organization that sells the buttons that students had been seeing everywhere on game day, but hadn’t known where to purchase.
5. Give Staff and Miracle Makers the Resources to Spread Your Message
We created specific graphics for fundraisers to post on their social media keeping their friends updated on their fundraising efforts throughout the day. Each graphic included an update on their quest to raise $100 as well as a call to action for those who see the graphic to donate. We sent these graphics out to all of our Miracle Makers along with a description of what $100 Day means for them a couple days before $100 Day to give them time to prepare.
Outcome: The graphics made fundraising easy for even the most reluctant Miracle Makers. The graphics encouraged people to actually complete the goal of raising $100, because they didn’t want to only post two of the graphics and never get to brag that they reached their goal. This also meant that individuals were sharing at least three of our graphics in a 24-hour period, helping us get our $100 Day campaign onto newsfeeds across campus.
6. Let People Tell You Their “Why”
We set up a large chalkboard on our quad with the words, “Who do you stand for?” We had staff members stationed at the chalkboard with chalk, informing students and faculty about UADM and encouraging them to write the name of a an important child in their life that they would never want to see suffer from childhood illness.
Outcome: This gave students who were not involved before $100 Day a way to participate and learn more about our cause.
7. Partner with a New Business in Town
We organized a benefit night with a new restaurant that many students had not gone to yet, but were looking for a reason to. We set the benefit night for a time that most students would be available to eat and eager to keep the morale going as another fundraising push.
Outcome: Staff members and Miracle Makers who didn’t know each other before all enjoyed a meal together, FTK. This boosted team morale and built a great relationship with the new restaurant.
8. Encourage Miracle Makers to Get Creative
We encouraged staff members and miracle makers to get creative with their fundraising. Before the event, staff members shared their fundraising ideas on social media. Throughout the day everyone sent pictures of their fundraising efforts to our PR committee and which shared them on social media and our recap blog.
Outcome: Sharing fundraising ideas helps spark more ideas and shows off the creativity that defines our organization. It encouraged others to use their unique talents and make fundraising fun.
9. Take Over Campus
We strategically placed people and events across campus so there was no way to miss us. Staff members who were in sororities and fraternities fundraised in front of their houses. Staff members canned in classes and around residence halls. We taped our VP of Student Affairs to the wall of the student union and we had the chalkboard in the middle of the quad. We made sure that there was no escaping us.
Outcome: We put UADM on every student’s radar, gained an extensive amount of followers, and got to show off how much fun it is to be For The Kids.
10. Rooting All Efforts in Our Love For The Kids
We made sure that everyone on campus not only knew that we were fundraising that day, but who we were fundraising for– The Kids. We made sure that all of our fundraising efforts were inspiring and uplifting. No one collected money without explaining the cause.
Outcome: $50K IN ONE DAY!
For more info about UADM’s $100 Day, feel free to check out their blog!
Sarah Urbanski – UADM President; Cavi Drake – UADM Vice President of Finance; Becca Michel – UADM Fundraising Director; Sonny Franks – UADM Vice President of Marketing; Meghan Poljak – UADM Public Relations Director
The University of Alabama Dance Marathon fundraises for Children’s of Alabama, their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. You can support UADM’s fundraising efforts HERE.
Does your program have a great idea or best practice you’d like to have shared on the Miracle Network Dance Marathon blog? E-mail Brian Golden, Senior Manager, Content Development at email@example.com.