American Diabetes Association Builds a Movement
Posted by Guest Blogger at Jun 07, 2013 08:55 AM CDT

This article was written by guest blogger Brock Warner. Brock is a fundraiser for War Child Canada & US, as well as a TEDx speaker on philanthropy, a blogger, and volunteer with the AFP Greater Toronto Area chapter.

Every fundraiser wants to believe their campaign is a true "movement," but the reality is that our appeals often fall short. Last year, when the national staff for the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes event were looking to increase post-event fundraising for their peer-to-peer fundraising event -- they needed to ignite the passion amongst their most loyal supporter base, and give them the extra push they needed to raise much needed funds.

ADA leads the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fights for those affected by diabetes. This is done by funding research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes, deliver services to hundreds of communities, provide objective and credible information and to give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.

Step Out’s Pay it Forward movement is born:

For those of you not in the know, Giving Tuesday is a national movement encouraging generous people all over the world to commit some sort of charitable act on the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving. The Step Out team wanted to give their participants and donors a chance to get involved in the movement. They also wanted to turn the usual concept of event fundraising incentives on its head.

Through the Pay it Forward campaign, participants and donors were asked to make an unexpected gift to a walker and for every gift of $26 or more -- representing the 26,000,000 Americans with diabetes -- the person receiving the gift would qualify for a (donated) Hawaiian vacation. Cool idea, right?

Many Step Out participants had historically been less engaged online and this could have been the first time they've heard of Giving Tuesday. It was also the fundraising off-season, so engagement was not at high levels.

This integrated campaign was conceived and executed in approximately three weeks time, which is an incredible feat for a national organization of ADA’s size and scope. The four-day campaign was promoted via:

A Red Strider (participant with diabetes) from Los Angeles, CA won the trip and said, "When I got an email that my mother-in-law donated a second time I called to remind her that she already donated! She told me she did again because she cares about the cause and wanted to give me a chance to win the trip!"

By the end, the campaign raised $21,000 through 333 online gifts. Last year during the same time, $5,500 was raised through 87 gifts.

Great job!

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