Our group hosted a fundraising event for our partner organization, Bear Necessities, to support their cause to discover a cure for pediatric cancer. Our team utilized our networks to encourage small businesses, corporations, and private donors to “sponsor” a bear for $250. The sponsors were then encouraged to dress up their bear. Utilizing a Facebook event page, we also had a social media campaign that encouraged those not able to donate $250 to donate smaller monetary amounts through the organization’s website.
Sponsors were then invited to display their bears at the celebration event at Bridget McNeill’s Bar & Kitchen on Thursday, May 17th. The evening consisted of a keynote presentation from the charity’s organization representative, Katie Craig and voting for Best Dressed and Crowd Favorite Bear. Winners received certificates of appreciation from Bear Necessities as a thank you for their contribution.
Bear Necessities is a Chicago-based non-profit named in memory of the founder’s son, Barret Krupa, who died after a courageous five and a half year battle with Wilms Tumor, a pediatric cancer. Today, Bear Necessities helps fund research to end pediatric cancer and provides immediate support for children and their families battling the disease.
Analysis of Success
Planning Is Key
Our team did not want to rely on the reveal event in order to meet our financial goal. So, we decided to implement two campaigns: sponsorship and online fundraising. The bear sponsorship helped us find donors who would commit early and make up a majority of the funds that were raised. And through social media, we were able to reach friends and family that were not able to donate as much but still wanted to contribute towards our campaign.
Keep It Fun
Our team strove to maintain a positive outlook throughout the entire project. The moment one member felt burdened by the work, other members stepped in to relieve some of the stress and burden. We had some members that were more established in the Chicago community who were able to leverage their personal networks, but we had some members who were more willing to contribute towards writing up the deliverables. The responsibility matrix was extremely helpful when trying to allocate the duties amongst us.
Always Be Prepared
Fortunately for us, our contact representative for our charity was easy to reach and transparent about all activity. There were no miscommunications in terms of what the event was for or what we needed from the charity and vice versa. However, if our team needed confirmation on a task that was time sensitive, we made sure to have a backup contact within the organization just in case and a backup plan if we were not granted that confirmation.
- Prioritize securing a venue in the beginning
- Don’t be afraid to leverage personal connections
- Assign tasks to team members early on
- Don’t rely on the day-of event for the majority of the fundraising
- Always have a contingency plan