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Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Amid Social Distancing Continued: Race To End Poverty Case Study

My name is Marianne Johnson and I am an Account Manager at TaylorMade Experience. Two weeks ago I ran the most miles and raised the most money I ever have, all while in quarantine. During the initial COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders, I created a bit of a routine for myself with a run marking my transition from day-time leggings to night-time leggings. While running provided peace of mind during this period of unknown, I wanted to run with more of a purpose.

I signed up for A Wider Circle’s Race To End Poverty, a virtual 5k on May 16th. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work alongside the A Wider Circle team in preparation for their annual Community Ball. I have been inspired by the dedication and kindness they demonstrate day in and day out. 

That is why in addition to physically training for the race, I decided to practice what we preach at TME and fundraise for the Race To End Poverty. Over the next 4 weeks, I raised $2,115 with the support of friends, family, and colleagues. This was a personal milestone in my 5 years of participating in peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns for causes I am passionate about. I decided to take a look at what made this particular campaign so successful and am here to share my tactics with you: 

  1. The Ask.
    The day I signed up for the race, I sent an email telling my running story and asking for support with my personalized fundraising link. I sent this email to everyone I had an email address for. Understanding that not everyone might be able to financially support, I included a link to sign-up for the race as well. Example:

2. The Ask again!
I followed up this initial email with daily social media posts and linked my personalized fundraising page to a Facebook fundraiser. Being a Millenial, I know my friends are more likely to give through Facebook since their credit card information is already saved. 

3. Get in front of the camera!
The power of video in real-time has a tremendous impact during this time of social distancing. I snapped a video during one of my training runs and another when I hit a fundraising goal. As a thank you to my donors, I also filmed a musical Tik-Tok inspired video for ripping through ALL of my fundraising goals. This genuine connection resulted in an increase in repeat donors. Check out my video:

4. Connect to the mission.
A Wider Circle was a newer cause for my support circle, I decided to host a virtual “Pasta Party To Pulverize Poverty.” I suggested that my guests donate the cost of what they would have paid for a pasta dinner at a restaurant and while we ate our pasta I gave a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation about A Wider Circle’s mission and programs they provide to the community so my donors understood where their support was going.  Here was my invite:

5. Have fun with it!

The videos, pictures, and posts were fun for me to put together! I discovered that the more engaged I was with creating the content the more engaged my audience became. These posts received the most likes and email replies than anything else I’ve posted in the last year. 

The race may be over but the lessons I learned (and running stamina I gained) are skills I aim to continue to build upon. During this time of uncertainty, I encourage you to get involved with the organizations you care about through virtual volunteer opportunities, fundraising campaigns, or simply raise awareness and use your voice to make an impact today! 

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60

Years Combined
Experience

10

In-Kind Donations
Procured

50

Sponsorship & Fundraising Calls
Over Last 12 Years

500

Corporations Researched
for Fundraising Opportunities