Fundraising Case Studies, Walkathons

A Successful Walk-a-thon – Harry Chapin Food Bank

The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida held their 5th Annual WINK News Feeds Families Hunger Walk this year and raised $340,000.00 for children, families and others in need in their community. Over the past five years their fundraising walk-a-thon has raised $1,000,000.00 to fight hunger.

Harry Chapin Food Bank

Over 1000 walk participants use pledge fundraising software to easily register and form lively teams. The enthusiasm generated by such a large network of supporters makes this annual event very exciting to be a part of. They formed teams and offered incentives such as free t-shirts for those who met their pledge fundraising goal. Each participant had their own personal fundraising page in which they added photos, videos and mission statements. Each team had a team page showing its members and milestones. The extra charge of positive energy created within fundraising teams is an effective pledge event strategy as it ignites donors to join in the fun and vibrant spirit of fighting hunger together.

One of the most important factors of their success lies in the outreach they have done within their community. “We are fortunate to partner with the local CBS affiliate as the title sponsor of the Walk. This partnership gives us a considerable amount of local TV coverage; special interviews, and they produce commercials and videos for us. We also have a great partnership with The News-Press our local newspaper. They do print ads in three or four publications for us.”

In viewing the Sponsors page on their fundraising website it’s clear that much cultivation has occurred in gaining support from such an extensive list of fundraising event sponsors. They have kept in close contact with their sponsors through an email list within their website in sending out acknowledgements, thank you notes, and milestones as they met and exceeded their fundraising goal. “We have about 20 local businesses that are sponsors at different levels. They accounted for a little over $80,000 of our total raised of nearly $340,000. We had one local car dealership that did a surprise matching donation the day before the Walk. He announced on Tuesday that he would match any pledges/donations made on Friday, the day before the Walk, up to $50,000. “

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

“We believe service to others is fundamental to creating a hunger-free America. We serve with excellence, compassion and responsiveness to meet the needs of those with whom we work, internally and externally. The better we serve the more people we bring together in commitment to our vision.”

Marketing your event is an important process. Good visibility raises participation, and in turn helps bring more dollars to your cause. To simplify this process DoJiggy has outlined steps to help you organize a walk-a-thon from start to finish.  in addition to providing online fundraising software to help organizations like Harry Chapin maximize their fundraising results, DoJiggy also provides FREE resources such as: a detailed walkathon timeline & planner, customized walk-a-thon flyer templates, sample pledge forms, participant instructions & waiver forms, and various fundraising tools for participants.

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About Maureen Peine

Maureen has been writing and marketing for DoJiggy for over 7 years, and has a strong background in nonprofit fundraising. While with The Nature Conservancy for 7 years prior to DoJiggy, she learned the inner workings of marketing to the State of California within the external affairs department. Her heart is in her writing as she believes in the power of change through nonprofit organizations.
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