Gala fundraisers are always the same – you throw on a suit (or a tux if you’re fancy), eat fancy chicken by the bay, and participate in a silent auction. How can we bring some innovation to this experience? We crowdsourced ideas among Betterific’s design thinking community and sourced over 80 unique ideas in under a week.
Betterific’s crowdsourcing was one part of the overall research. Deloitte also interviewed employees of the non-profit, current donors and potential donors, and Diabetes patients. They built personas to build empathy to set the stage of possibilities. With that backdrop we hosted the fundraising gala innovation challenge on Betterific.
The biggest take-away was that fundraisers should be more experiential. Beyond the diabetes patient at the gala, how can we really bring both the non-profit, the cause and the patient stories to life? Some suggested giving donors the experience of a diabetes patient – with apps or blood sugar check-ins. Pop up shops, partnerships with startups, and education based events were also very popular. The concept of owning the No-Sugar movement also intrigued the non-profit.
We hosted a brainstorming session with the non-profit to dig deep into the specific ideas, the themes and build on the concepts. That is where the magic happens! Using the Betterific community’s ideas as the lift-off point.
the gala organizer partnered with an innovative manufacture of glucose monitoring devices (such as Verily, Dexcom, OneTouch or even Apple) to design an event experience that exposes all attendees to what it’s like to continuously monitor their blood sugar levels? For example, attendees could be tested before and after dinner. Or test results could be printed on their photobooth pictures.
at the gala participants were given a buzzer (like the ones you get when waiting for a table),or have them download a gala app. participants would be buzzed in order to understand aspects of diabetes…time to eat, time to test, etc. This would drive home the impact on the individual during a day.
the philanthropy had an app that donors could download for updates on the impact of gifts (research funding, patients seen, etc.)
before the Gala, there was a health challenge just for young people (under 25 or 30), focused on ideas for helping diabetes patients having a better life. A part of donors’ fundraising would be for developing that idea, and some donors would be chosen, in a draw, for being part of the jury. Similar to Ashoka Health challenge: goo.gl/w9BV2D
At the gala, not only financial commitment but time commitment would be sought? With the time commitment, the donor would call or email or post on social media the benefits of donating to this charity? Even a time commitment of 15 minutes per month could help others in their circle of influence to donate
A virtual-reality booth was set up at the gala to experience some of the symptoms of diabetes? Ie. high sugar, low sugar, retinopathy (eye problems)
Partnerships with large sports organizations (the way that Breast Cancer Awareness partners with the NFL) would promote awareness to a large audience at regular intervals over extended periods of the year. Under Armour owns the fitness tracking app My Fitness Pal and already has a sponsorship relationship with multiple sports organizations. Developing a relationship with Under Armour could allow the non-profit access to both the users of their fitness app, as well as sports fans. These would be perfect platforms for raising awareness and spreading the organization’s mission, long term.
non-profits engaged donors with more transparency and allowed them choose exactly how their donation was used? With a registry/wish-list style directory donors can choose what they want to contribute to the organization. There could be a list of what is needed to accomplish the non-profit’s mission like lab equipment, new research facility, drug manufacturing, and even general administration if someone doesn’t want to choose. This can get as granular as needed so people feel like they contributed something meaningful and know exactly what it was. Those people should be acknowledged in some way depending on what they contributed.
Money could be loaned at 0%!interest if donors would prefer? The non-profit could either use those funds instead of borrowing money from the bank, therefore saving the interest that would be paid or if not needed, put in a CD and collect the interest?