If you’ve been a member of Everydayhero for some time, you’ve probably heard us talk about Major Community Events, or as we like to call them, MCEs. MCEs include all of the major events across Australia and New Zealand such as Bridge to Brisbane, City2Surf, Melbourne Marathon, Auckland Marathon and many more. These are typically large-scale fundraising events that bring multiple charities and their supporters together.
Not only are MCEs great for creating collaborative communities, they’re also becoming an increasingly powerful vehicle in growing peer-to-peer fundraising. In fact, charities who participated in MCEs in 2018 raised an average of $16,739, which represents a 20% growth year on year.
To give you the best tools and advice to be successful this running season, our team recently hosted a webinar, which you can view here.
If you don’t have the time to watch the full webinar just yet, here are the key takeaways.
Before the Event
Choose the right MCE(s)
The first step is selecting which MCE events are right for your charity. It’s important to be selective so that you can concentrate your efforts, especially if you have limited budget and resources. Carefully analyse your supporters and choose the events that work for their demographic. Are your supporters primarily children or elderly people? Then perhaps a walk or fun run event is the best fit. Or do middle aged men make up the bulk of your supporter database? If this is the case, a cycling event could be more fitting.
Also, look at where your supporters are located. With 50+ events on the platforms, you should be able to target events located where your supporter base is.
It’s important to set specific and measurable goals for the event. Think about your fundraising revenue target and how many fundraisers you would need to recruit to reach that goal. Our data shows that the average fundraising page in an MCE receives around $780 in donations. So if your revenue target is to raise $20,000, you know that you would need 25 active fundraisers to reach this target. In that case, we recommend that you aim to recruit 40 as not all participants will convert into successful fundraisers.
It’s time to shout it from the rooftops and let your supporters know in which events they can fundraise for you. Your Everydayhero charity profile will automatically list all of the MCEs that your charity is included in, but don’t stop there! Utilise your giving hub or ‘get involved’ page on your website by making sure it’s up-to-date with a full list of the MCEs you’re included in. Finally, communicate with your supporters through email. You can make these emails generic with all the events you are participating in or event-specific, but whatever you do, make sure you include information on how they can get involved.
Create a Team Page
Great for charities with smaller budgets, team page help promote the event and are available to all Everydayhero members at no additional cost. Create a team page to give your supporters a sense of belonging and help them feel valued by your organisation. Promote your page via your website, e-newsletter, email blasts and social media and encourage people to join or donate.
Utilise the digital services available
Depending on your budget, you can also look to promote the campaign further and acquire fundraisers. Here are just some of the digital services available that can amplify your fundraising efforts.
Impact Boards: These sites include your charity branding, fundraising tally, call to action buttons and automatically include all fundraisers who have selected to fundraise for your organisation. Impact boards area an effective promotional tool and a great entry point into fundraising, as supporters can sign up or donate directly via the site.
Behavioural Communications: Proven to be a powerful tool for MCEs. Our research shows that fundraisers who receive timely and highly personalised communications will reach their fundraising goal quicker and are more likely to surpass their goal. Our behavioural communications are a bespoke service that’s managed by our expert digital solutions team. So, if you’d like to learn more just reach out to your Account Manager.
Acknowledge your supporters
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s imperative that your supporters feel that their efforts are appreciated. Depending on the event, there could be months between the moment a participant signs up and the actual event date. It is essential that you stay engaged with them and acknowledged the money, time and effort that they put towards helping your cause. Think about thanking them, not only for the money they raise but also for their effort and their training progress. At the bare minimum, we recommend that you send them an email, but if you have the time and resources give them a call – it will mean a lot to them and is a great way to secure their support.
During the Event
Event day is here, make your supporters feel special by showing them that you care and haven’t forgotten about them.
If you can, being present at the event is the best way to engage with your supporters. Organise a cheer squad, or if you’ve purchased a charity package, set up your marquee. Being on the ground during event day allows you to meet and interact with your supporters while collecting photo and video content that can be used in future communications. If you can’t physically attend the event, join the fun online through social media and by sending out an event day email to all participants.
After the Event
Build long-term relationships
You’re almost there, but the work isn’t quite done just yet! Research shows that euphoria and positive emotions linked to the act of fundraising in an MCE, peak at the completion of the event. This is the best opportunity to leverage all of those good feelings and build long-term relationships with your supporters. Thank them again for their support and keep them engaged by sending an email to communicate the impact their fundraising dollars will have. The more specific you can be, the better. Showing donors and fundraisers how their dollars translate to real-life, meaningful changes is the best way to transform them into life-long supporters.
Review your results
Finally, one of the most important things you can do after an event is reviewing your actions. What worked? What didn’t go so well? Did you meet your goals? How will you tackle your next MCE? We recommend that you take the time to review each event right after completion as well as reviewing your whole event portfolio at the end of the year. Talk to your account manager to help review your performance and understand how you can improve on your MCE strategy
To see what’s coming up in your state, check out our MCE calendar and If you’d like to find out more about our digital services, charity packages, or more information on the tips we’ve provided, feel free to reach out to your Account Manager.