2nd PLACE - MS Queensland

July 2, 2020 Eve Heidemann

MS Brissie to the Bay, 30 for 30 Challenge

When COVID-19 struck, the MS Brissie to the Bay bike ride, celebrating 30 years, was mid-campaign after a hugely successful launch. The campaign was tracking to raise $1.1m to create a major impact for people living with MS.

We put the 4,000 Queenslanders living with MS first and didn’t give up. In just 10 days, the team pivoted to a month-long virtual campaign – the MS Brissie to the Bay, 30 for 30 Challenge..


Time constraints: we had already launched in February, so the team strived to create a brand new campaign. In just 10 days, we were able to launch the repurposed website, participant journey and communications.

Agility: with the nature of COVID-19 and restrictions, external factors were moving at an extreme pace. We analysed trends and restrictions happening in other countries to pre-empt what may come for Australia. We ensured our campaign was ‘future’ proof with contingencies suited to these fast-changing external factors.

Retention: we had 6,000+ eager cyclists already registered, yet we knew virtual wouldn’t be for everyone. Still striving to make an impact in fundraising, we concentrated on retaining 20% of our participants (who we know raised 80% of overall fundraising). We focused on a high-value targeted approach to ensure those most likely to fundraising were activated and retained. 


Objective: Retain and activate 1,000 participants
Results: Retained and activated 970 participants
Method: Focus on 20% most likely to fundraise segemnt. Used various channels – the most effective was identifying influential ‘Community. Ambassadors’ in the ride who drove peer to peer asks and supporting with the social norming of virtual.

Objective: Raise $530,000 fundraising income (gross)
Results: Raised over $637,000 (gross)
Method: Focus on cause and taking action. Communicated through a highly segmented email journey, SMS, interactive dashboard functionality and a closed Facebook Group, to create a virtual community.

Objective: Decrease pre-COVID budgeted expenditure by 50%
Results: Decreased budgeted expenditure by 63%
Method: From COVID-19, we cut the now unnecessary expenditure for logistics

Objective:Ensure registration fee refunds are less than 1,000
Results: We refunded just 73 participant their registration fees
Method: Focus on cause and asked many to convert to a donation instead

We had a strong focus on engaging our ‘community’ throughout the development stages, execution and analysis of the campaign.

We involved high value participants from previous years, people living with MS, their carer’s, and our top donors. In the planning stages, we pitched the virtual event idea, asking for their feedback and adapted on their requests.

During the campaign, we had various touch points for everyone to get involved, for example, videos from people living with MS cheering on our riders.

Have a look at the dedicated Brissie to the Bay website.

Find out more about the MS Queensland:

Website: https://www.msqld.org.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msqld/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/msqld/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/msqld/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MSAustraliaQ