Each year the Women’s Cancer Resource Center holds its Swim a Mile for Women with Cancer fundraising event. In 2020, the event’s 25th year, the Women’s Cancer Resource Center team was forced to cancel the in-person elements of the event due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. However, with the Swim a Mile event accounting for one-third of the Women’s Cancer Resource Center’s annual budget, the team couldn’t forgo the fundraising event entirely.
In 2020, the Swim a Mile event went virtual, and its name changed to Swim a Mile / Move a Mile for Women with Cancer, giving participants the option to swim, bike, or jog one mile or choose their own adventure. To promote Swim a Mile/Move a Mile for Women with Cancer, the Women’s Cancer Resource Team used social media, email marketing, direct mail invitations, and made phone calls to supporters. The WCRC Team added new virtual components to the event, including:
- [GiveSmart’s] peer-to-peer fundraising pages
- A drive-by celebration to hand out swag
- A t-shirt design competition
- An online dance party
- A donor honor wall on a [GiveSmart] Event Page
- A competition for the best fundraiser to win a private swim lesson from an Olympic gold medalist.
The Swim a Mile/Move a Mile for Women with Cancer event proved a huge success, raising over $300,000 for the Women’s Cancer Resource Centers’ free programs and resources. The [GiveSmart] peer-to-peer fundraising pages allowed the Women’s Cancer Resource Center to use their supporters’ social networks to expand their reach to new donors from new communities. The online dance party created community engagement and a closer connection to other supporters than a traditional Zoom event. The donor wall on [GiveSmart’s] Event Page created an exciting giving environment where supporters could view their donations made in real-time. Despite challenges created by the pandemic, the Women’s Cancer Resource Center retained about the same number of participants while the average amount raised per participant increased.
Women’s Cancer Resource Center provides extensive services to women with cancer and their loved ones in the San Francisco Bay area. Their primary focus is helping women with cancer, but the center also offers wellness programs for everyone – regardless of gender and including those who do not have cancer.
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Disclaimer: This case study originally featured a nonprofit that used MobileCause. MobileCause is now fully integrated into the GiveSmart platform. All mentions have been edited to reflect the new naming conventions.
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