One of the things I enjoy about our work at Impact is our commitment to storytelling – in part because in my “other life,” I write and publish poetry and creative prose. When I heard about an opportunity to participate in Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Project – a month-long marathon of poetry – the intersection of the fundraising and creative aspects intrigued me.
Modeled after a traditional marathon, the fundraiser asks a team of volunteer poets to write a new poem every day for the entire month. Each day’s poems are published here, on the Tupelo Press blog. The poets are challenged to develop this material and (like a fundraiser walk or run) find sponsors to help them meet their goal and cheer them on throughout the month.
I sent a series of emails to possible sponsors – including an offbeat premium for those who gave above a certain level – a custom poem, written about whatever (or whomever) the sponsor chooses – and promoted each day’s work through my social media channels.
It is Day #20 as I write this, and it has been challenging, fun, and often surprising. As I think about the experience with my Impact hat on, it strikes me how much opportunity there is to leverage the digital space for these kinds of creative fundraising events. Certainly a poetry marathon won’t fit with every organization’s mission, but a health organization might ask participants to do a month of clean eating, or yoga pose of the day. Invite your members or champions to do something relevant to your mission that also serves as a personal challenge to them. In addition to raising money, it’s an excellent way to boost engagement – for participants and supporters alike!
- Posted by Jennifer Clements, Associate Director for Client Engagement