Fundraising Gone Wild!
One of the best ways for fundraisers to get new ideas is by learning from their peers in the nonprofit sector. And despite the economy and continued budget cuts, 2010 saw no shortage of successful fundraising campaigns.
Over the course of the year, FundRaising Success will share stories from some of the most successful campaigns 2010 had to offer from nonprofit organizations of all shapes, sizes and missions. To kick off this four-part series, we highlight two animal-welfare groups: the Gorilla Organization's Great Gorilla Run and the Arizona Humane Society's 12th annual Pet Telethon.
— Joe Boland, senior editor
The Great Gorilla Run
Each year, the U.K.-based Gorilla Organization emb arks on its Great Gorilla Run campaign in London to raise money and awareness to save endangered gorillas. But this isn't just any ordinary fundraising campaign. The event itself involves participants dressed in gorilla suits running seven kilometers (4.3 miles) for the cause. And the way it's marketed is unique as well.
The 2010 run was dynamic and unique, says Sam Davies, events manager for the Gorilla Organization.
"How many other fundraising campaigns use people dressed in gorilla suits to recruit and raise funds?" he asks.
As you can imagine, the event draws a diverse crowd — one runner traveled all the way from Australia to take part in the 2010 event held Sept. 26 — thus the organization targeted a range of audiences by using both new and tried-and-true methods of marketing.
The Gorilla Organization utilized everything from direct mail to e-mail, social media, e-newsletters, canvassing, search, and online and offline advertising with the goal of raising more money than the year before (more than 230,000 pounds or $373,132). Perhaps the biggest element of direct marketing was the use of leafletting — groups of people dressed in their gorilla suits and branded T-shirts went out early in the morning and set up shop outside of London's major train stations to hand out event leaflets to the city's 3 million or so daily commuters.