When you are powering social good every day it can be hard to find time to reflect. It’s easy to forget about all the good behind you when you’re staring at a mountain of work in front of you.
We’re here to focus on all the good.
We’re here to share some of our highlights from 2018 in hopes to inspire you. Together as leaders in the “make the world a better place” space, it’s important that we celebrate our wins and learn from each other.
Behind-the-Scenes :: 2019
We are ending the year with a specific focus in mind: recovery.
This year we had the pleasure to lead and participate in strategy discussions with national and international organizations all the way down to the state and local level. We cannot wait to share the amazing work we are doing for the recovery community.
In 2019, a lot of our time will be spent on the addiction and recovery community with fierce passion and compassion.
You'll be hearing a lot more about this soon so stay tuned.
Now let’s reflect and start from the beginning, shall we?
January 2018 :: Exponential Fundraising
If you don’t know Jennifer McCrea yet then you are seriously missing out on some major knowledge and inspiration.
She is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of money, meaning, and social change and co-author of the best selling book, The Generosity Network. Over 200 nonprofit and social change leaders and philanthropists have taken her Exponential Fundraising Harvard course.
I was lucky enough to attend one of her full-day workshops in NY in January 2018 and it changed the way I think about money and fundraising.
I’m embarrassed to say that this happened almost a year ago and I haven’t done more writing about it yet, but that will change in 2019. As the old Chinese proverb goes.. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
In the meantime, you can find some Jennifer McCrea inspiration snippets on our blog here: How to Touch Hearts and Boost Donations.
February 2018 :: THON
In February we powered THON for the third year in a row.
THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, both in revenue and volunteer participation. Each year, more than 16,500 student volunteers participate in year-long fundraising efforts. The 2018 theme was “Discovering Tomorrow's Wonder” which raised $10,151,663.93 to go towards helping children and their families battle childhood cancer.
Together, Rally4/mGive and THON onboarded dancers, committee members, and supporters to receive SMS updates throughout the “46-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon.”
Text message examples:
March 2018 :: Qualtrics & 5 For The Fight
The unfortunate truth is, cancer impacts everyone in one way or another.
Qualtrics introduced the power of crowdfunding for cancer research with the 5 For The Fight campaign. The campaign gets its name because it invites everyone to donate $5 to the fight against cancer in honor of someone who has been touched by this disease. Donors write the name of their loved one on their hand and share on social media using the hashtag #5ForTheFight. One hundred percent of every donation goes towards cancer research.
Additionally, Qualtrics established a first-of-its-kind partnership among North American professional sports teams by placing the campaign's logo on the jersey of the NBA's Utah Jazz. Beginning with the 2017-2018 season, the NBA announced a major shift to its policy regarding players' jerseys, allowing each team to have a sponsored patch on its jerseys.
Qualtrics sponsored the jersey patch for the Utah Jazz, but instead of putting its logo on the jersey, the company donated the patch to 5 For The Fight to help accelerate the pace of crowdfunding for cancer research.
5 For The Fight partnered with Rally4 / mGive for crowd activations at select Utah Jazz games where the audience can “Text JAZZ to 50555 to give $5.”* In 2018, March 28th and December 19th were our big crowd activations.
In 2019 we will be building a more integrated and more interactive campaign to drive more impact. Stay tuned for details.
April 2018 :: Two ColoRADo Partners
We are lucky to call Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation a partner since 2009. They have been with us since the beginning when mGive launched the U.S. Text-to-Give channel in February 2008.
This year, we partnered again to amplify their peer-to-peer program by building a workflow to connect the offline and online worlds with cross-channel tracking to their Blackbaud TeamRaiser and Luminate online pages.
A common complaint about SMS is “we don’t get any data.” The reality is there is plenty of data available to capture, it simply takes time, testing, and tweaking, and we're experts at this and more.
In order to set up our cross-channel tracking and conversion metrics, Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation sent sub-source URLs for 10 peer-to-peer teams. We then took those sub-source URLs and added UTM parameters, shortened those wonderfully long links and inserted them into 10 unique Text-to-Donate keywords for their 10 team captains.
This type of cross-channel tracking was taken a step further with this interactive fundraising campaign later in the year.
Google Grant Management
Also in April, we welcomed another local organization to our family: YMCA Metropolitan Denver. We took over their Google Grant Management and was able to save them money AND increase their click-through rate (CTR). We will be ending the year at a 17.5% CTR versus the 5.42% during Q1 2018.
May 2018 :: Red Nose Day
We are proud to power the SMS fundraising and communication for Comic Relief USA’s Red Nose Day since they brought it to the United States in 2015. Since 2015, Red Nose Day has raised nearly $150M to help end child poverty, impacting over 16 million children in the U.S. and around the world.
Red Nose Day returns May 23, 2019. Together we are working on a more integrated and more interactive campaign to drive more impact in 2019. Stay tuned for details.
We’re going to cheat a little and share a video from 2016 with Jack Black. Grab the Kleenex, because this video still gets us teary after multiple years!
June 2018 :: Entertainment Industry Foundation
Entertainment Industry Foundation is another organization we are proud to call our partner since 2008. Together we have run amazing celebrity-studded campaigns ranging from Stand Up to Cancer and their telethons, to "We Are the World 25 for Haiti," to the Somos Una Voz telethon, to California wildlife relief (image below.)
Together in June we launched a campaign with Panic! At the Disco in support of the Highest Hopes Foundation focused on human rights.
July 2018 :: Youth on Record
Youth on Record is one of our favorite local partners. Based here in Denver, Colorado, they believe that all young people, including those who are at-risk and written-off, have the ability to turn their lives around.
Through a model partnership that brings together the local music community, public schools, the nation’s leading housing authority, and the philanthropic sector, Youth on Record is a powerful example of what’s possible when musicians and nonprofit/public sector leaders embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and band together around a common cause.
Together we collaborated on not one, but TWO pitch decks to get them donated booth space at two local music festivals. After a brainstorm strategy session, together we built each deck which included goals, strategies, objectives, tactics, their reach across all their active social communities, and their specific ask for each music festival group.
They got into both music festivals and got to bring their local favorite event activation: the Youth on Record “Dunk a Local Musician” dunk tank.
August 2018 :: Amigos Internacionale
Amigos Internacionale partnered with us this year under TESS: Technology Enabled Services Simplified. We redesigned their website for an updated, modern look and optimized it for conversions and better user experience.
We took the great content they already had and organized it in a way that told their story and mission more effectively. We also started managing their Google Grant to send more traffic to the site and installed website conversion tools for community acquisition and engagement.
We’ll let the before and after photos of the website homepage do the rest of the talking.
Homepage :: Before Homepage :: After
September 2018 :: Email Marketing
As marketers and fundraisers we all know that testing and optimization is never done. In October we had an exceptional month for our TESS partners and their email programs.
One of our TESS partners is focused on stabilizing communities that have been adversely affected by high incidents of violence, poverty and unemployment. Over 5 email sends in the month of October we saw an average unique open rate of 25% and an average unique click-through rate of 8.5%.
These numbers are well above the 15% open rate average and 0.42% click-through rate average according to the 2018 M+R Benchmarks Report.
The Joys of Email IP Warming
Also in September, we started the email IP warming process for a very special partner focused on blood cancer. If you know this process, you know that it takes time, attention, and patience. We started with our partner providing a portion of their existing list, so we could send an engagement newsletter out.
First the good news: we saw a 31% open rate and 11% click-through rate! We were so excited! The bad news: an 18% bounce rate (whomp whomp.) Turns out the list was slightly dormant so this was good and unfortunate news blended together.
Lastly, remember Amigos from August? After we launched the website, we took over their email and our first send saw a 20% unique open rate and 3% unique click-through rate.
October 2018 :: Stephen Deason Joins as CFO and COO
In September 2018, Stephen Deason officially joined our team as CFO and COO. Stephen has brought with him his vast wealth of knowledge as innovative business leader, a financial scholar, researcher, and author, with an MSc. and MBA from Emory University.
Together we are committed to the Addiction and Recovery community, and you will be hearing a lot more about our work in this area in 2019.
Until then, learn more about Stephen’s personal story on our blog: Leading to a Vibrant and Fulfilling Life.
November 2018: The Unofficial Cause Marketing & CSR Month
November is usually about giving thanks and #GivingTuesday. This year it was both of those things AND the month of multiple Cause Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns!
Aquatica Submarines Sweepstakes & Auction
Aquatica Submarines, Rally4 / mGive, and Charity Network partnered with world-class organizations including Rainforest Partnership, Aquatica Foundation, Ocean Unite, Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center, Oceana, Oceanic Global, and Belize Audubon Society with Sir Richard Branson and Fabien Cousteau for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to Belize’s Great Blue Hole.
Charity Boost Sweepstakes with Tony Robbins
When you blend our work with Charity Boost you get unprecedented event activation results. The individuals behind Charity Boost also started ZipBlimp, “the premier end-to-end, fan-activated engagement solution for sporting and live entertainment venues.”
For one of our first major event activations together, we blended all of these platforms together to power a charitable sweepstakes campaign for the Tony Robbins Foundation during his “Unleash the Power Within” event in New York.
All the donors who gave $25 were entered to win and one lucky winner was selected that night to receive a free ticket to an upcoming Life Wealth Mastery event.
AT&T and NPower
During November, Rally4 / mGive, AT&T and NPower partnered to drive content engagement to support veterans. Supporters could text HERO to 27722** and for every text, AT&T donated $5 up to $250,000. After you texted in, you got a link back with a video and for every view, like, or share of the video, AT&T also donated $5 to NPower.
For more, visit the AT&T newsroom.
T-Mobile and Feeding America
T-Mobile customers can download the free T-Mobile Tuesdays app and #GetThanked with great deals every week.
On #GivingTuesday 2018, T-Mobile promoted a Feeding America text to give call-to-action and generated substantial individual gifts during the day.
Light Up Dr. Bear: An Interactive Fundraising Campaign
This one arguably doesn't fall under the Cause Marketing category, but there were multiple partners that came together to make this one happen. It was so fun that it got its own blog post: Light Up Dr. Bear: An Interactive Fundraising Campaign.
December 2018 :: Saving Lives with Social Advertising
What if we told you Facebook advertising saves lives?
This is exactly what happened when we ran a Facebook Ad for our partner Integra Medical. Here’s the text we got from Integra after the ad ran:
”Just sent this out to the team: Just so everyone knows-
We had our first patient in significant withdrawal, almost randomly see our Facebook ad. She started today. She's doing great.
What I want to impress upon you guys is the power of US reaching out to THEM at their moment of hopelessness. She describes the event in near religious terms. It really is a moving story.
It's also a success we will learn to build upon.
Thanks to everyone of you. We have the ability to do something that's never before been really possible in any scalable manner.”
We are committed to the Addiction and Recovery community. You will be hearing a lot more about our work in this area in 2019.
Until then, we will leave you with this inspiring TedTalk from Johann Hari: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. -Johann Harri
You are important. You matter. We appreciate you.
Never grow weary of doing good for others.
Here’s to a sparkling 2019 together.
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