Throughout the past few months, I’ve been helping out a friend and her son raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). My friend, Jenn, and her son, Andy, are involved with the organization because Andy has Crohn’s Disease. He was diagnosed two years ago and in the past, I’ve helped him write a speech or two when he talks to groups about his illness. He’s an interesting kid who isn’t embarrassed about sharing his story with others.
Each year the Northeast Ohio CCFA chapter does a charity walk called Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis, and this year, Andy is the Local Hero. He’s been featured on their website and in print materials promoting the walk. Jenn had asked me to put together some marketing information to give to friends and family showing them where and how to donate. I was beyond thrilled to help out. Early on, we set a $1000 goal for the event.
Over the past few months, we beefed up his website, made a handout, sent out a few press releases promoting his fundraising efforts, and posted information on Facebook. And you know what? We met our goal. In fact, we’ve doubled it with a few days to spare. I’m beyond happy to see the numbers and know that at the walk this weekend, we’ll be one of the top fundraising teams. Andy will get to speak at the event and I’m excited to listen.
What has really made this event special is that I put skills I’ve learned in the classroom to use. I used emerging media to promote the walk, developed creative strategies to design handouts, and was able to get Andy featured in local newspapers through public relations efforts.
Could this fundraising event been successful without these endeavors? Sure – Andy has an amazing story which inspires many (including me!). But without the tactics behind our efforts, I don’t think as much money could have been raised and we couldn’t have educated as many people.
I’ll be one happy person at the walk this weekend knowing that my time in the IMC Program has already affected others!