Jumping Towards Success: Bringing a Classic Event into the 21st Century
If you ask around your office, you’re bound to find someone who participated in Jump Rope for Heart as a kid. Jump Rope for Heart is easily one of the longest running and most successful youth fundraising events. And it will be for a long time to come. Not just because it’s essentially a rite of passage for kids in Canada, but also because the Heart and Stroke Foundation continues to evolve their event. So, how are they doing this?
The answer: The Heart and Stroke Foundation takes the time to plan out their activities for the school year and are always striving to be the most innovative. There is a lot of preparation for this nationwide fundraiser. Plans start close to 2 years in advance and there is always discussion of how to improve.
This past school year, the JUMP team focused on improving online fundraising. They recognized that the average gift for online is higher than offline and individuals participating in events raise more money online than just with offline pledge forms.
“Protecting kids online is very important to us, so we had to make sure that parents and schools felt comfortable with the concept of online fundraising,” explains Jennifer Fry, Senior Marketing Manager, Adult & Youth Programs, Heart and Stroke Foundation. “We launched our online fundraising website 5 years ago and this fundraising channel has seen very strong growth each year.”
Working with hjc, the JUMP team developed a yearlong communications calendar that was segmented to schools, parents and kids participating in the event. Each segment had their own custom email template which used visuals that would connect with the audience. The goal was to strengthen personal relationships with all the different stakeholders involved with Jump Rope for Heart.
Often organizations are worried that sending too many messages to event participants can have a negative impact on participation, but the JUMP team found the opposite. Open and click through rates for all segments were well above industry standards – proving that their supporters want to hear from them!
While the improved communications helped with Jump Rope for Heart this past school year showing an increase of 33% in online revenue, the JUMP Team isn’t going to stop there! They believe there is always room for improvement and when working on fundraising events, especially with youth, it’s important to be on the cutting edge. While we won’t reveal the exciting new plans for Heart & Stroke Jump Rope for Heart this school year, we predict that it will be another stellar year!