As KSVs Director of Digital Strategy I spend my days thinking about how to help KSV’s clients achieve their business objectives through the use of paid, owned, and earned media channels. This has included helping Sugarbush to sell more lift tickets, Acorn to sell more slippers, and helping VSAC increase the post-secondary education aspiration rate of Vermont teenagers.
I recently had an objective of my own—to raise $3,000 for Spectrum Youth & Family services, a Vermont based organization that empowers teenagers and young adults to overcome adversity. The fundraising is part of an event I’ll be participating in tonight called The Spectrum Solidarity Sleep Out, which aims to increase awareness of youth homelessness and to raise funds to help Spectrum ensure that homeless youth have a safe, stable place to stay. Along with 40 other Vermont business leaders, I will be spending a night sleeping outside with nothing but a cardboard box and a sleeping bag.
As a participant I was asked to raise $2,000, however after discussions with other participants my competitive nature kicked in and I decided to up my personal goal to $3,000. While I don’t have a wealthy network to tap into, I could achieve my goal by practicing what I preach on how to raise awareness of a need and to get people to take action.
I’m very proud to say that I have met my goal! Here’s how I did it:
- I started by setting up my fundraising page, which clearly outlines my goal and directs visitors on how they can take action to support me.
- I then sent an email to a list of family, friends, and colleagues that I thought would have the ability to support me. The note started with an attention grabbing subject line: ‘I’m going to be homeless…for a night’, and clearly outlined what I was doing, why, and how they could support.
- I posted monthly updates to my Facebook page about where I was at with my effort and let people know how they could support.
- I shared posts from Spectrum’s Facebook page that I felt would help raise awareness of the need, the event, and my participation.
- And in hopes of exceeding my goal I wrote a post for my company blog which included a link for how to donate (HINT: visit http://www.spectrumsleepout.kintera.org/meghanhaley)
According to a recent report, approximately 3.5 million Americans, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year. One federal report shows a 40% increase in the number of juveniles living on their own last year.
Thanks to any of you who are able to help!