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Year End Donations Fund Running Water

Case Study

Fundraising Campaign Management


Providing healing and comfort to children debilitated by the emotional experience of living with or losing a parent or sibling to cancer.

The Challenge

A California-based nonprofit, Walk With Sally (WWS), provides free mentoring and community support for children experiencing trauma through a parent, guardian, or sibling's cancer journey. Like many nonprofits, WWS relies on a couple of key annual events for the bulk of their funding and as an opportunity to nurture donors for year-round giving.

However, WWS was frustrated with both the lackluster ROI of their annual event, a peer-to-peer fundraiser, and the post-event conversion rate of attendees into year-round supporters.

Various factors contributed to the event’s poor showing, like a disconnect between its “Bowl-a-thon” name and the powerful WWS mission. This made it difficult for future outreach to associate the event with WWS’s “mentoring friendships.”

Other issues included too-easy-to-earn prizes that failed to motivate attendees’ best fundraising efforts; unclear fundraising goals; and missed opportunities to keep newly introduced supporters engaged.

Walk With Sally had two primary questions we needed to answer:

  • What steps can we take to make our annual event a greater financial success?
  • How can we leverage event success to increase year-round support?
Walk With Sally

Our Solution

WWS needed more of a strategy overhaul than a tune-up. So we started at the ground floor with the event name and worked our way up by:

  • Renaming “Bowl-a-thon” to “The Friendship Bowl” for a more on-brand link to their mentoring friendships
  • Setting a definitive goal of funding a specific number of mentoring friendships
  • Helping to launch a multi-channel campaign that coached peer-to-peer fundraisers, along with providing impactful Walk With Sally content that fundraisers could share with peers on social 
  • Positioning the fundraisers throughout the event as heroes that do good in people’s lives
  • Using strategic incentives such as matching challenges to surprise and delight fundraisers
  • Building and deploying a new-donor welcome email series to send after the event that helped convert fundraisers and their peers into repeat donors throughout the year

The Results


Increase in event revenue


Raised at the event


Newly funded mentoring friendships

"This new revenue stream bolstered our programs and elevated our mindset to aim higher in all areas of our organization. We are extremely proud of our partnership with CauseMic, and I highly recommend working with them if you want to take your ROI to the next level.”

Walk With Sally

Page Sacks
Director of Communication & Events

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