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Registration Sponsorship Program
(D2314)
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Submitted:
May 23 2020
Category: 
Blue Sky Innovation
Status: 
Under Development

Watch video presentation HERE.


What is the problem?

There are two problems that many, if not all, Dance Marathon programs face.

The first of these is that there is a lack of accessibility to participate in a Dance Marathon program because of registration fees. While registration fees are a key indicator of a participants interest and potential success fundraising, they also can exclude potential Dance Marathon participants who might not have the personal funds to register.

Especially now, when folks are more likely to be experiencing financial instability due to COVID-19, college students might not have the funds necessary to register for their Dance Marathon event. This has already been a prevalent issue and it is almost certain to worsen in our current climate. With this proposed solution, Miracle Network Dance Marathon will actively increase program accessibility and as a result, raise further funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

The second problem that all Dance Marathon programs face is that there is lost potential in unactivated participants, or zero dollar participants. Speaking on behalf of my own program, Ball State University Dance Marathon, this past year alone we had 208 zero dollar participants with fundraising goals of $100. These participants had registered and given a personal donation through the registration fee, but had not taken the next step to engage their networks and fundraise. This group had the potential to raise $20,800 if they had all hit their goals - an incredible boost of funds for our program. These numbers might not equate with all programs, but the problem remains the same: Dance Marathon programs need a way to tap into the potential with zero dollar participants.

According to a 2019 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising study by Blackbaud, on average participants who strictly peer-to-peer fundraise raise more than those who solely donate - the category our zero dollar participants occupy by only paying the registration fee. The proposed solution will encourage potential zero dollar participants to engage directly with peer-to-peer fundraising, rather than only donating through the registration fee. In alignment with Blackbaud's findings, these participants will likely contribute more to the total overall online donation revenue through the opportunity to peer-to-peer fundraise immediately.

What is the solution?

The solution I am proposing is a Registration Sponsorship Program that will allow Dance Marathon participants to fundraise for the registration fee rather than personally donating. Along with an option for a participant to directly pay for the fee to register on DonorDrive, participants will be given the option to solicit a sponsor for their registration fee. Upon registration, DonorDrive will prompt them with a text message template, email template, and social media post template to share with their network, asking for a donation to sponsor their registration in order to participate in that Dance Marathon program. These message templates will be similar to the resources already provided through DonorDrive and the Miracle Network Dance Marathon app, but they would highlight the differences and significance of a sponsorship donation.

Once a sponsor has donated the amount of the registration fee or greater, the participants' fundraising page will be activated, with an email prompting them to open it and continue their fundraising efforts. After the participant has registered, the sponsor will receive continued communication about the total impact of their donation. Since the sponsor showed a clear interest in supporting that participant and kick-starting their fundraising journey, they will receive updates when that participant reaches new fundraising milestones. Their sponsorship donation will have more meaning because they allowed for this participant to register and raise more funds on top of their donation - something that would not have been made possible had they not sponsored them.

The Sponsorship Program will also be an incentive for corporate donors to give larger, more impactful donations. Through this program, individual participants and teams could solicit sponsorship donations from businesses on behalf of their Dance Marathon program. For example, a team of 25 might solicit a $500 sponsorship donation to cover a $20 registration fee for all of their participants. These businesses will be recognized with their logo on a badge on the participants' and team fundraising page and a clickable logo and name on the campaign homepage saying "{Name of business} sponsored {amount} of participants".

Not only will this allow for greater visibility of the business's support but their donation will make a greater total financial impact. In the example of a team of 25, the $500 donation has the potential to create a total impact of $2,500 if all of the participants raised $100. Emphasizing the total impact of their donation and implementing continued communication about what their donation has allowed for will encourage greater giving from corporate donors, strengthen year over year corporate donor retention, and potentially secure new corporate donors not previously reached.

The Registration Sponsorship Program will solve network-wide problems by

  1. allowing for any student to participate in a Dance Marathon program no matter their financial situation and
  2. encouraging participants to peer-to-peer fundraise immediately, with a greater chance of contributing more to the total online donation revenue.

Implementation

To move forward and implement this idea, we will need to accomplish the following. 

  • Establish the language to communicate this program to the Dance Marathon audience. 
  • Build a sponsorship question onto the DonorDrive registration process. 
  • Create text templates, email templates, and social media templates to solicit sponsorship donations. 
  • Construct triggered DonorDrive communication to update sponsors on their total financial impact and milestones reached by the participant. 
  • Design logo badges for corporate sponsored donations. 
  • Add corporate donor acknowledgement onto homepage of DonorDrive. 
  • Compose resources for individual participants and teams to navigate asking for their own sponsorship donation from businesses. 
  • Build a sponsored registration process for individual participants and teams who receive a corporate sponsorship donation. 


Thank you for reading through my proposal! If you have additional comments or questions about this proposal, leave them below. I would love to hear how this idea could be improved or adapted to best support your Dance Marathon program.

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