Innovation in Run Walk Ride Events
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of collaborating with the Run Walk Ride Council on an article aimed at helping this great sector of our industry think differently about the way we are approaching fundraising.
In preparing to write the article, I took myself back in time to the year 2000. The year 2000… nothing short of an eternity ago. After all, 2000 was a time when you could arrive at the airport without worrying that each of your toiletries were less than 3oz and in a clear zip lock pouch. The year 2000 was a time when if I was up at 2am (and let’s be honest, I was) it was not because a smaller human needed a feeding or a diaper change.
The year 2000 was my very first year working on the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. This was my first job in the world of philanthropy. It came at a time when ACS’ leadership had decided to take a risk and pilot this crazy idea of allowing event participants to collect donations online using a credit card. That risk, and that pilot turned out to be one of the greatest advances in the history of Run Walk Ride events – raising hundreds of millions of dollars for dozens of great organizations nationwide.
As I think back to that time – the year 2000 – I knew virtually nothing about the world of philanthropy and probably less about the mechanics of what was necessary to drive success in the area of online fundraising. But I like to imagine the debate, the fear, and most of all the visionary leadership that must have been taking place many levels above me. ACS made the decision to green light that pilot. Now I wonder – what are the decisions we are debating, fearing and providing visionary leadership around today that will turn out to be the next big ideas of our industry for tomorrow?
I invite you all to read the article, and I challenge you to push yourselves to make a thoughtful, yet uncomfortable decision in the next 30 days. Whether the idea proves to be a success or a failure, I assure you, you and your team will be better for having tried it.