In this post I want to show you how creative you can get as an organization or fundraiser in order to not only say “thank you” in a special way, but also to pull in even more donors and make them want to become a part of your message and family. OHEL’s event is a prime example of innovative fundraising.
Many of our clients try to do the next big thing in fundraising. I’ve learned by working with nonprofit clients that fundraising is a major stress; without it they can’t fulfill their mission properly. One of our specialties is to help nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals so that they can focus more on the real work of their organization.
OHEL is on the forefront of nonprofits that help people in need. Their clientele need foster care, women’s shelters, special needs homes, or elderly care. Derek Saker, Director of Marketing, is one of the most genius and most creative nonprofit marketers who makes OHEL a household name in the Jewish world.
One of Derek’s goals with this project was to create an unusual event that gets donors involved in an activity, rather than just having them sitting and schmoozing at an annual gala. So he gave them the opportunity to jump from a 32-story building. Yes, for real. Instead of sending just one of those boring “thank you” emails and pre-printed “appreciation” letters for donations, they said “thank you” in a special way and gave them this incredible experience.
Now, why Over The Edge? What is so special about jumping from a high rise building? You know, I saw this with my own eyes and in the film it looks easy as cake. But one of their staffers who thought he was cool and together, took over 45 minutes to finally climb over the edge and do it. It was a very scary thing to do.
Overcoming the fear and limitations involved in jumping from a building is a metaphor for what people with disabilities or big life problems (OHEL’s clientele) have to overcome in day-to-day life. Can you imagine what it feels like if you, let’s say, have difficulties speaking clearly? The looks that people give you when you just put yourself on the spot and say something in the world? This is the message of Over The Edge: We ALL have disabilities and limitations. They just might not be as obvious as those of others. OHEL wanted me to make a film out of the event so that, next year, even more sponsors and donors will be attracted, and come along and do this fundraiser together with OHEL.