What the heck to Big Dogs have to do with Cats?
A lot of you are talking about the Big Dog that comes into our life the first week of May. That would be BIG Day of Giving – aka BIG DoG. BIG Day of Giving, held for one day each year, is a national day for promoting internet and social media support and donations for local non-profits. In the Greater Sacramento area, 507 non-profits participated this year.
Months of planning went into it, including thinking of clever ways to grab the public’s attention, and we were all ready to go. We had the coolest idea for making FieldHaven stand out amongst the dozens of other non-profits. We surely were going to capture the attention of a myriad of new supporters. And remind our friends that anything goes when fundraising for FieldHaven.
Board Member, Scout Valentine planned to run one mile for every $1,000 we raised up to 20 miles – what fun it was going to be! Champy would “run” a couple of miles in his stroller, Jen Paul vowed to roller skate a few miles and I was going to ride my horse Logan a few miles (because, if you know me, you know I don’t run on my own two feet!). We just knew we’d get more attention as the day went on and lots of people would be excited to run, walk, pedal and golf cart with Scout.
The challenge was made more exciting by the fact that Scout, a lung transplant recipient, would be using her new lungs to run nearly a marathon for the kitties. Now that’s dedication and truly heroic!
Everything was ready for our best social media campaign ever. As the site went live midnight on May 3rd I posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and went to grab a few hours sleep. Or a couple.
The phone rang at 4:00 am. Channel 10 was at the Marketplace ready to film Scout running her first mile. Where were we? “On our way”, I replied. After all, when the press wants to cover your event you better be there when they want you!
The day was starting off GREAT! Scout ran her first 3 miles with the reporter right there and we were live on morning TV. Our leaderboard on the BIG DoG site starting rolling over with increasing donations – we could see those $1,000’s piling up quickly, thinking for sure we’d hit our goal. Maybe Scout would even have to run more than 20 miles!
Then the donation site crashed... bringing donating for all 507 non-profits to a screeching halt!
The donation site never did recover but it didn’t keep people from donating to FieldHaven and other non-profits. People found a way to donate – from walking in to give us cash or checks, mailing checks or sending up donations via PayPal. We ended up with nearly $15,000 which was absolutely splendid considering that our major marketing tool of BIG Day of Giving was inoperable.
Who needs the internet? FieldHaven supporters won’t be stopped by the lack of social media. That’s how dedicated you are in helping us help the kitties!
Thank you believing in the BIG CaTS and LITTLE CaTS,
President & Co-Founder