How Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Reached their Pre-Pandemic Fundraising Goal Using OneCause Virtual Event Center

Background

Background

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. This mission has been the heart of the organization since 1967.

The New England Chapter hosts upwards of 10 events throughout the year. It is focused on funding research, raising awareness, and providing education and support to patients and caregivers. United by the mission to care and cure, a team of young professionals set out to create a special event that brings funds and awareness to Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation – A Night in White, the largest and most successful Young Professional’s event for the entire Foundation.

Like many nonprofits though, COVID-19 forced the Crohn’s & Colitis team to completely reimagine their in-person event. They turned to the new OneCause Virtual Event Center to create a multi-media online experience that shined a light on the cause, and brought a human face to their impact and fundraising.

“Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are chronic and, often times, debilitating diseases that you can’t see from the outside. The Virtual Event Center truly gave us and our volunteers a voice and a platform to speak out about what they’re going through,” said Elaina Recuppi, Special Events Director for the New England Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

Challenge

Challenge

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has made a huge impact on this nonprofit’s signature events. What was once an in-person event that brought donors, committee members, and volunteers together, had to be quickly reimagined.

The team was challenged with finding a way to bring their mission to life while keeping their supporters’ safety and health top of mind. It was clear that Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation needed to find new ways to:

  • Reach their donors in a virtual world
  • Create an easy viewing and giving experience
  • Deepen supporter connections to the mission
  • Raise essential funds for research and support

The goal was to create not just a virtual event, but an online experience – one that would highlight their mission, bring people together, and ignite giving in this new giving landscape.

Solution

Solution

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation created the ultimate virtual event to bring their supporters together and push their Chron's & Colitis Foundation Videofundraising forward – and A Night in for The Cure was created. They hit the ground running and started to:

  • Create an inspiring 35-minute run of show
  • Utilize prerecorded videos to engage and keep it easy
  • Set up their OneCause Virtual Event Site
  • Secure auction items and sponsors
  • Launch the silent auction and online donation form
  • Leverage both humorous and heartfelt messaging
  • Define impact levels, messaging, and mission stories
  • Build a program timeline of video, livestream, fundraising and music entertainment
  • Track fundraising progress and real-time event stats

While going virtual was an entirely new feat for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation team, they found huge success with the OneCause Virtual Event Center.

“It was an amazing experience, not just for our viewers, but also for our volunteers and our patients to take part in,” said Recuppi.

So what were their keys to success?

Powerful Mission Moments

A Night in for The Cure was a 35-minute show filled with everything from hilarious, SNL-inspired skits put on by volunteers to heartwarming stories of tenacity from the IBD community.

Here are just a few examples of how the Young Professionals Committee brought their mission to life:

  • Read ridiculous questions that people with IBD are asked. This brought an element of humor and education to the event.
  • Incorporated a social media challenge. The Young Professionals Committee put together a video Montage answering the question “Why I step up for IBD” and asked viewers to share their response on social media using #StepUp4IBD.
  • Personalized messages to the honorees. Family and friends of the event’s two honorees provided video messages about the impact they’ve made on the IBD community and the team was able to easily incorporate it in the live event.
  • Utilized an emcee who was close the cause. JC Monahan, Boston News Anchor was the emcee for the event and opened up about her experience with IBD – which helped bring the mission to the center of the event throughout the entire night.

The combination of powerful mission moments and easy giving was key to the team’s success. With the OneCause Virtual Event Center, the live streamed video and the donation process are all on one screen – making it easy for supporters to donate when they feel their heartstrings pulled during the event.

“It’s extremely important, as a fundraiser, to have that donate button there. When that guest feels that emotional pull to make that gift, you want them to easily be able to make that gift right away,” said Recuppi.

Impactful Fund-a-need

Because the OneCause Virtual Event Center combines the power of pre-recorded and live video, the Crohn’s & Colitis Young Professionals Committee was able to accomplish a live and awe-inspiring fund-a-need to drive impact for the mission.

The live appeal included a pre-recorded video at each of fundraising level – starting at $5,000 and ending at $100. At each level, a committee member would describe the impact that that level of donation could have on the organization, put the need into human terms, or highlight a supporter who made a generous donation at that level.

The best part? Guests were able to experience this portion of the event all in one place, staying on one screen while watching the programming and donating in the same place.

“My favorite thing about the virtual event center is that everything is in the exact same place. Your silent auction is right below the place where your video is playing, which is right below your thermometer and donate button. Your guests don’t have to go anywhere else to access what they need,” said Recuppi.

Results

Results

Armed with the power of the OneCause Virtual Event Center, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of New England fought to bring their mission to life in a virtual world – and their efforts were triumphant.

“It was an amazing experience. Because of how simple it was, we were able to hit our original, pre-pandemic, net revenue goal. Which we never thought would be possible,” said Recuppi.

Check out these results!

  • 44 action items
  • 333 registrants
  • 70 donations | $11,825 raised in donation appeal
  • $107,429 total proceeds

Connect with a Cause

To learn more about Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and support their cause, please visit their website.

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