Sometimes, New Ideas Run Right Into You (And Lick Your Face)
It’s often hard to come up with new fundraising and cause-marketing ideas, especially something that will capture the hearts of would-be donors. If you are lucky, a good idea will find you. If you are really lucky, it will have a happy face and a wagging tail.
A friend of mine recently posted the story of Dozer the “marathon dog” on Facebook. My love of cause-marketing, running and animals kicked in, and I couldn’t resist sharing it on my pages and took delight when others did the same. This is a great story – one that warms the heart and inspires people to give. And it happened by accident.
During the Maryland Half Marathon that benefits the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, a Goldendoodle left his yard and decided to run with participants — some eight miles — all the way to the finish line (and then found his way home). Runners had various reactions to seeing the pooch happily prancing alongside them but Dozer managed to raise a smile on just about everyone.
That’s not all he raised. Once the story unfolded, so did the idea to create a fundraising page for Dozer. His donations have totalled over $44K, topping any two-legged fundraiser who has participated in the annual race. And, even though Dozer’s surprise run took place in 2011, the fundraising page is still active and is still raising money today. His most recent supporters include “Hal the Great Dane from Saint Louis” and “Curly the Canadian Running Dog.” Dozer even has a Facebook page: Dozer The Dog’s Fan Page.
This is a plain-and-simple-feel-good story that captivated a community. Dozer also received some publicity from the likes of ESPN and ABC News. And even though I am seeing and reacting to this well after the initial hype, I find it relevant and important to anyone working in the cause-marketing and/or charity space. Sometimes, ideas just appear seemingly out of nowhere, and it’s a good thing to try something new. As you know, in marketing we often call this a “test,” which does not sound as fun as creating a Web and social media presence for a dog.
Dozer will never realize the true impact of his journey. Or how he helps a local charity raise much-needed funds for cancer patients. But, he had a lot of fun that day. And he tried something new and gave it his all. Those are good lessons for us all. Make your charity events fun and memorable. Here’s hoping a new idea wags your way.