As noted in last week’s blog, my primary goal for this internship is organizing a Kidney Walk for HMG by increasing community outreach to ensure a large participation in the walk itself. After being assigned the task of brainstorming ideas on ways to boost donations within both the company and community, I began to personally reflect on previous fundraisers I have been involved in and what characteristics were special to them. I immediately found myself thinking about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which I am very involved with as a member of Tri Delta. Each year, every chapter of Tri Delta sets a goal for their specific chapter to raise throughout the year. This year, the University of Richmond’s chapter set a goal of $50,000, which we have nearly reached. I find that this is due primarily to the fact that St. Jude releases statistics on exactly where every donation goes toward. On their website, they have a page that is easily accessible titled “How your donation makes an impact” (https://www.stjude.org/get-involved/other-ways/st-jude-thanks-and-giving/impact-of-donations.html). On this page and in the emails the donors receive after their contributions, exact statistics of the costs of treatments for patients are available, which allows the donor to both see where their contribution is going and feel confident their donation will be used effectively.
With this in mind, I found this same situation would be greatly beneficial to be used in the Kidney Walk and for the National Kidney Foundation itself. I find this transparency is key to a successful fundraiser, and thus suggested it as a solution on how to access more community involvement. On the website for St. Jude, a donor is able to easily see the how $10 would pay for a new play area toy while at the same time how $250 covers the cost of one red blood cell transfusion (https://www.stjude.org/get-involved/other-ways/st-jude-thanks-and-giving/impact-of-donations.html). With these statistics in mind, I immediately emailed our regional representative for the National Kidney Foundation to access the figures to put in an email or on HMG’s website. This was the most interesting part of the brainstorming session, however, because she did not have the data on hand. In her email, she explained, “I don’t know why, but they’ve never put that together for our use at the walk but we often put them together locally.” I found it intriguing that a walk so well-known nationally has never bothered to put these statistics together for their patrons and patients, but perhaps this is because there has never been the need to. With this in mind, I felt proud that I was able to implement an idea from previous fundraisers into my work with HMG, that I was able to contribute past experiences to present ones. Once received, I know these statistics will be extremely useful in contribution transparency, and thus highly beneficial to the overall fundraising for the Kidney Walk.