Event fundraising insights from "Hustle Up the Hancock"


Joel Africk, President & CEO of Respiratory Health Association, joined us at last week's FrontStream Philanthropy Solutions Conference to tell us all about the organization's major event, Hustle Up the Hancock.


Before exploring the event, he shared with us some of the key challenges nonprofits are facing today. In this economic climate, corporations aren't able to offer as much support as they had in the past. Event costs continue to rise, and the rising number of popular fundraising events has led to donor and participant fatigue.

According to Joel Africk, it has been online fundraising that has helped the Respiratory Health Association overcome these challenges. With a platform like FrontStream's enterprise fundraising system, any nonprofit can look like a major organization - and fundraise like one too!

Respiratory Health Association's signature Hustle Up the Hancock event offers participants - 4,000 of them in 2014 - a chance to climb the 94-floor John Hancock Center in Chicago. The annual event has been held 17 times, and has generated over $1 million in each of the past eight years.

How did Hustle Up the Hancock climb to such great heights? We got some tips directly from Joel Africk!

  • Participants are always encouraged to self-donate, which signals to potential donors that the fundraiser is truly passionate about the cause.
  • Respiratory Health advises fundraisers to start by asking those they expect will give the highest values. That way, large amounts will appear in the donor scroll and motivate those who you ask next to make similar donations.
  • A Facebook presence for events and campaigns is crucial. Nowadays, Facebook is the best, and sometimes only, way to reach potential supporters and donors.
  • Respiratory Health's mobile fundraising app, powered by FrontStream, really works. In the last year, mobile app-spurred donations increased from 6.5% to 10%.

Thanks again to Joel Africk for joining us at the FrontStream Philanthropy Solutions Conference!


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