Massachusetts-based charity Dream Day on Cape Cod has the mission to provide respite to families who have a child with a serious or life-threatening illness. The charity brings these families to Cape Cod free of charge, and gives them the opportunity to participate in typical camp life with activities like canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, water sports, and campfires. Dream Day on Cape Cod is one of the more unique of these charities as they focus on the entire family, not just the child, thereby providing an experience for a family to bond and forget about their troubles.

Dream Day on Cape Cod runs a number of fundraisers to help with support, including the Falmouth Road Race, Tour da Cape, the Paul DeMeo Memorial Motorcycle Run, an annual golf tournament, and other annual campaigns. Plus, they aren’t stopping there – in 2018 they’ll be adding a major capital campaign plus a second annual campaign to target increased sustained giving.

In order to keep their eye on the prize, Dream Day on Cape Cod needs to stay growing and evolving to best suit their donors both longtime and prospective. By using Panorama by FrontStream’s peer-to-peer fundraising solutions, they’ve managed to grow their programs with the support of their base.

Says Tracey O’Connell Sperry, Executive Director of Dream Day on Cape Cod, “In 2017, we were able to significantly expand our program by adding a whole week to our camp season. This was made possible by our successful online annual campaign ever – revenues generated online represented over 60% of the entire campaign.”

Of course, creativity plays a huge part in coming up with engaging campaigns as well. “In 2017 we had a tree fall on our camp truck rendering it unusable,” O’Connell Sperry recalls. “I immediately thought of the opportunity this might provide to raise awareness and funds for Dream Day. Within hours of the incident I put photos up of the damage on social media (including news sites) and created a campaign in FirstGiving [now Panorama]. Within two days, the Cape Cod Times ran an article and NBC Boston and CBS Boston came to camp to do a live feed. Our fundraiser link was broadcast as well. This campaign resulted in revenues of $15,000 in one week and a significant increase in awareness of the organization.”

Another area of strength for the charity is the work they put into networking with their donors. They consider their current donors to be their “marketing force” and are careful to follow up with every new donor as well. They provide fundraisers of all levels with tools for success and constant communication to help them make the most of their efforts. Continuous motivation is key!

What else can your nonprofit or charity learn from Dream Day on Cape Cod’s success with Panorama’s fundraising solutions? O’Connell Sperry has got three big lessons for you:

  • Be creative! Be sure to post an impactful story and use videos whenever possible! Highlight either a story from a program recipient, volunteer or other stakeholder rather than staff.
  • Panorama’s peer-to-peer-fundraising can be used for even the simplest campaigns, even if it is not a P2P opportunity. It’s great just as a donation page for the organization.
  • Guide your fundraisers through the process and communicate with them often. Help them set realistic goals.

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