Getting the Special Appeal Right

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A successful special appeal is never an accident.

At Going Places With Ride Connection, the special appeal speaker, Marja, knocked their special appeal out of the park. But this success was only possible with a lot of hard work from many people

The first thing Ride Connection did impeccably? They found the perfect speaker. Marja was a perfect match for the event’s audience, telling the story of how Ride Connection changed her life. Marja is blind and lives in Salem but many of her medical appointments and errands are in Portland. This lead to her frustration and isolation as resources for these trips seemed non-existent. Enter Ride Connection, who taught her how to utilize mass transit in order to make the travel she depends on happen. The result? The assurance for Marja that she can do anything she wants and the confidence gained from having a life of freedom. She’s used what she’s learned and is now passing it along to everyone in her life.

Special Appeal speaker - Marja

Marja, the perfect example of a special appeal speaker, tells the story of how Ride Connection has changed her life

We advocate that our clients use a video, if they can, for their special appeal. It captures people’s attention and allows the organization to very specifically control the timing of the speaker and to keep them on script. But, often, resources can’t be stretched enough to make this sort of line item happen.

So Ride Connection did the next best thing. They worked directly with Marja, helping her write and edit her story. Marja practiced and practiced. The best part? No surprises at the event. Ride Connection knew exactly what was going to be said and when it would be said. And Marja did the best thing possible, she told her amazing story. She didn’t stray from her message. And at the end she actually ASKED for money from the crowd.

Which leads us to another way Ride Connection knocked it out of the park: they made their appeal active.Instead of envelopes lying limp on the table, this year they used a benefit auctioneer and bid cards, collecting their appeal that way. Active, accountable bidding yields more participation.

The result? An amazing growth in the number of donations for their special appeal, helping them hit their highest amount of money ever raised. One person, telling her story of transformation, with the organization presented as the change agent that made it happen. This combined with a tightly scripted, active appeal is a recipe for success.

A big congratulations to Ride Connection!

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