In this video, Maria from the Movement Shop and Ashley from two Pure Barre franchises - the co-founders of the Move 4 Masks Givebutter 2-day virtual endurance event - share how they raised $10k (just over their fundraising goal!) to donate surgical masks to a local hospital in Minnesota. They also share:

  • Why they started fundraising for the first time EVER
  • How they surpassed their goal of $10k on Givebuttter
  • What made their virtual event campaign so successful (Hint: teamwork!)
  • Virtual endurance events - tips and tricks, lessons learned
“I researched a lot of platforms like GoFundMe and Eventbrite… I wanted a platform that combined the two, where you could donate AND sell tickets to. The only one that I could find that merged the two was Givebutter. I also wanted one where you could really personalize it... the fees for Givebutter was less than anybody else I could find. It was really important to Ashley and I that everything went to our cause.”

Did I mention that they pulled this campaign off in two-weeks?

Campaign at a glance

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Full video script

Rachel: Hey everyone! Rachel here with Givebutter. And today’s success story is going to feature a virtual endurance event. I have here with me Maria and Ashley - and they are representing a campaign that went live on Givebutter about a month ago called Move 4 Masks, which was a collaborative effort of the fitness community in Minneapolis that got together for a 2-day virtual endurance event to raise funds for masks for a local hospital. If you’re watching this and you’re interested in doing an endurance event, whether you’re currently in one, whether you’re a charity or a business - I think that you’re going to gain a lot from their insights if you keep watching. They’re also going to share what inspired them to do this campaign, why they chose Givebutter, what made it so successful, and top tips and tricks so we can all walk away and make our endurance events even better. So, Maria, Ashley, welcome! Thank you for joining us.

Maria: Thank you!

Ashley: Thanks for having us.

Rachel: To start, could both of you introduce yourselves and what your role was in this campaign?

Maria: I’m Maria Silver and I’m the owner of the Movement shop. I was in charge of the techy side and giving the funds over to North Memorial (hospital). Just figuring out how to wire it and stuff like that.

Ashley: My name is Ashley and I own two Pure Barre franchises - Pure Barre Apple Valley and Pure Barre Eagan - and I was primarily in charge of social media, branding, all of the images that we shared. I created our breakdown for our meetings and stuff like that with our instructors.

Rachel: Ashley, let’s start with what inspired you. I want to know the backstory behind this campaign.

Ashley: Yeah, well, just like most fitness studio owners I had to shut my doors to both my studios. Actually, I was set to open my Pure Barre Eagan studio the week that everything had to shut down here in Minneapolis. And I was going through a huge funk, feeling kind of helpless because I personally couldn’t give to my community like with money. It just hit me one day that I wanted to do something more. I was chatting with Maria and we came up with Move 4 Masks. And we just collaborated to make it what it became.

Rachel: That is really inspiring. I think you’re definitely not alone in feeling a funk in a time like this. And I also know that there are many other business owners that have kind of got out of the funk by being generous and turning towards giving back. So thank you for sharing that. I know I’m inspired and others who were watching will be from that. So what made you choose Givebutter to make this Move 4 Masks campaign come together, Ashley? Maria! I think you were gonna touch base on that part, right?

Maria: Yeah, so I’ve never done anything like this! But I researched a lot of platforms like GoFundMe and Eventbrite… I wanted a platform that combined the two, where you could donate AND sell tickets to. The only one that I could find that merged the two was Givebutter. I also wanted one where you could really personalize it. So part of our campaign was - you had tiers of tickets. So you could buy 1 ticket just for the virtual workout, second tier you could buy a ticket and a bag, third ticket - bag, shirt, and workout, and the fourth one was a private workout with Ashley with barre, shirt, bag, and workout. No other place you could kind of tier your tickets. When I reached out with the Givebutter chat feature, I asked if even within the tiers if we could let people choose their size and shipping address. And they turned it around in like an hour. It was amazing. I was having trouble figuring out how I was going to get this information from everybody. The fees for Givebutter was less than anybody else I could find. It was really important to Ashley and I that everything went to our cause. All the swag was donated by Ashley and I. The only thing we wanted taken out of those fees were credit card fees. Which actually worked well because most of our supporters paid for the credit card fees and covered them. So it worked out well on all fronts. That’s why we chose Givebutter.

Rachel: Okay, awesome. So what I hear you saying is: it had the tiers that you were looking for (which made it easy), it was adaptable (you were able to make the changes you needed quickly), and then the fees were low (so it was affordable for you to give back as much as possible).

Maria: Yes!

Rachel: Okay, so I want to know: how did you crush your fundraising goal? You had a goal of ten thousand and you raised a little more than that. So, what made it so successful? And either of you can speak to that. I’m gonna go ahead and share my screen so that people can see what your campaign looks like.

Ashley: I think honestly, Maria and I work really well together. Personally I think having her on my team motivated me and got me excited to just keep working. I think the fact that we were working on something that really matters for our community - it was an easy thing to talk about and it was an easy thing to get people to sign up for. Because not only are they getting pretty much swag but all the money that they’re donating is going directly to the cause. So you’re getting something for doing something great for the community. I feel like it’s a win-win for everybody.

Maria: We wanted it to be - Ashley and I are really involved in the fitness community. Ashley owns a studio, I teach pilates. But we also realized that not everybody wants to do fitness like that. So what we decided to do was make it all encompassing… we had kids yoga, we had a meditation workshop, we had intentional energy… what else did we have? We had like all different things where you buy one ticket and you had access to the whole weekend and you can pick and choose to do whatever you want to do. Ashley had a great idea to be really strategic in who we choose to be as our teachers. Ashley - if you want to speak to how we decided who we choose…

Ashley: So we reached out to some of the biggest leaders in our community as for fitness studios. Also people who have a big following. The world of Doug - he has 20k followers and he’s known outside of the Minneapolis area… same with… we had some of the best fitness studios like we said. All of these fitness studios have communities and their communities rallied with them… that was the coolest thing. So we created within Move 4 Masks if you could scroll down… what team raised what amount of money - which was really neat - oh, it’s not showing that….

Maria: That’s another reason we choose Givebutter because of the teams! We made it like a contest.

Ashley: We also did a contest. The studio or instructor that sold the most tickets or raised the most money got - what was the prize again, Maria?

Maria: Well, so we had one photographer donate headshots to these people - because we wanted to give them something that was important - so, a professional headshot to one of them. When it’s socially-appropriate, a massage. We had a chiropractor donate some tape, stuff like that, protein powder. We also - Ashley and I also feel like it’s important that you should be paid for your time even if this is a donation-based. We wanted to make it worth their while. Not only did we choose people who have Instagram or Facebook followers. There’s a lot of underground people who have followers… 330 stretch and release… so she may not be super active on Instagram, but just personally I know that there’s a lot of people who take her classes or do private pilates with her. We wanted it to be all age groups, all body types, inclusive for everybody just to make sure the reach was expanded.

Rachel: Mhm - these are excellent tips! I think what you guys are pros at was building community. I even look to the Supporter Feed on the right hand side - some of the comments and the pictures that were mentioned and teams that were represented were so heartfelt. “My daughters emptied their piggy banks to donate!” I just thought that was the sweetest thing! So you can tell people were really, really engaged in this campaign and it’s because you thought about who you were reaching out to. And that’s a mistake people can sometimes make in team fundraising, thinking, “If I put up this page, people are gonna come.” But that’s simply not the case. You have to tell the story. You have to find good champions who are gonna lead their communities to share this page and donate. And you guys did that so well. What are some of your - go ahead -

Maria: Ashley had this idea - we should probably put what people are getting up there. Scroll down. We even put the swag that they’d be getting. Cause Ashley made the good point - if you see what you’re getting then that has more of an impact than just saying, “Hey, you're gonna get a shirt.” So we added that. Ashley, your customer service helped me do that, too. Cause I couldn’t figure out how to do that on my own. So I chat - in ten minutes they were like, “It’s up!” and I was like, “Oh! That’s awesome! Okay, thank you!”

Rachel: That’s awesome. I’m curious - do you guys have any lessons learned? Because this was your first time doing a fundraising event together like this - virtual fundraising. What are some key takeaways or lessons learned that you have?

Maria: One thing that I think we did really well is that we had Zoom meetings with everybody who participated: 30-minutes, Ashley wrote up the agenda, she did an amazing job of like screenshots of how to go to Facebook live, and literally how to go to Givebutter… and here’s your team name - making it really easy for people to spread the word, otherwise they won’t. Oh! Ashley also - all of the social that she did - she gave all of the instructors and everybody access to it. So all the pictures she made… anything on Instagram. So they were allowed to share post it on their pages as well. I don’t know if you want to talk about that at all Ashley.

Ashley: Yeah and I featured all of the instructors and tagged them. So like the further down you go, we - it was just a good way - and they were sharing it on their stories and on their page - it also included the community piece into it. And then we tried to go back to our purpose again and what that was going towards and how that was helping the medical professionals in our community.

Rachel: Mhm, absolutely.

Maria: And Ashley did a great job of branding it because it looks professional. It looks like a real thing to give money to. Sometimes you look at a fundraiser and think, “Is this really going to what it says it’s going to?”

Rachel: Right, right.

Maria: This branded Instagram page with consistent colors and consistent theme just made it seem like a real fundraiser to donate to.

Rachel: Mhm, I definitely agree with that. If you guys are up for it, I’d love to share this video - because I did watch it - of one of the healthcare workers that received masks -

Ashley: Yeah.

Maria: That was Ashley’s idea too, by the way! That was genius!

Rachel: I think so too.

Rachel: I could watch it again, but… so good!

Maria: And then one idea that Ashley had too for our opening day, we had a Dr. from North Memorial speak kind of like our - I don’t know - our opening sequence. So he talked about it. I think it just gave an air of - uh -

Ashley: That the money’s actually going to the hospital. That’s the thing. Sometimes you donate to something is going or what percentage of the money is going. We were very honest with everyone and talked about with pretty much everyone. All of the money other than the credit card fees are going directly to the fundraiser - to the hospital, excuse me.

Rachel: Exactly. So you were really focused on building credibility so people felt comfortable making a donation. Which I think is really, really smart. So those who are watching right now and reading and they are about to launch a virtual endurance event - what would be your word of encouragement to them?

Maria: Keep promoting it! For me, it feels like donations start trickling in… but then the week of WOO the donations started flying in!

Ashley: Yeah we - don’t give up on your goal! We’re both secretly in our heads like, “Are we gonna reach this goal?” How much did we raise that last week, Maria? We raised the majority of our funds in one week. It was insane!

Maria: And I was like really scared we were not gonna make it… but then all of the sudden, like Ashley said as soon as the week hit, it was like BOOM! And it just kept coming and coming and coming.

Ashley: And even the days that we had our event we didn’t expect anyone to donate them. People were donating them. Even people who already bought a ticket were donating more. We had some people give some very generous gifts. It was incredible! I cried!

Maria: Yeah, me too! One of the clients - she had already donated the highest tier package - we had posted that we were like $216 dollars away from ten thousand dollars. And I have a personal Facebook page and I posted that she commented, “Let’s fix that!” And Ashley and I both got the little notice that we had hit ten thousand. Like Ashley said, people donated even after they donated after seeing the momentum in the Facebook group page, it made them do it even more.

Ashley: And I think we made it really clear about our goal. We told them, “Even though this is a really scary goal” - that we didn’t think we were nervous we weren’t going to hit - “This is our goal! Help us reach our goal!” And people rallied. Especially when - even people that were a part of this event because they felt like they were a part of it and they were making a difference.

Maria: The biggest thing was just - we kept them engaged the entire weekend. We were both on the Facebook page the whole time, we posted, we had - I think someone had a little problem with their Facebook live so we did a little gift contest until we could get them back on. So there was really no dead air. Right Ashley? I mean I don’t think there was.

Ashley: Nope, no.

Rachel: Yeah, that’s a good tip. Well, thank you both for sharing not only your tips, tricks but for sharing your inspiration. Your story is amazing. For all the Givebutter community that is watching or reading, hear what they are saying: You can do it! You can do it. It might seem impossible. It might be really hard - it’s totally new. But it’s not impossible.

Maria: We had never done it before! We had never done it and we didn’t even know if we were gonna reach our goal and we raised more!

Rachel: Exactly! So I’m gonna link back your campaign to this case study. Please go check it out. Check out their social pages as well because they did an excellent job at: rallying their communities, communicating, communicating, communicating, branding consistently, messaging consistently, and at the end of the day, keeping the heart of their mission transparent and clear so that people felt comfortable to give. These are all really, really helpful tips, tricks, lessons learned that you guys were able to give today. We just thank you on behalf of Givebutter for offering that to our community. Thank you so much for joining us today and thank you for doing this! 

Maria/Ashley: Thank YOU!

View campaign: Move 4 Masks

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Rachel Mills

Rachel Mills

Givebutter Marketing & Contributing Writer

Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.

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