How Better Community Engagement Led to This EXTREME Fundraising Event
Kivi Leroux Miller, Founder and CEO
This is definitely not your average fundraising event! See what happened when the Millionair Club Charity made a stronger effort to get out in the community to meet new people and form a wider diversity of relationships. ~Kivi
In the early morning of August 11, 2013, Seattle businessman Larry Kaminer volunteered his time to our non-profit, the Millionair Club Charity, in a very peculiar way.
He jumped 30,170 feet out of an airplane.
That’s right. 30,000 feet is the typical cruising altitude of commercial airplanes. Known as a H.A.L.O. jump (high altitude, low opening), only about 130 civilians have ever completed this military-style tandem sky dive jump before. Larry wanted to help us raise funds by drawing attention to our small, Seattle-based charity through this daring jump.
So how did we come upon this unique opportunity?
First, let me introduce ourselves. We are the Millionair Club Charity, a 92-year-old nonprofit that helps rebuild the lives of men and women in the greater Seattle area who are experiencing homelessness and unemployment by providing jobs, meals and other wrap-around services. Despite our funny name, we’re not a rich person’s club by any stretch of the imagination!
This exceptional opportunity came our way when one of our Major Gift Officers brought to our attention that a long-time colleague of hers was interested in jumping out of an airplane for charity. Larry wanted to do this as part of his personal bucket list, so when he approached us and suggested he do it as a fundraiser, we thought to ourselves, “Why not?”
We needed to set a fundraising goal for the jump, so we decided to aim high and try to raise $30,000 – or one dollar for every vertical foot Larry would fall. After building up as much internal and social media buzz as we could, Larry successfully made his jump over the skies of Memphis, Tenn. with the Millionair Club Charity logo proudly blazed across his helmet. As of today we’ve generated $28,632, just shy of our goal.
His entire jump was video recorded and can be seen below. Even a month later, we still plan to use this amazing footage to inspire future giving. This gentleman leaped out of an airplane to help people in need. What can you do?
The lesson learned is that you never know who is out there in your community. Within mere miles of your nonprofit, there could be countless philanthropic-minded people who are willing to give their talents, time or dare-devil attitude to your organization.
This is what happened when we put ourselves in front of a new circle of people. While it’s not expected that someone in your community will be willing to jump out of airplane for charity, somewhere out there is someone with a big heart and the eager willingness to help you impact the world.
Tim Takechi is the Marketing/Communications Coordinator at the Millionair Club Charity. He is privileged to be working at one of Seattle’s most respected and oldest charity organizations and is willing to do whatever is necessary to help the cause – except jump out of an airplane, or course. You can learn more about his organization on Facebook and following them on Twitter at @millionair_club.
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