British Red Cross

Blackbaud Digital Services helps British Red Cross create successful virtual event Miles for Refugees

The British Red Cross helps millions of people in the UK and around the world get the support they need if crisis strikes. Maddy Janes, Mass Participation Manager and Product Manager for the Miles for Refugees virtual event explains how it grew over three years, from 177 registrations and £28,000 total profit in Year 1, to over 2,200 registrations and a total profit of £285,000 by harnessing the power of digital through a microsite and behavioural communications.

Q: Why did you choose to partner with Blackbaud?

A: We partnered with Blackbaud because we felt confident that by working with them we could create a successful virtual event that really represented us. This was our first virtual event, at a time when many of the flagship charities were already doing them, so a lot of research was undertaken to analyse how other charities had created success with theirs. Our biggest concern was around recruiting participants, but we had confidence that Blackbaud’s expertise in supporting virtual events would create a high level of engagement. We decided that partnering with Blackbaud and their in-house digital team was the best way to create the digital supporter experience that we needed to ensure success.

Q: How did the Blackbaud Digital Services team help you succeed?

A: We couldn’t have done it without the Blackbaud Digital Team. What’s amazing about working with them is that we came up with the original idea and fundraising concept, and they just ran with it—which helped us bring it all to life. We weren’t worried about the operations of how it would work; we were reassured that Blackbaud had worked on projects like this so many times before with a variety of different charities. It was great going into the partnership with a high level of confidence, knowing you have this amazing platform that any charity can easily plug into and the expertise to help achieve the participant engagement needed.

The ease of reporting the progress of Miles for Refugees using live data throughout the campaign was another huge reason for its success. A significant amount of resource was put behind the campaign, so being able to report in real-time and be reactive as the campaign progressed and being able to make strategic decisions that kept the event engaging for our supporters were both important. Seeing in real-time that it was going to raise significant funds for the charity was also hugely important in driving internal engagement.

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