Customer Stories

How SurfAids' first peer-to-peer campaign raised over 7x their goal!

SurfAid shares their tips for planning a successful peer-to-peer campaign with Raisely, after achieving 7x their fundraising goal in just 30 days.

SurfAid well and truly crushed it in their first virtual peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

Throughout September, SurfAid challenged supporters to surf every day for 30 days -  raising funds to bring clean water, healthcare and food security to families in remote surf communities.

Not only did they meet their original target - they raised a whopping 7x their fundraising goal in just 30 days!

What’s the opposite of a wipeout? This campaign was a total win.

Still riding high, Laura Casaceli, SurfAid's Marketing and Communications Manager, shared their story with us - demonstrating the power of community and genuine connection.

But first, what is SurfAid?  

The search for the perfect wave takes people all around the world.

We may only know of the famous beaches, but there are actually many remote surf communities - where there’s limited access to food, clean water and healthcare.

On a surf trip to Mentawai, Sumatra, SurfAid founder Dr. Dave Jenkins realised women and children were dying of preventable diseases.

For Dr. Jenkins, turning a blind eye was not an option. In 2000, Dr. Jenkins started SurfAid to improve the lives of people in remote surfing communities.

Makin’ waves (and an impact!)

In 2019 SurfAid reached more than 54,000 people living next to the world's most remote waves who struggle to access basic services like access to healthcare, clean water, sanitation and food security

Sadly, in 2020 the World Bank estimated eight million people in Indonesia fell back into poverty due to the economic shock of the pandemic.

The Make A Wave challenge aims to raise funds to support SurfAid’s programs in surf destinations places like the Mentawai islands where our support is needed more than ever.

In 2021, Surfers around the world truly came together.

With over 21 countries and 1200+ surfers involved, they raised a whopping $739,000 to support the SurfAid mission.

So, how did they do it?

Building community pre launch

You’ve got to ensure enough people are going to show up and that those attendees are invested. It’s important to count on the long-term friends as well as the newbies!

SurfAid has managed to build up a strong supporter base over 20 years. Many of these supporters have seen firsthand what it’s like for remote community members - they’ve seen the need in person.

The SurfAid Cup is the organisation’s more competitive fundraising campaign (geared towards competent surfers).

But SurfAid listened to its audience and realised that people were looking for more ways to get involved - particularly outside of the exclusivity of this competition.

“We knew a lot of our supporters wanted to do something to support SurfAid but none of the current offerings were appropriate.”

Enter, the Make A Wave campaign: the pressure is off and skill level isn’t set, anyone with access to a surfboard can join.

Make A Wave is also tapping into something the audience already loves. Our community considers surfing part of their DNA.

So, for SurfAid supporters, taking part in the 30-day challenge was an easy decision to do something they loved for a cause close to their heart

Nurturing supporters

People love to be acknowledged and feel valued.

Steering clear of a one-size-fits-all-approach, SurfAid took particular notice of where their community was showing up.

Speaking to them in the places that were important to them (as opposed to what was a convenient medium), they kept their momentum going. They looked to multiple channels to deliver touch-points and made sure everyone felt valued.

They engaged with every participant who shared the challenge on their social media - connecting personally to encourage them on their journey.

By giving their audience a lot of love, they saw a high activation rate with enthusiastic participation from everyone involved.

So, what’s SurfAid’s hottest tip for fundraising best practice?

Respond to everything - no matter how big or small the engagement.

Activation + community connection

To host a successful party, people probably need to know who you are.

In other words, if you’re encouraging participation in a fundraising event, brand activations and relevant partnerships are key.

SurfAid focused on participant motivation, paying attention to the interests of their core demographic.

They also found a vital partnership in Billabong, which positioned them alongside a leading surf brand with strong brand recognition within the target audience.

“Surfing is at the heart of what we do, so any of the partnerships we consider must also share our deep love of surfing and giving back.

By developing a simple, streamlined challenge we were able to leverage a niche community that’s really aligned with our cause - and give our challenge credibility and authenticity in the market."

SurfAid achieved tubular targets - and you can too!

What ties all of these ingredients together is a well-oiled online platform (peer-to-peer and otherwise) and this is Raisely’s jam.

Not to brag. But, it definitely helped SurfAid!

“Without having a strong platform in Raisely our campaign wouldn’t have been possible. We built our campaign website internally and the support team at Raisely were invaluable at helping us to produce a functional and best practice page.”

Just like SurfAid made their fundraising fun and functional, you can too through our platform’s services (retargeting those potential supporters who didn’t complete registration, general high fives and cheer squad moments, etc.).

If you want to get gnarly, get Raisely.

Book a demo with us today.

Ready to create your
next campaign?

EmJ Anderson
EmJ Anderson
Sydney, Australia

Co-founder and senior writer at Pencil + Crown. Experienced copywriter and workplace wordsmith, EmJ brings her love affair with language to every task.

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