One of the best things we get to do at CanadaHelps is meet up with our charity clients. This past week, we had an awesome opportunity to do just that on beautiful Wasan Island in Ontario’s Muskoka region. With the support of the BMW and Breuninger Foundations, we teamed up with our friends at Timeraiser Plus and gave ourselves a challenge: to give one small charity a digital makeover, increasing their digital capacity by 50% in just 48 hours.
Could we do it? With the help of some awesome volunteers – experts in marketing & communication, online fundraising, databases, internal systems, and more – and a beautiful setting large enough to accommodate a collaborative work project of this scale, we were pretty sure we could. But we needed the right group of hardworking, open-minded people who were looking to harness the power of technology so they could spend less time on administration and inefficient systems, and spend more time carrying out their charitable mission.
In the early summer, we sent out an open call to small and medium-sized charities. More than 50 charities applied, but in the end, only one could be chosen. Connected in Motion is a Toronto-based charity run by a small staff and a ton of dedicated volunteers. The only organization in Canada dedicated to supporting adults living with Type 1 Diabetes, they host outdoor adventure weekends for adults of all activity levels that empower people living with Type 1 Diabetes to safely incorporate healthy living, exercise and outdoor adventure into their lives. Their focus on building community through active living means that no one living with Type 1 Diabetes has to manage their illness on their own.
The Connected in Motion team had tons of great content and strategy in place, but, like many small charities, were short on time to evaluate the technology they were using to figure out how they could be doing things more efficiently. That’s where our amazing group of volunteers came in…
What did we accomplish in 48 hours?
- A beautiful new CanadaHelps profile page that packs a lot of punch with pictures, videos, testimonials, a campaign page to support outreach to diabetes clinics, and a customized donation form for their website. Plus, a few new fundraising campaign ideas.
- A new database system designed for Connected in Motion’s specific needs thanks to a superstar team of volunteers from Salesforce!
- A new and efficient digital File Management system with every file easy to locate and in its place (Way to go, Box).
- Timeraiser Plus conducted an audit of Connected in Motion’s website and digital tools and created a plan that will help this small charity work more efficiently going forward. They built new Budget and Reporting templates, and completed all the preliminary work for a new and easy to navigate WordPress Website (Timeraiser, you’re awesome!)
- New fundraising ideas, and a built-out digital marketing strategy.
Why was it on an island?
What would happen if you brought together a group of people that had a goal of working on complex issues, put them in a natural setting free of the distractions and competing priorities of their offices and everyday lives, and created an atmosphere of community and innovation? The BMW Foundation imagines great things can happen, which is why they put together “Impact Summers.” We were grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the first summer on the island.
To demonstrate all the great work that happened on the island, we filmed the whole event. Keep your eye out for the video – coming soon! In the meantime, have a look at Connected in Motion’s beautiful new CanadaHelps profile page.
Here is the video, which captures our time on Wasan Island!