FOSTERING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE POWER OF MILES
Run, walk, bike, roll, hand cycle, push assist. How one organization leveraged Kilter’s annual Miles For Meaning event to engage 150 new supporters who logged 23,000+ miles to help them fundraise $40,000 in just one month.
By: Seth Braddock, CEO & Founder at Kilter
“We've never had this many people come to one of our events before,” said Ian Hockley, founder of Dylan's Wings Of Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the memory of his son, Dylan, who was tragically killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012. “And to win the [$25,000] first prize and just see the incredible community that was built up around it told us that Kilter was something special.”
At Kilter, we decided to create Miles For Meaning™, a 31-day distance based challenge each March for charities and brands to unlock big donations for their favorite causes based on the miles they log. This initiative originated out of the cancellation of the marathons during the height of COVID and set up with an initial goal to help charities who were impacted by the inability to engage their fundraisers. Now heading into our 2nd year, this signature event will provide charities and brands of all sizes from all over the place with a unique opportunity to engage their communities wherever they are today to come together around a collective goal.
When I spoke with Ian after our inaugural event this past March, his sentiment for how this changed the trajectory and shape for how he thinks about community and fundraising engagement nearly brought me to tears. That was the first moment where I truly felt just how powerful Kilter can be for an organization seeking to find the best ways to resonate with and grow a community of passionate followers.
Ian also shared that in the years prior to Miles For Meaning, Dylan’s Wings of Change saw an average of 20-40 people attending their fundraising events. Using Kilter and Miles For Meaning, Ian was able to rally a community of 280 supporters, 150 of whom were completely new to the Dylan’s Wings of Change mission. Listen here.
I also think it’s important to share that this event is not just about the competitive physical fitness component to see who can go the furthest. That’s definitely a part of it, but it’s more about helping our partners foster community in a way that was previously really difficult. In the case of Dylan's Wings of Change, not only did they win $25,000 but their community raised an extra $15,000, resulting in a fundraising total of $40,000 for the month.
We all know that today, charities and brands are challenged with a new problem to reach their people and engage them in a remote-dominated world. That’s why we built Kilter and our events like Miles For Meaning to provide our partners, both charity and corporate, something they can easily utilize to reach people wherever they are today, in the most inclusive way, to create a deeper sense of community. It just so happens that we deliver these results through the promotion of everyday health, wellness & lifestyle activities, and charitable impact.
What Ian Hockley was able to do for Dylan’s Wings of Change in March, 2021 is proof to everyone out there that it is not only possible to build a stronger, farther reaching community than you’ve ever had before in an online world, but also critical if you believe that having a strong community is a key factor in driving a more meaningful impact on your business goals.
As we gear up for Miles For Meaning™ 2022 this coming March, Ian and I invite and challenge charities and brands of all sizes to see for themselves just how powerful this can be.
Think you have what it takes to keep up with, and maybe even dethrone, the Dylan’s Wings of Change collective? Register your team here.
I’m looking forward to donating my hustle alongside you on the leaderboards in a couple months.