July 28, 2011

Facebook fans lead to big donation

Division III Otterbein recently hosted a Lauren's First and Goal camp for 400 athletes from 14 states. 
Otterbein athletics photo 

Following up on a successful social media experiment with the #whyd3 discussion on Twitter, D3sports.com decided to do something on Facebook. How many Facebook likes could we get for D3football.com in a 24-hour period? We made one simple announcement on Facebook and Twitter that we would donate $1 to charity for every new Facebook fan.

Turns out the number was quite large. We launched the 24-hour campaign on Tuesday afternoon with 2,340 Facebook fans and finished with 4,874. And the beneficiary of your $2,534 effort was the Lauren's First and Goal Foundation, which supports brain tumor research and is a charity supported by many Division III football coaches, as Ryan Tipps wrote last fall.

Division III schools were already sharing our message and retweeting it, to the tune of 200 new fans in 90 minutes. But when LFG found out and reached out to its network, the campaign took off.

"Twitter is where I first saw mention of D3football.com's campaign and already a handful of people had started to retweet and spread the word," said Alison Wenger, Public Relations Director for Lauren's First and Goal. "I posted to our Twitter account and Facebook page to help reach our network of supporters. We also reached out by email to more than 2,000 coaches and another 2,000 high school players that have attended our camps. The response was overwhelming and we are so grateful to everyone who made this such a success."

In the end, both organizations continue to benefit from the campaign, with D3football.com surging past 5,100 fans and Lauren's First and Goal adding about 100 fans as well.

"We want to thank D3football.com for choosing Lauren's First and Goal," Wenger said. "A donation like this will truly help us continue our mission of supporting pediatric brain tumor research and pediatric cancer services, and assisting families in need."

"We couldn't have anticipated such a response," said Pat Coleman, executive editor of D3sports.com. "We're glad to support such a worthy cause and glad that so many Division III football coaches give of their time to support Lauren's First and Goal as well. It shows how well Division III athletics programs develop character and leadership skills in student-athletes when they are led by such generous people."

The foundation was started in 2004 by John and Marianne Loose in honor of their daughter, Lauren, a 14-year-old pediatric brain tumor survivor. Since its inception, LFG has raised more than $1 million toward its mission to provide financial support for brain tumor research and cancer services, to offer financial and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer, and to increase awareness of the disease.

Donations to Lauren's First and Goal can be made online through Paypal or by mailing a check directly to the foundation at the address below.

Lauren's First and Goal Foundation, Inc. 
689 Gates Street 
Easton, PA 18040

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