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Ronald McDonald House Charities is focused on helping families find strength in numbers through a network of local Chapters throughout the world.

It’s something RMHC sees every day – children healing because their families surround them. And while RMHC may not be able to make the medicine taste better or erase the pain of a much-needed treatment, they do help lessen the burden for nearly nine million families each and every year.

Their network of local Chapters have been making children happier and healthier by keeping families together – giving them a place to rest and refresh – a place that feels like home. These programs, tailored to meet the urgent needs of each community, can now be found in more than 62 countries and regions across the globe.

Since 1980, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego has provided a “home away from home” to families pursuing essential pediatric treatments at San Diego hospitals.

Empowering Fans

For several years, this mission has motivated NFL quarterback, Philip Rivers, and local reporter, Kevin Acee, to pledge $1 per passing yard thrown by Rivers. In 2013, their pledges raised $8,956 for Ronald McDonald House of San Diego.

In 2014, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego decided to use PledgeIt.com in order to reach the Charger nation. Their goal was to launch a public fundraising campaign where Charger fans could participate along Philip and Kevin by pledging between $0.10-$1.00 for every passing yard Philip recorded.

Simply by making their fundraising campaign public, RMHCSD raised $106,966! This staggering result was only possible because RMHCSD empowered fans to equally participate in the fundraising campaign along with Philip and Kevin.

You can view the campaign here: pledgeit.com/passiton.

“PledgeIt has the technology to make fundraising fast and easy, and makes watching the game each week more fun!” Cheryl Haritatos, Community Manager at Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego

Creating Loyalty

Since RMHCSD made their campaign engaging to loyal Chargers fans, they were able to increase their fundraising efforts by over 1000% from 2013 to 2014. But how did RMHCSD create loyalty?

Sports fans are one of the best groups of people to target as a charity or social enterprise due to their loyalty. Fan loyalty continues even if the team or player that the fan supports continues to perform poorly year after year.

Psychologists attribute three factors to creating loyalty: Entertainment Value, Fan Bonding, and Group Affiliation. The entertainment value that a fan derives from spectating motivates him/her to remain a loyal fan. Entertainment value of team sports is also valuable to communities in general. Fan bonding is where a fan bonds with the players, identifying with them as individuals, and bonds with the team. Group affiliation is when fans receive personal validation of their support for a team from being surrounded by a group of fans that also support the same team.

The power of performance-based fundraising allows any charity the ability to create loyalty with fans who they otherwise might not engage with.

Investing in Performance

That said, how did creating loyalty translate into fans giving more than the average online donation though?

Fans ability to pledge instead of making a one-time donation resulted in fans pledging 2x more than the average one-time donation. Simply put, fans were willing to pledge more because they felt more invested in the cause, experience, and players performance.

Do you have a relationship with a professional athlete and don’t know how to leverage it? Are you having trouble creating loyalty with your donors?

Contact us at info@pledgeit.org and we’ll help you!