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In 2014, the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation hosted their 5th Annual Los Angeles Hope, Steps & A Cure 5K Run/Walk. The walk was organized to raise awareness about bone marrow failure disease as well as funds for AA&MDSIF. 


Reaching affected patients, their families, and friends is a challenge, and AA&MDSIF found that managing the event required either a lot of data entry or a very complicated platform that charged high processing fees.

Since 2011, AA&MDSIF Los Angeles has used Salsa's peer to peer platform (Formerly under DonorPro FriendRaising) to promote grassroots fundraising among supporters of those affected by this disease. The event growth has been astonishing.


Cause Awareness

The 2014 AA&MDSIF 5K took place along the marina at Long Beach, CA. The race was followed by a long walk along the shoreline. Pictures, inspirational remarks, recognitions, a silent auction, and lunch rounded out the day.

The event was preceded by a grassroots fundraising campaign. As with most grassroots campaigns, the challenge for AA&MDSIF was to continually encourage registrants to fundraise by emailing their personal fundraising page link to their network of family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Some supporters still weren’t comfortable doing this because they either weren’t computer savvy or they were hesitant to ask people for money. Another challenge was getting the word of the event out to the larger community of Los Angeles, beyond the patient and family network.  AA&MDSIF overcame these challenges by gently encouraging registrants to fundraise, giving them the wording they needed to help them write emails, and we worked on spreading the word through social media and online community calendars.


Save Time and Money

All of the supporters had personal fundraising pages that pointed back to the AA&MDSIF event microsite. The microsite included tabs on walk information, 5K information, volunteer opportunities, information on AA&MDSIF, a sponsorship page, and FAQs.  Through this site, they were able to provide registrants an easy, one-stop shopping place to learn all about program details, silent auction offerings, celebrity starters, stories about committee members, and much more.  It was a very robust microsite, enabling registrants to learn about the event as well as register and fundraise. 

CRM Integration

The integration between the peer to peer platform and nonprofit CRM saved AA&MDSIF considerable time and money. By using a peer-to-peer fundraising platform that integrates with their CRM, data on registrants and donors, as well as donations, were seamlessly transferred to the CRM. Time was saved with less data entry, and money was saved by not having to pay exorbitant processing fees.

Event Success

Over 280 walkers and runners, 21 teams, more than 50 volunteers, and 14 committee members participated in the event – raising nearly $42,000.

Since 2011, AA&MDSIF has used used FriendRaising for their Los Angeles 5K and walk.  In that time, donations have increased by 121%, the number of participants is up by 87%, and the number of teams has increased by 110%.