Help from Happily has just been really critical and amazing.
LEAP has been hosting an annual fundraising event for 25 years. As a non-profit they transform the lives of children and youth in 5 low-income neighborhoods throughout New Haven, CT. 100% of their funding comes from generous donations and long-term supporters.
The community work LEAP does is awe-inspiring. All-year round college and high school student counselors provide direct services and positive mentoring to local youth (95% of which are BIPOC). Tutoring, emotional support, swimming lessons, cooking classes, computer science and much more; all with the goal of getting these kids into college and into their first jobs, and, basically, just empowering them for the future.
And so when LEAP’s main fundraising push was in jeopardy in 2021 due to the pandemic, they were in need of a serious pivot to a virtual event. That’s where Happily came in - experts in virtual events (and pivoting). LEAP needed guidance to bring a beloved, social and community tentpole event into the virtual space to cap off their vital fundraising for the year. The goal was to raise $20,000 during the event, and LEAP was looking to Happily to help make that happen.
Happily collaborated with LEAP to bring to life a virtual event filled with conversations, connections, and community-building. Spanned across 2 evenings, the event kicked off with a 60-min live broadcast that acted as a “reception” to welcome all the guests and attendees. Immediately following were 13 individual ticketed breakout rooms - or “dinner parties” - that simultaneously ran via Zoom for 75 - 120 minutes. A final round of 3 breakout rooms concluded the event on a seperate evening.
Our team of backstage managers and show runners facilitated a schedule that allowed a seamless combination of live multiple guest speakers, pre-recorded video content, plus a live auction finale. Our creative team adapted LEAP’s brand identity into custom designed banners and graphics for a fully branded, professional and unified aesthetic. While our tech team built a UX/UI that allowed for a smooth journey for guests from the “reception" into their reserved “dinner parties”.
Social interaction was a priority and we curated a vibrant, virtual space where all participants could feel connected and seen. We built a dynamic live chat bar function that successfully allowed engagement throughout. Guests contributed comments such as; “Wonderful stories and beautiful successes.”, “They are amazing!!” and “LEAPers making it happen even through COVID!!!” during the event.
And, let’s not forget, this is a fundraiser! Our team integrated the secure donation platform, Pledgeling, into the interface allowing guests to give with ease, and incorporated a counter to display the donations as are they were coming in. It was a real thrill for all to see those dollars climb up and up!
It was an event full of inspiration and generosity felt by all those involved, from the special guest speakers, to the ticketed guests and all the attendees. Not only reaching that goal of $20,000, but then exceeding it by another $10,000(!) was a huge achievement, knowing that all that money was going to a very worthy cause during a challenging time.