parkrun organise free, weekly, timed 5km runs. These events are held in parks around Australia and are open to anyone. To date parkrun has over 400,000 participants and there are over 200 parkrun events around the country.
A few years ago a parkrunner died of a heart attack at a Cairns parkrun event, following this the parkrun team made an internal goal to get a defibrillator at every parkrun event around Australia. Further discussions with the Australian Sports Foundation lead to the creation of the defibs4parkrun project. The target for this project is $400k with the project already having raised $203k.
parkrun used a number of different strategies to promote their campaign and reach their fundraising target. They teamed up with Ironman Guy Leech who had a relationship with a defibrillator company, and they made videos with him in which he talks about the importance of having access to defibs at every sporting event. parkrun attributed much of their success to having an already engaged audience of 400,000, who believe in the cause and are actively engaged in the parkrun culture and idea. The parkrun team used their weekly EDM to parkrunners to communicate about their fundraising project. parkrun have a highly engaged social media following and used this to their advantage.
Learnings and Advice
parkrun found that having an engaged community was the key to reaching their fundraising target, focusing their energy on members, parkrunners and those that already were engaged in the parkrun idea rather than trying to reach a new public