Social Media Photographers | Case Study World's First Virtual Sausage Sizzle

Case Study World's First Virtual Sausage Sizzle

Having worked in the not-for-profit sector, our client Melissa Speare, knew how difficult the fundraising process can be for charitable organisations.  As she prepared to participate in her fourth charity bike ride with Smiling for Smiddy, a group that raises funds for cancer research as part of the Mater Foundation, it seemed hitting her personal fundraising goal needed more preparation than the 2600km journey she was training for.

Family and friends have been incredibly generous over the years in supporting Melissa’s various fundraising efforts.  And Melissa was a seasoned professional on the fundraising scene, hosting prize raffles, selling chocolates, running weekend sausage sizzles and donating her time and services as a massage therapist to raise funds.

With time running out to meet her goal to help fund life-changing cancer research, she knew that using social media could help raise funds.  Initially, Melissa was looking to use social media to promote an upcoming weekend sausage sizzle that she and her family were going to host, with the aim to donate profits to Smiling for Smiddy.  Having run sausage sizzles in the past, Melissa knew that this form of fundraising was effective, but required a lot of time, materials and effort, with a small portion of the funds actually making its way to the charitable beneficiary.

Melissa reached out to Social Media Photographers (SMP) for help setting up her Facebook event.  Working with Melissa, SMP saw an opportunity to save her another hard day’s work and created the world’s first “Virtual Sausage Sizzle” on Facebook.

What’s a Virtual Sausage Sizzle?
A typical weekend sausage sizzle sells a sausage for $2.50, with only a small portion of that going back to the charitable beneficiary once you factor in costs associated with buying the sausage, bread, sauce, promotion, staff and electricity/gas.  What if you could encourage a donation of $2.50 where 100 per cent goes to charity- and no one has to give up their entire Saturday on the barbecue?  And from this idea, the world’s first “Virtual Sausage Sizzle” was born.  For a $2.50 donation, you get a “Virtual Sausage” for yourself or to share with friends. 

How did Social Media Photographers run the campaign?
To encourage people to participate we knew we had to educate them on:

  • What is a “virtual sausage”?
  • Why are we holding a “Virtual Sausage Sizzle”?
  • How they can participate and donate?

We started by developing a short video titled “Join Mel Speare’s Virtual Sausage Sizzle” that would introduce the concept and educate people on what it was for and how the donated funds would be used.  We created the hashtags #virtualsausagesizzle and #everysausagecounts to support the campaign.

Next, we completed a photo shoot with Melissa, who enthusiastically offered to dress up as a sausage.  We wanted to inject some fun into the campaign and showcase Melissa's personality.  We also created supporting visuals and communication branding for the campaign, including the all-important “Virtual Sausage” image.

Finally, we created a Facebook event as the main communication platform, with all donations processed via Melissa’s Everyday Hero Page.

The Results
The “Virtual Sausage Sizzle” campaign exceeded both Melissa’s expectations and her fundraising goals.

  • Over $1300 (and still counting) raised
  • This represented a 26% increase in donations
  • Over 540 “virtual sausages” sold
  • Increase network of supporters for Smiling for Smiddy

In addition to the funds raised, Melissa was able to gain valuable time with her family before her 10-day, 2600km charity bike ride.

“By using the social media strategy from SMP, I saved valuable time and money which meant 100 per cent of the funds raised went directly to Smiling for Smiddy. The campaign also introduced Smiling for Smiddy’s fight against cancer to a new audience, which will continue to provide long-term benefits for engagement in their events and ongoing fundraising efforts.”



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