After extensive planning for the 15th annual Celebration of Youth, their biggest fundraising event of the year, Friends of Youth was forced to go virtual in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With just 3 days to go before the luncheon, Friends of Youth had to cancel due to public safety concerns. Extra Mile Marketing helped them transition the event to Facebook Live, produce a promotional video with keynote speaker and former Seattle Seahawk, Doug Baldwin, and launch a GiveBIG campaign to supplement lost revenue due to the event no longer being in person. The campaign raised $28,000 for Friends of Youth, the largest sum they had ever raised during GiveBIG.
On short notice, and after months of planning for a celebratory gathering of the Eastside’s most prominent activists, philanthropists, and community leaders, EMM was tasked with helping Friends of Youth transition their annual Celebration of Youth into a virtual event.
Our team helped coordinate a pre-filmed discussion between Doug Baldwin and Molly Shen at KOMO 4 News, promote a Facebook Live event through social media and emails, and produce the virtual event at Friends of Youth headquarters. EMM acted like a marketing Swiss Army Knife to help pull off big changes in a short amount of time.
Despite the luncheon being cancelled, keynote speaker Doug Baldwin and M.C. Molly Shen wanted to do all they could to help promote Friends of Youth’s message—that all young people in our community deserve the resources and support they need to grow and thrive. Molly offered to host a pre-filmed conversation with Doug at the KOMO News Station. Extra Mile Marketing then produced a promotional video with the footage, adding an address by Friends of Youth CEO Paul Lwali and calling for the community to support the organization when they were needed most.
The fundraising didn’t stop with the live Facebook event for Celebration of Youth. EMM repurposed video content from the fundraiser, including board members and guests discussing the important work that Friends of Youth accomplishes for young people in King County, and created a month-long campaign to raise funds for the organization. Later, we again recycled this content for May’s GiveBIG campaign, helping Friends of Youth raise nearly $28,000—the most they had ever raised during GiveBIG. This helped the organization recoup revenue lost from not being able to host its biggest annual fundraiser in-person, which has allowed them to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable youth in our community.
With public spaces closed, health services limited, and schools gone virtual, Friends of Youth serves a greater purpose than ever in our community. They help provide safe places for young people—with the only emergency shelter for youth under the age of 18 on the Eastside, and robust programs for young people struggling with homelessness and substance abuse. Friends of Youth also delivers therapeutic foster care and specialized residential programs for youth. If you’d like to support our friends and partners, please visit their website.