Whilst many of us have suffered as a result of the pandemic, students have been left especially confused and worried, with some at university even having to isolate in their small, restrictive halls of residence.
The result, as reported by mental health charity Mind, is that 27% of students present a mental health problem whilst at university, five times greater than just ten years ago.
With this national crisis as the backdrop, Mind approached fundraising technology platform GivePenny to modernise the digital aspect of the 27 27 challenge, an established fundraising event developed by the charity.
27 27 was designed to raise awareness of the mental health issues highlighted in the research and engage people with personal connections to universities from all over the UK, whether as active students now or in the past. Participants are encouraged to run 27 miles in 27 days, fundraising along the way.
The challenge asks participants to choose a university to dedicate their fundraising to and to use the Strava app to track their running activity along the way. Strava activities are then displayed on their GivePenny fundraising page, making their efforts visible for all to see and encourage.
Using an app in a fundraising challenge is likely to raise three times more than a challenge without one, according to GivePenny fundraising data. Making progress visible improves sponsor involvement, and a donor is likely to give more if they feel part of the challenge.
Innovative ways to donate are also offered, including the option to pledge an amount per mile, as seen on the sponsorship forms of yesteryear. According to GivePenny, this delivers 50% more per donation than the traditional one-off donation approach.
As if this isn’t enough innovation, students can also create a Spotify playlist to listen to on their daily run, and have sponsors donate to add a song, thanks to GivePenny’s unique Playlist Fundraising feature.
The results are little short of amazing. 27 27 raised double its target, before the running even started on 1st March, and the 8,000+ students taking part have raised over £750,000 so far.
The number of registrations, and the amount of support the event has received has been astonishing, and it doesn’t look like this success is going to stop anytime soon. The event is well on the way to be the biggest and best fundraising campaign of 2021!
Lee Clark, Founder and CEO at GivePenny, said:
“Combining GivePenny with the 27 27 event has led to some record-breaking results. Not only has the campaign raised a lot of money for Mind, it has also proven the power behind the Connected Giving concept. Mind and their supporters’ use of GivePenny, Strava and Spotify have been connected together to create something truly special.”
Rachel Dewhurst is currently participating in Mind 27 27. She says:
“I started my Mind 27 27 Challenge a bit apprehensive and nervous because I am definitely no runner! Having received so much support from friends and family, I am so so happy I signed up to it!
“Making donations and pledging through GivePenny makes it simple for people to show their support and it makes it so easy for people like me to raise money for a cause that is so close to my heart, mental health.
“I love updating everyone on my progress and spreading the word about Mind on social media (especially tiktok!) and it’s amazing to find other people around the UK also doing this challenge too!
“Mental health is so important (at the moment especially) and it’s so easy to sign up for the 27 27 Challenge and start raising money for Mind! I would definitely recommend getting involved!!
“Whether you’re the runner or the supporter, you should know you’re doing something amazing!”