On May 4, 2017, ACC Senior Services took part in Sacramento’s Big Day of Giving and raised $55k, more than doubling last year’s take. Marketing Valet’s Marielle Fong was in charge of the fundraising strategy for this event.

Her big insight was this: Even though ACC bills itself as an institution that promotes “life-long learning,” it’s really a big social club. It attracts seniors who love life, food, music, and fellowship. Life-long learning is a by-product.

In addition to the usual promotional material we produced for this event, Marielle decided to make a music video to drive attendance. “Let’s create a fun, actionable message,” she said.

She observed the Zumba class dancing to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars and felt this would be the perfect sound track. The headline would be “Hip Hoppin’ Seniors Get Down for the Big Day of Giving.” I would rewrite the lyrics, ACC’s HR director Tony Waterford would sing, and Marielle would direct the choreography.

From the start, we knew the hip-hop concept would work on several levels:

  • ACC seniors are baby boomers who enjoyed dancing and bucking the social norms of their day
  • No shortage of able and willing participants (one person said, “Hip hop dancing has been on my bucket list”)
  • As long as we kept a good beat, the dance moves would look very convincing
  • People love watching older folks do unlikely things

The call to action in the video was to show up for the Big Day of Giving Party and donate money to ACC. In first 48 hours, the video got more than 1,200 views on YouTube and it was picked up by Good Day Sacramento.

The video, along with other marketing tactics, tripled last year’s the attendance at this event and more than doubled donations.