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Special Events Spotlight: Sacramento SPCA’s Virtual Doggy Dash

July 29, 2020, The Association

We know this much is true about the animal welfare field—we’re resilient, we’re innovative, and we bring communities together. Case in point: When COVID-19 restrictions on large group events threatened to cancel Sacramento SPCA’s largest community event and fundraiser, they went virtual. Take a look at the components of the event for some major fundraising inspo.

What: Sacramento SPCA’s 27thAnnual Doggy Dash, a 2K/5K walk and pet festival broadcast live from Facebook on Saturday, June 27

Event deets & logistics for participants: The event typically takes place at Sacramento’s William Land Park, but this year, participants took to their neighborhoods, trails, backyards and parks, and completed their own walks individually to honor their supporters’ pledges and raise funds on behalf of SacSPCA.

How SacSPCA made it work: Event emcee and SacSPCA CEO Kenn Altine kicked off the live Facebook broadcast from the shelter. Altine warmly welcomed all to the event and instructed those who would be walking to take photos of themselves and use the hashtag #dashreleashed when posting on their social media. Kristi Maryman, SacSPCA’s Senior Manager, Corporate Relations & Events, interviewed ten community members participating and supporting the event via Zoom, including Sacramento councilmembers and some doggy dashers on the trails with their dogs. And when the Doggy Dash officially got underway at 9 am, the broadcast became a rolling feed of aggregated photos & short videos from the two- and four-legged participants.

Other key components of the event

  • Virtual Vendor Map featuring sponsors, pet services, rescues, shops and community resources
  • Doggy Dash Photo Wall, a scrolling feed that pulled in social posts from attendees
  • Because the broadcast was hosted on Facebook, those just tuning in could easily support the event online via Facebook’s donate button
  • Virtual costume contest hosted on Instagram
Section from Doggy Dash Photo Wall

What else?: Oh, just that Doggy Dash raised a whopping $135,000! “Our original goal was $165K pre-COVID,” shares Maryman. “That’s about 80% of our goal, which we are very proud of.” And as an added surprise, SacSPCA saw many new faces—pets not normally comfortable attending events with other dogs or large crowds of people (that means cats!) were able to participate. 

Learn more

Facebook: Doggy Dash 2020 Live Broadcast
Walls.IO, platform for creating a free social wall
On SacSPCA’s website: Doggy Dash 2020 Report

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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