Jan/Feb 2008

OI Foundation Expands Outreach, Deepens Engagement via Bone China Tea Virtual Fundraising Events; Online Donations Up 65% in 2007

The Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Foundation (http://www.oif.org/) increased its online donations by 65% last year, primarily through its signature Bone China Tea virtual fundraising event.

As the only voluntary national health organization dedicated to helping people cope with the problems associated with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) — a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily — the OI Foundation uses Convio TeamRaiser™ to give its volunteers easy-to-use tools to reach out to their personal networks on behalf of the organization.

Last year, 49 volunteers hosted virtual tea parties from January through April, raising nearly $42,000 from 778 individuals friends, family members and co-workers who were invited to "stay at home and have a quiet cup of tea" while contributing the money they might have spent on new clothes, babysitters, transportation, and other expenses associated with a formal tea directly to the OI Foundation.

"Our volunteers want to share their own stories to inspire others, and that's where Convio comes in," says John O'Brien, director of development at the OI Foundation. "Convio TeamRaiser gives our volunteers the ability to easily personalize their invitations, allowing them to feel more engaged with the OI Foundation."

The Bone China Tea campaign begins each year with volunteers preparing invitations with OI Foundation-labeled tea bags then recruiting other volunteers to send the invitations to family, friends, and co-workers. The OI Foundation provides these event host volunteers with step-by-step instructions on how to participate and set up their own personalized TeamRaiser page. 

"As a small staff of eight, we rely on Convio to help us increase our outreach by making it easy for our staff and volunteers. We have been so pleased with the results of these TeamRaiser-powered events, that we plan to hold the Bone China Tea fundraisers year round, and expect to double the number of participants from 49 to 100 in 2008," said O'Brien.

The OI Foundation receives more than 6,000 questions each year from parents seeking information about medical treatments for their children, or adults with OI who have questions about issues such as aging, hearing loss, pregnancy, or respiratory disease. The funds raised from the Bone China Tea campaign support the OI Foundation's research and education initiatives.

OI Foundation's Bone China Tea campaign greeting page

A sample participant page from the campaign

OI Foundation's Bone China Tea site is located at http://www.oif.org/bonechina.

OI Foundation Expands Outreach, Deepens Engagement via Bone China Tea Virtual Fundraising Events; Online Donations Up 65% in 2007 | Convio