Harnessing the Power of Connections

Harnessing the Power of Connections

By her own account, Dana Widrig isn’t a social media “influencer.”

“I am not, and never have been, an active FB user, but when I opened my page one day in April, I saw the opportunity to start a KCSARC fundraiser for my birthday, which is April 18,” she said. “I knew that April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I had an opportunity to finally make my birthday month meaningful and special.” 

Dana said she started the fundraiser with a goal of raising $500 -- and wound up raising over $1,500. 

She said using Facebook to fundraise was easy, even for a non-maven. “I had never created a fundraiser, so I had no experience or expectations.  It was amazing how many people commented, shared, and donated,” she said. She also found a side benefit: the opportunity to build community with and between all who engaged. It sparked fun, friendly competition and creative giving by friends – including those who kicked in an extra dollar as she reached milestones. One of her friends even put up a match challenge.

It also proved to be an opportunity to grow her own influence. “I met and reconnected with so many good people doing this!  My social media life grew, and I was coming out of my shell finally.”

The opportunity to engage others in a cause she feels so passionate about was a great catalyst for action. “An important part of why I did this was to spread awareness. I was amazed at how rapidly I was able to make that happen, and pleased to take such an active part in the month’s purpose,” she said.

What advice would she give others who would like to try this? “I learned that posting daily kept the donations and comments coming in, and that thanking everyone personally was extremely important. So I did that daily and made some wonderful new friends. As a survivor myself, I shared some of my experience and talked about how KCSARC is helping victims like me. I decided to put my story out there because it felt powerful and tangible. I know people felt empathy, compassion, and love, and those kind of feelings inspire generosity in many forms.”

Dana said increasing the number of people she was interacting with daily was life-changing for her. “The incredible and intense feeling of well-being I experienced through this fundraiser is beyond compare. This was a challenging and very fulfilling experience, not to mention healing.  I plan to do this again next year,” she said.

Building on her power of connection, Dana has indeed proven she and all of us are in fact influencers in our own right. We are touched by her initiative and courage in trying something new.

A growing number of KCSARC’s Facebook friends are taking Facebook up on this new opportunity to engage in our work. Our humble thanks to Destiny, Lindsey, Joshua, Matthew, Avalonne, Ashleigh, Tay, Lizzie, Paul, Dana, and Timi for introducing KCSARC to your networks in 2018!

If you’d like to hop on this trend, here's how. For more tips or support, contact Individual Giving Manager Angela Rickard at arickard@kcsarc.org.

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