Special occasions call for special events. As childhood best friends, we have been hosting memorable events for years — events that bring our families and friends together.
A few years back, a cancer diagnosis in the family made us realize that we could use our event planning talents for greater causes.
So we decided to host a fundraiser for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Gaining more traction than we could have imagined, our 840-person venue sold out weeks in advance. Although we were experts when it came to event logistics, we were relatively inexperienced at raising money.
Our event committee collected amazing raffle prizes, but as the night of the event approached, we realized that an old-fashioned, paper raffle system would be a nightmare. We also realized that this gave us an opportunity to be creative.
With a cause that we felt so connected to, we focused on accomplishing two goals for our fundraiser: raising as much money as we could, and making the event fun and engaging so that attendees would return year after year.
We envisioned an easy-to-use mobile platform to replace paper raffle tickets. It would be smoother, more engaging, and would hopefully help us donate more money. After a fruitless search for an affordable solution, we used our backgrounds in technology to create our own prototype: a text-message based raffle system. We barely had time to test it, but it was all we had. If it worked, we knew how much excitement it would add to the evening.
Our risk paid off. The event was a huge success, and the new raffle system was the center of the conversation. We realized that we had just created an effective fundraising tool that we couldn’t keep to ourselves. Accelevents was born a week later.
Our vision was clear – we wanted to build a platform that fundraisers of any size could use, whether hosting a small charity walk, or a 1,500 person event. Since our first fundraiser, we have learned to make our product as universal, affordable, and easy-to-use as possible.
With Accelevents, we hope to create the same excitement for our customers that we experience during our own fundraiser year after year.