The Support Our Downtown Virtual Telethon will help downtown businesses raise money to help stay open and prosper; it will raise awareness of the issues facing the downtown business community; and it will celebrate all that makes our downtown one of Columbia’s true gems.
This is an innovative approach to raising money for downtown businesses
Rather than raising money for a specific charity, The Support Our Downtown Virtual Telethon raises money for specific businesses, providing them with cash and uplifting the entire downtown community.
Here is how it works
- ● We build a virtual telethon around the idea of supporting downtown businesses(with local entertainers and speakers of all kinds).
- ● Downtown businesses join the effort and help us promote it
- ● Telethon viewers who want to support one or more local businesses willcontribute money (they are watching both for the entertainment and to support the cause); in return, they can choose one or more gift cards from participating businesses; they will receive cards representing 100% of the value they give, and 100% of the money will go to the restaurants providing the cards. For all practical purposes, it will be exactly the same effect as if someone walked into a business and bought a gift card, getting full value.
What, exactly, happens?
- 30 downtown businesses choose to participate.
- We announce the telethon (social media and traditional media).
- We promote the telethon,.
- We leverage the huge, influential network Armchair Telethon has built over the last two successful telethons.
- Participating businesses promote with their social networks and in whatever other ways make sense for them.
- We hold the telethon Saturday, August 15, 9AM-5PM, pushing people to support our downtown and getting gift cards in return, just as though they had gone to the locations and purchased the cards, with 100% going to the restaurants.
- During the telethon, some viewers will give money, and others will just enjoy the local entertainment and hear about our great businesses. People who give will choose gift cards from participating businesses, equal to what they are giving (many will initially be intending to support one business and will also see others they want to support).
- The following Monday (July 17), each business will be given their money (100%) and a list of people to send gift cards, with the appropriate amounts and contact information.
- And we all feel really great!
Why should businesses want to participate?
- Businesses will receive 100% of the money paid for their gift cards.
- Viewers who get to the telethon because of a specific business’ promotion are morelikely to give money for one of that business’s gift cards (and then some of thosepeople will also give money for gift cards from other businesses).
- They will be supporting their fellow business owners and the downtown, overall.
- They will get marketing throughout the telethon as well as leading up to it.What is expected of businesses that participate?
- There is a fee of $100 to cover production and management of the telethon.
- All participating businesses are expected to promote the event with social media and in whatever other ways are appropriate for them (and they should want to, because it will be helping themselves, their fellow businesses, and the whole downtown).
Armchair Telethon is a Columbia, MO company run by Sean Spence. We produce telethons all over the country for nonprofit organizations and supporting the business community we love. We are building a strong track record of raising many times more money than we charge and generating large increases in social media attention. We are taking our shot at changing the world for the better, just a little bit.