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Intouch Helps with Ending Homelessness

Intouch Team

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We are pleased to announce the launch of the SleepOut for Shelter event site for PADS Lake County —!

PADS Lake County, one of our philanthropy clients, is a nonprofit organization serving those currently experiencing homelessness in their community on Chicago’s north shore. "PADS" stands for Providing Advocacy, Dignity and Shelter, which is the philosophy behind all of PADS Lake County’s comprehensive solutions to homelessness.

On May 11th this year, PADS Lake County will host their first SleepOut for Shelter. Participants in this event volunteer to spend one night outside, whether in a tent, a car, or a cardboard box, to raise funds and awareness for ending homelessness in their community. There is a registration fee to join, but participants also fundraise in the weeks leading up to the event. All proceeds help PADS Lake County serve their vulnerable population throughout the year.

Intouch was asked to develop and execute an e-marketing campaign for SleepOut for Shelter that included a microsite, SEO, and social media. Since this is the first event of its kind for PADS Lake County, raising awareness in order to increase fundraising was essential. The microsite was intended to conveniently house information about the event, and also facilitate registration and donations, while social media tactics and eBlasts sent by PADS Lake County were to help inform and drive the general public to the site.

From conceptualization through execution, the microsite was our biggest undertaking. The results are a beautiful and streamlined experience, but getting there required a significant effort and collaboration. Design, messaging, and site functionality were all built from scratch. Without an easy template to follow, decisions had to be made based on a blend of research, intuiting client needs, and individual expertise.

In particular, unraveling the registration process in order to build it turned out to be a highly complex endeavor. The event needed to accommodate a multitude of variables, audiences, and situations. Then, once participants were registered, there was the issue of how to accommodate their ongoing fundraising. Questions abounded. Should everyone have their own fundraising page? Did we need to allow customization? How would someone register their family as part of the team with their kids’ school?

In the end, Intouch was able to develop a sophisticated registration process that allows flexibility for all possible scenarios. Participants have the option to join a team, create a new one (or register their family), or sign up as an individual. Fundraising pages are allocated to teams and unaffiliated individuals and are assigned a unique URL for easy sharing. Every page of the site prominently features a live feed tallying all the money raised, and the homepage displays top teams and individuals to encourage competitive fundraising. The site also provides a simple donation process for those who wish to give but not participate, with the additional option to donate towards the fundraising goal for a particular team or individual. All donations and registration fees are synched with PayPal.

What is perhaps most impressive is that thanks to our incredible team, we were able to design, build, and launch the site in only two months!

The success of the site owes a debt of gratitude to everyone who contributed. Those team members include: Brooke Schiewe, Lindsay Katz, Caitlin Closser, Carolin Hubscher, Angela Passantino, Nathan Stites, Davin Kaiser, Michael Schmidt, Kristine Wuelzer, Shane Brown, Matt Dunn, Mike Durow, Phaneesh Gururaj, Manish Kumar, Donna Cunning, Julie Nebel-Dooley, Hakan Keklik, Anne Dondlinger, Nathan Stewart, Jennifer Arnold-Coleman, Sean Nicholson.

A huge thank you for all the hard work, and a well-deserved congratulations on a job well done!

If you are interested in helping PADS Lake County end homelessness, please consider donating to SleepOut for Shelter. Just stop by the "Donate" tab while you are checking out the site.

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