Fundraising Made Easy: Facebook Integration Now Live for SAA

Swim Across America is making fundraising easier through social media!

You can now link your Swim Across America fundraising page directly with Facebook. Once you register for your SAA charity swim, you can directly link your personal Swim Across America fundraising page to Facebook. You’ll be able to easily spread the word, collect donations and track your progress on Facebook. All donations through Facebook will be received by SAA and reflected in your fundraising thermometer!

Here’s How To Connect Your Fundraiser to Facebook:

1. Log in to your participant center.

SAA PC

2. Scroll down and click on ‘Connect Fundraiser to Facebook.’

SAA Fundraiser 4

3. It will redirect you to Facebook and a pop-up where you will click ‘OK’ or ‘Continue.’

4. You will then be prompted to go to your Fundraiser on Facebook if it doesn’t take you there immediately.

Facebook Fundraiser SAA

Swim Across America Facebook

5. Now you can edit all of your fundraising information and details you wish to include.

Swim Across America Facebook Fundraiser 2

6.  Promote your fundraiser by sharing a post on your timeline or inviting friends and family to your fundraising page.

Swim Across America Facebook Fundraiser 3

This new Facebook integration allows you to spread the word of your fundraising efforts and reach more people quicker and easier then ever before. For questions about using fundraisers on Facebook scroll down to the bottom part of our FAQ page.

Log in and get started now!

Saving Lives at the Johns Hopkins Swim Across America Lab

Stefanie Joho joined SAA – Baltimore this year to share her uplifting story. Four years ago at 22-years old she was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. Stefanie went through repeated chemo with no positive response, and the cancer spread to stage 4. Her doctors gave her weeks to live. Desperate and not willing to give up, her sister googles and finds Dr. Luis Diaz at our beneficiary Johns Hopkins Medicine.

imagejpeg_0-3

Dr. Diaz told Joho to come immediately to JHU where she participates in an immunotherapy clinical trial of Keytruda funded–yes funded–by your donations to Swim Across America. The trial saved her life (she has “no evidence of disease NED”), she has a bright future and Keytruda is now FDA approved. Read Stefanie’s story in the New York Times and if you are inspired by the work being done through Swim Across America labs, please consider donating to SAA: http://bit.ly/SAAdonation.

Genetic tests for mismatch repair deficiency are commercially available. But insurers might not pay for the drugs — Keytruda and Opdivo cost $150,000 a year — based on such a small study. The study was paid for by Swim Across America and other charities, and the National Institutes of Health.  – New York Times

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-16-13-pm

WOW! What a Year!

Image

Happy Halloween! While we at SAA were coming up with costume ideas this week, we also ran the numbers on our open water events for 2013. What we found were some frighteningly exciting statistics! Here’s a recap of our open water events for the season- they’re no trick, and certainly a treat!

Two NEW Swim Across America Labs!

Both our Dallas and Seattle swims hit the $1 million mark for fundraising this year, which is amazing! The Innovative Clinical Trials Center at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center was renamed the Swim Across America Innovative Clinical Trials Center after hitting $1 million in giving. In only its third year, SAA Dallas continues to break records and make waves.

Over on the west coast, SAA Seattle also hit the $1 million fundraising mark and was recognized by beneficiary Seattle Cancer Care Alliance by naming their lab for us. This is the fifth Swim Across America lab in the country, demonstrating our growth as an organization and the tirelessness of our participants and donors.

Our Babes are Getting Bigger! 

A couple of our very new swims completely blew us out of the water this year. Atlanta is the youngest of the open water siblings, and this May, it hit $250,000 in fundraising! Set on beautiful Lake Spivey, all donations from this inaugural swim went directly to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The second youngest in the SAA family, SAA Nantucket, was not to be outdone by its baby sib, though. In only it’s second year, Nantucket flew past its fundraising goal like Phelps by the competition and raised $180,000. The 55% jump in fundraising can be attributed to the dedication of all the swimmers that make this late summer event a blast!

The New Kids in Town

SAA Chicago debuted a new event at their swim this year in addition to their ½, 1, 1½ or 3 mile distance choices. The new Relay Swim across Lake Michigan was a hit, and helped the already firmly established swim raise almost $400,000 for the Rush University Cancer Center this past July.

The Michael Phelps Swim School also partnered with Swim Across America this year to offer the new Breakowt clinics to swimmers in Baltimore and Seattle. The innovative and comprehensive training session brings confidence and skill to new open water swimmers, and was run the day before each SAA swim.

Makin’ Waves, Breakin’ Records

Three of our open water swims made us proud as they reached new heights this summer. In tiny Rhode Island, the annual swim at Narragansett hosted a whopping 500 swimmers! A record number for this swim, all proceeds from participants went to Women and Infants Hospital.

Some say the Golden Gate Bridge that gleams over the Bay is the main attraction of the SAA San Francisco swim, and apparently a lot of potential participants thought so! The swim sold out all of its spots a week and a half in advance, and raised over half a million dollars.

SAA Greenwich followed suit, with over half a million dollars raised for their beneficiary, but they saw one of their tribute teams make history. Team College, a group swimming in honor of college friend Colin Campbell, raised $135,000 alone, which is one of the most amounts ever raised in SAA history.

A year of firsts for Swim Across America, we’re proud to say that all of our open water events made waves this summer!

Top Questions For… Top San Francisco Fundraiser Steve Barbour

steve barbour steve barbour 2

This weekend, the SAA family will take to the waters in the San Francisco Bay for our final swim. The annual swim is set to raise over $450,000 to benefit the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute!

Steve Barbour joined the SAA – SF family in 2011, and took no time to get his feet wet (pun intended). He has been one of the top fundraisers for the swim in each of his three years participating, and those who know him can attest to the warmth he exudes, even if the Bay is chilly! We caught up with him to chat about his tribute team, the secret to successful fundraising and the taking a dip under the Golden Gate.

  1. Tell us a little about who or why you’ve gotten involved with SAA.

I started swimming 3 years ago to get back in shape and help manage stress. I happen to swim at the same facility as Susan Helmrich, who is a co-chair of the SF swim, and she invited me to join her team. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

  1. Are you a natural swimmer? Why choose a distance swim instead of a run or bike?

I’m not a natural swimmer although my younger brother Dave was competitive and a Laguna Beach lifeguard for many years. At first I thought I could train my way up to be competitive with him although he is 10 years my junior… big mistake! But now we can distance swim together, although he has to hold back and swim at maybe 65%. He did the event last year and it was great. Then we swam Alcatraz the next morning!

  1. Tell us about your team and the people swimming with you.

I swim on Team Susan Survives. It’s a fairly large group, as Susan knows everyone. You can’t help but be inspired by how she has managed her challenges (3 time survivor).

  1. You’re a top fundraiser for the San Francisco swim! What’s your secret?

I’ve been very fortunate in my career. I’ve worked at a large company for many years (Nestlé), and my wife and I have moved with the Company a number of times so we have a fairly large number of friends, both in and outside the company, that are happy to help out. The real secret is starting early, say early June, and following up occasionally, as often times the first or second email is just lost as people are so busy. It does take time… but it is obviously worth it! I also think I have an easier time because this is the only event that I ask for support from my family, friends and contacts.

  1. Would you rather: swim 3 miles on a sunny day or 1 mile with a shark tailing you?

I’ll take the 3 miles every time!!!

  1. How have you been touched by cancer?

We lost my Uncle Les way too early from brain cancer… he was only 55. And a friend and co-worker for over 25 years lost his son, David Stroud, to cancer. That was very tragic.

  1. What do you remember from your first SAA swim that keeps you coming back?

That was the year David Stroud passed away… just before the event…the kid was unbelievably tough, and I still get emotional when I think about it.

  1. What makes the SAA – San Francisco swim so unique?

With all due respect to Chicago, New York, and the other locations, you can’t beat swimming from under the Golden Gate into Crissy Field! The views and the location cannot be beat. It is iconic!!!

  1. What makes Swim Across America special?

I have really enjoyed all the people I have come into contact with in the SAA organization as well as the local event leaders. It is also important that SAA does a good job managing their cost structure so that the bulk of the funds raised go to the intended purpose.  And obviously, I enjoy swimming in the Bay.

  1. What is your favorite time of day to swim? Why?

I like to swim early… I used to hit the water at 6:30 AM, but now that I am retired, I start an hour later, and spend more time in the whirlpool! It’s a great way to start the day!

Back to School: Lessons for Swim Across America

You can almost hear the cheers echoing from parents across the country- it’s back to school time! It’s the season for molding minds, but the beginning of the school year marks the end of SAA’s event season, and students aren’t the only ones headed back to the classroom.

After a summer of swims, we like to look back and evaluate ourselves. We’re always looking to improve! Here are the top three lessons we’ve learned from 2013’s events, and what they’re teaching us as we move forward.

1- We Can Take Our Events to the Next Level

We want to give people more to do at our swims without distracting from the main event. Our participants deserve the chance to celebrate their hard work and enjoy a well-run event! We’ve got plans for goodie bags from our sponsors, activities outside the water, and happenings to include the whole family all in the works for next season.

2- Selling Yourself Pays Off

When a participant registers for a swim, we give them a personal page on SAA’s website.  That page is used to track your fundraising and to advertise yourself to potential donors, and it can be made unique to you and your tribute team. This year, we noticed a huge correlation between the money participants raised and whether they edited their personal page or not. A little blurb on yourself serves to distinguish you and also to attract and excite potential donors, so why not do it?

3- Swag Makes Us Shine

In our effort to make a bigger impact, we’ve realized that we need to pay attention to growing our brand. With greater recognition of SAA comes higher participation rates, and ultimately bigger fundraising for our beneficiaries. We revamped our logo this year, streamlined the brand, and kicked it up a couple notches on our swag. Our t-shirts are softer, banners and arches are flashier, and we’ve got SUITS now!! Feelin’ great and lookin’ good is helping us grow, encouraging love for SAA and recruiting more team members in our fight for a cure.

We may not be stuck in those uncomfortable desk-chair combos from 10th grade, but we’re always working to learn from our experiences at SAA.

Got a suggestion to help us learn more? Leave us a comment!