The Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) Charity Expedition has organised a series of sporting events in Brunei to raise funds for victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan and to help support the education and lifelong learning of underprivileged children. These events have tapped into Brunei’s ever-growing sporting culture and engaged over 5,000 participants across Charity Runs, Cycles and the first 42KM race to take place in Brunei in over a decade.
The event organisers faced a number of obstacles when they organised their first race in 2011. Apart from managing a large-scale charitable event, the organisers struggled with the time-consuming task of manually registering participants. They needed a streamlined solution to help them save admin time, so that they could focus on other parts of their event.
ACTIVE Network helped the BIBD Charity Expedition surpass the organisers’ wildest expectations by tripling registration numbers and increasing fundraising totals sixfold in 2013, while saving their staff and volunteers a lot of time on administrative tasks.
Q&A WITH Mr. Ahmad Nazmie HJ Omar, Project Manager, BIBD Charity Expedition
Q: Things have come a long way since your inaugural event in 2011. how has ACTIVE’s technology helped improve your online registration process?
A: ACTIVE helped a lot. During our very first event, we were up all night in our offices until 3 a.m. every single day for a week. We literally had physical paper forms and a computer in front of us. The only way we could input and extract data was to key in participants’ details one by one. That was pretty tough. We were forced to divide ourselves into groups to carry out all the tasks, and even asked for volunteers to help key in information.
Having ACTIVE on board as a partner for the second year, I was confident that we wouldn’t have the same sort of troubles as previously experienced. Having an online platform for people to register made things so much easier. There was minimal back- office and administration work, as registration was being handled by ACTIVE.
Q: How did ACTIVE help you grow your registration numbers?
A: Without ACTIVE, we wouldn’t have been able to more than double our registration numbers. The 2013 race came to us with such an overwhelming response, which surpassed all our expectations. In our second year, registration numbers more than doubled from an initial 1,000 registrants. 2013 saw our numbers almost triple to more than 5,000 registrants. It’s safe to say that we were overwhelmed with the sheer number of participants.
Q: What other features were of great use to you?
A: Our event is mainly done for charities, so we also utilised the donation card feature, which was really useful. From that, we managed to multiply the amount raised for our ALAF Fund by six times, outweighing the triple increase in number of participants.
Q: How much did you raise in total for the charity, and what was the strategy behind your fundraising success?
A: We went from raising B$330,000 in 2012 to B$600,000 in 2013. We had two groups of participant categories from which the funds were raised. One large group was given donation cards, while there were select few for the 42KM categories who raised funds from a sponsorship program. We also had a corporate category, where corporate bodies were required to donate a minimum of B$50 per kilometer. We also gained a lot of corporate sponsorship and support.
We didn’t want to make a 42KM open category because we wanted our first time organising a 42KM run to be a success. Not only was it our first time, but a 42KM run has not been organised in Brunei for over a decade. It doesn’t help that Brunei doesn’t have a flat land mass. In order to manage expectations, we had to limit participation for the 42KM category to only 25 participants.
The 42KM runners ran the sponsorship program. We advertised their profiles on the BIBD Charity Expedition website, which showcased the reason why they were running. From 25 people, we managed to raise approximately more than B$50,000. If we compare that to our first event of raising a B$56,000 from 1000 participants, I would say our 2013 Charity Expedition was a major success.
Q: How did you attract so many sponsors and supporters for your race?
A: We got the word out by using various platforms, including social media. ACTIVE’s Social Media integration and newsletters were hugely important platforms for us. This was also an initiative carried out by the runners themselves, as we encouraged them to approach corporate sponsors. We provided the 25 participants with a letter stating that they were running the 42KM for a charity programme for underprivileged students (ALAF), reinforcing the uniqueness of our cause and that this was also the first 42KM race in more than a decade.
Q: With so many different stakeholders, did you find data and result reporting to be a challenge?
A: We thought it would be an issue, but it wasn’t. Before we jumped into it, we had a meeting with ACTIVE and told them that we wanted our reporting to be intuitive and simple. We wanted to categorise the reports by sponsorship: corporate sponsorship and individual sponsorship.
Q: How are you planning to increase registrations and drive more fundraising in the future?
A: We really want to grab the attention and interest of the international market. In 2012, we had about 55 international runners. In 2013, the number jumped to about 300 international runners. Brunei is situated in a way that it is in the centre of Asia, so we can reach out to and attract a lot of people from neighbouring countries even further away, such as Australia. We would like to attract more of the international market and I think that ACTIVE can help us with that.