We were asked with developing a fundraising event for The Salvation Army – Southern California.
Having seen the success of CEO Sleepout Taiwan, The Salvation Army leadership in Southern California asked us to develop a fundraising event in the Los Angeles area.
The purpose of the event was to support The Salvation Army’s homeless shelters and services in Southern California. The objectives were to raise funds and generate awareness.
A feasibility study was conducted to determine what style of event would be most appropriate. Factors that were evaluated included the fundraising culture of Southern California, the status of competing charitable events, and the current political climate. It was clear that sleep out events had been successful globally and yet were underrepresented in the United States. After careful consideration we created SleepOut LA.
Apricot identified multiple factors that were important for a successful event. For example, many previous high profile sleep outs were held at iconic locations. Therefore, Apricot secured the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Peer-to-peer fundraising was also a key part of the strategy and a website was developed for this purpose. Participant recruitment was focused on executives and other active and influential community members.
Planning and execution occurred in collaboration with The Salvation Army staff.
The event was held at The Rose Bowl from the night of June 30th until the morning of July 1st.
The experience included meals from The Salvation Army canteen (food truck), presentations from homelessness experts and individuals that had experienced homelessness, and a rough nights sleep with just cardboard and a sleeping bag. Recreational aspects of the night included a tour of the Rose Bowl Stadium, time on the field to throw a football, and company logos on the Stadiums video board (jumbo-screen).
Participants included C-suite executives, a chief of police, Salvation Army staff, and other community members.
A total of $58,498 dollars was raised.
The event was covered by ABC 7 news and Glendale News Press (a newspaper published by the LA Times).
During the event Major Danielle Strickland (of The Salvation Army) and others travelled to Skid Row and interviewed individuals experiencing homelessness. A video of these interviews was then shown to participants the morning after the event:
One participant (Christina Silva) made a video about her experience at SleepOut LA: