Content Creators Catered for a Cause

Southern US philanthropist and influencer, Cat Sims, recently co-hosted a dinner party with Vibrant Occasions in celebration of her participation in the Dancing with Our Stars Gala benefiting the Arkansas Chapter’s Children’s Tumor Foundation called Dinner on the River. Sims gathered her favorite fellow content creators to produce an evening filled with great food, music, dancing and plenty of social media sharing. 

“We offer private cheffing through Vibrant Occasions and could think of no better way to showcase this service than catering for a cause like the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Our staff was honored to serve Cat Sims and her special guests while celebrating the launch of her latest fundraising campaign through the annual Dancing with Our Stars 2023 Gala. My wife, Mary Krikorian, and I created a custom menu for Dinner on the River that was flavorful, fun and, of course, vibrant for the occasion,” says chef Serge Krikorian with Vibrant Occasions.

Cat Sims will be participating as a dancer and fundraising Star for this special event. The Little Rock Dancing with Our Stars Gala is an annual fundraising effort that supports the Arkansas chapter of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. The event is a dance competition featuring local celebrities paired with professional dancers. Each celebrity competes to raise the most money for the foundation. Fans for each participant can donate by visiting their favorite Star’s donation link which will be live now up until the gala takes place on September 7, 2023.

The gala raises funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. The foundation funds research into treatments and cures for NF, as well as providing support and resources for individuals and families affected by the disorder.  The event has become one of the most popular charity events in Little Rock, and it has raised millions of dollars to support the foundation’s mission.

“My husband is a head and neck and reconstructive surgeon at CARTI and he frequently removes very visible tumors from the face, neck and scalp. It’s very hard to see the effects of having tumors removed in addition to chemotherapy and radiation for any patient demographic. Those types of physically-altering treatments and side effects are especially hard when the patient is young. Children can be quite mean and haven’t developed the skills to be sensitive nor considerate toward their peers who don’t look the way they think kids should. I know first hand what it feels like in those pivotal years to be bullied by peers. Though I can’t say that I know what it feels like to help my child fight NF, I am a mother and I want to help take the tiniest percentage of that fight onto my own shoulders in the coming months as I fight to raise funds for this foundation,” said Cat Sims.

The online fundraising competition landscape for nonprofits has experienced significant growth in recent years. There are various platforms and models available that allow nonprofits to engage their supporters, raise funds, and create a sense of community around their cause. Here is some information on the landscape and ways nonprofits can leverage this model effectively:

1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: This model involves supporters creating individual fundraising pages and reaching out to their networks to solicit donations on behalf of the nonprofit. Nonprofits can leverage this by providing participants with tools like customizable fundraising pages, social sharing options, and templates for outreach emails. They should also offer incentives and recognition for top fundraisers to encourage healthy competition.

2. Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms allow nonprofits to set a fundraising goal and collect donations from a large number of people. To maximize success, nonprofits should create compelling campaigns featuring impactful stories, visuals, and a clear call-to-action. Engaging social media posts and updates help generate momentum and reach a wider audience.

3. Giving Days: These are time-limited online fundraising campaigns where multiple nonprofits come together to raise funds. Nonprofits can leverage giving days by planning in advance, creating engaging content, and collaborating with other organizations to extend their reach. Building excitement through challenges, matching grants, and real-time updates encourages participation and fosters healthy competition among nonprofits.

4. Donation Matching: Many corporations and individuals offer donation matching programs, where they will match the amount raised by a nonprofit up to a certain limit. Nonprofits can leverage this by actively seeking and promoting matching opportunities. Clearly communicate to donors that their contributions will have a multiplied impact, encouraging them to give more.

5. Gamification: Nonprofits can utilize gamification elements such as leaderboards, badges, and virtual challenges to incentivize participation and encourage friendly competition among supporters. These elements can create a sense of achievement and motivate individuals to raise more funds.

6. Communication and Support: Keeping supporters updated on the progress of the fundraising competition is crucial. Regularly sharing updates, milestones achieved, and stories of impact helps maintain interest and enthusiasm among participants. Nonprofits should also provide support materials, resources, and guidance to ensure participants can effectively fundraise on their behalf.

The key to success in online fundraising competitions is creating a compelling narrative around the cause, fostering a sense of community, and providing ongoing support and recognition to participants. By leveraging these online fundraising competition models effectively, nonprofits can increase engagement, inspire healthy competition, and raise the most money possible to support their missions. 

Sims has done an excellent job in producing a buzz around her Dancing with Our Stars campaign by co-hosting Dinner on the River, which engaged her supporters and their supporters, increasing her reach and donations. 

Donate to Cat Sims campaign at this link: 

Co-host and Star: Cat Sims, @catsimsxoxo

Co-host and Private Event Catering: Vibrant Occasions, @vibrantoccasionscatering 

Floral Design: Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio, @roseofsharonfloral

Photography: Lori Sparkman Photography, @lorisparkmanphotography

Music: Central Arkansas Entertainment Agency, @cae_lr

DJ: DJ Jellybean, @djjbean

Planner & Party Designer: Meredith Events, @meredithevents 

Public Relations: Meredith Corning PR, @meredithcorningpr

Videography: KB Studios, @kbstudiosar

Balloon Photo Backdrop: Just Peachy, @justpeachylr

Dinnerware Rentals: Eventology, @eventology_us

Wardrobe Stylist: Kimberly Cyr Calhoun, @kimberlycyr

Wardrobe Retailer: Royal We, @royalweprom

Special Guests and Content Creators: @tabithanstaylor, @alexa_hart_, @kailux, @kimberlycyr, @lesley_withrow, @jennymartinphoto, @alishacurtis, @sarahkmeyer

Watch video on YouTube HERE.