The American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart is a thriving national fundraising program that focuses on educating children about the dangers of heart disease and stroke while raising vital funds for cardiovascular and stroke research, and health education. Students raise money based on the length of time they or their team participates in the jump rope events, which are held and coordinated by individual schools. The school also receives a portion of the donated funds its participants raise to enhance its own physical education programs.
Falling school budgets have caused cuts in physical education budgets and childhood obesity is on the rise. The American Heart Association (AHA) informs event participants and donors that supporting Jump Rope for Heart will help prevent future cases of heart disease by helping teach children the value of physical exercise, while also funding physical education programs that are in danger of being cut due to budgetary constraints. This message remains consistent throughout the AHA’s website, literature, and overall event promotion communication, demonstrating how The Jump Rope for Heart campaign effectively communicates a unique and compelling value proposition throughout all its communications channels.
By building Jump Rope for Heart around a relevant issue of interest to their target audience that is differentiated from their competitors, AHA has successfully expanded its thought leadership to new target audiences. The American Heart Association has remained a thought leader in the area of heart healthy living by adapting its messaging, as lifestyles of Americans continue to change. AHA has begun concentrating its efforts on promoting awareness at a young age and providing enhanced physical education opportunities to those schools that are involved in the program, because obesity has increasingly become a major problem for children and physical education budgets are under increasing pressure. The organization realized it had to shift its target audience and message to have the most impact.
The primary focus of the event is on kids as both participants and students. By involving young children in its philanthropic mission, AHA is increasing the odds that these same children will remain involved participants and supporters in the future. This has the dual effect of securing a short-term recurring revenue stream and investing in the long-term future of the organization.
The American Heart Association has shown true thought leadership in crafting such a compelling value proposition for its fundraising event: teach physical fitness and heart health at a young age to prevent poor heart health among adults in the future, and incentivize schools to participate by sharing proceeds to fund physical education programs. From an educator’s standpoint, participation in Jump Rope for Heart yields amazing benefits within each individual school.
- Increased awareness and education around heart related diseases and their causes
- Emphasis on physical health and education when many districts are suffering from an obesity problem
- Introduction of the student body as a whole to philanthropic activities and behaviors
- Ability to earn funds for physical education initiatives within the school
This type of model is one that is both unique and effective. By starting with a compelling offer to the core participant group, and then rewarding both participants and educational institutions equally for their contributions, the American Heart Association increases total participation and effects more progress toward its mission of decreasing occurrence of heart related diseases. The American Heart Association is an excellent model for thought leadership in event production and marketing, and other organizations would do well to consider how they can connect with their constituents with such a clear value proposition for all stakeholders.