The ducks are making their way to Cedar Rapids, Iowa this weekend for the 9th Annual Great Eastern Iowa Duck Race on June 17, 2017.
9th Annual Great Eastern Iowa Duck Race
Over the last 8 years, through community involvement investment by sponsors and adopted ducks, the Cedar Rapids Daybreak Rotary has given more than $540,000 to local youth organizations.
Where: 420 6th Street SE – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
When: Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CDT.
Highlights: Fans will enjoy a day of fun, activities and watching a total of 15,000 rubber ducks race! Over 15 prizes will be offered at this year’s race including a $2600 Sports Fan Getaway Package, a $500 Mall Shopping Spree, a $250 Spa Day Package, gift certificates to local businesses, and more! One lucky duck is going to win the $10,000 cash grand prize for its adoptive owner!
This year’s race will support the following organizations:
- YouthPort at Polk Education Center (Boys & Girls Clubs of Cedar Rapids, Tanager Place and Young Parents Network)
- Jon Cushing Sunshine Fund
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids
- Kid’s First Law Center
- Daybreak Rotary’s ESNA Village Network Project
Help Daybreak Rotary make a difference in the world and Adopt a Duck today!
Racer Website: www.easterniowaduckrace.org
The ducks next stop this weekend is in Manhattan, Kansas on Saturday, June 10, 2017 for the Little Apple Duck Dash. Have you adopted your duck yet so it can race? Remember, you don’t have to be present to win.
Little Apple Duck Dash
The third annual Little Apple Duck Dash begins at 9:00 a.m. CDT at CiCo Park Sledding Hill. The day will be filled with food, games and fun. The highlight of the day will be watching a total of 5,000 yellow ducks race down the sledding hill for one of three top positions to win a prize. The ducks launch at 11:30 a.m. The grand prize winner will win $1,000 cash and the 2nd place winner goes home with $750 cash. The third place winner gets a $500 shopping spree at Manhattan Town Center.
All proceeds from the Little Apple Duck Dash benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan which operates nine Club locations in Manhattan and Wamego and serves over 2,500 children annually. Their mission is to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens through programs that focus on Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles.
What can one duck do? A single duck provides a week of after school snacks for a club member. A quack pack adoption of 6 ducks provides an annual teen membership plus a field trip. A Flock of Ducks adoption of 12 ducks will provide an after school semester scholarship for a club member.
Racer Website: www.littleappleduckdash.com
We have three duck races to start June and a total of 40,000 rubber ducks racing! The ducks have been training hard for these races. Check out the details about each duck race and adopt your ducks today!
3rd Annual Coastal Duck Derby
Open House is a 24-hour shelter that is committed to improving the safety and well being of abused and/or neglected at risk youth who are in the need of a place to stay. While meeting the basic needs for food, clothing and shelter, Open House encourage’s youths personal growth through counseling services, vocational/educational and life skill building activities and recreational activities. All services are confidential and are provided at no cost to the youth or their families.
Where: Jungle Rapids Water Park in Wilmington, North Carolina.
When: Saturday, June 3, 2017. Doors open up at 6:00 p.m. and the ducks will race at approximately 7:00 p.m. EDT.
Highlights: Duck race fans can join 15,000 rubber ducks along with music and games for adults and kids. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. At approximately 7:00 pm EDT fans will watch the main event of thousands of ducks racing to the finish line to win the grand prize of a 1 year Sea Tow membership. Cash prizes will also be awarded for the 2nd and 3rd place duck. Adopt a Duck, Help a Child.
Racer Website: www.coastalduckderby.org
Palm Beach Duck Dash
Who: Special Olympics Florida – Palm Beach County
Special Olympics Florida Palm Beach County provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to children and adults 8 years of age and older with intellectual and development disabilities. It is able to provide these opportunities to over 1,500 athletes at no cost to the athlete.
Where: Rapids Water Park in Palm Beach, Florida
When: Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. EDT.
Highlights: The community will watch 5,000 yellow rubber ducks dive into the lazy river and race to the finish line to win some fantastic prizes. Some lucky duck will win $1,500 cash and the second place winner wins (4) one-way Southwest Airlines Tickets. The third place duck winner receives 4 passes to Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure and fourth place receives a Rapids Water Park Cabana Day. Make a splash for Special Olympics and Adopt a Duck!
Racer Website: www.palmbeachduckdash.com
8th Annual Rubber Duck Derby
One in five households in Louisiana is at risk of hunger. Second Harvest Food Bank is leading the fight against hunger in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response. It provides food to 582 partners and programs across 23 parishes. Their work helps ensure that meals make it to the dinner tables of thousands of families struggling with hunger in South Louisiana.
When: Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
Highlights: A total of 20,000 ducks will be racing to fight hunger. The first place duck wins $5,000 cash for its adoptive owner. Other prizes this year include a $1,000 gift certificate to Rouses, a Carnival Cruise for Two, Raising Cane’s for a year and a two night stay at the Omni Riverfront Hotel combined with a Cooking Class for Two. For every $1 raised, Second Harvest Food Bank can provide 3 meals to those in need across South Louisiana.
Racer Website: www.duckrace.com/nola
. Our Rubber Duck Racer Spotlight on Charlotte, NC this month features our nonprofit partner, Kindermourn who has been racing for 13 years. We will spotlight different nonprofit partners during the year so our racer community can learn from each other and grow their race.
Organization Name: Kindermourn
Years Racing with GAME: 2017 will make 13 years!
Head Duck: It takes a flock to plan our duck race. The entire Kindermourn staff jumps in to help.
Tell us a little bit about your organization and why you are racing ducks:
Kindermourn is a nonprofit that helps families who are experiencing unthinkable loss in their lives. We provide hope and healing to bereaved parents dealing with the loss of a child. We also work with grieving children and teens who have lost a sibling, parent or other loved one.
What is your favorite part of planning a Rubber Duck Race?
Our favorite part about planning the duck race has to be the teams that form every year to race in honor/memory of a lost loved on. The energy these families bring in the midst of grief is inspiring and heartwarming. We know the duck race brings a different light to their grief in a way that allows them to give back to Kindermourn while never forgetting the one that left them too soon.
Do you have any duck race tips you would share with a first time racer?
Our duck race is unique in that our rubber duck races have become a symbol of hope and healing for our families. Like grief, the journey to the end is often rough and unpredictable. Yet, regardless of circumstances, these little rubber ducks remain afloat! People need to feel connected to your cause and see the impact of what you do. Your duck race should be the same way. Find a way to blend your mission with your fundraising objectives and you will have a successful race!
How do you keep your race fresh and new year after year?
Our duck race has become a sort of “tradition” with our Kindermourn families and in our community. People can’t wait for the duck race each year so we are’t inclined to change too much from year to year. Each year, though, we do create new bright yellow signs and we love to see them popped up in yards all over town! Our racer t-shirts are also very popular each year and have become an added source of revenue for our race. Along with social media, we also pop out a lot of creative and motivational emails with new tag lines to generate our team’s excitement!
What is something that some people might not know about your organization and or Duck Race?
People probably don’t know that we are a tiny organization that puts on one killer duck race! Our staff at Kindermourn is under 10 but the need for our services in the community grows each year. This year was a record sellout at 30,000 ducks. We could have kept it going if we could have gotten more ducks in time for our race. The community support for Kindermourn is unparalleled, as well. We have a crane company that donates a crane to lift a custom steel fabricated (specially for us!) basket full of ducks at a venue that is the site of the U.S. Olympic Kayak trials. Thousands of people come to watch our race and this year was one of the best….30,000 ducks, over 20,000 spectators of all ages cheering on our little yellow champions, and record fundraising at $200,000!
What are some organizational goals you are trying to achieve with your Duck Race?
Our organizational goals for the duck race remain the same each year – to sustain our programs and the growing need for Kindermourn services. This duck race is our single signature fundraiser for the year and accounts for 25% of our operating budget. The monies raised from this race directly fund our in house individual and group counseling for parents and children. Proceeds also help our outreach school counseling program, provided for free, for at-risk children and teens within our local school system. This program provides grief awareness and group counseling in a safe, familiar school setting for students dealing with loss or other issues that affect their school performance who would otherwise not have access to our services.
What is your favorite phrase or quote?
One of our favorites this year was “They believed that they could…and they did.” We used the picture of a grouping of real ducks on a ledge with one taking a leap over into the water. We loved that image as it really was a reflection of our momentum this year. Another favorite quote of ours is this: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches on the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops it all…” – Emily Dickinson
What is your favorite Ducktionary phrase?
Our favorite is “Keep Calm and Quack On!” That’s what we did this year and it worked! We quack ourselves up around here!
We have ducks and turtles racing this weekend for three fantastic nonprofit organizations. Ducks will be racing in Port Angeles and Walla Walla Washington and turtles will be racing in Toccoa, Georgia.
20th Annual Ducky Derby of Walla Walla
The Club sponsors a variety of activities that support and draw attention to their central mission, which is the prevention of child abuse in the Walla Walla Valley.
Where: Mill Creek by the Walla Walla Community College Athletic Fields
When: Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm PDT. Duck race begins at 2:00 p.m.
Highlights: Rubber ducks have been racing in Walla Walla for 20 years! This ducktacular event will feature free soda, popcorn, family-friendly activities, and 25 cent hot dogs! And the ducks aren’t just floating down Mill Creek. They are racing for child abuse prevention and to support programs that encourage youth all over the Walla Walla Valley!
Prizes: This year features over $25,000 in prizes including a 1-year family membership to the YMCA and a Victoria, British Columbia get-a-way package. In addition, the first place duck will have the option of going home with a 2017 Toyota Corolla or $12,500 cash!
28th Annual Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby
Since 1986, the OMC Foundation has provided more than $1.5 million dollars to the Olympic Medical Center Hospital, and Endowment funds have produced more than $700,000 in just eight years. This money goes towards state-of-the-art equipment and patient services.
Where: The Pond at Lincoln Park in Port Angeles, Washington
When: Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm PDT.
Highlights: A kid’s duck race will take place during the Duck Derby and is presented by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Children under the age of 18 can purchase and decorate a duck for $10, which will be entered into the kid’s event.
Prizes: A total of 45 total prizes are up for grabs this year! The grand prize is a 2017 Toyota Corolla provided by Wilder Toyota. Proceeds from the Duck Derby will benefit the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and the Sequim Rotary Club’s charitable projects.
Racer Website: http://www.omhf.org/duck-derby.aspx
2nd Annual Toccoa Turtle Race
The Boys & Girls Club mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring responsible citizens. Every turtle in the water is a life you have helped inspire in the community.
Where: Toccoa Falls College
When: Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm EDT.
Highlights: There will be food, music and festivities for children.
Prizes: The grand prize winner will go home with $2,000 cash! Adopt a Turtle, Inspire a Future!
Racer Website: www.toccoaturtlerace.com
The ducks are traveling to Bradenton, Florida this weekend for the 8th Annual Lucky Ducky Race for Pace on May 13, 2017. Adopt a Duck…Help a Girl!
8th Annual Lucky Ducky Race for PACE
PACE Manatee started changing girl’s lives in 1989. PACE helps girls between the ages of 11 and 18, in middle and high school. Their mission is to help each girl achieve her academic goals, develop real world skills and prepare for the promise of her future. They believe that every girl, no matter what her life circumstances have been, deserves an opportunity for a better future.
Where: Caddy’s at the Pointe in Bradenton, Florida.
When: Saturday, May 13, 2017. The ducks will race at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
Highlights: This year’s grand prize is a new Chevy Cruze (2 year lease or $6,000) sponsored by Cox Chevrolet! Other prizes include a weekly dinner for 2 at Anna Marie Oyster Bar for a year! Be sure to be on the lookout for Quacky throughout the day and say hi while taking a selfie. The whole day will be filled with entertainment, games, and fun! The highlight will be watching 20,000 ducks racing down the Manatee River and crossing the finish line! New for 2017 is a a special VID (Very Important Duck) Race just before the Lucky Ducky Race for PACE.
What can a duck do?
- A $5.00 single duck adoption can provide a girl with the essential supplies she needs to be successful academically.
- A $20.00 quack pack adoption of 5 ducks can provide a 1 month student transportation pass.
- A $100.00 flock adoption of 30 ducks can provide a girl and her family with counseling and goal setting, creating hope for her future.
Racer Website: www.luckyduckyraceforpace.com
The week of your duck race your nonprofit needs that final push to get all your ducks adopted. Here are some ideas to encourage last minute duck adoptions. These ideas will catch the attention of your community and drive traffic to your duck adoption site.
Here are some ideas to encourage last minute duck adoptions:
1. Post a Duck Emergency Image. To encourage people to adopt who are procrastinating the last week, post a duck emergency image. GAME has several images to choose from or you can easily create your own image in Canva. Here is an example of content you can include with the image: “Duck Emergency! There are still some ducks left to adopt for our duck race this weekend. You don’t want to miss out on some ducktastic prizes so better get moving before we sell out of ducks!” Include your call to action and your duck adoption website URL.
2. Post a Screenshot of your duck adoption total. Youth Emergency Services and Shelter posted on Instagram a screenshot of their duck adoption total. They also included the following caption: 3 days and 6,000 ducks left to go! Please adopt a duck today at yessduckderby.org and help us spread the message. Every duck adoption matters for Iowa’s kids!
3. Team Totals. PACE Center for Girls keeps teams updated on their weekly duck adoption totals. Every week, a QUACK CHAT image is posts on Facebook and Instagram. A fun duck image shows the top community and staff teams so they can keep updated on their progress.
4. Email Blast – Send an email blast to your donor database a few days before your race. You should also send out an email about 3 weeks prior to your race. The racers who send out an email the last week of their race do see an increase in duck adoptions. Adding a creative flair and subject line to your email increases the chances of it being opened. Our racer in Reno, Nevada ( Nevada Humane Society) sent a series of emails about ducks who have overcome obstacles by competing in the duck race. Make sure to include your call to action and a link to your duck adoption site.
5. Board Member Challenge – Give 20 adoption papers to each one of your board members duck race committee members and challenge them to return all 20 completed by the Friday evening before your race.
6. Quack Attack – Have your Quacky mascot go around town the last week of your race and “dance” around random people until they adopt a duck.
7. Have a duck mascot dance competition – Our nonprofit partner, Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners in Denver, Colorado, had a day of cash prize for their race in 2016. To enter, people had to participate in a dance-off competition with their duck mascot. The cash prize incentivized people to attend their event.
How does your nonprofit encourage last minute duck adoptions the week of your race? Share them with us on our Facebook page!
Race season is off to a quacktastic start and we have five duck races to kick of May. Check out the details of each duck race and adopt your ducks today!
Reedy River Duck Derby
Returning for their 13th year, the Rotary Club is racing 10,000 ducks for multiple nonprofit organizations in Greenville, SC. Nonprofits include: Mauldin Miracle League, GAIHN, EarlyAct FirstKnight, and more!
Where: Reedy River Falls Park in Greenville, SC
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT. The ducks will race at 2:30 p.m.
Highlights: There will be games, children’s activities, entertainment, and exhibits from local artists. Prizes include an Embassy Suites Golf Resort Weekend Package, a children’s playhouse, and groceries for a year from Publix! Don’t miss out on this quacky event!
Racer Website: www.reedyriverduckderby.com
YESS Duck Derby
As Iowa’s largest provider of emergency services for youth, newborn through age 17, YESS touches the lives of more than 2,000 children per year through a range of programs designed to keep kids safe and help families thrive.
Where: Jordan Creek Town Center in Des Moines, IA
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017 at noon CDT. Ducks launch at 2:00 p.m.
Highlights: YESS is celebrating a duck-ade of making a splash for kids in crisis. Spectators can enjoy an afternoon of family-friendly entertainment, kids’ activities, photos with Quacky, and food samples from the restaurants in the Jordan Creek shopping center, all at no cost!
At approximately 2:00 p.m. a total of 40,000 rubber ducks will dive into the water to win one of ten prizes. This year’s prizes include a $100 gift card to Joseph’s Jewelers, a $400 Iowa Cubs Party Pack, a Landscaping Makeover and the Grand Prize winner receives $10,000 in cash!
Racer Website: www.yessduckderby.org
River Region Duck Dash
Who: Wetumpka Rotary Club
The Wetumpka Rotary supports nonprofits such as the Humane Society of Elmore County, Camp ASCAA, and Adullum House. In addition, the Rotary supports the Wetumpka Rotary Dictionary Project, Elmore County Pregnancy Center, Relay for Life, and more!
Where: Gold Star Park during the Wetumpka Chamber’s Kayak Fishing Tournament in Wetumpka, AL
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017. The ducks will launch around 3:00 p.m. CDT.
Highlights: Why are 5,000 rubber ducks racing down the river? To help out local nonprofits in the community. The top three ducks who cross the finish line first will win some ducktacular cash prizes. The grand prize is $1,500 for the quickest duck of them all! The second grand prize is $1,000 cash and the third grand prize is $750 cash.
Racer Website: www.riverregionduckdash.com
19th Annual Rubber Duck Derby
The Boys and & Girls Clubs of Lanier help youths participate in the “Youth of the Year” leadership program, provides school supplies, provide healthy snacks, and more for the club!
Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Park in Gainesville, GA
When: Friday, May 5, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT. Ducks race at 5:30 p.m.
Highlights: Family and friends can celebrate Cinco de Mayo with live music, food and drinks. The highlight will be watching a total of 20,000 ducks splash into the lake and swim for first place! This year’s prizes include a two night stay at a Lakehouse, a Diamond Soltaire, and the quickest duck across the finish line will win the grand prize of $10,000!
Racer Website: www.rubberduckderby.com
Advocates for Children Duck Derby
Advocates for Children provides services to children and families who have been the victims of abuse and neglect. They also offer multiple layers of personal care through an array of programs to reduce the incidence of child abuse. Advocates serves 17 Northwest Georgia counties offering safety, comfort, and hope to over 3,000 children and families every year.
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT. At noon, the ducks will launch.
Where: Terminus Wake Park in Cartersville, GA
Highlights: Duck race fans can enjoy a day of delicious food from local food trucks and children’s activities including an Ultimate Kid Zone with inflatables. At noon, a total of 20,000 ducks will take a dip in the water hoping to be plucked to win the grand prize of $10,000! Buy a Duck and Help the Children today!
Racer Website: www.duckrace.com/cartersville
Email marketing is an affordable option that allows nonprofits to build awareness, educate and hopefully help gain donations. When your nonprofit wants to reach out to your donors, chances are that you email them. There is never a shortage of emails in your donor’s inbox so how do you cut through the clutter and make sure that your email reaches your donor and gets clicked?
Here are tips to enhance your nonprofit’s email strategy:
- Purpose of your Email – Before you start creating your email, think about the purpose of your email. Is it to spread the word about an upcoming fundraising campaign? Are you notifying donors about how proceeds from an event made a difference for families in your community? Focus on one subject so the donor understands exactly why you are sending the email. Once you have decided on the email topic, create an outline with supporting bullet points that will encourage your donors to spur into action.
- Create a Catchy Email Subject Line – Think about what subject line would cause you to open up an email. A good rule to follow is to keep it shore and no more than 50 characters. Remember that in the mobile inbox, only about the first 35 characters of your subject line will be visible. There are online programs you can use to evaluate your subject line such as subjectline.com. Be aware of words that can cause spam triggers and do not use all caps in the subject line.
- Keep Your Messaging Short and to the Point – Shorter emails yield shorter turnaround response times. People receiving a long email usually don’t have the time to read it until later in the day or maybe after work. Just make sure that you have enough copy in your email to get your point across.
- Show Your Personality – Remember that you are writing to people so make sure to show your personality. Think about how you would carry on a conversation if you were sitting across the table from one of your donors at your local coffee hangout. Think of ways that you can inject your personality into your emails. One way to think about how to differentiate your voice would be to ask yourself this question: if your nonprofit was a person, what would they be like? Think of 3 to 4 adjectives that could describe your nonprofit. Then, when you are writing think about how those adjectives could be using in your writing.
- Create a contagious call to action – Your fundraising email should always include a call to action. Think of what type of action you want the read to take after reading your email. Keep these helpful pointers in mind when creating your call to action. Use action words that will encourage engagement such as act, change and transform. You also want to use colors that catch the eye. For example, red promotes urgency. Also remember that your email should only have one call to action. You don’t want your audience to get confused by multiple call to action buttons.
- Monitor your email metrics – Make sure that you are tracking your open rate which is the measure of how many people on your email list opened up your email. For nonprofits, the average open rate is somewhere around 25%. You also want to monitor your click through rate is the measure of how many people clicked on a specific link in your email message. By consistently looking at your campaign reports, you can start to understand what is working and what isn’t working in terms of your email marketing campaigns.