Way back in early June, after less than two months at Sue Ryder (and having made the leap to fundraising charity land after 10 years in fairly serious and pointy-headed health policy), an email came into my inbox called ‘PayPal Turkey Dash 2017’. It was the first of many (the last few months have been pretty turkey-centric) and, for us at Sue Ryder, was a great chance to build our national profile by being part of something much bigger.
Eight turkeys, one dash for cash
So, what is the PayPal Turkey Dash? Turkey Dash is an initiative spearheaded by the PayPal Giving Fund and involves eight charities all having a CGI turkey representative take part in an animated race, powered by donations. The fundraising launched on Giving Tuesday and runs until the 15th December. And it all culminates with the animated race shown in a prime time ad break on Channel 4 that evening (Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday night feast, 8.10pm-ish, in case you’re interested).
And the icing on the cake is that the turkeys and all the creative elements, including the race, have been designed by Aardman Animations, of Wallace & Gromit fame. It was an opportunity too good to pass up and we were delighted to jump on board.
The idea is that people donate to train a turkey as it prepares for the race. Nurse Feathers, our Sue Ryder Turkey, is doing cone slaloms, weightlifting and downing kale smoothies in her fight for fitness.
A social media campaign that’s going full wattle
Check out #TurkeyDash on Twitter and you’ll get a feel for some of the great and imaginative things that the charities taking part are doing. With boosted Facebook posts and promoted tweets, you may well have already seen Turkey Dash posts coming up in your timelines. We’ve been having a lot of fun with our cutout of Nurse Feathers around the office, including keeping her away from today’s bake sale to help her maintain beak physical condition.
How Nurse Feathers fares in the final race remains to be seen. We’ve got some big competition but we’re up for it and being part of such a creative initiative bringing together a range of charities is great fun. We’ve also loved the turkey puns - no winging it here.
And lastly, if you fancy checking out Nurse Feathers and giving her a little training boost, visit turkeydash.co.uk/SueRyder.