To celebrate Singapore Management University’s 20th anniversary, its alumni, students, and staff put their best feet forward.
In September 2020, the university launched a monthlong virtual race fundraiser with the goal of raising SGD$400,000 for students impacted by the pandemic.
“The more we walk or run, the more we help students in need,” said Jia En, a third-year SMU student who volunteered as a SMOO Challenge ambassador. She set a goal of 100 kilometers, and shared stretches and tips for warming up before a run or walk in an SMU video.
En and her fellow participants signed up online ($21 for alumni, staff, community members; $10 for students), pledging to walk or run distances either individually or as a team. Based on the distances they pledged, participants collectively “unlocked” giving challenges: 10,000 kilometers unlocked a $10,000 gift from an alumnus, and 50,000 kilometers unlocked $50,000 raised by SMU President Lily Kong. SMU gave weekly prizes (like Skechers sneakers) to participants who posted photos on Instagram and tagged @smoochallenge.
More than 1,200 students, staff, alumni, and friends in 90 teams across 16 countries joined in. They walked and ran 57,346 kilometers, setting a record in Singapore for “Longest Distance Covered Online by Runners in 20 Days.” SMU also surpassed its financial goal, raising $413,000. That translates to 48 students receiving support.
The project won a 2021 Grand Gold Circle of Excellence Award for online fundraising events, with judges praising its creativity and many moving pieces.
About the author(s)
Meredith Barnett is the Manager of Digital Communications at CASE.
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