Jul 13 2017
By Steven Olender
On September 18th, 2016, Christophe Ponsart put on a green and yellow body suit and headed to the Domain for the CASA Superhero Run. It was a plan that was set into motion months earlier when the Outreach Pod, the team of staff members at his office who also plan activities to build a positive office culture, approached him. They had an idea for fundraising that involved transforming him into Michelangelo, the Ninja Turtle.
OnPrem, where Christophe is a Founding Partner, is a consulting and software development firm, which opened an Innovation and Development Center in Austin three years ago. True to form, the Outreach Pod approached fundraising in the most consultant way possible. They sent out surveys to engage levels of interest and evaluated the data to determine what their fundraising goals should be. They then set up internal costume contests to build excitement among the staff. The cherry on top was when they offered the incentive: If they reached their fundraising goal, Christophe would show up on race day and run the race in full Ninja Turtle garb.
“It ended up being a goal people wanted to get behind,” explained Christophe. Part of this was his costume, but part was due to the fact that some staff members had a personal connection to CASA’s mission. That connection motivated the team to work together, identifying who could support them in fundraising for the cause. “Our team is very family-based,” he said. “It helped in bringing the group closer together. Knowing some folks have had hard times in these ways and supporting each other creates even stronger bonds across the team.”
In the end, they not only reached their goal, they doubled it. Christophe felt their success came down to two things, the culture of support at the company and proper planning. “It’s always harder to go after something if you don’t have some kind of objective in mind,” he explained. “Throwing something out there at least gives you some kind of target that people can work towards.” We can’t wait to see what this hero in a half shell and his team of heroes accomplishes this year.
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