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HAAM Benefit Day 2016: Keeping music in Austin alive and well

The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians—otherwise known as HAAM—is an Austin nonprofit dedicated to providing affordable access to health care for Austin’s low-income, uninsured working musicians. The average Austin musician makes about $18,000 a year, making it nearly impossible to afford modern health care premiums on top of basic living expenses.

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HAAM Benefit Day is the organization’s largest fundraising event and supports about one-third of HAAM’s total operating budget. For one day, more than 200 local businesses pledge to donate 5 percent of their daily proceeds to HAAM and more than 150 musical acts play in Austin-area clubs, restaurants, retail stores, bank lobbies and much more.

Red Fan was tasked with increasing awareness around HAAM Benefit Day, its sponsors and HAAM’s lofty $500,000 goal (the highest fundraising goal ever for the organization).

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In support of HAAM Benefit Day, Red Fan created a comprehensive sponsorship deck to share with current and potential sponsors and conducted an extensive media relations campaign that reached broadcast, print and online outlets throughout Austin. On the day of the event, Red Fan coordinated on-air interviews for FOX 7, KXAN and Spectrum News with HAAM board members, participating Austin musicians and HAAM Executive Director Reenie Collins. Popular bloggers, local journalists and other Austinites shared their experiences on social media, with Mayor Steve Adler kicking off the event from Whole Foods Market, HAAM Benefit Day’s title sponsor.

Red Fan also designed and wrote content for a six-page insert in West Austin News that was used to promote HAAM Benefit Day and provide an easily digestible guide that showcased the day’s musical acts.

The outreach resulted in more than 40 unique online, broadcast and social stories from dozens of local media outlets, amounting to about 23 million media impressions and adding value for the event’s sponsors.

Most importantly, HAAM was able to reach its goal of $500,000 in donations in just one day as it continues to keep music in Austin alive and well.

“Kathleen and her team at Red Fan are amazing partners. And partner is the word to emphasize. I have no doubt that they are as invested in our success and outcomes as we are. The experienced team brings new and creative ideas, but they also ask questions and challenge us in areas that need to be examined. I have learned to respect not only their day-to-day expertise in media and PR, but more importantly their overall strategy and business sense. We are lucky to have such a seasoned group of professionals in our corner. This team is responsive and easy to work with—plus they are just a whole lot of fun. The only downside of this recommendation is that we want to keep them to ourselves!”

-Reenie Collins, executive director

Health Alliance for Austin Musicians

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