Big Impact on a Small Budget

...A lesson learned from a local charity with a big heart

I have spent most of my career on the agency-side of marketing, working with large corporations in the financial, automotive, and B2B sectors. When I first began immersing myself in the not-for-profit space a couple of years ago, it was an incredibly refreshing change. And while I still balance clients in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, my serious passion is in helping the charitable sector succeed. I think there is tremendous value in bringing for-profit business strategies to the not-for-profit space. And certainly in today’s marketing world of engagement and social media integration – what better space to play and experiment, than with a charitable organization – who inherently brings with it a passionate base of people who care personally about the cause. These are the people who will become the ambassadors, and ultimately the fundraisers, for the organization.

In partnering with MacLaren Kiindrid, a new division of MacLaren McCann focused on the non-profit and social good space, I have recently begun working with an incredible local charity – Camp Oochigeas. “Ooch” is a magical place – where kids with cancer can come to just be kids. The work they do with these children is truly phenomenal, and the stories are incredibly heart-warming. But more than that, Ooch is a great example to the many non-profits out there at demonstrating how incredible success can be achieved by leveraging a great cause through an integrated campaign/event. Big budgets aren’t required to make a big impact. A great lesson not only for all you NFPs, but for an agency girl typically accustomed to big budgets.

Starting this week, the CMA Not-For-Profit council will be publishing NFP case studies, to be released throughout the year. (CMA members can view the full case study and video here.) Camp Ooch has the honour of being the first case study in this process. I encourage all NFP’s out there, and corporations seeking a case study in social good, to have a look. It shows how some sound strategic thinking, a strong creative theme, and a whole lot of passion can drive some solid event success. Despite a difficult environment (immediately following Haiti, and in the midst of a recession), the case study shows how Ooch was able to exceed their $500,000 fundraising goal for a single bi-annual event by over $75,000 – in the course of 2 weeks. … and in typical DM fashion, I’ll finish with a small call-to-action to encourage you to follow Ooch online as they lead up to the upcoming launch of the camp’s newest addition – bringing Ooch to downtown Toronto with a year-round indoor camp for children battling childhood cancer. Those of you in Toronto – keep an eye out for some amazing local market activity in the coming months.

Vicki Waschkowski

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Tags: Not-for-Profit