Canadian Cancer Society Brings Provinces Together for Year End Success
Posted by Meg Mader at Jan 27, 2015 07:03 AM CST

The Canadian Cancer Society (the Society), a national community-based organization with separate divisions within each Canadian province, pooled resources from all provinces to achieve a 9 to 1 return on investment in a successfully integrated year-end fundraising campaign. Read on, and you’ll soon understand why the incredibly profitable campaign, which the organization completed with help from hjc, was nominated for a 2014 IMAB Integrated Marketing Award

The Society funds research and programs and provides information, supporter services and education, striving to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. 

As mentioned, while it has a national headquarters, each province has a separate division that works independently from the others. Each province has their own staff, budget and resources, but their constituents and the general public see them as one organization. The Society has largely taken an independent approach to fundraising over the last few years — each province has their own way of doing things… and each has specific strengths and weaknesses as well. Not surprisingly, this extreme segregation across provinces posed a significant challenge when the goal to create a more integrated year-end campaign was established.

Provinces United

With many provinces at various stages of organizational development, the Western groups (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba) enlisted the help of fundraising consultants at hjc and worked together to execute a multichannel year-end campaign with a plan to pool resources from each province. The integrated campaign included email, web, and video, plus some provinces also used direct mail. All provinces contributed to the overall budget, and each had something different to contribute to the overall campaign.

For example, some provinces were better equipped to provide design and web development, while others were able to contribute personal stories from beneficiaries. One province was able to produce a compelling video of a cancer patient named Denis who relies on the Society resources and volunteers to make it to his frequent doctor appointments. Denis’ story became the face of the year-end campaign, and the video was offered up to the society, with minor changes so it could be used for each province. And for the most part, the same email copy was used by all, but edited slightly to suit the needs of each province.

When a national organization has many different regional offices, this segregation usually poses a huge challenge when it comes to a combined campaign, and the Society was no exception. But the Society was able to get everyone on board, working together and sharing resources to optimize the strengths and assets available from each region.

Collaboration Is the Key to Success

Overall, each participating province saw a substantial increase in revenue, ranging from 40 percent to a high of 184 percent. British Columbia saw the largest percentage increase over the previous year while all the Western provinces saw a 9 to 1 return on investment, raising a total of $270,000. These results were a far cry above the previous year for all parties involved! 

Collaboration was the key to success for the Society. Although this required immense effort to convince all parties to see and contribute to the big picture, it proved rewarding for all parties involved, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the eradication of cancer.

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