Friday, March 4, 2011

Get to the heart of fundraising

It is said that guilt is a useless emotion. I'm not sure I agree with that in general, but when it comes to social marketing I think the days of guilting people into action are over.

That's why, when we were approached by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to refresh their creative for their 20th annual telethon, we wanted to turn things around.

For the past couple of years, the Heart Institute has focussed on loss, portraying heart disease as a cold killer of family and friends. But that didn't rub me the right way. The telethon, after all, has consistently brought in millions of dollars from people in the Ottawa Region who believe in its work. They are not motivated by sadness, they are expressing hope. And they should feel good about what they have helped achieve.

With that in mind, we made this year's ads all about saying thanks:

As Don Draper said, "we're selling happiness". I don't think fundraising should be any different.

Please tune in to the telethon this Sunday, or donate directly at their web site.


  1. I just recently wrote a (far-less polished and professional) post about how using guilt as a tactic in fundraising is counter-productive since it tends to cause people to close their ears, and subsequently, their wallets.