A Bold New Fundraising Campaign: Will it Break Through or Backfire?

It’s a difficult time to be a not-for-profit. According to a study by StatsCan, the number of people volunteering is on the decline and the number of active donors is shrinking. The only ray of light coming from that study is that, while the number of donors is decreasing, the amount being given by those donors is increasing.

This means that the stakes are much higher when you gain a new donor and also when you lose one. That means marketing campaigns need to grab and hold new people’s attention, but at the same time it cannot alienate current donors. That’s a tall order.

Can you simultaneously break through with an attention-getting message, without confusing or alienating your most loyal donors?

That’s what the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is trying to do with its bold new campaign “Fierce”. It shifts the attitude from sick to fierce and features patients and staff posing bravely.

This new campaign is a departure for the hospital, highlighting the bravery of its patients vs. the traditional heartstring-tugging.

This new approach is not without its detractors, in academia, amongst donors and even amongst the staff. But it has also been generating a great deal of attention and you only have to watch one of the ads to feel the impact.

Does This Campaign Win the War For Attention?

We wanted to know if this bold reframing of SickKids narrative would break through or backfire. To do this, we connected with a representative sample of 800 Ontarians who are members of our Angus Reid Forum, to see what the public thinks.

To find out how this experiment is turning out, download our report, which includes information on the attraction of new donors, backlash, reaction to the ad and effect on millennials.

Download the Whitepaper

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