How the Canadian Cancer Society is targeting digital natives

The org has launched one of its first fundraising media pushes with its new "Fearless Challenge," encouraging those who live online to share their experiences for a good cause.

The Canadian Cancer Society is attempting to stand out in an increasingly crowded charity market with the creation of a new campaign targeted at digital natives called the “Fearless Challenge.”

With media from UM and creative from Lowe Roche, the campaign asks people to face one of their fears by posting the fear online with a set dollar amount tied to facing it. Once the money has been raised the user can then post the accomplishment and share it online. The campaign is the result of a challenge that the organization put to agencies last fall to create a new platform for the organization.

Mike Kirkpatrick, director of marketing for the Cancer Society in Ontario, tells MiC that the campaign was created to reach a new target for the not-for-profit – people who live and chronicle their lives online. The campaign is being launched within the Ontario chapter for now, with plans for expansion based on results.

“The idea is based around the insight that one of the things that the organization can offer is services that can help reduce stress and fear around cancer,” he says. “By allowing people to face their own fears and raise money in the process they are helping those with cancer live fearlessly.”

The challenges are being promoted through a digital and transit buy that will run until the end of September, with the campaign living on year-round through the organization’s website and social media channels.

Kirkpatrick says that this time of year was chosen to launch the campaign because part of the young digitally-focused target is off for the summer and can think about the kinds of challenges they might want to take on. He adds this is one of the first major media pushes the organization has made around generating donations.

To kick the campaign off, the Canadian Cancer Society has posted endorsements from celebrities like Call Me Fitz’s Jason Priestley, former NFL player Jesse Palmer and Hedley bassist and cancer survivor Tommy Mac.