Aviva funds again

The insurance company issues version 2.0 of its Community Fund initiative, hoping to build on last year's runaway success. Find out how they are looking to top 2009.

Aviva Canada’s Community Fund initiative is back.

The Canadian arm of the global insurance company’s CSR campaign recently launched its sophomore effort after debuting in 2009. The competition invites individuals or community groups to submit an idea to improve their community (in Canada). The ideas are uploaded onto AvivaCommunityFund.org, at which point the group or person is responsible for promoting the project and generating votes for it from the public. Aviva then funds each of the most popular small-, medium- and large-sized projects for a total purse of $1 million.

The campaign was developed and executed by Toronto-based Idea Couture, while the promotional media was done by ZenithOptimedia. Media support for the Fund includes online display, a homepage takeover of Canoe.ca last week, a partnership with CTV to include the Fund in Canada AM, as well as outreach to school boards.

Last year, the competition generated 2,100 idea submissions, 440,000 registered participants and over two million votes cast. The fund also generated huge digital traffic for Aviva, with 89% of the brand’s global Twitter traffic being generated through the fund (which is a Canada-specific campaign) and 75% of the campaign site’s traffic coming from social-media promotion of ideas. And although he wouldn’t disclose numbers, the effort had ‘significant measurable impact’ on aided and unaided brand recall and exceeded campaign engagement targets by ‘several hundred percent,’ Patrick Glinski, head of social innovation, Idea Couture, tells MiC.

Last year, Glinski says, the Fund was included in many school projects as a medium by which to execute charitable, or fundraising, initiatives.

This year, the funding purse is double the amount of last year, and a new ‘micro-fundraising’ element has been added that is designed to extend the Community Fund project past the competition deadline. Many of last year’s submissions continued to fundraise after the competition closed, Glinski says, with some coming to fruition despite not earning funding through the Community Fund. The micro-fundraising functionality, which is powered by CSR program API developer Benevity, will allow ideas funded by registered charitable organizations to continue to generate funds through the site even if they don’t make it into the final round, he says.

‘Last year, people kept coming back to the ideas over the entire year,’ he explains. ‘Obviously, this was long-tail traffic, but there was still interest in a lot of the ideas, so I think this was a really smart move to be able to extend the life of the program both from a marketing perspective, and to really benefit the ideas in the long term.’

The competition launched last week and over 400 ideas have been submitted since. The three-round submissions phase lasts until Nov. 26, the voting phase from Dec. 2 to Dec. 15, and the judging phase from Dec. 20 to Jan. 24, 2011.