Pennies For Life

Non-profit organizations are constantly hosting events to raise funds or build awareness among their publics. It’s an extremely important aspect of their business therefore getting the most eyes on their brand and getting people involved with the cause is key.

The Pennies For Life campaign is a great example of an experiential marketing event put on for the not for profit organization entitled Microloan Foundation. The event incorporated mobile marketing to create an interactive experience that showed participants results in real-time. My description can’t do this event justice so watch the video below and be sure to share you thoughts!

The goal of the event  was to encourage the public to pool funds together to help underprivileged women in Africa.

What Made it Successful?

Getting people involved in crowdfunding can be difficult. Many organizations think placing a rep on a busy street with a clipboard and a pen will get people listening. However consumers are often skeptical of these strategies. They are unwilling to donate or provide contact information in this situation and often do not have the time to listen. I’m sure you’ve encountered these campaigns. Brand ambassadors for non-profit organizations stand right in your way as you’re walking down Yonge Street to catch your train. They tell you it will only take a minute and begin their speech about their cause, and as much as you’d like to help, it’s just not the right place or time. 

You may have an amazing cause but if your consumers are unwilling to participate you’re out of luck. You’re campaign must encourage a behavior change or create a call to action. Whether it is about preventing global warming or helping underprivileged women in Africa you must be able to get your target audience involved in the cause and break the awareness barrier.

The Pennies for Life campaign positioned themselves in a location which would help eliminate this barrier. In a busy mall or shopping area people are leisurely walking and more willing to participate in an event such as the one put on by Microloan Foundation.

The campaign brought crowdfunding to life, creating an interactive and dynamic event by incorporating the technology that is readily available to their target audience. The organization was able to make participating in the event fun, engaging and most importantly easy to do. The digital posters, displaying falling pennies as SMS messages were sent, allowed consumers to see their donation help complete the portrait which brings an instant feeling of satisfaction and gratification. They could see an image of the woman and the business they helped. This was a great way to get consumers emotionally involved in the hopes of building a strong following and future participation.

Like in the Love Your Locks  event hosted by Target and Unilever, having a website (or a hub) for your participants – and those who were unable to attend – to visit after the event is essential. In this case, a Microsite was created to provide consumers with a place to find out more information about the women who will be benefiting from their donations. They are also credited on the site for participating in the event. Exposure multiplied when consumers shared a message about their donations to their social network. On the microsite consumers are able to type in their phone number, find the woman they helped and a share button allows them to post a message directly to their Facebook or Twitter.

To gain more exposure the brand ambassadors at the event could have promoted the use of a common hashtag. With their phones already in hand this would be the obvious next step for participants. Posts could encourage a visit to the location, provide a brief description of how to donate or at the very least peek the interest of their friends and followers to seek more information – which will then bring them to the microsite (hopefully!).


2 thoughts on “Pennies For Life

    • It was a great campaign, clearly well thought-out! They found an effective method of relaying their information and breaking the awareness barrier. Their audience came to them rather than forcing their information onto the public.

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