There’s no doubt about it, the holidays are about giving. For many Canadians, this involves sharing gifts and giving charitably to causes. In fact, this holiday season Canadians donated approximately $5 billion in their annual tide of generosity to charities and the communities they serve.
While we’ve all seen The Salvation Army’s red Christmas kettles collecting money outside supermarkets or in malls, sometimes it takes a little more pizzazz to attract people to your cause. Don’t get us wrong, The Salvation Army raised over $22 million this holiday season to support local communities (Tweet this Stat!), but here are our favourite four holiday giving campaigns that went above and beyond to delight people into joining their cause.
This year, The Red Cross urged Canadians to help rebuild the life of a family struck by disaster by using an interactive online tool to build their own relief-giving gift boxes. From comforting items for children to essentials like groceries and hygiene supplies, these packages were meant to help speed up the recovery of a family suffering through tragedy. To build their own custom relief kit, users could simply drag and drop items from a range of options into their box. The campaign enticed users to give generously because it made them feel like they were giving a hand-chosen gift package rather than money.
As well, the site featured a story of one of the families that would be receiving this specific method of aid over the holidays. Outlining the misfortune faced by the Klein family, who were struck by tragedy when a fire gutted their home; a home recently equipped to accommodate their son’s special needs, the story not only added a human element that appealed to our sense of generosity, but also put a face and name to those who would be directly benefitting from the gift boxes.
2. TVO Email Campaign – Give the Gift of Learning
Every year, millions of Ontarians experience the power of learning through TVO’s educational content on-air, online, and in the classroom. As Ontario’s leading provider of free, accessible learning opportunities, TVO levels the playing field for learning through innovative educational products, in-depth current affairs, groundbreaking documentaries, and award-winning TVOKids content. This year, TVO appealed to our sense of celebrity by having their holiday giving email be addressed from well-known TV personalities from the network.
With a call to action to support TVO by giving to their Gift of Learning initiative, the emails were signed from Gisèle Corinthios, Host and Producer of Gisele’s Big Backyard, Steve Paikin, Anchor of The Agenda with Steve Paikin, and others. This strategy made those who received the emails feel like they were being personally called upon from their favourite host.
Right to Play uses play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities. This year the organization highlighted their Give Play campaign by creating a responsive and dynamic website that invited visitors to journey back into their childhood and remember the joys of play – an experience that millions of children around the world don't get to have.
With the look and feel of a children’s storybook, the website created a narrative of how important ‘play’ is in a child’s development – teaching cooperation and conflict resolution, as well as building confidence – and how users could brighten a childhood by giving the gift of play. Each donation added a light to their Christmas tree, creating a beautiful visual representation of the generosity received over the holiday season.
In tandem with Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Season of Giving campaign, Kringl is a mobile app that allows users to create magic and prove to their children that Santa Claus is real. After using their smartphone to film a 10 second video of their home, users can choose one of five video overlay options that bring Santa to life, right in their own living room. Users can then share their ‘Santa-sighting’ amongst friends and family on social media, or save the clip on their phone to show eager children on Christmas morning.
The Kringl app is completely free, but after creating your custom video the app asks if you’d like to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Canada or Toys for Tots to spread a little holiday magic of your own in the spirit of keeping childhood dreams alive. This year, Make-A-Wish will grant close to 500 magical, life-affirming wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions from coast to coast.
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