Taking READ Saskatoon’s fundraising to new heights

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Blossom Communications helps organizations and businesses flourish and achieve their communications or marketing goals. Our recent work with READ Saskatoon on elevating their brand and giving their annual donation drive a facelift is one such example.

READ Saskatoon, a non-profit organization since 1979, offers free adult, family, and financial literacy programs with the help of trained volunteers and community partners.

Blossom Communications started working with READ Saskatoon as a sponsor for the organization’s first (now annual) Telling Stories & Storytelling fundraising event in May 2017. Blossom provided communications and marketing support, as well as brand development for the event.

Over the last year, Blossom had worked closely with the organization to develop and enhance brand architecture and elevate the profile of several of its programs (more on that in a future blog post.).

Blossom’s work with READ Saskatoon on their annual fundraising drive truly demonstrates how we help organizations flourish.

Every year READ Saskatoon undertakes a fundraising campaign to raise money for programming and training literacy volunteers. In the past, this effort took the form of an “ask” letter highlighting the organization’s success to past and potential donors during the month of December.

READ Saskatoon approached Blossom last fall to refresh the campaign — to make it more engaging by telling a compelling story — and thereby increase total donations across the board.

Blossom worked hand-in-hand with READ Saskatoon’s team to build upon the foundation they had developed over a number of years. We gave the campaign a name (Light A Spark – inspired by the Victor Hugo quote: “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark”) and a brand.

We interviewed staff about the work they did and the people they met along the way to get a better understanding of the organization’s life-changing impact on individuals, families and the community at large. In the end, there was still an “ask” letter that went out to all former and potential donors, but this letter told the story of READ Saskatoon from the perspective of the organization’s office manager – who is often the first point of contact for people inquiring about READ Saskatoon’s services and witnesses their literacy journey.

Blossom also collected statistics from annual reports and from the team, which was compiled into an infographic that told READ Saskatoon’s amazing story. While this infographic was put on the Light A Spark brand, a second version was created for use in the organization’s government relations’ efforts. Pieces of the infographic were paired with quotes from READ Saskatoon participants and tutors to develop visuals for use on social media over the course of the campaign. These quotes were also used in the “ask” letter.

The new, month-long campaign was a huge success on all fronts. The Light a Spark Campaign generated:

  • A 117% increase in total donations over 2016 (smashing READ Saskatoon’s goal by 25%);

  • A 60% increase in the amount of the average donation over 2016; and,

  • A 30% increase in the total number of donors.

Blossom Communications was thrilled to be a part of READ Saskatoon’s fundraising activities and honoured to help them flourish!