25 thoughts

Big Man Donations:

1)   Involve several modern artists to create pieces inspired by the theme of education, Guatemala, pencils or PoP in particular. Then either host a 6 month long exhibition or get them to auction them out in one event.

2)   Challenge architects (or even architecture students) to draw up schools that can be built. Sell each sketch of a school to each big donator. They will be able to showcase the exact school that they pay for.


3)   Target 10 very, rich individuals and offer them the experience of volunteering with their donation. E.g. don’t ask for a gala and just their money, offer them a week of volunteering with PoP in return for their payment of 100,000. Being there is always more enriching than simply donating. Alternatively, offer them the trip for free and they can choose to donate however much they want.


4)   Target 1 millionaire (the less you target, the more special they will feel) and send him/her a direct mail package that is very specialized to them. For example, get a famous designer like Loubouton to sketch a design in pencil, of a dress that he is making for some Hollywood actress (let’s say one up for a nomination for the Oscars?). Usually those sketches and dresses are free. Get Loubouton to send a request this time for a donation to be made to PoP.


5)   Another form of DM: get each kid from Guatemala in the PoP program to send a picture they drew or a letter (for those that are literate in Spanish or English) personalized to one person on a chosen list. The letter will feel personal because it can include the name of the specific person and a section explaining this letter is specific to them. The person can be identified through their IP address or online behavior that can denote whether they are more likely to donate than avg population e.g. Middle income, has donated to a charity before, works in education or volunteers etc.



Corporate involvement ideas:


6)   Prompt stationary and office supplies stores like Best Buy to opt out of a sale, or give customers a choice to pay full price during sale season and donate the mark-up or margin to the charity.


7)   Alternatively, just get a store like Best Buy and Office Max to donate a large amount to pencils of promise and get to advertise their donation.


8)   Ask a big brand to pledge to donate up to $1 million by paying for your tweet.



Advertising Ideas:


9)   A Direct TV style commercial using analogy and logic. Overly exaggerate the benefit someone feels or gets when they make a donation. E.g. When I donate I feel good, when I feel good I ask that girl out on a date, when I ask her on a date, she suggests flying her private jet to –insert paradise - etc. End with the reality of how beautiful your difference will make to a child’s life and expose the selfishness of the “warm glow” donation. In a humorous manner…kind of.


10)   Make a stereotypical tourism ad for Guatemala that is beautiful and mesmerizing scenery and obscenely happy, welcoming people. Progress slowly into a “reality check” tone of voice as the commercial goes on. Transition to a Call to Action to donate.


11)   Show everything you can do with 25 dollars and directly compare it to educating a kid for a year and how that is so much more worthwhile.


12)  Find a way to show all the skills you learn in school that are not directly related to strictly to education. For example, get kids to do a VO on a video of the things they learnt (like socializing, having an escape from abuse at home, making friends etc but a little more insightful manner). End by stating that schools are more about learning than education.


13)  Juxtapose what a pencil symbolizes to you vs them. Perhaps have poster campaigns or TV spots that show how these kids in Guatemala associate pencils or education to their future; a completely different relationship to what we have with our stationary or even how we approach our opportunity to learn at school.


14)  Total copout: Feature like a “product placement” in parks and rec style show? Maybe the office? Where they feature as part of the plot to raise money for PoP. Complete honesty in the placement and the ask for a donation.


Social campaign ideas:


15)    Gamify: it’s that desperate time now.

Pit schools, frats and sororities, universities or even neighborhoods against eachother. Challenge them to donate to pencils of promise. Their incentive? The information will be out there in a very digestible format. It will be clear who is number one and donating but more importantly, that there will be someone who is donating the least. A shameless tactic of guilt-tripping people but embellishing it with “fun.”


16)   Give up pencils for a day. Dedicate a day where people imagine a world without pencils. Most likely, many will realize they don’t even use them anymore. Create a whole campaign around the concept that some people still need pencils. Directly attack how we can live without certain things while others view them as a luxury or an opportunity.


17)   Exact opposite of previous idea: Ask people to give up digital for a day and go back to pencils. Perhaps you can get a company to pledge to pay a certain amount for every user that claims they will give it up for a day.


18)   Simple poster campaigns with QR codes and a suggested donation in key traffic areas like the metro/bus stops


19)   Ask for donations where people are the happiest. E.g. outside theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, gyms


20)   Partner with local Guatemalan restaurants (In or outside of Guatemala) to ask for a donation on the receipts for their customers for a 6 month long promotion. Most likely, people will be dining out with others so may succumb to the social pressure. Also, asking for a donation during a transaction tends to increase likelihood of a donation.


21)   Prompt people to donate when they are topping up their travel cards. E.g. When someone is buying a month long Oyster card (around 25 pounds), you can suggest a donation for the charity PoP as an additional fare. Can partner with TFL or other transport services in big cities.



Online and Digital ideas:


22)   Facebook ad targeting people who "like" #charity #education #donation (Around 13.9 million). Buy ad space for the day or a busy hour. Geographically target the regions where these people are more concentrated. Time the campaign appropriately (over a holiday, a tax season or during a TedEX event). Prompt them with a CTA that has a clear suggested donation. SO out of 14 million, let's say 1/14th will are likely to donate. How much shall we prompt them to reach our goal? etc...


23)   Getting to the good stuff: BANNER ADS.

We always get a ton of "before and after" banner ads (weight loss, better teeth, less baldness etc). Use the same style of cheesy before after sequences, with a third being a real image of a kid before and after they had the opportunity to be schooled. The after photo doesn’t have to be something ridiculous like a young man in a business suit. The reality of the photo will be enough of a contrast.


24)   Ask people to donate with facebook credits when they play online games on facebook. Perhaps target those who tend to play educational and brain training games more than others.


25)   Use apps like Foursquare to prompt you to donate/directly take a certain amount from your account when you check in to an educational establishment (e.g. library, school) or perhaps even your work place.

26) Last thought: Get all 208 of us to each donate at least 25. Let's say we are all conservative so we will have lots of money to raise still. Each of us should share the link to the site across all social media platforms. We should send messages (or public wall posts could be better) to our friends, our moms friends etc asking them to check out this "cool project I'm helping with" and that "it would really mean a lot". Get each person who is inspired to donate to share their donation on their profiles. Not sure if we will reach $1 million but we could certainly raise a considerable amount.



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