Justin Bieber to the Rescue

Justin Bieber to the Rescue

Updated Mar, 8th 2013

25 ideas to help raise $1,000,000 in six months for Pencils for Promise (“PFP”) schools in Guatemala.

I started my project by reading the PFP website and looking at their Annual Report to get an understanding for what they are all about.  It is a terrific organization and I was amazed at what they have accomplished in a short period of time.   It was here I noticed their list of donors and thought that working with people who are already committed to their cause would be a good strategy.  Justin Bieber's name is prominently listed and I think one well managed benefit concert by Justin could alone reach the goal.  I fell short of 25 but have listed other ideas in case Justin is not onboard with the benefit concert plan.

  1. Review list of existing large donors and work with them to increase their understanding, passion and contributions for the Pencils for Promise Cause.
  2. Justin Bieber, who is listed as a $50,000 donor in 2011 and has appeared in promotional PFP promotional videos, is a great candidate.  Enlist PFP development staff to work with Justin’s camp to design a two-day tour for Justin of selected schools, followed by a benefit concert in Guatemala City with proceeds going to PFP.
  3. Use some of the $250K seed money to lobby Washington (US Agency for International Development) to earmark additional foreign educational aid to Guatemala, with the proviso that an alliance be formed with PFP to partner with the Guatemala Ministry of Education to disburse funds.
  4. Partner with an eco-tourism company to conduct tours and volunteer opportunities to work on schools in progress for other major donors and their families.
  5. Work with Justin Bieber’s camp, and Pay Per View to broadcast the benefit concert in Guatemala, with a large share of proceeds going to PFP.
  6. The Rainforest Alliance operates within Guatemala, to promote sustainable agriculture and development.  Approach key Rainforest alliance corporate partners who have already shown a commitment to Guatemala to broaden giving to PFP’s educational causes.
  7. Gibson Guitars produces a line of guitars using Rainforest alliance certified mahogany grown in Guatemala.   Approach Gibson to also contribute to PFP.
  8. Ask Justin Bieber to use a Gibson Guitar during the PFP Guatemala benefit concert (see no 2.), and sell it to highest bidder afterwards with funds going to PFP.
  9. A majority of the Palm’s used for Palm Sunday religious services are grown in Guatemala.  Close to 90% of the country is either Roman Catholic or Protestant.   Although possibly controversial, consider a program with mainstream religious development groups such as Catholic Charities to receive funding in return for providing a limited weekly amount of religious education programming in PFP built schools.
  10. 10. Starbucks and Costco, among others sell Coffee grown in Guatemala and have shown an interest in sustainable agriculture in Guatemala, and Starbucks has opened two shops in Guatemala.   Approach Starbucks to deepen their commitment to Guatemala by donating to PFP and offering a promotion to donate a small percentage of Guatemala sourced coffee sales to PFP.
  11. Approach Costco to likewise, donate to PFP and run a promotion on its behalf.
  12.  According to PFP’s annual report, Google donated $300,000 to PFP in 2011.  Google gives its employees a certain amount of time to “play” and work on their own causes.  Present the PFP story at Google headquarters and persuade some key Google employees to donate pro-bono time to furthering PFP’s marketing and fundraising aims.
  13. Use some of the $250,000 seed money for a public relations firm to help write press releases and get stories with links to PFP donation sites in key internet publications such as the Huffington Post and the Guardian and NYT Online.
  14. Approach the US Teacher’s unions to put a link for PFP donations on their website and develop a summer volunteer program for teachers and students.
  15. Talk with Skillshare/Mark Ballard /PFP about offering an additional level of coaching/ support to participants in this course in return for participants donating to PFP

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