Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl
Creating an Emotional Connection Through Relevance
In 2013, in its Charitable Giving by Canadians survey, Statistics Canada reported that NGOs like Plan Canada raised almost $1.3Billion in donations for countries in the developing world. While this is a significant sum, it was generated from only 11% of all Canadian donors.
Most Canadian donors believe that extreme poverty in the developing world is not something that they can affect or change. The vast majority of donors perceive that the so-called “Cycle of Poverty” simply cannot be broken. This is why after many years of marketing, so few Canadians choose to donate to support this cause.
Under Paula Roberts’ leadership, in 2009 Plan Canada revolutionized the way the international development category was marketed. Rather than reinforcing existing stereotypes and perceptions, Plan Canada re-positioned the challenge by focusing on an unconventional target audience - young girls who see things differently than their mothers; they see the injustice of gender inequality and want to do something about it.
Plan changed the paradigm by starting a grassroots movement called Because I am a Girl. BIAAG is a brand marketing and fundraising campaign focused on gender equity that conveys a simple idea – it only takes one girl to change the world. Young Canadian girls became brand ambassadors engaged in a peer-to-peer fundraising program that was supported by only a modest investment in traditional and online advertising and social media.
In 2014, just five year after launch, the campaign has gone from zero to almost 50% aided awareness among young girls in Canada and has raised $46 million. These numbers continue to grow to this day. In 2011, the success of grassroots campaigns like Because I am a Girl played a significant role in the United Nations declaring October 11 the International Day of the Girl.
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