publication date: Feb 2, 2012
author/source: Lisa MacDonald
Share your views on corporate sponsorship in our reader poll (right)
years ago, I worked as Provincial Director for The Terry Fox Foundation (TFF)
in Manitoba. I was young, enthusiastic and determined to
make my fundraising mark. One of the
biggest frustrations for me then was the "restrictions" the Foundation placed
on corporate sponsorship. Still in tune with their grass roots beginnings, TFF's
directive to staff was clear. Terry's
name and his Marathon of Hope
be sold to the highest bidder.
policies of the Foundation were initially created by Terry himself, who was
wary of those trying to profit from their association with the annual Terry Fox
Run, either directly or indirectly. Reflecting
on the purpose of his Run, Terry said, "I was not going to let myself be used.
There was only one thing I wanted to publicize, and that was fundraising for
attending a screening of The National
's documentary, Pink
., I am convinced that in a world where blatant sponsorship has
become the rule for event-based fundraising for cancer research, The Terry Fox
Foundation stands alone.
focus of the film was the pink ribbon "brand" that has become synonymous with
so many events and cause-marketing efforts undertaken in the "battle" against
breast cancer. Revlon, Ford, Kentucky
Fried Chicken, Yoplait, AstraZeneca, KitchenAid and the National Football
League are only a few of the many corporate entities that have adopted a "pink"
these corporations contribute money to research? Yes.
But what, Pink Ribbons Inc.
asks, are the consequences of that involvement on the goal of preventing,
understanding the causes of, and ultimately curing breast cancer? The film's evidence
of a negative impact is compelling.
Terry Fox Foundation tells another story - one about the power of one person
who asked each Canadian for a simple gift of $1 to help find a cure for
cancer. Last year, the TFF directed $30
million to cancer research programs. To
date, over $550 million has been raised in support of Terry's cause. People and businesses alike continue to give
unconditionally, like Terry did.
Cancer fundraising is a multi-faceted issue. Send your responses and views to
email. Hilborn will
publish the most thoughtful perspectives in future articles.
Pink Ribbons Inc.
premieres in theatres across Canada on February 3rd. For a sneak
peek, visit nfb.ca/pink. Or read the book, http://bit.ly/pinkribbons.
The Terry Fox
Run will be held on Sept 16, 2012. Visit www.terryfox.org to get involved.
MacDonald is assistant
editor of Hilborn's flagship
newsletters, Canadian Fundraising &
Philanthropy and Hilborn eNEWS.
A degree in journalism and communications from Carleton University and more than 12 years of experience as a
nonprofit communications professional inform her passion for and understanding
of issues in this sector. Lisa welcomes your ideas and comments about this
article by email or @lisalmacdonald.