Cause + Action: Koodo incites virtual volunteerism

The telco's "Koodonation Online Throwdown" challenge raised awareness of its micro-volunteering program.


Koodo customers identified as being part of the “me generation,” and were looking for simple ways to give back.

Based on this insight, the brand and agency Strategic Objectives explored the growing trend of convenient, crowdsourced and online “micro-volunteering,” leading to the launch of “Koodonation” in 2011. The program was created to give today’s social, web-savvy generation the ability to help non-profits from their computers (such as creating revenue-generating ideas for an animal rescue shelter or producing a promotional video for a charity), in 15 minutes or less.

The first year kicked off with an event in Toronto, where university and college students volunteered their time and completed an obstacle course, with the winning team giving away their prize donation to a chairty of their choice. The challenge for Koodonation’s second year was to take its newly acquired database of 5,000 micro-volunteers and 300 non-profits, and increase participation online.


In 2012, the brand launched the “Koodonation Online Throwdown,” a concentrated two-week challenge that encouraged students from different schools to get active online. A national campaign aimed at micro-volunteers was designed to create awareness and produce media coverage for the program.


To be a part of the online competition, micro-volunteers registered their school and earned points for charitable contributions made by students on the Koodonation Online Throwdown website. The winning team was given $35,000 to donate to a charity. The brand also participated in community relations with involved schools, student groups, non-profits and registered charities, as well as a PR push (such as organizing the photo opp pictured above at the winning school).


After two weeks, the brand saw a 20% increase in volunteers, a 4% increase in participating non-profits, a 400% increase in overall participation, as well as an 88% increase in volunteer conversion online. In addition, the program received coverage in multiple Canadian news outlets and publications, including CBC’s Metro Morning and Metro newspapers, generating 6.6 million media impressions.

Judge’s comment

“Koodonation aligns completely with the company’s brand personality and promise. Koodo did a good job of making their initiative less about [the brand] and direct marketing, and more about the volunteers and non-profits. By doing this, [it] created some tangible brand equity. And the idea has legs well beyond the promotional period, because some volunteers are likely going to stay connected to the non-profits.”
- Patti Schom-Moffatt, Edelman

Update: this article has been corrected to state that Strategic Objectives was the lead agency on the Koodonation campaign, not Taxi, which was stated in the article before. We regret the error.

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