PMCF puts purpose in a box

The charity created a subscription box that includes local goods in an effort to bring back donations lost as a result of lockdowns.

The Purpose Package

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (PMCF) is looking to reach women with a subscription model of charitable giving.

Its newly launched Purpose Package features Canadian-made artisanal goods like reusable bamboo straws and handmade satin scrunchies, with 100% of the proceeds earmarked for cancer research. The subscription costs $79.99 and its launch coincides with Mother’s Day and April’s Canadian Cancer Awareness Month.

Keith Clarke, director of community partnerships & events at PMCF, tells strategy alternative donor sources are key for the organization, as it’s currently bringing in about a third-to-half as many fundraising dollars prior to the pandemic, thanks to lockdowns hampering its peer-to-peer fundraising efforts.

While the subscription model is extremely popular for DTC and CPG brands, it’s uncommon in the charity space, and Clarke believes PMCF is among the first out the gate, which will help it differentiate in a crowded nonprofit space.

bamboo straws by Made For the People

“We have something new called an Innovation Fund, where you can apply for funding and do a case study on why you think a specific idea might work,” Clarke says. That’s what helped spur this forward-thinking initiative, he says, with the bonus of also helping out long-suffering small businesses in Canada affected by COVID.

The products are female-centric, but Clarke hopes the organization will be able to segment even better for the next subscription, as this is very much a proof-of-concept initiative. “Our stats show that a lot of our events and donor base are female skewed and we wanted to start with that,” adds Clarke.

The foundation recently tapped Apply Digital to modernize its donation hub and develop personas to better understand what’s of interest to its donor base. The Purpose Package’s value proposition is also being conveyed using straightforward language, which simplifies the donor journey, according to the organization.

The Purpose Package came together around the Christmas holidays and was finalized around early 2021 by PMCF’s internal team.

To amplify the program, it has paid ads and an e-mail campaign, reaching out to its database and social followers. The foundation is also using influencers and mommy bloggers, many of whom have a personal connection to the cause.

The foundation’s PR team is working with Milo, and Epitaph is handling the media buy.