Download the app, “Your Man Reminder,” and an attractive, topless man of your preference will walk you through the three-step process of performing a self-breast exam. This award-winning app is one of the many tools that Canadian charity Rethink Breast Cancer (Rethink) is using to drive conversations around the disease and educate a younger audience on the importance of regular exams.
Rethink is just one of many charities in a suddenly very crowded cause/purpose space, with a slew of organizations vying for a limited amount of charity dollars. With so many worthy causes competing for attention, it’s no longer enough to just show up-charities need to show up differently.
Launched in 2001, Rethink stands out from other similar Canadian breast cancer organizations by taking a bold approach to educating, informing and empowering the under-40 crowd. Focused on fostering a new generation of young and influential breast cancer supporters, it infuses its outreach with sass and style, using fundraising dollars to respond to the unique needs of young (or youngish) women battling the disease.
So what makes Rethink different? Its manifesto: “out with the old and in with the new.” While many charities leverage fear tactics to inspire supporters, Rethink has inserted itself into the communities where its audiences live, work and play, developing fresh collateral and leveraging social channels to stimulate meaningful, memorable and playful conversations around the cause.
Rethink’s annual fundraiser, Boobyball, which takes place in Toronto and Calgary, has been recognized for its trendy themes (CAMPBOOBY and BOOBYU), over-the-top décor and roster of movers and shakers, all working together and committed to the cause. Awareness building and fundraising extends beyond the event itself. Since its inception, Boobyball has received kudos from top tier media outlets including The Globe & Mail, CityTV, Elle Magazine and The Huffington Post, generated significant social media conversation and secured sponsorship by local celebrities, which has, in turn directly impacted their ability to reach their target audience, young women, and drive early detection of the disease.
Why does it matter? Because the charitable landscape is crowded-and becoming more so every day. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to create a lasting impression that inspires action. Rethink demonstrates that showing up differently has not only allowed the organization to create emotional connections but, in turn, has directly impacted its viability and success.
Lisa Stone is an account manager with Edelman and volunteers as the public relations chair for Rethink Breast Cancer in Calgary.