February 3, 2016
Having been at Fast Horse for nearly 13 years, I’ve had the opportunity to do so many amazing things for clients and the agency. My days are filled with creativity, fun and often a dose of chaos that keeps me fueled. But there are always those programs that leave a lasting impression — something that makes you so damn proud of where you work, your colleagues, and most importantly, your client. These don’t come about by happenstance. It takes a client with a bold vision who is willing to look past marketing as solely brand promotion and instead view it as a way to promote something meaningful that ladders up to the brand purpose. It’s certainly not right for every brand. But when you can create something that feels organic to who you are as a brand, the result is so impactful.
One of our recent projects did just that.
As part of its 100th anniversary celebration, Deluxe Corporation launched the “100 Hours to Make a Difference” campaign, through which the company asked its more than 5,000 North American employees what they would do if they were granted 100 hours of paid time to spend improving their communities. Paid time! That’s approximately 2.5 weeks’ worth of time for Deluxe employees to spend volunteering at an organization close to their heart. For Deluxe, giving employees time to make a difference wasn’t a far departure from their company values.
And that’s just one of the reasons why it worked.
Since its founding in 1915, Deluxe has fostered community involvement among its employees and supported an array of causes. It’s an integral part of their culture. So when we launched the “100 Hours to Make a Difference” initiative to celebrate a century of Deluxe employees giving back to their communities, it was an organic way to bring those values to life.
After selecting 17 employees nationwide in June 2015, we worked with Deluxe to follow these passionate individuals as they embarked on a diverse array of volunteer activities and brought them to life through video and photo essays on www.DeluxeCares.com.
One video shows Rick Pals of Minnesota, who traveled to the Dominican Republic to support Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit that provides food to children in impoverished communities. Another depicts how Carrie Fritschy of Colorado traversed the country to raise awareness of tuberculosis treatment, speaking before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other decision-makers, after her infant daughter survived the disease. The photo essays are just as impactful. One photo essay highlights Shirley Heideman, a longtime Special Olympics volunteer from Missouri, who used her 100 hours to recruit more volunteers to the organization. Another shares the story of Madeline Washington, who spent her time helping kids with math and reading in a community where only 47 percent of the students are considered proficient in those areas.
Each story celebrate the individuals behind Deluxe who make it a great company. Take a look for yourself, but first — grab a Kleenex.