Propelling Big Brothers and Big Sisters to New Heights: Bruce MacDonald #MRIA #MRX

mria 2012Welcome to this series of live blogs from the MRIA Sample the Edge conference in St. John’s Newfoundland. All posts appear within minutes after the speaker has finished. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.


  • One of these things is not like the other – Bruce is the only charitable company here 🙂
  • Write down the first word that comes to mind…
  • Colour
  • Furniture
  • Flower
  • (then he briefly showed a list of bedroom sleeping words, hid them, and then asked us to write them all down)
  • Purpose: Distraction. The list of words did not say sleep but people remembered the word sleep
  • BBBS wants to change their 100 year old perception and they are going to use MR to do that
  • Thank you – to MRIA, Advanis, Mustel for doing some research that set them on this path
  •  BBBS are research junkies!
  • 123 local agencies across canada, each has its own staff, fundraising, programs
  • Just over 36,000 children per year, Thousands of kids waiting for mentoring
  • 48% less likely to have behaviour problems in school
  • 34% less likely to be  bullied
  • Twice as likely to have high academic achievement
  • Twice as likely to have high levels of school bonding and commitment
  • Doing a social return on investment study
  • We are not just a social organization, we improve society
  • Played a thumb wrestle game, find a partner and get as many points as you can in 1 minute. My partner and I did well, we COOPERATED, I got the left hand, she got the right hand, and we just thumbed it out. 100 points easy. Other teams went competitive and almost no one got over 5 points.
  • 50% of canadian adults were bullied as a youngster
  • 30% think the bullying had a lasting effect
  • 85% think providing bullies with a mentor has a positive lasting effect
  •  50 million media impressions from 2 CTV news stories and a Globe & Mail editorial
  • “Value of an Hour” campaign – goal was to increase volunteer inquiries by 10%, increase FB audience by 10%
  • 22% of people say they would sleep with an extra hour, 24% would do extra chores, 25% time with family and friends, only 5% said they would volunteer. This provided a platform to talk about volunteering in that one hour gained by daylight savings time. This campaign increased inquiries by 94%. FB likes rose 35%. FB feedback increased 54%
  • MR is the centerpiece of their 2013 public relations efforts, raise awareness of the power of their programs, it transforms Canadian communities
  • Next year – 6 planned, academic success (need a sponsor), bulling (sponsored), Civic engagement (need a sponsor), youth index (need a sponsor), social consciousness index (sponsored), top ten fears (need a sponsor) GET INVOLVED, Your company could be a really great sponsor
  • “Un-research” = no methodology
  1. More success when they leverage existing media
  2. Partner with a PR firm that does more than write news releases
  3. Be ready for surprises
  4. Infinitely more cost effective than traditional paid media
  5. Canadian media love Canadian research
  6. For charities, this research is empowering
  7. Tweetable, facebookable
  8. Keeps us in tune with prospective volunteers and donors
  9. A great new option for sponsors
  10. It’s our best chance to manage our own message
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